Ridgefield

“Family”

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Families are the stuff of great stories, both fictional and real, from Lear and the Sopranos to the Hapsburgs and Kennedys. We are all experts on the subject, whether our expertise lies in trying to escape family—with its dynamics of guilt, manipulation, and other dysfunctions—or working to create or re-create one. Group shows are yet another kind of familial collective, and the Aldrich Museum (a former house, appropriately enough) took on this unwieldy matter in “Family,” bringing together a clan of thirty-seven artists who have made works that consider the institution in its many mutable forms: tribal, professional, religious, racial, alternative, and old-fashioned nuclear.

Offspring was a preoccupation in the exhibition. Tapping reproductive anxieties (and pushing the envelope of good taste) was Chrissy Caviar, 2001–2002. For this Bad Girl art in the age of in vitro piece, artist Chrissy

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