"The Spectacular of Vernacular" at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston

artwork: Lari Pittman - "Untitled #30" (A Decorated Chronology of Insistence and Resignation), 1994 -  Acrylic, enamel, and glitter on two wood panels, 83 x 160 inches - © Lari Pittman. -  Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles.


HOUSTON, TX.- In an era of virtual neighborhoods and fast-paced Internet communication, The Spectacular of Vernacular addresses the role of vernacular forms in the work of 27 artists who utilize craft, incorporate folklore, and revel in roadside kitsch to explore the role of culturally specific iconography in the increasingly global world of art. Originally employed as a linguistics term, vernacular is now broadly applied to categories of culture, standing in for “regional,” “folkloric,” or “homemade”—concepts that contemporary artists have investigated since the late 1950s as part of a deeper consideration of the relationship between art and everyday life. For the artists included in the exhibition, aspects of the vernacular—and often specifically American vernacular—provide a platform for narratives of home life, social ritual, and sense of place.