25 – August 11, 2019
New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival presents works by twenty-seven artists whose works appropriate, critique, or embrace “New Age” aesthetics and concerns from a 21st-century perspective. The New Age movement emerged in the 1960s and 1970s during a period of war and social strife, and provided alternative approaches to traditional Western culture through spirituality, mysticism, holism, and environmentalism. It embodied a complicated conflation of politics, religion, science, social communities, art, music, and self-realization.
Fifty years after the first New Age movement, many of the problems society grapples with such as sexism, racism, and environmental welfare, remain major issues. Further, technology and the digital revolution have created new concerns with statistically increased rates of anxiety and depression, as well as feelings of disconnectedness.
As ancient practices and rituals such as crystals, astrology, tarot cards, yoga, and meditation become both commodified trends and potent tools for self-care, how are they reflected in contemporary art making? Where does "New Age" intersect with curandera, Asian, indigenous and Afro-futurist practices? The exhibition presents works organized within broad themes associated with New Age culture, including metaphysical rituals and practices, connecting with the natural environment, and imagined communities for the future. Special focus is given to how women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community use these alternative practices as tools of resistance, empowerment, community, healing, and self-care.
Artists include Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Lise Haller Baggesen, Alun Be, Elijah Burgher, D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem, Whit Forrester, Desirée Holman, Cathy Hsiao, Michiko Itatani, Rashid Johnson, Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly, Jenny Kendler, Liz Magic Laser, Matt Morris, Shana Moulton, Heidi Norton, Tony Oursler, Mai-Thu Perret, Robert Pruitt, Bob Ross, Luis A. Sahagun, Mindy Rose Schwartz, Suzanne Treister, Rhonda Wheatley, Megan Whitmarsh and Jade Gordon, and Saya Woolfalk.
Click here for a research guide for this exhibition, kindly compiled by the DePaul University Library.
New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival is organized by DePaul Art Museum and curated by Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Director and Chief Curator.