In Memory of the Players and the Staff of the Brazilian Club Chapecoense, the Sports Journalists and All Friends of the Sport who perished on their way to the 1st leg of the Copa Sudamericana Final in Columbia.
By D. Dominick Lombardi:
Visual art and sports rarely mix well. Most can mention any number of successful sports related films, songs, plays and books, yet, for the visual arts, there are few major works that measure up to the greatest sports related art such as Myron’s Discobolus (Discus Thrower) (450 B.C.E.), George Bellows iconic Dempsey and Firpo (1924), or, in more recent times, Catherine Opie’s poignant photographic portraits of High School, American Football players.
When I googled in images “sports related fine art” the first thing that came up was a photograph of three old naked guys playing golf, followed by a bunch of Leroy Neiman paintings or art inspired by Leroy Neiman paintings, plus lots of very slick sports-action photographs – nothing for a contemporary art exhibition.
After months of searching, Augustus Goertz and I have selected a number of compelling works that break the mold of the aforementioned lowest common denominator-type. With our selections of sculpture, painting, collages, needlework and objects, we hope to challenge the viewer to see past the over commercialized and commoditized sports world to find a more complex and expansive reality that lies beyond money and marketability. Few artists care to admit they have an interest in sports yet there are some that see a starting point like any other aspect of popular culture: a starting point to create.
By Augustus Goertz:
When I was a kid, I often would draw sports scenes for the entertainment of my friends. Later, I enjoyed playing sports with fellow art students. For most of my life I have taken pleasure in some form of sports or another, usually with painters or filmmakers, photographers and videographers etc. Even though the history of art is replete with iconic works associated with competitive activities, the art world has kept sports at arms length, bordering on disdain. Except in the case of their own promotional materials, the sports world, even though, athletes themselves are very obviously engaged in a self conscious effort to perfect their craft and art, seems to be very uncurious about what artists are up to.
Out of years of musing about this came the idea for this show. I discussed it with D. Dominick Lombardi, a respected curator friend, and Priska Juschka, who is so open to unusual exhibition ideas, and here we are! I am grateful to Dominick for his generosity in sharing credit with a first time curator such as myself. I have learned a lot just seeing the volumes of correspondence involved! Game on!
With work by Gennadi Barbush, Ryan Cronin, Chris Dimino, Don Doe, Cary Leibowitz (Candyass), D.Dominick Lombardi, Ray Materson, Tony Petracca, Tyson Reeder, Karen Shaw, Lewis Smith and Robert Yoder.