The Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) is currently hosting Vitality and Verve III, an exhibition dedicated to showcasing new works by artists of the New Contemporary Art Movement. The show is a curatorial collaboration with Thinkspace Projects and with the support of POW! WOW! Long Beach.
Vitality and Verve III presents a relevant cross-section of some of the most exciting artists working under the New Contemporary handle today and features site-specific works by these 21 individuals brought together in the same space for the first time. The exhibition will feature new, site-specific works by internationally renowned artists, Bordalo II, CASE, Evoca, Sergio Garcia, Herakut, Hush, Jaune, Leon Keer, Koz Dos, Spenser Little, Fintan Magee, Dennis McNett, Drew Merritt, Michael Reeder, RISK, SEEN, Amy Sol, Super A, Juan Travieso, Dan Witz and Lauren YS. Each will contribute a unique piece and vantage point, working across a variety of media.
The New Contemporary Art Movement is known for its diversity; several styles, media, contexts, and exhibition platforms fall within its expansive cast, including public art interventions and site-specific urban murals. This breadth has long been embraced as a subversive impulse vis-a-vis the more exclusionary and contained tenets of contemporary art production, particularly those minted in academe and aspiring to the vetted legitimacy of the 'white cube.' The movement's vested interest in incorporating the social and representational, counter to its often systemic disavowal, has allowed it to thrive outside of institutional support, though this exclusionary paradigm is rapidly shifting.
Largely self-supported and community-driven since the 90's, many of the movement's artists are self-taught or have come into their own through multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Gaining international recognition over the past decade, the movement is now widely recognized as both the largest and longest running organized art movement in history, boasting veterans and established artists as well as emergent ones. The evocative potential of representation inspires these artists to draw from popular and countercultural sources like music, illustration, comics, graffiti, design, punk, tattoo culture, hip-hop, skate culture, etc., looking to the outside world rather than to the self-referential gestures that have typified the traditional exclusions of contemporary art.
Photos by Birdman Photos