In a day and age when over-stated beauty and immaculacy are the standard, The Dark visions exhibit at The Norton Simon Museum wallows in the realm of the dark, desperate, and ugly. The decidedly understated collection contains exactly 15 delightful pieces, displaying several different mediums including assemblages (a collected scene of various mediums), lithographs, oil on canvas, and one small morsel of glass and wire. The exhibit is housed in a small brown walled room. The curator was successful in creating an intimate climate of self reflection. Every piece flawlessly depicts the 20th century phenomenon of artists’ diving in into the “macabre” mindset of death, sex, fetishism, and the imperfections of the human condition.
The Norton Simon home website assigned the the exhibit with this anonymous medieval allegory,
“No matter one’s station in life, the dance with death unites us all”.
An idyllic part of the collection would be The Lust Murder box No.2, created by Kurt Schwitters, sometime between 1920 and 1922. The artwork is a small box made of intricately laid wood in an almost picasso-like pattern. In the exhibit the box is intentionally felt closed, leaving its ghastly contents up to the imagination of the viewer. The exhibit also houses works by the likes of George Herms, Bruce Conner, Claire Falkenstein and many others revolutionary 20th century artists.
The Exposition is set to run from Sept 16th, 2016 until january 2nd, 2017. The Museum is also providing free guided tours for those who would like to learn more about this deep seeded aspect of 20th century art. Dates and times for these tours can be found at Nortonsimon.org . Admission is free to college students with valid school ID.