“Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems enchanted after all.” -Vincent Van Gogh
The night sky remains an enduring source of inspiration. For millennia, this universal cover of darkness at once symbolizes life and death, fascination, fear, immorality, regeneration, and a blank slate for our projected dreams and desires.
Under the Night Sky explores the numerous ways in which the frontier of the night sky influences the human psyche and continues to hold artists in its grip. Curated by New York based private dealer and collector Michael Black and spanning the spaces of Friedman Benda and albertz benda, the exhibition brings together significant works by modern, post-war, and contemporary artists and designers with a selection of seminal Central Asian rugs. The works in the exhibition engage with the night sky on both conscious and unconscious levels, featuring the interplay between literal homages to the night sky and works with looser interpretations of the theme, whose makers innately channel the emotive presence of night.
The centerpiece of this exhibition is a rare collection of 19th century Baluch and related tribes’ Mina Khani rugs. Palettes of midnight blues, coral and cherry reds, and emerald greens are often punctuated by white floral and geometric motifs, which symbolize prosperity and fertility. These textiles on an unconscious level evoke the visual effect of luminescent stars amidst the night sky.
On view at Friedman Benda: Wendell Castle, Byung Hoon Choi, Andile Dyalvane, Misha Kahn, Faye Toogood, Yoichi Ohira, Anders Ruhwald, Chris Schanck, Ettore Sottsass, David Wiseman and Thaddeus Wolfe.
On view at albertz benda: Georg Baselitz, Billy Al Bengston, Ralph Albert Blakelock, Peter Doig, Piero Dorazio, Nan Goldin, Philip Guston, Tom Hammick, Bo Joseph, Alex Katz, Friedrich Kunath, Yayoi Kusama, Christopher Le Brun, Ed Moses, Lee Mullican, Alfonso Ossorio, Richard Pousette-Dart, Rob Reynolds, Brie Ruais, Mario Schifano, Cindy Sherman, Ena Swansea, Mark Tobey, and Christopher Wool.