Parent Art

Parent Art is the first incarnation of an exhibition concept that seeks to query generational aesthetic specificity and taste as well as the constructed and perceived divide between ‘fine art’ and mass-culture. At once playful and critical, this assemblage of work serves both as a portrait of our parents and an emblem of our origins.

Comprised of twenty five works of art from the collections of our parents, Parent Art bridges two generations. The rich diversity, interesting similarities, and surprising juxtapositions point to our individual upbringings and the shared, greater cultural contexts within which each of us was reared. Works by Benjamin Chee Chee, Ken Danby, and Robert Bateman are exhibited alongside prints by unknown artists, manufactured reproductions, as well as original paintings and drawings. Both the mechanically reproduced and the absolutely unique hold value in this exhibition. Does such a democratization perhaps illuminate the arbitrary way in which value is bestowed upon all objects?

Relocating the artwork that graced the walls of our childhoods into the gallery space is a means of pointing to our individual artistic heritage while also questioning the implicit authority of the gallery. Engaging with ideas of kitsch, sentimentality and ancestry, this exhibition provides a space wherein the respective mutually exclusive classificatory systems of domesticity and institution are collapsed; the home is brought into the gallery, and at this site of infiltration a venue for new critical dialogue is created.