NEW MONUMENTS • Sanford Biggers: Laocoon

The Hite Art Institute is pleased to present Sanford Biggers’ Laocoon (2015) as the inaugural work in our “New Monuments” series at the Cressman Center for Visual Arts. “New Monuments” will feature one historically significant artwork produced or finished in the past year that engages the social, political, or aesthetic issues of our moment. The series is intended to update the traditional “monuments” list that often serves as the basis for art historical education.

Biggers updates the famous Vatican sculpture and the debate about beauty and suffering, medium and content by substituting an inflatable Fat Albert for the great marble Laocoon. The touchstones are many, including reference to Eric Garner, who died of affixation due to a combination of police chokehold, chest compression, and his own weight and poor health. But Fat Albert himself is not off the hook. The enormous sculpture seems to wonder if the comedic hero will be able to maintain his integrity (to right himself) in light of the sex scandals of this inventor, Bill Cosby.

In Laocoon, Biggers collides two seemingly disparate iconographies—the cheap, inflatable, holiday lawn ornament of the suburbs with a cartoon about black life in the city. In so doing, the artist draws connections between seemingly incongruous forms and offers a meditation on the relationship between suburban safety and the racial disparities that divide urban centers.

Cressman Gallery Hours

Wednesday - Friday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.


Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 11:00am to 3:00pm

Cressman Center for Visual Art, Cressman Center for Visual Arts
100 E. Main Street , Kentucky 40202

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Arts, Social, Alumni, Exhibit, Academic


Students, Faculty/staff, Alumni, Public


Arts & Sciences, Fine Arts, Hite Art Institute, College of Arts & Sciences



Free and open to the public.

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Renée K. Murphy

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