By Jami Nix Rahn
“Belief + Doubt” is an exhibition of more than 60 selected works from a promised gift of 100 donated to NSU Art Museum by collectors Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz.
The exhibition highlights artists that are included in or were inspired by the Pictures Generation, a group of artists that came of age in the early 70s in an America steeped in social and political crisis. These artists use of appropriation exposes the mass media attitudes from which they would translate into critical conceptualizations.
One of the first works on view is also the inspiration for the exhibition title, Barbara Kruger’s untitled (Belief + Doubt = Sanity) 2008, this work highlights the section of the exhibition titled Pictures Generation and Photography which also includes works by Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons and Louise Lawler.
Curated in themes and sub-themes highlighting painting, video, mixed media, sculpture and a particularly strong section of works by women addressing race, identity, sexuality and generation the exhibition title “Belief + Doubt” lends itself to a multitude of interpretations.
Lorna Simpson’s “Counting” 1991 addresses the experience of the African-American woman in society. A photo montage and silkscreen column of three images accompanied by cryptic enumerations. The top image captures an anonymous woman wearing a white scoop necked rickrack garment. An unrealistic time schedule listed to her right makes one wonder at the possibilities. A small round smoke house of the type used in it’s era to house slaves in South Carolina is pictured in the middle of the column with the text (“310 years ago”) to the left and (“1575 bricks”) printed on the right.The bottom image is a large round coil of hair under which is listed the number of twists, braids and locks that it took to create.
In this same section of the exhibition are a small silhouette image by Kara Walker, color stained silver prints “Magenta Colored Girl” and “Blue Black Boy” by Carrie Mae Weems and a large work on wood by Mickalene Thomas “Portrait of Mamma Bush” employing rhinestones,acrylic and enamel.
Among the many highlights of this exhibition are works by Tracey Emin, Jennifer Steinkamp, Ana Mendieta, Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith as well as artists currently working and residing in south Florida such as Frances Trombly, and Onajide Shabaka.
David Horvitz is Chairman of the board of governors at NSU Museum and Francie Bishop Good also a board member is an acclaimed artist in her own right. The couple have a long record of collecting works by contemporary artists that were created in the late 70‘s up to recent years. The diverse artists represented in this exhibition are a testament to the collectors commitment to the promotion of art by multi-cultural and woman artists.
“Belief + Doubt” runs through Jan. 22 at NSU Art Museum, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Admission costs $5-$12. Call 954/525-5500 or visit nsuartmuseum.org.