Chaotic Good: Department of Art MFA Winter Exhibition

Installation photo from Chaotic Good, UB's 2020 First Year MFA Exhibition.

Chaotic Good: Department of Art MFA Winter Exhibition, 2020, installation view, University at Buffalo Art Galleries. Photo: Mark Snyder.


March 12–April 18, 2020


Artist List

Ulysses Atwhen, Jason Contangelo, Leanne Goldblatt, Karis Jones, Tanner Petch, John Santomieri, Felipe Shibuya, DaVideo Tape, Sara Zak

Related Material


Our lives are ruled by chaos. Against the backdrop of endless humanitarian catastrophes, we wrestle with the daily disruptions of complex economic, political, and technological forces beyond our control. Inequality, disinformation, virality: ours is an age of destabilization and of rapid change that never stops crashing over us and shifting the sand under our feet. What does it look like to grab a hold, to come up for air?

The artworks in this exhibition explore what it’s like to live with chaos, each wresting order from disorder—or disorder from order—in different ways. Whether the chaos is emotional or physical, temporal or spatial, bodily or environmental, they make meaning out of the messiness.

As Eve learned when she bit into the apple, chaos can be evil. Death haunts the living. Objects atrophy. Gods play games with us. Relationships turn to shit. The paranormal becomes normal. And yet artists persist: they translate pain into painstaking embroidery; displacement into the taking up of space; shadowy memories into concrete layers of paint; electronic signals into signs of life. The only way forward is through.

Image Gallery

Exhibition Credits

This exhibition is curated by Tina Rivers Ryan.