On January 26, 2010, The University of Richmond Museums
opens the exhibition Slightly Unbalanced, on view through March 4, 2010, at the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art. The exhibition features work by 18 nationally and internationally known contemporary artists focusing on a range of psychological tendencies, including anxiety, obsessive behavior, depression, and narcissism. In their work, the artists question what constitutes normalcy and what qualifies as neurosis, a slippery and suggestive behavior.
This exhibition encompasses a range of artistic media: video art, installations, photographs, paintings, and drawings. The term "neurotic" is used to describe people who are extremely capable of functioning, despite some emotional suffering.. In choosing to focus on neurosis, these artists tap into a charged and rewarding subject that provokes curiosity, discomfort, recognition, and even identification in the viewer.
The field of psychology is well over a century old, and many of its basic concepts and terminology are embedded in our presuppositions about how human beings think and act, what drives and motivates us. Exploring the afflictions and quirks of functioning people, the artists in Slightly Unbalanced invite viewers to reconsider their own experiences and opinions, and think about cultural assumptions pertaining to mental health and human behavior. These artists also allude to all individuals' vulnerability and fragility, inviting compassion for fellow human beings.
The artists in the exhibition include Alex Bag, Louise Bourgeois, Sophie Calle, Beth Campbell, Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn, Sarah Hobbs, Mike Kelley, Sean Landers, Cary Leibowitz, Dave McKenzie, Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, Danica Phelps, William Pope.L, Aïda Ruilova, Ward Shelley and Douglas Paulson, Cindy Sherman, and David Shrigley.
Also opening in the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art is the exhibition Rincon Falls, Trinidad: A Print Series by Chris Ofili, on view January 12 to September 26, 2010. Chris Ofili (British, born 1968) explores contemporary black experience in his work using references from traditional African art, images of popular culture, and influences from hip-hop music. A waterfall on the north coast of Trinidad inspired this series of prints now in the permanent collection of the Harnett Print Study Center. Ofili experiments with themes of nature and landscape to challenge his skills and to "re-learn" printmaking. He used photographs and videos he had taken as source material, combined with his own memories of hiking around Trinidad where he moved in 2005, to inspire his somewhat improvisational compositions.
Ofili has had one-person exhibitions at galleries and museums throughout the world, including the Tate Britain in London, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and the 50th Venice Biennale, Italy. His work is in several public and private collections, including The British Museum, London, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Rubell Family Collection, Miami, and the Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt, Germany.