Happy! Exhibit • S. Florida

HAPPY! October 27, 2019 to July 5, 2020 at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

Happy! is a new exhibition of contemporary works produced by artists who aim to engage the viewer emotionally. As in life, sorrow and happiness are intertwined in their works. Happy! is organized by NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale and is curated by Bonnie Clearwater, the Museum’s director and chief curator.

Happy! includes works by Gesner Abelard, Cory Arcangel, Eugene Brands, Francesco Clemente, Tracey Emin, Christina Forrer, FriendsWithYou, Félix González-Torres, Keith Haring, Asger Jorn, KAWS, Ragnar Kjartansson, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Ernesto Neto, Yoko Ono, Jorge Pantoja, Enoc Perez, Esther Phillips, Fernand Pierre, Richard Prince, Rob Pruitt, Esther Phillips, Mark Rothko, Robert Saint-Brice, Kenny Scharf, Alake Shilling, Frances Trombly, Andy Warhol, and others. The exhibition will be on view at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale from October 27, 2019 – July 5, 2020.

Happy! follows a multigenerational trajectory from the mid-twentieth century to today. Some of the curated exits include:

  • Two paintings by Mark Rothko: The Party, 1938,  and an untitled 1956 abstract canvas.
  • Cory Arcangel’s denigration of technology for failing to deliver on its promise of progress; a modified Super Mario Bros. so the protagonist has no means for escape.
  • Evident are archetypal symbols of happiness such as the smile, rainbow, and clouds.
  • Andy Warhol’s 1966 Silver Clouds is the “silver lining” that promises better times.
  • FriendsWithYou contributes a monumental floating rainbow and iconic character, Cloudy
  • Cartoon and manga characters and cuddly animals are also on display.
  • KAWS’ bronze statue transforms a happy pop icon into his alter-ego of remorse.
  • Symbols of celebration, such as confetti and caviar, emblems of transitory emotions.
  • Several artists focus on music, dance, song, spirituality, sex, and psychedelic drugs.
  • One area focuses on artists who reclaimed the joy of art-making as children.
  • Other artists imagine an existence in which sorrow and pain do not exist.

Presenting sponsors of the exhibition are Dr. David and Linda Frankel and David and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by Funding Arts Broward.

  • Paining shown by artist Rob Pruitt, Us, 2013 – Acrylic, enamel, flocking on linen. Courtesy of Rosa & Carlos de la Cruz.

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, One East Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; 954.262.0236; nsuartmuseum.org

* By Nancy Radlauer, Editor in Chief; Editor.InboundMagazine@gmail.com