Gerhardt Knodel, American, born 1940 The Journey: Departure, n.d. Mixed textiles 132 x 84 inches. Courtesy of the artist Photo credit: P D Rearik.

Minglings: A Journey Across Time

April 9, 2022 - October 9, 2022

Harris - Burger Gallery

Minglings: A Journey Across Time explores a contemporary fiber artist’s engagement with the past. Inspired by a tapestry remnant from China’s Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), Gerhardt Knodel embarked on an exploration into the potential of how this fabric from another time and place could inform his present work. While portions of the tapestry were deteriorating, Knodel isolated 40 separate fragments that included images of butterflies, flowering branches, undulating lines, and a blue sky. Each small piece of finely woven silk became a new composition of abstracted, incomplete subjects that he could re-create.

Featuring a series of drawings, fiber artwork, and mixed-media objects, the exhibition will lead you on a journey between cultures, beginning in China and arriving at the artist’s studio in Pontiac, Michigan. These works will also show how beautiful objects migrate through time, carrying with them their cultural identity but also being reinterpreted in the context of the current pandemic. Minglings demonstrates how the past is never dead in the hands of the artist, offering the opportunity for rediscovery and reconsideration.

Knodel’s studio practice spans nearly 50 years, 37 of them invested as Artist- in-Residence, then director, and now Director Emeritus of Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has exhibited internationally and is a recipient of numerous awards, including the American Crafts Council 2018 Gold Medal and the Distinguished Educators Award from the James Renwick Alliance of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.


Gerhardt Knodel gives a talk on his workshop and works.


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Jean-Michel Basquiat, American, 1960 - 1988. Untitled (Self-Portrait), 1982-83. Oil on wood, 20 x 20 in. Courtesy of Rubell Museum 

Being Human: Contemporary Art from the Rubell Museum

May 14, 2022 - August 28, 2022

Henry Gallery Hodge Gallery

This exhibition explores the diverse world of contemporary art through the lens of the Rubell Museum’s collection. Art of the late 20th and early 21st centuries generally defy categorization and the “-isms” common in previous stylistic movements. However, the works selected from the Rubell Collection for this exhibition share the common theme of depicting the complexity of experiences that make us human.  Through painting, sculpture, and photography, these artworks ignite emotional responses to various issues, including gender, race, sexuality, embodiment, identity, love, life, and death. By contemplating the past, present, and future, artists interpret their own and others’ existence through a thought-provoking visual vocabulary that transcends the limits of language.

Not meant to be an exhaustive or universal picture of contemporary art, Being Human highlights some of the best works and artists from the Rubell Museum, located in Miami, Florida, some of which will be seen at the FIA for the first time. Nor is this exhibition meant to fully capture what it means to be human, but rather to show some of the ways artists have dealt with complex realities, pointing out willful or inadvertent blindness to what’s all around us. In an era of doubt, confusion, and disconnect, this exhibition presents unique perspectives, not necessarily providing answers, but offering the way art provokes contemplation, understanding, compassion, and introspection.

The Rubell Family Collection was established in 1964 in New York City, shortly after its founders Donald and Mera Rubell were married. It is now one of the world’s largest privately owned contemporary art collections. In addition to displaying internationally established artists, they also actively acquire, exhibit, and champion emerging artists working at the forefront of contemporary art.

Organized by the Flint Institute of Arts and the Rubell Museum

Sponsored by

   Friends of Modern Art

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Cameron Gray, Swiss, b. 1980. Thinking Hurts Too Much, 2013. Video. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2013.63

Thinking Hurts Too Much

May 1, 2022 - May 31, 2022

Media Arts Gallery

Thinking Hurts Too Much is a slowly scrolling video that incorporates found and manipulated internet footage, creating a panoramic collage of gyrating, pulsing, and writhing characters to expose America’s—and the world’s—desire for the sensational. Cameron Gray pieces together thousands of pop culture images to offer a provocative and poignant depiction of excess and the constant urge to seek new and more extreme visual stimulation. 

The video is an immersive experience that is constantly changing, as your eyes move from one area to the next, dancing across a screen that never stops shifting. In doing so, Gray makes us aware of the passage of time as we witness the reactions of other viewers standing next to us—reminding us of the separation that results from unshared memory.

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Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Dutch, 1606 - 1669. The Rat Catcher, 1632. Etching on paper. 5 1/2 × 4 15/16 in. (14 × 12.5 cm). Gift of The Whiting Foundation through Mr. and Mrs. Donald E. Johnson 1970.15

Out of the Past: Printmaking 15th to 18th Century

April 16, 2022 - June 12, 2022

Graphics Gallery

European printmaking dates to the 1400s, when mills in Germany and Italy made paper more available for everything from playing cards to religious pamphlets. Artists in this early period employed relief printing, primarily woodcuts or wood engravings, but by the early 1500s the intaglio or engraving and etching process became the preferred method, giving artists freer rein to create highly detailed images.

The early 16th century through the 18th century saw the unlimited potential of the print medium, with these works spreading images of people and places across Europe that would have otherwise been unknown or unseen. Prints provided a way for artists to explore a variety of topics, including religion, landscape, satire, everyday life, or imaginary scenes. 

This exhibition highlights works from this intensely creative period, featuring works by Old Masters, including Dürer, Goltzius, Rembrandt, Piranesi, and Hogarth, demonstrating a variety of techniques and subjects.

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Japanese. Bronze Censer, late 19th–early, 20th century. Bronze, 20 3/4 × 11 3/4 in. Gift of Mrs. Guy Blackinton 1938.3

Restrained/Unrestrained

December 18, 2021 - July 17, 2022

Ann K. Walch-Chan Gallery

Featuring objects from around the globe, from ancient to contemporary, this exhibition explores the creative capacity of works made to enclose and hold materials in a wide variety of forms and styles. As these objects demonstrate, the need to design vessels for multiple purposes led to elaborate creations not only in function but visual appeal as well. These designs reflect the artistic expression of the culture and time period in which they were made, sometimes restrained in ornament with subtle details, and other times unrestrained with extravagant and ornate surface decoration. 

While these objects were once a part of daily life, from objects used in ceremonial settings to personal adornment, they have become artworks in their own right. A number of works in this exhibition push the boundaries of containment—acting to simultaneously hold its contents while allowing for a secondary element—like light or smoke—to permeate its walls. In more than 50 objects from the permanent collection, including never-before-seen works, the artistic possibilities of materials, such as clay, glass, and metal, as well as an array of highly skilled techniques, are revealed. 

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