The Kingsborough Art Museum (KAM) presents a solo exhibition of photographs and installations that address the environmental effects of our dependence on plastics.
April 21 – May 18, 2022
Artist Reception: Wednesday, April 27, 3:00 – 5:00 PM; 7:00 - 9:00 PM
The Kingsborough Art Museum announces its next exhibition, Barry Rosenthal: Convenience & Conveyance. The exhibition, on view from April 21 to May 18, includes some twenty-five photographs and installations. A self-described “urban anthropologist,” Rosenthal collects, sorts, and photographs plastic objects found along the waterways of New York City. Arranged in groupings not unlike eighteenth- and nineteenth-century natural history illustrations, these collections offer viewers not only an aesthetic sampling of the plastic-laden environmental legacy we are leaving for future generations, but also an unsettling reflection of ourselves and our seemingly endless desire for convenience and instant gratification. Rosenthal’s work brings attention to the crucial issue of pollution in the world’s oceans.
Born in Massachusetts, Rosenthal attended the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio. After pursuing street photography and commercial portraiture for a number of years, the artist turned his lens and attention to details found in natural forms such as ferns and grasses; noticing how the landscapes he photographed often shared space with unnatural forms—plastic cups, containers, and utensils, lost or abandoned plastic toys—he began collecting these ocean-borne objects as would those artists and naturalists who once accompanied the transatlantic expeditions of noted explorers. Arranging these objects by color and other aesthetic considerations, he photographs them against a dark background that both isolates them as objects while uniting them as colors and forms (such as Sea Life, Fig. 1, below). It was one of these works, Blue Ocean (Fig. 2, below), that first brought him to national attention.
More recently Rosenthal has created sculptural works—Sea Wall, a section of bulkhead constructed of straw permeated with found objects; a large Sea Goddess (Fig. 3, below), from blue rope and an abandoned life-size inflatable party doll; and a Cabinet of Curiosities that develops his interest in natural history and collecting. While visually and materially different from his photographic work, Rosenthal’s aesthetic approach and environmental message remains clear. Rosenthal’s works have been featured in The New York Times, National Geographic, Foreign Policy, CBS News, The Weather Channel, and other periodicals and media outlets. His photographs are in the permanent collections of a number of arts institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Springfield Museum of Fine Art, and the Black Gold Museum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Barry Rosenthal: Convenience & Conveyance
ON VIEW: April 21 – May 18, 2022
ARTIST RECEPTION: April 27, 3:00 – 5:00 PM
KINGSBOROUGH ART MUSEUM
Since 1976 The Art Gallery at Kingsborough Community College, now the Kingsborough Art Museum, has been dedicated to providing students, faculty and staff at Kingsborough, along with the many communities that make up the borough of Brooklyn, art exhibitions of historical, regional, national or international importance that reflect the values and standards inherent to the Art Department curriculum. To mark its fortieth anniversary (Fall 2016), the gallery changed its name to the Kingsborough Art Museum to reflect its developing role as a cultural space for the Kingsborough community.
The Kingsborough Art Museum is located in the Arts & Sciences Building, on the campus of Kingsborough Community College, 2001 Oriental Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY, 11235. General museum hours are Monday-Friday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm during the regular college semesters; closed January, February, July, August, and all holidays recognized by the college. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Director, Brian Hack, at 718-368-4817. Please note that due to the pandemic, all visitors from outside the campus community must fulfill the vaccination/negative COVID PCR test requirements. For more information, please visit Visitor_Policy_Fall_2021.pdf (cuny.edu)
Dr. Brian E. Hack, Director, 718-368-4817, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Figure 1. Barry Rosenthal, Sea Life, 2016. Photograph, courtesy of the artist.