Chaos and Awe:
Painting for the 21st Century
November 16, 2018 — April 28, 2019
First Floor, Special Exhibitions Gallery
Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century is a sweeping survey of contemporary art from around the world that weaves together images of the physical world, memories, emotions, and the virtual world.
Works from thirty-six international artists dramatically suggest the powerful, exciting, and destabilizing effects of 21st-century forces such as globalism, mass migration, radical ideologies, and the rapid expansion of technology.
Chaos and Awe’s thesis stems from the 18th-century philosophical idea of the sublime, feeling overwhelmed by the immeasurable nature of God and the natural world. The profound nature of the subject matter, paired with the masterly technique on display, may overwhelm, disturb and thrill audiences. These reactions affirm the enduring ability of painting to communicate nascent and often unnamable ideas, emotions, and sensations.
Watch more artists discuss their works on view in the exhibition.
Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century was organized by the Frist Art Museum, Nashville, Tennessee. This exhibition is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.