Is love intrinsic, or is it a habit? What is the difference between love and friendship? What is the relationship of love to truth, freedom, and justice? These are just some of the questions to be explored in What Is Left Unspoken, Love, a thirty-year survey of contemporary art featuring artworks that address the different ways the most important thing in life—love—is expressed.
Organized during a time of social and political discord, when cynicism often seems to triumph over hope, this exhibition will examine love as a profound subject of critical commentary from time immemorial yet with a persistently elusive definition. As poet and painter Etel Adnan wrote, love is “not to be described, it is to be lived.”
What Is Left Unspoken features nearly seventy works, including paintings, sculpture, photography, video and media art, by more than thirty-five international artists based in North America, Central America, Europe, and Asia. Artists include Ghada Amer, Rina Banerjee, Thomas Barger, Patty Chang, Susanna Coffey, James Drake, Keith Edmier and Farrah Fawcett, Alanna Fields, Dara Friedman, Andrea Galvani, General Idea, Jeffrey Gibson, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Kahlil Robert Irving, Tomashi Jackson, María de los Angeles Rodríguez Jiménez, Rashid Johnson, Gerald Lovell, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Kerry James Marshall, Felicita Felli Maynard, Wangechi Mutu, Ebony G. Patterson, Paul Pfeiffer, Magnus Plessen, Gabriel Rico, Dario Robleto, RongRong&inri, Michelle Stuart, Vivian Suter, Jana Vander-Lee, Carrie Mae Weems, and Akram Zaatari
Since love is better led than drawn, better inspired than obtained, maybe art is the best means with which to explore the subject. Artworks in the exhibition suggest ways in which love is experienced everyday yet also connected to the grand scale of human destiny. The exhibition is organized into six thematic sections that may complement, overlap, contradict or disaffirm one another, providing categories inspired by some of the most firmly rooted concepts of love, from the union of two people in The Two, to the place where love is learned in The School of Love and the discipline required of love in The Practice of Love, to its centrality in a Loving Community, to love’s endurance and ability to transcend in Poetics of Love and Love Supreme.
Caution: The museum recognizes that the final gallery of this exhibition has some flashing/strobe light elements that may impact people with photosensitive epilepsy and seizures.