APRIL 30 – MAY 8

How do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset value?

– Fed Chair, Alan Greenspan, December 1996

Former Chairman Greenspan’s rhetorical question catalyzed worldwide economic slumps, and “irrational exuberance” became a symbol of the overvalued markets that preceded the current recession. In Irrational Exuberance: A Recession Art Show, artists examine seemingly rational systems of mass belief or delusion.

Curated by Bradley Bailey, Irrational Exuberance features work by Paloma Crousillat, Tate Foley, Nikita Gale, Danny Ghitis, James Gillispie, Ani Katz, Sam Keller, Ely Kim, Conrad Kofron, The Ladies’ Auxiliary, Alma Leiva, Azusa Murakami, David Needleman, Johanna Povirk-Znoy, Jay Peter Salvas, Holly Streekstra, Gabriela Vainsencher, and Anusha Venkataraman.

Irrational Exuberance includes printmaking, installation, drawing, painting, photography, performance and sculpture from an international group of artists.  An installation of 101 meticulously drawn telescopes by Paloma Crousillat contrasts religion and spirituality against science and politics, while an installation of 275 rainbow-colored replacement toilet flush levers by Sam Keller solicits a viewer connection with the banal. The Ladies’ Auxiliary, a maternal organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the homely aesthetic, will present work resulting from their professional training in the functionless arts. Alma Leiva installs cells in the gallery basement for her Celdas series, bringing outdoor activities inside imaginary Central American spaces to address the problem of violence in Central America and the voluntary reclusion to which citizens have subjected themselves. An operational automaton built by Holly Streekstra revives the spirit of coin operated peepshow entertainment, allowing visitors to look through a peephole and see a tiny saw cut a US dollar in half.

Guest Curator Bradley Bailey is an art historian who specializes in the economics of contemporary art. Originally from Kansas City, he is a PhD candidate in the History of Art at Yale University, where he earned his BA, MA and MPhil. In 2010, he received his MBA from the Yale School of Management.