Slightly Unbalanced Exhibition at the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art University of Richmond Museums

On January 26, 2010, The University of Richmond Museums opens the exhibition Slightly Unbalanced, on view through March 4, 2010, at the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art. The exhibition features work by 18 nationally and internationally known contemporary artists focusing on a range of psychological tendencies, including anxiety, obsessive behavior, depression, and narcissism. In their work, the artists question what constitutes normalcy and what qualifies as neurosis, a slippery and suggestive behavior.

Chris OfiliThis exhibition encompasses a range of artistic media: video art, installations, photographs, paintings, and drawings. The term “neurotic” is used to describe people who are extremely capable of functioning, despite some emotional suffering. In choosing to focus on neurosis, these artists tap into a charged and rewarding subject that provokes curiosity, discomfort, recognition, and even identification in the viewer.

The field of psychology is well over a century old, and many of its basic concepts and terminology are embedded in our presuppositions about how human beings think and act, what drives and motivates us. Exploring the afflictions and quirks of functioning people, the artists in Slightly Unbalanced invite viewers to reconsider their own experiences and opinions, and think about cultural assumptions pertaining to mental health and human behavior. These artists also allude to all individuals’ vulnerability and fragility, inviting compassion for fellow human beings.

The artists in the exhibition include Alex Bag, Louise Bourgeois, Sophie Calle, Beth Campbell, Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn, Sarah Hobbs, Mike Kelley, Sean Landers, Cary Leibowitz, Dave McKenzie, Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, Danica Phelps, William Pope.L, Aïda Ruilova, Ward Shelley and Douglas Paulson, Cindy Sherman, and David Shrigley.

The exhibition was organized and circulated by iCI (Independent Curators International), curated by Susan Hapgood, Director of Exhibitions, iCI. Its presentation at the Harnett Museum of Art was coordinated by N. Elizabeth Schlatter, Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, University Museums. An illustrated catalogue, published by iCI and distributed by D.A.P., accompanies the exhibition and is available for purchase. The catalogue includes a foreword by Judith Olch Richards, Executive Director, iCI, and essays by Susan Hapgood and Susan Andersen, Professor of Psychology, New York University. The exhibition, tour, and catalogue are made possible in part by the Horace C. Goldsmith Foundation, the iCI Advocates, and the iCI Partners. Visit iCI’s website to learn more:

University of Richmond Museums
28 Westhampton Way
University of Richmond, VA 23173
Phone: 804.289.8276
Fax: 804.287.1894
E-mail: [email protected]

Image: Chris Ofili (British, born 1968), Grey Bathers, 2008, from the series Rincon Falls, Trinidad. Etching with color spit bite, sugar lift aquatint, and drypoint on paper, Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, University of Richmond Museums, Museum purchase, funds from the Louis S. Booth Arts Fund, H2009.04.04 ©Chris Ofili

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