April 27 – July 7 1985
Organized in conjunction with the Corcoran Gallery of Art, this exhibition presented works by nine young American artists. The artists included in “Signs” were involved with an ethical art which reflected on the difficulties of individuation in a society that stultified uniqueness by relying on predesigned systems. The artists in the exhibition, to varying degrees, took a sign or sign system and, in effect, “de-signed” it by removing its initial reading or original function, thereby imparting new meaning.
Signs were placed in a new context as “things in the world.” Although in the past they had functioned as anonymous behavioral imperatives, they were newly invested with an aesthetic impetus which avoided the intrusion of the artist’s ego. The modesty of the work in this exhibition spoke quite clearly to the priority given to authority of content over the cult of authorship.