The fairy-tale notion of childhood as a happy and carefree time of innocence and play is challenged by the artwork presented in this exhibition. At their worst, early experiences can provide the first shocking realizations of evil and pain in the world.
The End of Innocence explores these difficult and lingering early life memories, fantasies, and nightmares in works that address issues such as loneliness, bullying, racism, poverty, violence, and war. Making reference to childhood, much of the art contains cartoons, dolls, toys, coloring books, the alphabet, school photographs, and TV shows.
Drawn entirely from the Wadsworth Atheneum’s Contemporary Art collection, among the artists in the exhibition are Eleanor Antin, Morton Bartlett, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Joseph Cornell, Vanessa German, Keith Haring, Charles LeDray, David Levinthal, Pepón Osorio, Collier Schorr, Deb Sokolow, Carrie Mae Weems, and David Wojnarowicz.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website