Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Swiss, b. 1952 and 1946–2012. The Way Things Go, 1987. Video. Image courtesy of the Artists.

The Way Things Go

December 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021

Media Arts Gallery

In a warehouse, artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss build a structure made from common household items. The film enlists an assortment of objects, including tires and chairs, as components in a domino-like chain reaction. Then, using fire, water, gravity, and chemistry, they create a self-destructing performance of precisely crafted chaos. 

The film’s humor lies in the deliberate misuse of these objects, as they are co-opted into performing roles outside their normal function, reminiscent of silent films. In the film, the actors are steaming kettles mounted on roller skates, rickety stepladders, buckets, bottles, and planks.

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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

November 1, 2021 - November 30, 2021

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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Neha Vedpathak, Indian, born 1982. Loop 2, 2021. Plucked Japanese handmade paper, acrylic paint, thread, acrylic polymer. 36 1/2 x 29 1/2 in. Courtesy of the artist

Time (Constant, Suspended, Collapsed): Neha Vedpathak

October 9, 2021 - January 9, 2022

Graphics Gallery

This exhibition features works by Detroit-based artist Neha Vedpathak. Using a push-pin, Vedpathak meticulously separated the fibers of hand-made Japanese paper, creating a dimensional lace-like fabric, which she then manipulates by painting, sewing, and collaging. 

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Frank Heath, American, born 1982. The Hollow Coin, 2016. 12:25 minutes. Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.

The Hollow Coin

October 1, 2021 - October 31, 2021

Media Arts Gallery

The Hollow Coin explores roles of authority in public space and the intersection of personal and historical narratives. The video combines documentary footage of New York City’s rapidly disappearing network of payphones with audio of a covertly recorded telephone exchange between an actor and an unknowing bystander. In the surreptitiously captured conversation, an attempted “information leak” is infused with an absurd story and a historical anecdote. The work’s title refers to a Soviet spy who was apprehended in 1953 after mistakenly paying his newspaper delivery boy with a hollow coin that contained a microfilm of an encrypted message. Throughout the video a parallel sequence of events reveals that images from the video itself have been stored on an SD card concealed within a hollow coin and inserted into the payphone from which the call was made.

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Yigal Ozeri, Israeli, born 1958. Untitled; Olya, 2015. Oil on canvas, 54 × 80 in. Collection of Louis K. and Susan P. Meisel

​Brush with Reality: Yigal Ozeri

September 25, 2021 - January 2, 2022

Henry Gallery Hodge Gallery

Don’t miss the final days of Brush with Reality: Yigal Ozeri, which highlights the last 14 years of Ozeri’s works, from his intricate portraits to his scenes of the streets of New York.

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Takeshi Murata, American, born 1974. Melter 2, 2003. 3:50 minutes. Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

Melter 2

September 1, 2021 - September 30, 2021

Media Arts Gallery

Takeshi Murata creates digital works that refigure the experience of animation. His innovative practice and constantly evolving processes range from intricate computer-aided, hand-drawn animations to exacting manipulations of the flaws, defects, and broken code in digital video technology. Whether altering appropriated footage from cinema, or creating Rorschach-like fields of seething color, form, and motion, Murata produces astonishing visions that redefine the boundaries between abstraction and recognition. In Melter 2, Murata has used image-making software to create a fluid, ever-changing scene. Exploring formal tropes of melting, rippling, and bubbling, Murata’s abstract experiment in hypnotic perception is at once organic and digital.

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Flint Youth Film Festival

August 1, 2021 - August 31, 2021

Media Arts Gallery

In conjunction with the Flint Youth Media Project, the FIA will exhibit the award winners of the 2021 Flint Youth Film Festival. 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.

