American Pastoral

American Pastoral Gagosian Britannia Street

From nineteenth-century industrialization to contemporary patterns of immigration, the pursuit of the American Dream has long been a rich topic of inquiry for artists in the United States. For many, this notion is encapsulated by the imagined tranquility and comfort of rural life—an aspiration arising from the Western tradition of landscape painting, with its picturesque, arcadian lands and idyllic communities.

Titled after Philip Roth’s 1997 novel about the social discord that undermines the life of an outwardly untroubled New Jersey family, American Pastoral is a group exhibition that seeks to challenge this idealized vision by delving into the cultural, political, and economic tensions that lie beneath its surface. In this exhibition, modern and contemporary works are juxtaposed with historical American landscapes, ranging from Albert Bierstadt’s depiction of the sublime in Sunset over the River (1877) to Edward Hopper’s tranquil seaside scene, Gloucester Harbor (1926).

In American Pastoral, the American Dream to which Roth’s text alludes is revealed again as a secular icon—at once lastingly attractive and freighted with numerous and increasingly complex dangers.

American Pastoral will feature works by Diane Arbus, Richard Artschwager, Richard Avedon, Albert Bierstadt, Joe Bradley, Chris Burden, John Chamberlain, Thomas Cole, Roe Ethridge, Helen Frankenthaler, Theaster Gates, Jack Goldstein, Piero Golia, Duane Hanson, Marsden Hartley, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Neil Jenney, John Frederick Kensett, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Sally Mann, Adam McEwen, Thomas Moran, Cady Noland, Richard Prince, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Taryn Simon, Mark Tansey, Banks Violette, and Jeff Wall, among others.

Duration 23 January 2020 - 14 March 2020
Times Tuesday–Saturday 10–6
Cost Free
Venue Gagosian (Britannia Street)
Address 6-24 Britannia Street, London, WC1X 9JD
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