Massey Klein Gallery is pleased to present Kids Without the Internet, a group exhibition curated by Thea Smolinski.

The exhibition features works by Chrissy Angliker, Matthew Boyle, Loren Erdrich, Matthew F. Fisher, Vera Iliatova, Craig Kucia, Tyler Lafreniere, David McGee, Jay Miriam, Sarah Miska, Lamar Peterson, Kyle Staver, Paige Turner-Uribe, Chelsea Ryoko Wong, and Maryam Yousif.

In my previous life as a proper art historian, I thought a lot about paintings in reproduction: the color, the quality, the source, what you could see and what you couldn’t see. I had professors who, early in their careers, wrote brilliantly and eloquently about work they may have only ever seen in grainy black and white, or poorly realized hand coloring. What a giddy luxury it was to be a student in the days of Google Images while museums scrambled to digitize whole collections. And what a luxury, too, to know the difference, to have seen the last of the early days and to recognize, essentially, the difference between a painting and a picture of a painting.

So while if I’m honest the recent trend for super photorealism didn’t appeal to me aesthetically, I was fascinated by it. It appeared to be distinct from earlier iterations in that it felt so very digital. Photography has been an influence on painting for its entire existence, but here we find it mediated through a screen and a particular kind of screen. Or, better maybe: a ubiquitous screen. It was built from a life generated by computers and experienced through computers.

We've discussed lots of dinners: can you tell? Is it apparent when looking at a painting who grew up with a screen and who didn’t? Whose essential experience of images was paper and whose was glass? Who knows photography as a medium of timing, exposure, blurs, and missed opportunities? Who has documented, in banal detail, every meal and outfit?

Kids Without the Internet is a line in the sand. Some of us are just on the cusp, the only one of our siblings not to have a computer lab from kindergarten, our Insta handles owing a heavy debt to early AOL chat groups. Some of us are more essentially analog: memories of sending our mother's checks to order cassettes by mail. Either way, here are the kids without the internet; the last generation to know painting without screens.

(By Thea Smolinski)