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Bo Bartlett, American, born 1955. Serena Sleeping, 2014. Graphite on paper. Framed: 23 x 26 1/2 in. (58.4 x 67.3 cm). The Collection of Bo Bartlett and Betsy Eby

Bo Bartlett: Forty Years of Drawing

July 17, 2021 - October 3, 2021

Graphics Gallery

This exhibition presents graphite drawings and gouache paintings spanning 40 years of Bo Bartlett’s career (from 1976 to 2016). Bartlett is an American realist with a modernist vision, and his artwork celebrates both the commonplace and the extraordinary. According to Bartlett, “The purpose of art is to wake up—to wake up to the numinous now, to the great unfolding of the mysterious universe that we are one with.” These works reveal an intimate peek into a side of the artist’s life and oeuvre that is rarely seen by the public. The works in this exhibition, created as studies for his paintings, are an inside look into the artistic process—and are themselves individual works. Educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Bartlett pushes the boundaries of the realist tradition with his multilayered images. Family and friends are the cast of characters that appear in his dreamlike works, some revealing intimate scenes between two people and others singular portraits.

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Peggy Ahwesh, American, b. 1954. Warm Objects, 2007. 6 minutes. Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

Warm Objects

July 1, 2021 - July 31, 2021

Warm Objects was produced by Peggy Ahwesh in close collaboration with the engineering research center MIRTHE (Mid-InfraRed Technologies for Health and the Environment), an organization dedicated to the development of optical trace gas sensing systems. Utilizing MIRTHE’s imaging technology, scenes of everyday incidents are transformed by infrared photography into glimpses of our world through an alien lens. Two insertions of on-screen text betray the artist’s ominous implications. The first is a meditation on Rudyard Kipling’s oft-quoted “Truth is the first casualty of war,” while the second takes the form of a hastily crafted e-mail, suggesting that its author has become withdrawn and pessimistic out of fear of some pending disaster. Warm Objects is a portrait of the world in uncertain and paranoid times. 

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Bing & Grøndahl, Danish, founded 1853. Vase, 1899-1900. Porcelain, 14 15/16 × 7 1/16 in. (38 × 18 cm)

Art Nouveau Innovation: Danish Porcelain from an American Collector

June 12, 2021 - November 28, 2021

Ann K. Walch-Chan Gallery

Don’t miss the final weeks of this dazzling exhibition. It features 75 ceramics that represent the Art Nouveau style of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This period was revolutionary for Danish porcelain manufacturers Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grøndahl. Like many Art Nouveau artists, the designers and painters of these companies reflected an interest in the natural world and cultures from around the globe. Their influence reached across Europe and created an international market for Danish porcelain. The objects in this exhibition, amassed over two generations, are from a private collection that spans nearly 250 years of Danish porcelain.

This exhibition was organized by the Museum of Danish America, Elk Horn, Iowa. 

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Zach Blas, American, b. 1981. Contra-Internet Inversion Practice #3: Modeling Paranodal Space, 2016. 3:02 minutes. Image copyright of the artist, courtesy of Video Data Bank, www.vdb.org, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Contra-Internet Inversion Practice #3: Modeling Paranodal Space

June 1, 2021 - June 30, 2021

Media Arts Gallery

Modeling Paranodal Space is part three of Zach Blas’s Contra-Internet Inversion Practice series. Contra-Internet Inversion Practice confronts the transformation of the internet into an instrument for state oppression and accelerated capitalism. Invoking a practice of utopian plagiarism, Contra-Internet Inversion Practice experiments with queer and feminist methods to speculate on internet futures and network alternatives. Blas is an artist, filmmaker, and writer whose practice spans technical investigation, theoretical research, conceptualism, performance, and science fiction. He is a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London.

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Boris Lovet-Lorski, American, born Lithuania, 1894 - 1973. Sieglinde, 1930s. Carved plaster with ebony-like finish, 10 3/8 × 5 1/2 × 2 in. (26.4 × 14 × 5.1 cm). Bequest of Mary Mallery Davis 1990.53

3D: Focus on the Figure

May 8, 2021 - August 29, 2021

Hodge Gallery

Although the method and final product may look different, the concept of the human form has been providing sculptors with inspiration for thousands of years. In Western art, the human form has evolved from ancient Greek mythology to religious subjects, to figures that are highly abstracted. As some sculptors in the 20th century opted to turn away from recognizable imagery to begin experimenting with new materials and more expressionistic representations. Traditionally artists worked in materials like metal, stone or clay; however, contemporary artists began to use a variety of materials like glass resin or found objects, as their primary medium. This exhibition explores the rich history of depicting the figure in three dimensions with sculptures spanning over five centuries.


