The contemporary artists featured in this exhibition utilize varying forms of appropriation, humor, and subversion to make a statement on current realities and highlight the need for change.
The Guerrilla Girls, an anonymous group of female artists, began their social critique of the art world in 1985 with posters and billboards that revealed its continued discrimination on the basis of gender and race. Their mission—of exposing these inequalities and promoting social change—declared to the public what unfortunately was already known and understood by most artists, curators, art dealers, and many others at that time. The group’s anonymity and guerrilla tactics, such as appropriating and subverting well-known artistic works, gave their collective radical impact. Their 1989 posters Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? and The Advantages of Being a Woman Artist presented hard truths that incorporated biting humor and alarming statistics.
Art as Provocation presents paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by artists such as Michael Ray Charles, Judy Chicago, Sue Coe, Vernon Fisher, Barbara Kruger, Peter Saul, Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems, and David Wojnarowicz.