Go See: The Generational: Younger Than Jesus at The New Museum, through 5 July, 2009

April 25th, 2009
AIDS-3D, OMG Obelisk, 2007

AIDS-3D, OMG Obelisk, 2007 - Photo via Art Observed

The New Museum presents The Generational: Younger Than Jesus, an exhibition representing fifty international artists who were all born around 1980. Underpinning the exhibition theme is the idea that artist make firm gestures in the early stages of their artistic development. The exhibition gives insight into how this generation of artists experienced and reinterpreted, through their art work, personal and world events that occured during their lifetime so far. Within that reinterpretation, issues of memory , and cross-cultural and cross-generational communication arise. Addressing these issues through questions of technology, identity, collaboration and family uncovers an intimacy in the work that is not obvious at first. Taking up a large part of the museum (the lobby, second floor, third floor, fourth floor and fifth floor), the exhibition will run through 5 July 2009.

The Generational: Younger than Jesus
The New Museum
235 Bowery, New York
8 April 2009 – 5 July 2009

RELATED LINKS
Exhibition Page and Media
[The New Museum]
Exhibtion Blog [The New Museum]
Announcement of the Opening [Art Newspaper]
Questioning the Durablity of Young Artists [Two Coats of Paint]
A “Wunderkind” Review [C-Monster]
BLT Gallery “Wiser than God” responds [Two Coats of Paint]
Video Review of the Exhibition [The World’s Best Ever]
Jerry Saltz reviews the Exhibition [New York Magazine]
A “Refreshing” Show [NY Art Beat]
New Art is Complete Anarchy [New Yorker]
A “Vibrant” and “Energetic” Show [NY Art Beat]
“Useless Information” [ArtNet]
The Strengths and the Weaknesses [ArtNet]
An Impression of the Opening Night [New York Times]
Review of the Opening Night [Art Forum]

Cao Fei, COSPLAYERS, 2004, VIa C-Monster

Cao Fei, COSPLAYERS, 2004, VIa C-Monster

Although the exhibition’s scale offers a myriad of young artistic expressions, there are themes that can be discerned. The appropriation of older technologies and questions around the function of technology in contemporary society can been seen throughout the work of Cory Arcangel, Mark Essen, Ruth Ewan,  Icaro Zorbar, Guthrie Lonergan, Ryan Trecartin and AIDS-3D. In OMG Obelisk (2007), AIDS-3D comments on how technology in today’s society has reached a nearly religious status. The installation resembles a monument, thereby suggestive of the worship of technology. Related to these same technologies is the emergence of alternative identities in digital worlds. Ryan Trecartin problematizes the construction of identities in videos of absurd characters caught up in equally absurd scenes. In Cao Fei’s photography series COSPLAYERS (2004), digital characters enter the real world.

Cao Fei, Game over (COSPLAYERS series), 2004, Via Art Tattler

Cao Fei, Game over (COSPLAYERS series), 2004, Via Art Tattler

Josh Smith, Large Collage, 2008, Via NY Art Beat

Josh Smith, Large Collage, 2008, Via NY Art Beat

Ryan Trecartin, Re'search Wait'S, 2009, Via NYABlog

Ryan Trecartin, Re'search Wait'S, 2009, Via NYABlog

Ryan Trecartin, Re'search Wait'S, 2009, Via C-Monster

Ryan Trecartin, Re'search Wait'S, 2009, Via C-Monster

A second theme throughout the show is the question of identity. One of the larger works in the exhibition, Large Collage (2008) made up out of eighteen panels by Josh Smith, is an example of a work that tackles artistic identity. In an abstract expression made up out of found objects, he plays with art historical precedents, such as the gestural of Neo-Expressionism and the celebrity status of Pop Art, and by doing so questions his own artistic identity. Faye Driscoll and LaToya Ruby Frazier employ their families to explore their identities.

Katerina Šedá, It Doesn't Matter, 2005-07, Via NY Art Beat

Katerina Šedá, It Doesn't Matter, 2005-07, Via NY Art Beat

Katerina Šedá, It Doesn't Matter, 2005-07, Via C-Monster

Katerina Šedá, It Doesn't Matter, 2005-07, Via C-Monster

Video artist Katerina Šedá works with her grandmother  in an attempt to lay bare family bonds and to examine the workings of memory. In her video It Doesn’t Matter (2005-07),  Šedá films her grandmother drawing as many objects from her kitchen as she can remember. Cyprien Gaillard, Tigran Khachatryan, Patricia Esquivias and Luke Fowler also employ video in their artistic work.

