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The Gravity of Beauty

In her poignant essay from the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, ‘Whatever happened to Beauty? A Response to Danto’, scholar Kathleen Marie Higgins states, “I want to suggest that Beauty typically, perhaps especially in times of loss, urges not stillness but renewed love of life.” Featuring the work of ten renowned artists, The Gravity of Beauty is an eloquent and often quiet contemplation on the potential of beauty to transform perceptions of loss while simultaneously questioning its ability to serve as a respite in times of grief and suffering. The exhibition ultimately reveals shared conceptions of our humanity. It poses questions such as how can we engage in or with beauty without feeling we betray the losses we have sustained? How do we emotionally find and connect with beauty at a time when we are suffering? Perhaps then uncovering consolation in Arthur Danto’s belief that beauty is a catalyst that can transform raw grief into tranquil sadness. Artists include Amber Cowan, Hironaka & Suib, William McDowell, Rona Pondick, Shelley Reed, Jon Eric Riis, Jennifer Steinkamp, Barbara Takenaga, and Darren Waterston.

Curated by Cynthia Nourse Thompson.

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