'Articulating Activism: Works from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection' on view at The 8th Floor

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'Articulating Activism: Works from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection' on view at The 8th Floor
Installation view.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation is presenting Articulating Activism: Works from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection. Predominantly drawn from their Art and Social Justice Collection, which began in 2015, this branch of the collection celebrates the prescience and power of art at this particular location and moment in history. The exhibition also encompasses work from other areas of concentration in the Rubins’ collection, namely contemporary art from the Himalayan region and Cuba. Each of the artists are devoted to finding solutions rather than simply highlighting problems, visualizing issues that have been previously obscured, overlooked, or ignored. Curatorially, the Foundation has always believed in art’s unique ability to inspire change, that art has a purpose and potential, and that a diverse range of voices, bodies, and perspectives enhances discourse. Articulating Activism seeks to posit artists in dialogue with one another—through material, space, and time—in ways that encourage exchange and lead to poignant correlations between those experiencing the works from multiple branches of this epic collection.

Featured artists and artist groups: ACT UP, Belkis Ayón, Firelei Báez, Abel Barroso, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Tony Cokes, Ángel Delgado, Antonia Eiriz, Carlos Garaicoa, Guerrilla Girls, Gonkar Gyatso, Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, Shaun Leonardo, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Armando Mariño, Carlos Martiel, Frank Martínez, Mary Mattingly, Ana Mendieta, Cirenaica Moreira, Michael Rakowitz, Hunter Reynolds and George Lyter, Dread Scott, Tsherin Sherpa, José Ángel Toirac, Betty Tompkins, Chungpo Tsering, José Ángel Vincench, and Jorge Wellesley.

The expansiveness of art since the 1960s in subject, medium, and the shifting perception around it, journeying towards something everyone can enjoy, has seen its natural conclusion in socially engaged art. With society as their perpetually moving inspiration, artists no longer observe and make from a distance, but include the public directly, seeing them as participants and collaborators. Works in this exhibition exemplify a compulsion, or passion, to deconstruct reality in a variety of media. How we see our bodily reality, reality as information through text-art, political reality, and the reality of injustice are the central concerns of Articulating Activism. The Foundation is proud to present works by groups and individuals that are at times deeply personal, revealing, and bordering on confessional, frequently made in protest, but always hopeful, and aiming towards a better future for us all.

The exhibition coincides with the publication of An Incomplete Archive of Activist Art, published by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. Reflecting on the Foundation’s art and social justice initiatives, the two-volume book features thematic essays, roundtable discussions, newly commissioned artworks and documentation of visual art exhibitions.

This exhibition is curated by George Bolster and Anjuli Nanda Diamond.

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