This exhibition features the life-size, trompe l’œil (a visual trick of the eye) paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (b. 1946). Fashioning Art from Paper provides a retrospective view of the artist’s paper sculptures over nearly two decades. From replicas of Italian Renaissance gowns to re-creations of the fantastical modernist costumes of the Ballets Russes, her work spans 500 years of fashion. Each paper sculpture is inspired by depictions found in early European paintings or fashion collections from around the world. Included in the exhibition is a sculpture based on a 1622 painting of Maria Maddalena of Austria and her son, the future Ferdinand II, by Justus Sustermans in the FIA’s permanent collection.
This exhibition highlights works on paper that feature some element of collage—whether used as the primary medium, or as part of a “mixed media” approach, including other printing or artistic techniques. The word collage is used both to describe a type of artwork and the technique used to create it. Objects, such as photographs, magazine and newspaper cuttings, and other pieces of paper, are glued onto a surface, in combination with painted or printed passages. In fact, the word “collage” is from the Old French word coller meaning “to glue.” The technique of collage was embraced by artists in the early 20th century, after it had long been a favored pastime of children and amateurs (making scrapbooks, for example). The artists in Cut & Paste, including Romare Bearden, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Wangechi Mutu, bring the art of collage into the late 20th and early 21st centuries, adapting and using it to fit their individual artistic expressions.
Philip Haas, a contemporary artist and filmmaker, has created four monumental portrait busts titled The Four Seasons. Haas’s 15-foot-tall sculptures are three-dimensional interpretations of the Italian Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s (1526–1593) portrait series of the same name. As in Arcimboldo’s paintings, the physical features of the four sculpted figures are rendered in botanical forms appropriate to each season. This exhibition acknowledges nature’s rhythmic cycles and, as sculptural portraits of people, they represent the human aging process from youth to old age. Haas’s meticulously detailed sculptures celebrate the human figure as well as the wonders of nature in surprising new ways.
In conjunction with the Flint Youth Film Festival, the FIA will exhibit a number of works by young, local filmmakers throughout the month of July. The Flint Youth Media Project introduces the art of filmmaking to people ages 13–30 and college students regardless of age. In addition to a series of free filmmaking workshops, the program provides opportunities for participants to share their work with peers, professional filmmakers, screenwriters, and the public.
From the Flame is a juried exhibition that includes artwork by established and emerging artists from across the country. Selections were made based on technique, design, concept, originality, and craftsmanship. Out of 69 submissions, the jury selected 32 fascinating objects. Judges will award monetary prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, place and visitors will have the opportunity to cast their votes for a People’s Choice award.
From goblets and pipes to sculpture and jewelry,From the Flame considers the various ways contemporary artists are exploring and expanding a centuries-old approach to glassmaking. Flamework (also known as lampworking and torchworking) is a traditional technique where a torch or lamp is used directly to melt glass. Once in a molten state, the glass is formed by blowing and shaping with tools and hand movements. Flamework first flourished in Italy in the fourteenth century and then spread throughout Europe and to the rest of the world. It is currently experiencing a renaissance as artists push boundaries, creating increasingly complex objects with a variety of tools and a range of techniques.
• Jennifer Caldwell • Jason Chakravarty • Jonathan Davis • Bandhu Dunham • Eunsuh Choi • Shane Fero • Alexandra Fresch
• Eric Goldschmidt
• Mike Mason
• Eusheen Goines
• Jeff Heath
• Danielle Hook
• Jeremy Ross
• Drew Kups
• Angela McHale • Robert Mickelsen • Janis Miltenberger
• Maria Missaoui • Kari Russell-Pool • Mike Shelbo
• Kimberly Thomas
• Elliott Todd • Carlos Valdovinos
• Marc VandenBerg • James Vernor • Seth Auger • Jeri Warhaftig
• Zac Weinberg
Paperweights first appeared at the Vienna Industrial Exposition in 1845 and immediately became objects of desire. In 19th-century Europe, urban populations were increasing, creating an expanding market for goods and services, stimulated by new manufacturing processes developed during the first and second Industrial Revolutions. New and inexpensive methods to produce paper, the invention of steel pen nibs, and the establishment of a national postal system all contributed to the increased popularity of letter writing. Paperweights became fashionable, beautiful, and finely constructed objects that were also functional, making them an alluring item to collect.
Today, contemporary glass artists still produce paperweights. This exhibition not only features a vast collection of historical European paperweights but also a large variety of contemporary paperweights from the FIA’s permanent collection and private collectors.
Paperweights: Highlights from the Flint Institute of Arts Collection
(hardcover; 248 pages; $24.95)
This exhibition catalog features more than 140 weights from the Classic Period (1845–1860) of French manufacturers Baccarat, Clichy, and Saint-Louis, to works by contemporary artists Josh Simpson and Debbie Tarsitano, from the collections of Mrs. Viola E. Bray and Mrs. Genevieve Shaw. Kathryn Sharbaugh, FIA Director of Development, serves as guest curator to research and write about the history of paperweights, as well as highlight their various styles, techniques, and categories. This book is published in conjunction with the exhibition Small Worlds, which presents a survey of glass paperweights from the 19th century to the present. Support for the catalogue provided by the Bray Charitable Trust.