“Nostalgia and Fantasy: Imagination and its Origins in Contemporary Art” is a ragtag grouping of nine individual artists and one unit, each of whom focus on extremely different things. It is difficult to say, in fact, where “nostalgia” and “fantasy” come into play in some instances. With only minimal wall-panel descriptions, contextualization is a major stumbling point, not the least with the subtitle and the supposed origins of the imagination in contemporary art. Many of the works, however, are outstanding.
Among the best is the superlative super-realist painter Sai Hashizume, whose technical mastery and compositional skills place her among the best young painters working today. Some of the work borrows from a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen in which the poor protagonist, Karen, is taken in by a wealthy women and is given bright red shoes that she wears to church to everyone’s consternation.