Quiet Politics, currently on view at Zwirner & Wirth in New York, lives up to its name. It’s understated, discreet and somewhat guarded. In the wake of recent political intensity, David Zwirner has invited a different approach to politicized art, an approach that emphasizes thoughtfulness over reaction.
The show is a multimedia experience, including work from a surprising collection of later and early career artists. Robert Gober‘s reworked newspaper pages have a characteristically heavy wit while Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ Untitled (Fear) is as contextual and inclusive as ever. Lisa Oppenheim, whose work is pictured above, makes geometric abstractions out of Crayola’s “multicultural crayons,” a strange commentary on the role race plays in contemporary visual culture. The other artists in the exhibition are equally unobtrusive, making political observations, but not really taking political stands. Christopher Williams, Rosmarie Trokel, Roni Horn, Walid Raad, David Hammons, Michael Brown, Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, and Adel Abdessemed make up the rest of Quiet Politics’ line-up. Ideally, the show endeavors to widen the range of politics in art, making the dialogue more inclusive. If nothing else, it will offer a relieving glimpse into an aesthetic politics that is more judicious then heated.