GAMES, GAMBLERS & CARTOMANCERS: THE NEW CARDSHARPS Curated by Alison M. Gingeras and Dodie Kazanjian July 1 – September 30, 2023 The Newport Foundation at The Vernon House 43 Clarkson Street Newport, Rhode Island
GAMES, GAMBLERS & CARTOMANCERS: The New Cardsharps brings together seventeen contemporary artists who have revisited the art historical trop of card play.
Card playing is rooted in Newport’s history—historically and contemporarily card playing has been and remains part of the social fabric. Newporter Edith Wharton’s protagonist Lily Bart in House of Mirth describes her gambling debts incurred at the high society bridge tables.
To this day, bridge games and canastas are the norm three times a week. As with all of Art&Newport’s projects, the curators have sought to highlight the enduring social customs of the town while simultaneously injecting local history and tradition with contemporary artistic interpretations and intervention.
Card games cut across cultures and social classes—using cards for entertainment, gambling, divination, and education goes back centuries. The first known reference to card playing appears in Chinese literature of the 10th century. In Europe, card play emerged in Italy and Spain in the 1370s and is believed to be a product of the cultural diffusion engendered by trade between Europeans and the Muslim world.
The first trump-card games may have originated in Germany in the 1420s with a game known as Karnöffel. Originally a trump card game, Tarot was developed in tandem in Italy during the 15th century and has evolved from a parlor game into its contemporary use as a popular form of divination.
Each of the artists in GAMES, GAMBLERS & CARTOMANCERS has created work that engages with the iconography, mythologies, and practices of card play. This exhibition has been produced in collaboration with the Newport Restoration Foundation.
Tina Barney, Cecily Brown, Francesco Clemente, Elizabeth Colomba, John Currin, Austin Eddy, Hadi Falapishi, Shara Hughes, Rashid Johnson, Sanya Kantarovsky, Karen Kilimnik, Sean Landers, Tala Madani, Rob Pruitt, Walter Robinson, Katja Seib, Katie Stout
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