Sotheby’s Institute of Art presents “The Dreamers”, a student curated collection of artworks that explores the elusive characteristics of dream states and the blurred boundaries between reality and fantasy. In collaboration with the class “Curating Contemporary Art”, the Institute provided students with the opportunity to propose, organize, and curate their own projects surrounding themes that they felt were most relevant and pressing to the contemporary moment. “The Dreamers”, the first show of the series, presents works from a range of exclusively female-identifying and queer artists including Maess Anand, Felipe Baeza, Shuyi Cao, Jessica Diamond, Cassi Namoda, Jess Xiaoyi Han, Angela Heisch, Arina Izmestieva, Heather Jones, Janet Jones, Ann McCoy, Joiri Minaya, Kiki Smith, Devin Osorio, Ana Maria Velasco, and Yin Zhang.
Curated by Victoria Espinosa, Harit Jiaravongtrakul, Natalia Pakh, William Tomita, and Alisa Wang, “The Dreamers” examines the visual fatigue and paralysis brought upon by the current saturation of real-world imagery through social media, highlighting the ways artists are orienting in the direction of the inner self and subconscious spaces to process, heal, and regain a sense of agency. Drawing a parallel to the inward turn towards abstraction in the subsequent decades following the imagery of WWII, the collection presents a range of artworks that explore dreamworlds and surreal landscapes in the contemporary context.
Throughout, forms and figures subvert and evade recognition, creating dense, imagined worlds that conjure the artist’s interest and interrogation of the fabric of reality. Through their material and graphical approaches, the works on view almost offer a world of their own, an alluring other that defies classification.
The show closed April 21st.