Beauty in the Age of Indifference


Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art is pleased to present this provocative and engaging group exhibition “BEAUTY IN THE AGE OF INDIFFERENCE”.   This show has been curated by Gallery Director Jeffrey Thomas from the work of over 24 artists, each who explores the concept of “beauty” differently.

Drawing from artists across the USA, each individual work has been selected by Mr. Thomas for its distinct relationship with what the ancient Greeks called “” and which we call “Beauty”, in all its manifestations: by shape, by form, by idea, by color, by designation, by popular demand.   
This exhibition both celebrates and challenges our notions of what is beautiful, and what role beauty plays in a contemporary society obsessed and distracted by new technologies which have obliterated old ways of doing, and seeing, things.  These disruptive patterns of behavior, and our ability to constantly need to upgrade and adapt to them have taken us away from traditional appreciation of how important beauty is in our lives.

We are delusional if we believe that beauty is just formed by intellectual design, and not the perception of a vision that celebrates the best experiences of what life has to offer.  In rejecting beautiful things, we lose the ability to share with others a general shared perception of what beauty is, and why it should continue to inspire and delight us.

This exhibition examines the question: what are different qualities of beauty?  The various artists address a whole range of beauty choices that challenge us, and the result is that their examinations they help us make sense of a bittersweet world.

The role that beauty plays in the well-­‐being of mankind’s entire heritage through the well-­‐documented history of fine and decorative arts, that role has been regarded by curators and critics alike to be one of the most significant qualities that unifies every corner of the world.  Throughout time, until now, we have preserved that which is beautiful, or beautifully made.

The concept of beauty and the traditional role that the professional visual artist has played in engaging and inspiring audiences with their “touch” has been a subject on a lot of artistic minds lately. It seems that “ugly” is everywhere these days: ugly rejects the heritage of beauty in art and instead reflects the social malaise and empty consumerism that festers globally in a 21st century world.

Contemporary master artist David Hockney has spoken on the record about the banishment of art that is handmade and crafted with care and training, a work of art that bears the unique signature of the artist and is not simply designed by an artist to be fabricated by a legion of assistants and vendors.  Here is a quote from a 2012 BBC interview between Hockney and critic Will Gompertz:

David Hockney thinks that over his lifetime art has become ‘less’. He blames the art establishment (museums, galleries, art schools) for becoming over-­‐enamored with conceptual art: ‘It gave up on images a bit’ the artist laments. By which he means that the art world has ignored figurative art: paintings, sculptures, videos and installations that aim to represent the known world.

Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art believes it is essential to keep significant NW artists in front of the public through focused group shows such as this one, each devoted to an important theme that can be explored by placing different artworks in a “visual conversation” with each other.  Featured artists chosen nationally are listed here with their associative investigation into what is “beauty” and why do we need beauty more than ever in a world that has gone off the rails.

Here are several themes on “Beauty” and several of the artists who will be exploring them:

Pretty Beautiful: Eva Lake (Courtesy, the Augen Gallery)

Infinitely Beautiful: Tom Cramer

Primitively Beautiful: Eric Stotik

Weirdly Beautiful: Cynthia Lahti  (Courtesy, PDX Contemporary)

Classically Beautiful: Mary Jo Andersen 

Earthly Beautiful: Joan Nelson   (Courtesy, Adams Ollman Gallery)

Spiritually Beautiful: Mary Henry

Historically Beautiful: Sherrie Wolf

Grotesquely Beautiful: Brad Mildrexler

Deceptively Beautiful: Paul Buckland 

Poetically Beautiful: Brian Borrello

Faithfully Beautiful: D.E. Stein