View related exhibition: 3D: Focus on the Abstract


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Claes Oldenburg, American, born Sweden, born 1929. Geometric Mouse, Scale C, 1971. Anodized aluminum, 19 × 20 × 13 in. (48.3 × 50.8 × 33 cm). Gift of Dr. Bernard J. and Arlene D. Harris 1991.30

3D: Focus on the Abstract

May 8, 2021 - August 29, 2021

Henry Gallery

At the turn of the 20th century, the concept of abstract art began to gain traction as artists explored making images that were not based on recognizable forms found in nature. Artists no longer felt the need to imitate the world but rather explored how they could express their emotions through abstract concepts and forms. The artists in this exhibition used a wide range of materials, techniques and concepts, moving away from realistic representation toward abstraction, embracing movements such as Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism, Constructivism, and Kinetic art.


View related exhibition: 3D: Focus on the Figure


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Leana R. Quade, American, b. 1979. Release, 2016. 3:58 seconds. Courtesy of the artist.

Release

May 1, 2021 - May 31, 2021

Media Arts Gallery

Evoking stress, tension, anxiety, and amazement, the video performance Release pushes glass—and the viewer’s nerves—to extremes. Artist Leana Quade reveals the amazing proprieties of glass while mimicking feelings one may have when approaching a simple, yet terrifying task. Using a sheet of tempered glass, a ratchet strap, and nerves of steel to slowly bend a sheet of glass until it explodes, the process as well as the result was more intense and terrifying than she anticipated. Excitement turns to anxiety within the simple process of clicking a ratchet strap. The viewer shares the dread and nervousness of the artist, watching as she struggles every click of the way.

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Robert Arrington, American, born 1950. Self-Portrait, 1985. Etching and silkscreen on paper. 12 13/16 x 9 15/16 inches. Gift of Mr. Jack B. Pierson, 1986.3

Political and Personal: Images of Gay Identity

April 17, 2021 - July 11, 2021

Graphics Gallery

This exhibition features 24 works donated by Flint native Jack B. Pierson. Drawing on Pierson’s experience as a gay man, Political and Personal: Images of Gay Identity sheds light on the important role sexual identity played in informing his collecting habits. Highlighting the work of several well-known and lesser-known gay artists and works by heterosexual artists, this exhibition captures the multi-dimensional nature of gay identity in the 20th century.

Pierson was employed by General Motors following World War II and later moved to Long Island with his life-long partner, Robert Martin Purcell. In 1976, following Purcell’s death, Pierson began donating his print collection to the FIA and continued to collect and donate additional works until his death in 1997. Among the hundreds of prints that Pierson collected, several focused on public identity, social activism, as well as gay love and attraction.

View the Exhibition Catalogue

Support provided by

IFPDA Foundation

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John Miller, American, born 1966. Box O' Curlys, 2020. Hot sculpted glass and steel, 12 × 12 × 4 in. (30.5 × 30.5 × 10.2 cm). Courtesy of the artist.

Blue Plate Special

April 10, 2021 - September 26, 2021

Harris - Burger Gallery

Although summer BBQ season is winding down, you can still enjoy the experience of a juicy burger and ice cold soda in Blue Plate Special. John Miller’s oversized glass food is a feast for your eyes. Not only do Miller’s subjects represent staples of American cuisine, they offer a sense of nostalgia for roadside diners and their neon signs, glistening chrome tables, and comforting food.

Sponsored by

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Jake Fried, American. Down Into Nothing, 2013. 1 minute. Hand-drawn animation with ink, gouache, white-out, and coffee. Courtesy of the artist.

Down Into Nothing

April 1, 2021 - April 30, 2021

Media Arts Gallery

Using ink, gouache, white-out, and even coffee, