Next to You is an exhibition of artworks from the McEvoy Family Collection that celebrates the joy, vitality, and healing power of the performing arts. The exhibition, along with related screenings and events, showcases dance, theater, music, circus arts, film, and other creative forms. As the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and its requisite isolation, Next to You is a farewell ballad to a strange and challenging time and a look forward to a future where we are reunited.
The exhibition primarily includes modern and contemporary photography and painting from the McEvoy Family Collection. Works by Ilse Bing, Thomas Ruff, Dennis Stock, and others anchor the experience through representations of sound, movement, and emotive expression while images by Malick Sidibé and Sabine Weiss capture the healing role of live arts. Images of conventions, weddings, and pageants are longingly celebrated in photographs by Neal Slavin and Ave Pildas while moments of isolated vulnerability are seized by Guy Stricherz and Alex Prager.
In the main gallery, Francis Cape’s Utopian Benches (2011-12) invites viewers into a quiet space for self-reflection and close conversation. The artist’s construction of seventeen hand-made wood benches is inspired by the Shaker movement and other intentional communities. Additional works by Hiroshi Sugimoto, Mamma Andersson, Lava Thomas, Michelangelo Lovelace, Sid Grossman, Irving Penn, and Michelle Blade further explore a range of human emotion, from joy and sorrow to loneliness and intimate embrace.
Next to You explores people as participants in the performance of their own lives, asking viewers to consider how their interior and exterior selves once again meet in time and space now that intimacy, as we once knew it, has been transformed by social distancing, masks, and vaccinations. How does it feel to see, hear, or touch one another again? What type of world awaits us after a year of living on-hold? What have we lost and what, inexplicably, might we have gained?
SELECTIONS FROM THE MCEVOY FAMILY COLLECTION
Amir H. Fallah
LaToya Ruby Frazier
Alfred Cheney Johnston
Christine Sun Kim
George Platt Lynes
Fred W. McDarrah
J. John Priola
Rosalind Fox Solomon
Next to You is accompanied in the Screening Room by Hearing Aids, guest curated by Alison O’Daniel.