A Delicate Balance in Denver at The Waiting Room Gallery
New work from many of the artists from A Delicate Arrangement will be exhibited in the non-traditional gallery space and curated by Dan Cameron.
The original show was conceived by the School of Visual Art MFA Class of 2006 and curated by Dan Cameron; A Delicate Arrangement was on view at the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea in 2006. That show referred to the treacherous path of the MFA graduates entering the commercial gallery world. Sixteen years later, these artists have successfully navigated that world in various ways – a world that has changed immeasurably during that time. Social media, especially Instagram, has changed time, space, and acceptance rules for art. Who defines who has access to fine art as well as who creates it has been taken from elite art galleries and those who run them and given to the general public. The question raised by the original show, about whether it is presumptuous of these students to show at an elite gallery when most MFA programs aim to protect students from the pressures of the market until they’ve graduated, may not be a question asked in 2022, when work in a student’s or career artist’s studio is available from conception to completion on a variety of social networks, tagged for the target audience. A Delicate Balance is a show about the progression of art, artists, and time.
Adam Krueger, Allison Hester, Brent Birnbaum, Dan Drossman, Dylan Mortimer, Eve Krawiek, Jeff Beebe, Jill Alexander, Matthew Bradley, Mookwan Han, Pete Petrine, Ricky Sears, Steven Binderagel, Ted O’Sullivan, Ted Riederer
About the Organizer, Dan Cameron
DAN CAMERON is a curator of contemporary art who also writes about art, teaches & gives lectures about art, makes art, serves on art-related juries and boards, and advises both public and private collections. He has lived in downtown Manhattan since 1979, although for periods of time he has also been based in New Orleans, LA and Long Beach, CA.
Throughout his 40-plus year career organizing exhibitions, Dan has steadfastly championed both the unexpected and the under-recognized. In 1982, he was the first American curator to organize a museum exhibition on LGBTQ art, and in 2008 he launched the Prospect New Orleans triennial in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Along the way, he has curated international biennials in Istanbul, Taipei, Ecuador and Orange County, California, as well as retrospectives of such esteemed artists as Carolee Schneemann, Paul McCarthy, Peter Saul, William Kentridge, Faith Ringgold, David Wojnarowicz, Marcel Odenbach, Pierre et Gilles, Cildo Meireles, and Martin Wong. As part of the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time initiative in 2017, the Palm Springs Art Museum hosted Dan’s exhibition Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art 1954-1969.
Dan’s core connection with art stems from its capacity to expand our collective awareness of ourselves, the world around us, and the way that humans invent ways to communicate essential values with one another. Not only is art capable of changing the world, he believes, but it’s actually doing just that on a daily basis. Whether in the cause of furthering social justice or challenging art history, or both, Dan believes that the artist’s fundamental obligation to civilization is to push sensorial and perceptual engagement into new & fruitful realms of engagement. The curator’s role in all this is to provide an appropriate platform and context for that expression, and to public a public forum for viewers to more fully immerse themselves in the experience, and for the artists & organizers to engage in critical dialogue about the art and its meaning. See more at dancameron.art.
From the Original Show
The title of the exhibition, A Delicate Arrangement, refers to the treacherous path of MFA graduates entering the high-stakes commercial gallery world. It also points, with a degree of literalness, to the unusual circumstances surrounding the show’s genesis.
The idea for an exhibition of the entire graduating class grew out of the students’ desire to mount a group exhibition at the completion of their full two years in the MFA program. Due to time and space limitations of SVA’s exhibition space, thesis exhibitions are often scheduled shortly after the 3rd semester of study, so many students felt that these shows, while excellent, did not always represent the full development of their work.
Dan Cameron, professor of the group’s final seminar in Critical Theory, came on board after being asked by the entire class to work with them in assembling and hanging the show. After a two-month search for an empty storefront space or nonprofit venue, he encouraged the students to approach several commercial spaces to ask if such an exhibition would be possible.
While many gallery names were tossed around, from small Brooklyn spaces to up-and-coming galleries, a student walked in to David Zwirner Gallery and asked if they would be willing to make their space available. To the surprise of Dan Cameron and everyone in the MFA Department at SVA, the David Zwirner Gallery said “Yes” and agreed to host the exhibition at no cost to the students.
But the question must be asked, at a time when other MFA programs are erecting walls to protect their students from the pressures of the market and P.S.1’s Greater New York show is characterized as having an air of pedophilia, is it presumptuous of these students to show in one of the city’s elite art galleries? Perhaps, but when people ask how this show ended up at one of the most prestigious galleries in New York, the students simply say, “We asked.”