(left) Josh Smith, Large Collage, 2008 and (right) Katerina Šedá, It Doesn't Matter, 2005-07

(left) Josh Smith, Large Collage, 2008 and (right) Katerina Šedá, It Doesn't Matter, 2005-07

Younger than Jesus has received a wide variety of reviews that all center around the question of what the show has to say about the meaning of art. Jerry Saltz in New York Magazine commented: “Art is being reanimated by a sense of necessity, free of ideology or the compulsion to illustrate theory. Art is breaking free”, whereas Peter Schjeldahl of the New Yorker lamented about “an ingenuity- and drollery-loving generation that was weaned on the Internet and is game for the bust of the boom in which it was reared.” Considering the scale of the show and the wide range of the artists, media and works, such stark responses become nearly inevitable.

Tris Vonna Michell, No more racing in circle - just pacing within lines of a rectangle, Via NY Art Beat

Tris Vonna Michell, No more racing in circle - just pacing within lines of a rectangle, Via NY Art Beat

Tala Madani, Panties, 2008, Via C-Monster

Tala Madani, Panties, 2008, Via C-Monster

Ruth Ewan, A Jukebox of People Trying to Change the World, 2009, Via NY Art Beat

Ruth Ewan, A Jukebox of People Trying to Change the World, 2009, Via NY Art Beat

Matt Keegan, Barbara Kruger, 2008 and 23 Portraits of 22 year-olds, 2008

Matt Keegan, Barbara Kruger, 2008 and 23 Portraits of 22 year-olds, 2008, Via NY Art Beat

Matt Keegan, AMERICAMERICA, 2008 and Hands Almost Across America, 2008, Via NY Art Beat

Matt Keegan, AMERICAMERICA, 2008 and Hands Almost Across America, 2008, Via NY Art Beat

Icaro Zorbar, Golden Triangle, 2006

Icaro Zorbar, Golden Triangle, 2006

Chu Yun, This Is Anna, 2009, female participant, sleeping pill and bed, Via C-Monster

Chu Yun, This Is Anna, 2009, female participant, sleeping pill and bed, Via C-Monster

Chu Yun, This Is Anna, 2009, female participant, sleeping pill and bed, Via New York Magazine

(foreground) Chu Yun, This Is Anna, 2009, female participant, sleeping pill and bed, Via New York Magazine

DAS INSTITUTE, Untitled, 2008, poster rack with title posters and mannquin, Via NYABlog

DAS INSTITUTE, Untitled, 2008, poster rack with title posters and mannquin, Via NYABlog

James Richards, Active Negative Program, 2008, Via C-Monster

James Richards, Active Negative Program, 2008, Via C-Monster

Installation of various works by Stephen G. Rodes, 2008

Installation of various works by Stephen G. Rodes, 2008, Via NYABlog

Julian Ziolkowski, The Great Battle Under the Table, 2006, Via C-Monster

Julian Ziolkowski, The Great Battle Under the Table, 2006, Via C-Monster

Kitty Kraus, Untitled, 2008, Via C-Monster

Kitty Kraus, Untitled, 2008, Via C-Monster

Liz Glynn, the 24-hour Roman Reconstruction Project or Building Rome In a Day, 2008-09, 24 hour performance and installation with mixed mediums, Via C-Monster

Liz Glynn, the 24-hour Roman Reconstruction Project or Building Rome In a Day, 2008-09, 24 hour performance and installation with mixed mediums, Via C-Monster

Liz Glynn, the 24-hour Roman Reconstruction Project or Building Rome In a Day, 2008-09, 24 hour performance and installation with mixed mediums, Via NY Art Beat

Liz Glynn, the 24-hour Roman Reconstruction Project or Building Rome In a Day, 2008-09, 24 hour performance and installation with mixed mediums, Via NY Art Beat

Mariechen Danz, Fossilizing the Body Border Disorder, 2008 and Complain the Explanation, 2008, Via NYABlog

Mariechen Danz, Fossilizing the Body Border Disorder, 2008 and Complain the Explanation, 2008, Via NYABlog

DAS INSTITUTE, Untitled, 2008, poster rack with title posters and mannequin

DAS INSTITUTE, Untitled, 2008, poster rack with title posters and mannequin

Anna Molska, Tanagram, 2006-07, video

Anna Molska, Tanagram, 2006-07, video

Ziad Antra, WA, 2004, video

Ziad Antra, WA, 2004, video

Louis Gréaud, "Nothing Is True Everything Is Permitted, Stairway Edit", 2007

Louis Gréaud, "Nothing Is True Everything Is Permitted, Stairway Edit", 2007

James Richards, Active Negative Program, 2008

James Richards, Active Negative Program, 2008

Installation and video by Ryan Trecartin, Re'Search Wait'S, 2009

Installation and video by Ryan Trecartin, Re'Search Wait'S, 2009

Guards wear tracksuits by Ryan Gander. Ryan Gander, This Consequence, 2005

Guards wear tracksuits by Ryan Gander. Ryan Gander, This Consequence, 2005

By  Gabriëlle Lucille for Art Observed