Eric Firestone Gallery is pleased to announce the group exhibition Dazed & Confused, a selection of contemporary artworks from the next generation of artists exhibiting that ineffable “aesthetic emotion,” when the viewer is moved completely by the formal qualities of art.
In 1920, art critic Roger Fry explained the phenomenon of “aesthetic emotion” as a positive and pleasurable, grand response to viewing an object. It’s that dizzying, overpowering feeling, that pleasant punch to the gut, only art can offer.
As a nod to enjoying art purely on visuals, Eric Firestone has assembled a show that goes back to our Modern roots to look at the foremost contemporary art. We’re viewing through a formal lens, minding—composition, color, texture, surface, contour and genius.
Not only do the selected artists in Dazed & Confused create visually stunning work, but they also push the boundaries of artistic viewership because—nowadays—we’ve learned that aesthetics always have double meanings. On the surface, Andrew Kuo’s painting looks like a post-conceptual masterpiece of color theory. Simultaneously, Kuo embeds a key in his color-coded graph, charting mostly-mundane inner thoughts about everyday events with sarcasm, irony and honesty.
Our preference for particular pieces may be chalked up to optics, and Kelsey Brookes is no novice to science. Brookes painstakingly breaks down the molecular structure of psychiatric medication to render breathtaking, curvaceously detailed paintings. His delicate meditations mimic human interplays and ubiquitous fractals in nature. Similarly, Brian Porray’s electric painted panels are packed with optical kinetics, conflating texture, line, shape and color.
Dazed & Confused explores humanity further by disrupting visual connection between viewer and art. Jen Stark’s in-your-face optical illusion of PVC, acrylic paint, UV varnish and monofilament confront our expectations of sculpture, playing with the tensions between painting and mobile, between flatness and space. At the same time, Pryce Lee’s bullet punctured mirrors framed in cold brass reflect our own interactions with art in the gallery setting.