Installation view of Atlanta Bienniel: A thousand tomorrows | Photographs by Matthew Shain and Ceramics by Amy Pleasant
Since its inception in 1985 the Atlanta Biennial has been an important platform for contemporary art from our region. The exhibition aims to address complexities and deep vernacular traditions of the Southeast and continues the longstanding efforts of Atlanta Contemporary to present and debut newly commissioned work by artists from around our region. The 2019 Atlanta Biennial, co-curated by Phillip March Jones, Curator-at-Large at Institute 193, Lexington and Daniel Fuller, Curator, Atlanta Contemporary, presents 21 interdisciplinary artists whose practices are decidedly inside and beside the larger art world. A thousand tomorrows brings new voices to the galleries by presenting not only the visual arts, but also television, fiber arts, music and sound. Fuller shared, “I am thrilled to be working on the Atlanta Biennial again. This exhibition offers a barometer of the South at its might, to exchange ideas and gain new perspectives based on what artists in our region are creating. A key part of this exhibition will be ongoing conversations with the artists, but also with each other. Phillip has a long history of having his finger on the pulse of what is exciting and groundbreaking.”
This is not an exhibition from a hindered view obstructed by glass, but a view forged by a lasting commitment to go, look, and see. Art has never been confined to the realm of museums, galleries, artist studios, or any other dedicated spaces that collectively contain art. It is, indeed, the stuff of everyday life: images, words, renderings, sounds, and movements. When manipulated by a skilled artist, these elements convey some essential truths and speak to the human condition. In this exhibition, rowdy optimism and unswerving openness are on full display alongside rigid discipline and the universal need for connection. The artworks on view address a variety of political, social, economic, and personal realities, but in their collectivity are foremost about artists recapturing their future: combining their vision and abilities to construct something tangible and welcoming tomorrow, the day after, and many days after that. The 2019 Atlanta Biennial presents works by twenty one artists from the region who are simultaneously engaged in both immediately local, regionally specific conversations and larger themes pervading our world. The boundaries of the Southeastern United States are not so easily delineated, and there is plenty of debate on exactly where qualifies as belonging to this somewhat nebulous, but still approximate, geographic region. For our purposes, the Southeast will be defined by the ten states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Click here for an interview between Logan Lockner of BURNAWAY and Atlanta Biennial co-curators Daniel Fuller and Phillip March Jones.
To read more:
Artforum review by Katie Geha
BURNAWAY review by Maura Callahan
2018 | fired and painted clay | 17.75 x 9.5 x 8.875 x 0.5 inches
2017 | fired and painted clay | 10.75 x 8.625 x 8.125 x 0.375 inches
2018 | fired and painted clay | 8.375 x 9.75 x 10.25 x 0.5 inches
2018 | fired and painted clay | 9.5 x 9.5 x 9.25 x 0.5 inches
2018 | fired and painted clay | 11.125 x 11 x 8 x 0.5 inches
2018 | fired and painted clay | 17.375 x 16.25 x 8.75 x 0.5 inches
2017 | fired and painted clay | 17.5 x 8.625 x 8.625 x 0.375 inches