Damaged Romanticism surveys a strand of contemporary art that puts the emotions front and centre without falling back on the do-or-die finality of classic Romanticism. Forming neither a style nor a school in the traditional sense, the artists' works embody a shared attitude or outlook.
In the face of a contemporary reality marked by political instability, economical insecurity, and social isolation, the fifteen artists featured—Richard Billingham, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Edward Burtynsky, Sophie Calle, Petah Coyne, Angelo Filomeno, Jesper Just, Mary McCleary, Florian Maier-Aichen, Wangechi Mutu, Anneè Olofsson, Julia Oschatz, David Schnell, Ryan Taber, and Cheyenne Weaver.—while presenting life in all its complexity and complication, offer glimpses of hope and means of reconciliation that are not utopian or fatalist but grounded in a profound realism and a belief in the potential of self-empowerment.
Claudia Schmuckli is the inaugural curator-in-charge of Contemporary Art and Programming at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and was formerly director of Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston.
Terrie Sultan is the director of the Parrish Art Museum in Long Island, New York. Her previous position was director of Blaffer Gallery.
David Pagel is professor of art theory and history at Claremont Graduate University.
Colin Gardner is professor in critical theory and interdisciplinary media at the University of California, Santa Barbara;
Nick Flynn is a poet and author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (2004).