Pretty. Vacant. - works from the Kurz Collection

August 25 - September 22, 2017

image: Joyce Pensato

Final Friday Reception: August 25, 2017, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Exhibition runs: August 25 – September 22, 2017

Pretty. Vacant.

Works Celebrating the Spirit of Punk, Selected from the Collection of George and Linda Kurz

Artists featured in the exhibition include: Nobuyoshi Araki (Tokyo), Richard Billingham (London), Daniel Boccato (NYC), Joe Bradley (NYC), Scott Burton (NYC), Rafael Delacruz (NYC), Carroll Dunham (NYC), Tony Feher (NYC), Mark Flood (Houston), Katy Grannan (San Francisco), Chris Johanson (Portland/San Francisco), Cary Leibowitz (NYC), Marilyn Minter (NYC), Robert Mapplethorpe (NYC), Ryan McGinley (NYC), Catherine Opie (Los Angeles), Joyce Pensato (Brooklyn), Peter Saul (NYC), David Shrigley (London), and Christopher Wool (NYC).


The Art Academy of Cincinnati is pleased to present Pretty. Vacant., an exhibition of works selected from the collection of Cincinnatians Linda and George Kurz. The exhibition celebrates the Punk spirit and includes artwork from a diverse multi-generational group of artists working in a range of media—photographs, paintings, sculpture, and works on paper—from the ‘70s to the present. The show is inspired by the ideology of the Punk movement, which began on the streets of New York and London in the early ‘70s and has continued to thrive and evolve since. While Punk was responsible for a significant contribution to music, recent museum and gallery exhibitions have focused on its influence on the worlds of fashion, art, film, and culture in general.

Like the music, this is art that is unruly and makes a statement. It often is aggressive and raw; it can be rude, profane, or offensive, is not afraid to be humorous or intentionally lowbrow, and may sometimes speak to social, political, or religious issues. While quite a disparate group, the artists included in the show wear their “Outsider” label with pride and are bound together by their commitment to artistic integrity, authenticity, lack of pretension, and a DIY mentality, as well as a tendency to live and work in major urban centers. The exhibition will be installed with a bit of this same spirit, accompanied by a soundtrack and videos of seminal bands from the movement.

About George and Linda Kurz:

“Like many collectors, our journey began with the simple desire to hang something interesting on our walls. In the mid-‘90s, we started by purchasing a few modern prints. After a couple years getting familiar with the art market and making trips to Chicago and NYC, our focus shifted to contemporary art—especially work that made a statement, either through its content or visual attributes. We had spent our early 20s as big fans of punk/new wave music and indie/foreign film, so it was natural that when we started collecting art we would be drawn very quickly to work outside the mainstream.

We enjoy the process of discovery involved in collecting, hence the collection is very wide-ranging and encompasses many styles and mediums, including Minimalism, California Light and Space, Pop, Abstraction, Modern and Contemporary Design, and Conceptual Art. Our interest continues to be on work that is compelling visually but also possesses a unique and meaningful artistic vision. This kind of idiosyncratic and very personal work tends to be produced by iconoclastic artists and designers that are not driven by the market but instead by their passion to make something truly new and different. These are artists willing to experiment—and fail—in the quest of something unique and thought-provoking.”

—George and Linda Kurz

Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm