The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, August 20, 2019

'Nancy Chunn: Chicken Little and the Culture of Fear' at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum
Nancy Chunn, Chicken Little and the Culture of Fear, Scene II: The Bathroom, 2004-05. © Nancy Chunn. Photography by Bill Orcutt. Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York.

PROVIDENCE, RI.- Inspired by the fear and panic engendered by the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, the Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design presents Nancy Chunn: Chicken Little and the Culture of Fear, a series of paintings that represents the media sensationalism infecting our current political and cultural landscape, feeding our anxieties and distracting us from dealing with real dangers.

“Nancy Chunn’s very recognizable and humorous imagery from the childhood fable Chicken Little was created as commentary on the events of 9/11, but continues to resonate through current events,” says Interim Museum Director Ann Woolsey.

Chunn’s allegorical narrative features 339 cartoon-like paintings that reimagine the folk fable of Chicken Little. Chunn portrays Chicken Little’s exaggerated fears, (“The sky is falling!”), in a graphic style—adapting found clip art images to represent a Kafkaesque world in which danger seems to lurk around every corner. Mapped out in 2004 as a 10-year project, her 11-scene cycle—six of which are on view at the RISD Museum of Art—takes on such contemporary issues as environmental disasters, road rage, healthcare, poverty, and crime, and shows how coverage by print and broadcast media exacerbate our fears. Despite the seriousness of her concerns, Chunn’s cultural critique is infused with a remarkable sense of humor and visual invention.

“A self-proclaimed ‘news junkie,’ Chunn’s reworking of the Chicken Little fable makes us keenly aware of the foibles of our own time,” says Judith Tannenbaum, Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art. “Infusing visual invention with great wit, she enables us to gain new insights about what makes our society tick, for better or worse—from everyday domestic incidents to the grand political themes of the day.”

Chunn’s previous works explore historical and current geopolitical scenes on well-researched topics, inventing a variety of new pictorial vocabularies that provide a relationship between each subject and its presentation. For her version of Chicken Little, which is based on found images from different decades, Chunn appropriates imagery generated by the culture she is critiquing. The format of dozens of small canvases mimics the frame-by-frame channeling of the 24-hour news cycles.

Each scene is comprised of numerous canvases in different sizes, grouped on top of a colorful amoeba shape painted directly on the wall. The scenes on view in the Museum’s Lower Farago Gallery are The Bathroom (Scene II), with its products and accidents; The Bedroom (Scene IV), with the booby traps of the contemporary home; The Road (Scene VI), with its portrayal of road rage; The ER (Scene VII) and all its chaos; The Main Hospital (VIII), where, instead of safety, Chicken Little finds new fears related to the uncertainties of healthcare and medical research; and Poortown (Scene X), a poverty-stricken mirror of middle America’s worst fears.

Nancy Chunn
Nancy Chunn was born in Los Angeles in 1941 and received her BFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1969. She moved to New York in the late 1970s. Chunn received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2009, An Anonymous Was a Woman Award in 2005, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in 1985 and 1995. She has been represented by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts since 1985.

Today's News

November 12, 2011

Public gets first look at Wal-Mart heiress' new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Today, Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited Turner Contemporary

Indianapolis Museum of Art presents "Universe Is Flux: The Art of Tawara Yūsaku"

£9M Imperial Chinese vase tops Bonhams stunning Chinese art sale in London

Paris' Arts Decoratifs museum retrospective celebrates ad man Jean-Paul Goude

Reflex Gallery offers rare opportunity to view a selection of Roger Ballen's work in Amsterdam

The Collection of Will Fisher, founder of Jamb, to be offered at Christie's London in February 2012

Amid a time of economic uncertainty, United States history museums struggle to update exhibits

'Nancy Chunn: Chicken Little and the Culture of Fear' at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum

Norton Museum of Art names LACMA's Tim B. Wride as new Curator of Photography

Apparent 19th-century slave cemetery uncovered on former cotton plantation in Florida

Home decor on offer in early December period art & design auction at Bonhams

Ultra-rare and pristine copy of Action Comics 1, lost 11 years, up for sale at

University of Michigan Museum of Art to present five contemporary photographers in Face of our Time

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum announces monumental Owen Gromme gift

Edgy Brooklyn Museum to show film of ants on crucifix

Local talent the focus at August Wilson Center for African American Culture

Record for any photo sold at auction set in Christie's in New York

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful