SFMOMA EXPLORES THE NAUGHTY AND THE NICEThird Logan Rotation Probes the Darker Side of Playland
SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)
17. June 2000
|With ironic images of toys and cartoon figures, a number of contemporary painters, photographers and sculptors take incisive aim at the emotional underbelly of childhood in The Darker Side of Playland: Childhood Imagery from the Logan Collection, on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) from September 1, 2000, through January 2, 2001. Explaining how these representations question deeply rooted social mores, this exhibition includes over 30 playful and wicked works-drawn from the collection of Vicki and Kent Logan-by such contemporary artists as Gottfried Helnwein, David Levinthal, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Laurie Simmons and Hung Tung-lu. As Kent Logan states, "Of the themes in our collection this exhibition will explore what I like to call 'Children's Hour.'"|
|SFMOMA San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 2000
The Darker Side of Playland: Childhood Imagery from the Logan Collection
The Vicki and Kent Logan Collection
'THE DARKER SIDE OF PLAYLAND: CHILDHOOD IMAGERY FROM THE LOGAN COLLECTION' AT SFMOMAArtweek
Alicia Miller (Review)
20. August 2000
|In 'The Darker Side of Playland', the endearing cuteness of beloved toys and cartoon characters turns menacing and monstrous.
Much of the work has the quality of childhood nightmares. In those dreams, long before any adult understanding of the specific pains and evils that live holds, the familiar and comforting objects and images of a child's world are rent with something untoward.
For children, not understanding what really to be afraid of, these dreams portend some pain and disturbance lurking into the landscape.
Perhaps nothing in the exhibition exemplifies this better than Gottfried Helnwein's 'Mickey'.
His portrait of Disney's favotite mouse occupies an entire wall of the gallery; rendered from an oblique angle, his jaunty, ingenuous visage looks somehow sneaky and suspicious. His broad smile, encasing a row of gleaming teeth, seems more a snarl or leer.
This is Mickey as Mr. Hyde, his hidden other self now disturbingly revealed. Helnwein's Mickey is painted in shades of gray, as if pictured on an old black-and-white TV set. We are meant to be transported to the flickering edges of our own childhood memories in a time imaginably more blameless, crime-less and guiltless.
But Mickey's terrifying demeanor hints of things to come. ...