NYC’s The Hole is currently playing host to Chicken or Beef?, an exhibition assembled by Danish curator Jesper Elg. The show is a museum-style Transatlantic survey of figurative painting in Europe and America, named after the ubiquitous question posed on transatlantic flights.
As opposed to creating two camps at odds, the show instead highlights the many similarities of approach, not just between the two regions but also between the more prominent artists in the group and their more emerging counterparts. As well as exploring this notion – and its opposite – Chicken or Beef? is, above all, a celebration of figurative painting as a genre.
The curator writes:
“Figurative painting betrays our need to communicate—not in words, but in images: the need to relate experience and emotion, beyond written and spoken language. From the Chauvet Cave in France to Instagram, we all feel a compulsion to record the human condition.
We also all experience and view the world differently. In figurative painting we can report these experiences across the boundaries of language, geography and time. Figurative painting offers a form of personal semiotics; perhaps that is why it is so difficult to write and talk about a figurative painting, as we can only describe the components and the combination of elements that we already have words for and the figures, situations, textures and colors we recognize.
It is a very different experience to view Le Radeau de la Méduse on Google or in the Louvre. That is why we keep visiting museums and galleries to encounter the original artwork and feel a human connection: some things are lost in translation.
This exhibition in no way intended as a definitive survey, but rather a just as personal compilation of a group of figurative painters from Europe and North America. It is a stab at presenting a variety of contemporary figurative styles, which are independent and interlinked at the same time, including the disappearance of the body into figurative expressions and gestures – a beautiful broken language.”
Featured artists include: Allison Schulnik – Anders Oinonen – Anna Bjerger – Antonio Ballester Moreno – Barnaby Furnas – Bjarne Melgaard – Cecily Brown – Dan Attoe – Devon Troy Strother – Eddie Martinez – Ella Kruglyanskaya – Erik Parker – Geoff McFetridge – HuskMitNavn – Jannis Varelas – Jemima Kirke – Jocelyn Hobbie – John Copeland – John Korner – Jules de Balincourt – Katherine Bernhardt – Keegan McHargue – Lola Montes Schnabel – Margaret Kilgallen – Maya Bloch – Miriam Cahn – Misaki Kawai – Peter Linde Busk – Rosson Crow – Ryan Schneider – Tal R – Taylor McKimens – Todd James – Troels Carlsen
Chicken or Beef? runs through April 20, 2013.