Art What! Arts Museums National Gallery Preview

Art What!: The Future, presented by Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch

Ed Ruscha, The Future, 1999, acrylic on paper, 24 × 15 7/8 inches (61 × 40.3 cm) © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Jeff McLane

 always look for things that are out in the future, ’cause, heck, that’s where we are going to spend the rest of our lives.
—Ed Ruscha

Gagosian has announced The Future, the sixth in a series of annual thematic exhibitions presented by Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch during Art Basel Miami Beach. Previously staged at the historic Moore Building in the Miami Design District, this year the collaborative project will be hosted on a new stand-alone website.

In his 1909 Manifesto of Futurism, Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti outlined the movement’s desire to abandon the past and accelerate toward a new aesthetic and societal model. Today, contemporary artists continue to imagine what may be coming next, their approaches ranging from earnest to tongue-in-cheek, from ardently utopian to grimly apocalyptic. Following The Extreme Present—last year’s collaborative exhibition, which focused on artists’ responses to then-contemporary conditions around the world—The Future dares to speculate on what the coming years may have in store. Given the heightened political, economic, and environmental uncertainties of our current moment, this undertaking could hardly be more complex.

The work in The Future is highly diverse, reflecting myriad ways in which speculation inflects artists’ theoretical and formal concerns. Some contributions focus on key moments from real or projected timelines; others evoke an atmosphere or aesthetic by extrapolating—in the manner of the best science fiction—from already familiar circumstances. In still other cases, artists use new technologies in their production processes, or explore a contrast between more traditional media and futuristic imagery or thinking.

As Ed Ruscha’s epigraph suggests, the future is one of the few things that we all have in common. There are, however, as many ideas about what it will or ought to be like as there are artists to express them. And as novelist Zadie Smith writes, “The past is always tense, the future perfect.”

The Future runs from 30th November 2020 to 9th January 2021. For more information, visit their website here

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