Anxious Abstraction
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
2018
Hydrocal, burlap, dye and poplar
84 x 33 x 22 inches each




“Anxious times breed anxious art, as artists reflect society’s uncertainty about issues ranging from healthcare and economic security to race and gender equality, immigration policy, the impact of climate change, the chipping away at privacy and the renewed prospect of nuclear war.

Anxious Abstraction looks at how this widespread sense of insecurity is manifested in the abstract work of six artists, all based in, or with significant ties to, Kansas City.

Incorporating a myriad of symbols, compositional devices and found objects alluding to the real world, including IKEA shag rugs, fishing lures, representation of boundaries and barriers, hippie tapestries and digital images, the works in Anxious Abstraction challenge long-held formalist ideas of abstraction as an art devoted solely to the exploration of form.

Dissonant colors, off-kilter compositions, upended conventions and invocations of the irrational suffuse this exhibition with an existential anxiety that parallels our current moment and mood.

Anxious Abstraction also continues Nerman MoCA’s exploration of contemporary abstract painting. As a follow-up to Abstract KC, 2011-2012, the exhibit furthers the museum’s commitment to artists associated with Kansas City.”

— Alice Thorson, Editor, KC Studio


Photos by E.G. Schempf