New York 2023
Organized by Olivia Shao
Of Mythic Worlds: Works from the Distant Past through the Present
Proudly supported by the TOY family
Of Mythic Worlds: Works from the Distant Past through the Present explores the ways in which rituals, myths, traditions, ideologies, and beliefs can intersect across cultures, histories, and time periods. The exhibition brings together fifty-three works by more than thirty artists including Jordan Belson, Lee Bontecou, Cameron, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Walter De Maria, Steffani Jemison, Duane Linklater, Yutaka Matsuzawa, Georgia O’Keeffe, Betye Saar, Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, and Jack Whitten, among others. Spanning a wide range of historical periods and cultural traditions, it highlights the esoteric and often elusive pursuit of understanding phenomena that are outside of our objective, worldly experience.
Tracing commonalities, both formal and conceptual, Of Mythic Worlds draws surprising connections between artists that might otherwise go unnoticed. Rarely exhibited drawings by Morris Graves, Jack Whitten, Georgia O'Keeffe, and theorist and writer Roland Barthes are presented alongside nineteenth-century Shaker Gift Drawings, as well as major works from artists such as Mel Chin and Jordan Belson. Historical block prints from the Qing dynasty are juxtaposed with works made by contemporary artists including Cici Wu, Bernadette Van-Huy, Julia Phillips, Steffani Jemison, and Robert Bittenbender. Of Mythic Worlds also includes new work made on the occasion of the exhibition by Duane Linklater, an Omaskêko Ininiwak artist based in North Bay, Ontario.
Together, the works of these artists investigate personal belief systems, spirituality, and consciousness; explore the metaphysical and the sublime; recall myths passed down from ancient cultures; and expand our understanding of mysticism and immateriality.