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John Michael Byrd, David Hannon, Ben Pederson, Marjoire Van Cura, Annie Varnot

The meaning of the word “world-building” has evolved in the 200 years since it was first introduced. Today, the term most often refers to entire fictional worlds complete with their own histories, languages, ecologies, and even laws of physics. Popular culture is so inundated with these fictional worlds that we have almost come to expect them as an integral component of our literature, film, television, and games.

But in the 19th century, world-building described the imaginative realm of artists and poets. This realm was a personal one, an individual mental state entered into by the artist. Hamilton Wright Mabie wrote, “To this world-building all the great poetic minds are driven; within this invisible empire alone can they reconcile the life that surrounds them with the life that floats like a dream before them.”

The artists in this exhibition exist somewhere between these two definitions. Their work reads like specimens or artifacts taken from some imagined world - incomplete relics that only tell us a part of the story.

NYPOP Gallery 526 W 26th St #314, New York, NY 10001