Fountain House Gallery, located at 702 Ninth Avenue and representing artists living with mental illness, announces the upcoming group show The Flaneur. The exhibition will open with a Reception on June 20, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and will remain on view through August 7, 2019.
The French word “flâneur” — which means a person who idles or strolls around, often with the implication of wasting time — has appeared in discussions on contemporary art since the nineteenth century, perhaps first in Charles Baudelaire’s historic 1863 essay, The Painter of Modern Life. In that text, Baudelaire was considering the artists of his day — Manet, Degas, Monet, and Renoir among them — and their paintings of Parisian life, in which people are shown walking around, lounging in cafés, parks, and nightclubs, and taking in the cityscape. However, rather than describing his flâneur as lazy or indifferent to their surroundings, Baudelaire instead celebrates the flâneur as the “passionate spectator” of contemporary urban life.
The Flaneur is curated by Adam Yokell, founder of Foundwork, a new online platform connecting artists and collaborators across the global art community. For this show at Fountain House Gallery, said Yokell, “We asked the artists to inhabit the role of flâneur themselves, reflecting on the bustle and diversity of city life as only artists can.” Yokell continued, “In this exhibition we see a wide range of subjects, both real and imagined, for instance Jayce Kim’s Sitting at the Rock and Roll Café and The Wanderer, where the artist playfully sketches people observed around town who may, incidentally, be flâneurs in their own right. Or Susan Baus’s Endangered Species, where the artist creates a scanned object collage of a Lower East Side tenement flanked by luxury developments in a comment on gentrification.” Yokell said, “We’re also presenting work that’s more fantastical, such as Issa Ibrahim’s Dad Blast!, where a caped, masked man stands at the edge of a rooftop, smiling at us as he decides whether to fly (or jump?) from the ledge. And Roger Jones’s Love 90 People and Love Houses and People, where he draws a dense mesh of people and buildings like wallpaper across the composition. Throughout, we see a sharing of space and time, the defining condition of city living.”
This program is funded, in part, by generous support from Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Hearst Foundation, Inc., the David Rockefeller Fund, Renate, and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.