Uptown Funk/Downtown Art

TJC Gallery, Spartanburg, South Carolina
September 17, 2015 – November 27, 2015

The surge of regional studies over the past quarter century have let the world in on a secret: Southern culture is far more than meets the eye. Southern cuisine isn’t limited to grits and gravy; our literature and music are rich treasure troves beyond Gone With the Wind and the Grand Ole Opry; and Southern art is a wondrous spectrum that includes not only historical scenes, memorable portraiture, and stirring landscapes, but embraces modernism, abstraction, experimentation, and even a little bit of funk. Uptown Funk/Downtown Art brings together a selection of artworks that explore the charismatic, expressive, and spirited side of modern Southern art. Far from defining a specific artistic movement or historical period, this presentation uses “funk” to describe the playful inquiries into artistic production with non-traditional materials and whimsical subject matter. Artists such as Kenneth Noland, Donald Sultan, Red Grooms, Ray Johnson, Thornton Dial, and Jack Youngerman embrace this unconventional aesthetic through their colorful boldness, challenging forms, and visceral presence.