Contributed by Jason Stopa / An international survey at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University explores how contemporary artists use abstraction to encode otherwise invisible realities: climate change, political strife, and inequalities of all stripes. Some are household names, others still emerging. Titled “So it appears,” the show is anything but timid. It boasts some 19 artists occupying three floors, each one grappling with the limits of abstraction and its history and pressing beyond the frame of the canvas. Western abstraction has tackled social and political issues before – there was deconstruction in the 1960s, Neo-Geo in the eighties, and most recently the palpable Trump-era uptick. “So it appears” looks to the Global South for perspective.