This exhibition features new work by ten artists, all recent Painting MFA graduates at The Rhode Island School of Design. There is no agreed upon curatorial theme, these artists’ interests are too disparate for that, but there is an obvious shared condition of having spent the past two years together, studying painting or something related.
I have noticed a few themes that might run through the group: attempts to reverse- mirror the everyday, the felt contradiction that often what’s perceived as more personal is more easily and collectively valued when shared; a sense of social responsibility. All of them seem to be trying to make sense of the world around them via art’s capacity to contest the very privilege of a worldview.
Anthony Bragg’s project is rife with the de-familiarization strategies of allegory and science fiction. He excels at the Gober-esque switch between sculpted art material and theatrical ersatz wherein one might encounter a crypt-like water fountain under-lit with blue l.e.d., or a monumental shelving unit holding uncanny stacks of re-made ready-made electric yule-tide wood logs emitting a toxic glow. Bragg’s is a speculative world, where a would-be discarded space helmet might contain a post-civilization diorama seemingly from the ruins of another planet (or perhaps our own).