The Dalai Lama once said, “I am open to the guidance of synchronicity and I do not let expectations hinder my path,” meaning he allows himself the intervention of the unknown rather than being tied to any predetermined notions of what could or should be. Synchronicity, as it relates to the creation of art, follows the same principles in that all great art allows for the possibility of improvisation, chance or the “divine accident,” wherein the artist discovers inspiration in a place they might never have thought to look initially. In any circumstance, the improbable always yields more gold than the obvious.
But how do artists recognize not only the importance of improbability, but foster this kind of high level receptivity? How do you find something by deliberately not seeking it out, knowing that in this ineffable gesture is the most powerful kind of artistic expression? It requires an understanding of the laws that govern the universe, or as Einstein once said, “the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources, even from yourself,” that is, to have faith that what we are seeking in the living world is also seeking us; to receive everything, all we need do is to be open to it.
This exhibition takes as its subject the nebulous, syncretic moment, celebrates the ambiguous gesture and expounds on the improbable instance where magical thinking occurs without our knowledge or awareness. For example, the paintings of Lenz Geerk investigate the strange and luminous distance between figures and objects, creating a force-field of psychologically charged spaces. Brenna Youngblood explores the boundaries between language and abstraction, investigating the nuances and complexities of words and how meanings can be subverted and reinterpreted, whereas Kehinde Wiley employs a more traditional painterly approach, using the visual language of old master portraiture to subvert myth and symbol alike. Beyte Saar’s sculptural investigations continue to compel and surprise while raising important questions about identity, as do Jeffrey Gibson’s contemporary sculptural figures.
All the artists in this exhibition are not only imaginative and curious about the world around them, but also bring to their work a level of inquisitiveness that supersedes cognition - instead, privileging instinct - and both a playfulness and a willingness to commit to the improbable and the ambiguous to allow life’s riddles to remain unsolved.
To continue the works’ challenge of conventional categories and their relationship to one another, this exhibition will open in phases, with individual pieces introduced throughout the duration of the exhibition.