Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 22, 2023

Hunter Museum showcasing ‘Gilded’ exhibition

The Hunter Museum is now featuring a special exhibition titled “Gilded: Contemporary Artists Explore Value and Worth.” The exhibition explores the use of gold leaf in contemporary artworks to question and challenge what we value and why.

Across time and cultures, gold has served as a metaphor for what people treasure most and is often used to symbolize goodness, excellence, brilliance and wealth. Artists working with various mediums have utilized gilding (the technique of applying a thin coating of gold over solid surfaces) for centuries. While frequently associated with historic traditions, gilding also often appears in the work of contemporary artists – including those featured in “Gilded.”

Deliberately using gilding to make a statement about human value systems, the artists featured in the exhibit gild images of graffiti, sidewalks and disempowered peoples to challenge viewers to see the beauty in what and who we often overlook or discard.

If, as the saying goes, “all that glitters is not gold,” then the artists in “Gilded” suggest the opposite – things that never shine – are most worthy of our attention, says Nandini Makrandi, chief curator at the Hunter.

“No matter our country or culture, human beings tend to equate gold and golden things with power, wealth, beauty and luxury. The artists in this exhibition bring a variety of cultural perspectives to delve into how this traditional view of gold and gilding is relevant today. They do this through beautifully gilded objects that draw us in with their visual splendor while provoking us to reconsider our traditional associations with this symbolic material,” Makrandi states.

A few “Gilded” artists – including Radcliffe Bailey, Hung Liu and Gajin Fujita – already have work in Hunter’s permanent collection. The exhibit also features a number of other internationally known contemporary artists, including those with Latino, African American, African, Asian and Indigenous backgrounds.

Organized by the Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC Greensboro and curated by Emily Stamey, “Gilded” will be on view through Jan. 8. Hunter Museum will be hosting numerous events throughout the duration of the exhibition. Visit www.huntermuseum.org to learn more.