‘Delirious’ at Met Breuer
September 19, 2017
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Breuer is hosting an exhibition titled “Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950-1980” that will be running through January 14, 2018. The show features about 100 works by 62 artists from around the globe who concentrate on the violence and political unrest that plagued the world in thirty years and continues to haunt humanity. The show, which brings together a broad range of artists working across disciplines — geometric abstraction, film, sculpture, performance art — is categorized into four sections: Vertigo, Excess, Nonsense and Twisted. It showcases work of artists like Dara Birnbaum, Dean Fleming, Nancy Grossman, Ana Mendieta, Claes Oldenburg, Stan VanDerBeek and others. A series of 13 photographs by Ana Mendieta in which the Cuban-American artist flattens her face against a pane of glass and the ladder decorated with high-heeled shoes by Yayoi Kusama.
The New York Times notes that each of the artists has their own perspectives as a result of which the exhibition might seem disjointed but that is bound to happen under such a broad thematic. However, the alternate historiography that these artworks trace is of central importance in this regard. The artist in the post-world war era were fascinated by the concept of what is seemingly madness or irrational. “Delirious” is the first exhibition to consider the fascination with irrationality holistically and to ground it in contemporaneous social and political events.