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Skidmore College
Schick Art Gallery

Social Strategies: Redefining Social Realism
March 9 - April 11, 2004


Curated by Klaus Ottmann and Pamela Auchincloss and toured under the auspices of Pamela Auchincloss/Arts Management, New York

SOCIAL STRATEGIES introduces tendencies in contemporary art that redefine social realism by either reconsidering the art of propaganda as a force in forming social consciousness, simulating prevailing social or political conditions, or projecting new social or spiritual orders. This art no longer serves the government-sanctioned rhetoric of the first half of the twentieth century, but shifts the political agenda away from representing the authorities of power toward critical and creative practices that challenge the incumbent order and comment on the rampant issues of late-twentieth century society: vanity, consumption, commerce, sex, drugs, and AIDS. Some of today's social artists even clear away "realism," following instead a path from realism to transcendence, trodden initially by artists such as Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman—in their search for an abstraction encoded with utopian ideology.

SOCIAL STRATEGIES includes the following world renown artists: Edgar Arceneaux, Richard Billingham, Jeremy Blake, Tracy Emin, Rainer Ganahl, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Wolfgang Laib, Julie Mehretu, Jack Pierson, Thomas Ruff, Paul Shambroom, Sue Williams, Sam Taylor-Wood

Below: Sam Taylor-Wood, (Detail) Five Revolutionary Seconds XIII, 1998, chromogenic print on vinyl w/audio, 44 x 305 inches, courtesy of White Cube, London

Sam Taylor-Wood, (Detail) Five Revolutionary Seconds XIII, 1998