SFA Advisory opens its inaugural summer exhibition, Ridiculous Sublime

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SFA Advisory opens its inaugural summer exhibition, Ridiculous Sublime
Exterior, SFA Advisory, Ridiculous Sublime. Photo by Erik Bardin.

NEW YORK, NY.- SFA Advisory, Lisa Schiff’s Tribeca outpost, announces its inaugural summer exhibition, Ridiculous Sublime, running through Labor Day. Featuring 50 international artists, Schiff transformed her permanent ground-floor office at 45 White Street into a temporary exhibition space as part of her commitment to exploring nascent tendencies which appear across the globe.

In 1757, Edmund Burke published A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful wherein he defined the sublime as an artistic effect productive of the strongest emotion the mind is capable of feeling. Elsewhere, the sublime has been used to describe a natural event that inspires awe and terror through sheer immensity. Beauty and awe are where the sublime in art usually lands, and often it consists of representations of Mother Nature with diminutive human figures or none at all. A certain penchant for this interpretation of the sublime has been seeping into some contemporary artistic practice as well as curated exhibitions from William Blake at Tate Britain to more recent gallery shows featuring Frederic Edwin Church and Charles E. Burchfield.

This budding tendency seems to have grown exponentially with the onset of the Covid-19 global pandemic. Although the virus's natural origin is inconclusive, its organic contagion has been both terrifying and incomprehensibly sublime. The world experienced shock and awe as well as a collective humility resulting from the inopportune mortality or awareness thereof that is afforded by mass contagion. Alongside this acknowledgment of our human place in the natural order of things emerged something else – something ridiculous. In fact, what emerged was not just a hysterical flee to nature (or at least the desire to flee) but also the reality of how unnatural and disconnected we have become. Hence, Bonaparte’s ridiculous sublime, as quoted above, is the most apt way to categorize our current human condition.

By no means does the word “ridiculous” qualify in describing the artworks in the exhibition; rather it describes us, 21st century Earth-dwellers, whose technological dependence is often heavily at odds with our inherent need to commune with nature. As the best art always captures the invisible forces permeating the air, Ridiculous Sublime brings together a variety of artists both from today and yesterday who depict a magical, natural world – sometimes mystical, sometimes ominous, sometimes ridiculous but always sublime.

Participating Artists:

Rodolfo Abularach • Vikky Alexander • Nadia Ayari • Adrian Berg • Michelle Blade • Humberto and Fernando Campana • Gabriela Cohen • Tom Colletti • Lyn Diefenbach • Morten Løbner Esperse • Andre Ethier • Hadi Fallahpisheh • Claudia Fernandez • Matthew F. Fisher • Tim Gardner • Cy Gavin • Nan Goldin • Karin Gulbran • Gabo Guzzo • Paula Hayes • Jay Heikes • Yukimasa Ida • Steen Ipsen • Parker Ito • Max Jansons • Jon Joanis • Scott Kahn • Maki Na Kamura • Kate Klingbeil • Emma Larsson • Amy Lincoln • Linder • Tony Matelli • Sara Boccaccino Meadows • David Price • Camilo Restrepo • Eric Serritella • Trevor Shimizu • Simone Shubuck • Lilla Tabasso • Jonathan Trayte • Anna Valdez • Jingyi Wang • Emma Webster • Nicole Wittenberg • Chris Wolston

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