Aesthetics of Persuasion – Opening Reception

August 11, 2018 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts
36 Tinker Street

Aesthetics of Persuasion: Graphic Visualizations of Entreaties & Warnings by Artists, Graphic Designers, & Neighbors is an exhibition of persuasive and communicative images that disclose the visual equivalents of oooooh, aaaah, whew, yikes, mmmmm, and wow. This exciting exhibition, curated by Linda Weintraub, reveals the strategies that enable art to convey these powerful emotions. It will be on view at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts from August 10 – October 14, 2018. The public is invited to attend a reception on Saturday August 11 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, and to contribute to a communal artwork throughout the exhibition.

Aesthetics of Persuasion assembles over 140 images that examine the visual principles that enable art to elevate the stature of leaders, inspire the courage to march into battle, instill piety for gods, galvanize patriotism, and expose corruption. Weintraub explains, “Art has been performing these essential functions throughout history. It was not until the nineteenth century that the concept of ‘art-for-art’s-sake’ became the art world’s ruling creed. By contending that art’s esteem is corrupted by moralizing and entreaty, this rarified concept purged art of motives, leaving only art’s justification for itself. The Aesthetics of Persuasion exhibition reverses art-for-art’s sake mandates by assembling visual images created with the intention of serving a social function. It discloses the strategies of visual communication that account for art’s power to stir the emotions throughout the ages. This transmission occurs in the powerful zone of color, form, and composition that links the stimulus (the artwork) and the response (the art viewer).”

Visitors to the exhibition will engage the intriguing aesthetic components offered by international AIDS posters, recruitment propaganda from the World Wars, satirical drawings by Honoré Daumier, logos by national football teams, national parks posters by WPA artists, and the spiritual transmissions by tantric artists. In addition, the exhibition includes the following contemporary socially conscious artists who summon the power of visual form and color to stir viewers’ emotions, thought, and ultimately their behaviors: Tim Gaudreau, Rikke Luther, Nobuho Nagasawa, the Artnauts, the Beehive Collective, and the Critical Art Ensemble.

Weintraub continues, “The public is not only invited to explore how artists manage the visual field to impart the emotional resonance; they are offered an opportunity to contribute their personal marks to an evolving communal artwork. Please come. Participate. And return to observe its development throughout the duration of the exhibition.”

Curator Linda Weintraub has produced nearly 70 exhibitions and is the author of several popular books about contemporary art. She served as the director of the Edith C. Blum Art Institute on the Bard College campus where she toured many of the exhibitions she curated there. Weintraub was the Henry Luce Professor of Emerging Arts at Oberlin College and currently teaches in the Nomad9 MFA program at the University of Hartford.

On Sunday September 23 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at the Kleinert/James, Weintraub will host a “Gathering of Persuaders,” a discussion and performance including artists in the show and other activists.

Exhibition Dates: August 10 – October 14, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 11, 2018, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Location: BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY
Gallery Hours: August hours are Thursday through Monday, 12:00 – 6:00 pm (11:00 am – 6:00 pm on the weekends); September/October hours are Thursday through Sunday, 12:00 – 6:00 pm; or by appointment on Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm