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November 9, 2007 – January 26, 2008
Schmidt Center University Gallery, Florida Atlantic University
Curated by Diana Shpungin

Artists in the exhibition:
Thordis Adalsteinsdottir
Diann Bauer
Jane Benson
Luisa Caldwell
Elaine Chow
William Cordova
Boyce Cummings
Tracey Emin
Felix Gonzalez-Torres
Ellen Harvey
Jim Hodges
Jesper Just
Nina Katchadourian
Roxy Paine
Chloe Piene
Hunter Reynolds
Cristina Lei Rodriguez
Jon Rosenbaum
Andrew Scott Ross
Shahzia Sikander
Jordan Wolfson
Randy Wray

The University Galleries in Florida Atlantic University’s School of the Arts will present Delicatessen, an exhibition featuring 22 contemporary artists from November 9, 2007 – January 26, 2008 in the Schmidt Center Gallery on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road. The exhibition was conceived and selected by guest curator Diana Shpungin an artist and a graduate of FAU’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program. Ms. Shpungin also holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and teaches as an adjunct professor in FAU’s Department of Visual Arts and Art History.

Delicatessen presents a group of 22 artists whose works embody an identifiable though elusive sensibility in contemporary artmaking. Each artist works with a material, subject matter or concept often construed as traditionally beautiful, campy, kitsch, mundane, saccharine, sentimental, grotesque, dark or menacing. The artists play with and transform these associations through repetitive accumulation, strange juxtapositions and/or inventive assemblage. Through these methods the artists challenge the connotations of the mundane material or subject, walking a delicate line that transforms their work into something more potent, more engaging and even sublimely beautiful.

Just as the artists in this exhibition recast their subjects and material, the exhibition recoins the word delicatessen by bringing it back to its Latin roots and claiming a more poetic meaning for it. The Latin root delicatus, with the meaning “giving pleasure, delightful,” relates to beauty rather than commerce. The Exhibition, Delicatessen, challenges the somewhat utilitarian connotation of the word through the delicate sensibility that dominates the array of work it features.

Delicatessen explores this practice of transforming common materials into precious and delicate objects by presenting artists of diverse ethnic and geographic origins and backgrounds whose works explore a broad range of artistic approaches and subject matter. The exhibition will include works on paper, painting, sculpture, photography and video. The artists and the works in the exhibition have been selected solely to reflect this interpretive or poetic theme, identified as Delicatessen. Artists in the exhibition range from highly recognized internationally known artists like Felix Gonzales Torres, Roxy Paine and Jim Hodges, to emerging artists such as recent Art Institute of Chicago MFA graduate Andrew Scott Ross and Miami-based Cristina Lei Rodriguez. Other artists are winners of recent prestigious international awards like Shahzia Sikander, awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship also known as the “genius award,” and Boyce Cummings, who is a recent recipient of the Rome Prize, an award that grants an artist a year in Rome.

Several of the artists will visit FAU to install their works and participate in Department of Visual Arts undergraduate and graduate critiques, give presentations to students and present public lecture and gallery talk programs at and around the time of the exhibition opening. One artist will be invited to create a new work for the exhibition in the Schmidt Center Gallery Public Space, a 22-foot tall × 200-foot long corridor lobby space that has hosted several site-specific installations.