Freak Antique: Contemporary Art Curios

Exhibit Dates: 
Oct 27, 2012 - Feb 10, 2013
DuPont II Gallery


The history of museums includes the private collections of art and science, the kunstkammer, or cabinet of curiosities, popular with wealthy collectors in the 15th - 18th centuries. These collections included fine arts—painting and small sculptures—as well as objects from nature, the natural sciences. There are artists today who make works that play upon this tradition and others who investigate the odd or the different that suggest the art/natural science collections of the past. Sometimes artists work come out of an academic tradition; others combine modernist forms but hold onto the idea of collections of odd things. This exhibition is curated to appear as a modern-day kunstkammer. It takes a look at artists, whose imagery may be that of a curiosity, oftentimes having a sense of the antique about it. It also brings together disparate works by many different artists into what might be one person’s private collection. Many of the artists in the show appropriate images and stylistic approaches from the past, reconfiguring them into new structures. These reconfigurations suggest new interpretations of old forms, and often make comment upon such conventions of the past as the great expeditions, colonialism, geographic wonders, industrialization, genetic mutations and freak shows, medical curiosities, or even classical antiquity. 
-J. Susan Isaacs, PhD 
Curator of Special Projects

Exhibiting Artists

Nicholas Clulow • Baltimore, MD

Darla Jackson • Philadelphia, PA

Dana Matthews • Franklin, NY

Jedediah Morfit • Collingswood, NJ

Winslow Seldom • Brooklyn, NY

Nora Sturges • Baltimore, MD

Rachel Timmins • Baltimore, MD

Madeline von Foerster • Brooklyn, NY