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On Seeing: Laughter!

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With Curatorial Intern: Katie Hernandez

Humor is not usually the first thing that comes up when we talk about contemporary art. Theory, yes. Ideas, analysis, and critique, sure. New materials, experimentation, installation -- check. But laughter? Not so much. This edition of On Seeing is dedicated to the possibility that art can be funny. It can provide that sudden delightful shock that often precedes a deeper understanding -- humor derived from the courage, imagination and willingness to question, play, and poke fun at ideas we take for granted.


The artists included here engage humor in different ways. Laurel Roth, Desire Obtain Cherish, Carla Danes, and Scott Greiger, make us think, and rethink, what we imagine to be true about society, culture, gender, or ourselves. Jeff Soto, Olek, and our representative artist from the past, Franz Messerschmidt, make us smile as we consider their representations of emotion or playful transformations of the everyday. Marco Rios and Heather Guertin take on the seriousness of contemporary art itself, while others, like Richard Jackson and Dane Picard, make us do a spit-take as shown here at at 1:09.

We hope you enjoy the show! Let us know your thoughts and what other artists you would have included in your comments below.