Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum
When curator Nicholas R. Bell pondered how to celebrate the Renwick’s 40th anniversary, he opted for 40 artists under 40. While he admits that the conceit isn’t novel, the framework allowed him to survey, or sample, rather than chronologize. Even so, shared themes emerged, and age mattered. According to Bell, this post-9/11 generation, whose new normal includes unease and conflict, bears distinctive markers. They hold a renewed interest in the handmade in tandem with an interest in new technologies. They explore recycling and sustainability. And most importantly, in a throwback to an earlier generation, they seek to make the world a better place. To make his selections, Bell eschewed a conventional call for portfolios; instead, he informally polled professional colleagues, hunted the Internet, and visited galleries, fairs, and studios. …see the entire review in the print version of June’s Sculpture magazine.