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This One’s Optimistic: Pincushion

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Dennis Hollingsworth offers an optimistic outlook for contemporary painting inspired by the exhibition This One’s Optimistic: Pincushion, a group show featuring 40 artists curated by Cary Smith, at the New Britain Museum of American Art, on through September 14, 2014.

Inspired by Smith's curatorial premise which "is based on affirmation and a commitment to painting," Hollingsworth comments: "Negation motivates, saturates the postmodern… How can [artists] revolt against revolution without resorting to the reactionary? I won't be so rash as to try to supply an answer to this ultimate question, but I know two things: 1) that a good place to start is to defy what is verboten (which for me and a legion of other artists is to approach painting in the affirmative) and 2) that any sensible response will be a synthesis, to preserve the gains won by both epochs modern and postmodern (for example, to embrace what was discovered by the anti-aesthetic and abjection in terms of painting). However the art of the early 21st century will be defined, it should profit from what was achieved in the 20th. The way forward might be to reject rejection, to heal the split, to combine the best of both modernism and postmodernism, to explore how they fit together."

The show includes works by: John Phillip Abbott, Joshua Abelow, Lisa Beck, Trudy Benson, Timothy Bergstrom, Michael Berryhill, Ross Bleckner, Todd Chilton, Steve DiBenedetto, Amy Feldman, Michelle Grabner, Joanne Greenbaum, Clare Grill, Adam Henry, Daniel Hesidence, Xylor Jane, Bill Komoski, Joshua Marsh, Chris Martin, Andrew Masullo, Keith Mayerson, Douglas Melini, Tom Nozkowski, Carl Ostendarp, Ann Pibal, Josh Podoll, Lisa Sanditz, James Siena, Jennifer Wynne Reeves, Alexander Ross, Julie Ryan, Jackie Saccoccio, Russell Tyler, Dan Walsh, Chuck Webster, Garth Weiser, Stanley Whitney, Michael Williams, B. Wurtz, and Tamara Zahaykevich.

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