Vito Schnabel Gallery is pleased to present The Age of Ambiguity: Abstract Figuration / Figurative Abstraction, a group exhibition that will mark Bob Colacello’s curatorial debut. The show will explore the increasingly blurred lines between abstraction and figuration within the contemporary discourse. Artists include Jean-Michel Basquiat, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Jeff Elrod, Jacqueline Humphries, Rashid Johnson, Jeff Koons, Adam McEwen, Sterling Ruby, Borna Sammak, Julian Schnabel, Andy Warhol and Jonas Wood.
Colacello writes "As the 21st century grapples its way through its second decade, America seems to have entered what may be called The Age of Ambiguity, a time when everything is fluid and nothing concrete, and confusion overwhelms certainty... It is said that the best artists are the antennae of their society, the prophets of their era. Is it any wonder, then, that many younger American painters and sculptors have long abandoned the bygone absolutisms of Minimalism on one hand and Hyper-Realism on the other and are making works today that hover in a hard to define space that might be called Abstract Figuration or Figurative Abstraction?"
One of the earliest works in the exhibition is Andy Warhol’s 1987 Camouflage, which is simultaneously an abstract pattern picture and a representation of classic military fatigues. Colacello notes that Warhol was constantly searching for a way to make "abstract art that's not really abstract." Similarly, Rashid Johnson's The Crowd fuses the abstract and the figurative to create a contemporary portrait of simultaneous anger and unity. Jacqueline Humphries' :):(, with its grid of hundreds of identical small black boxes covering the entire canvas, like the facade of some endless Orwellian bureaucratic office building or a prison out of Kafka, also seamlessly blends these opposing genres with a haunting result.
Bob Colacello is an esteemed writer and journalist covering the cultural, social and political spheres as a Special Correspondent at Vanity Fair since 1984. He is well-regarded for his work with Andy Warhol and Interview magazine in the ‘70s and early ‘80s. A year after beginning his career as a film critic at the Village Voice in 1970, Colacello was hired by Warhol and soon became the managing editor and art director of Interview, which he ran until 1983. Colacello became one of Warhol’s closest aides and confidants, helping him write his books, most notably The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again. In 1990, Colacello published a memoir of his years at Warhol’s factory, Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Up Close, which was reissued by Knopf/Vintage Books in 2014.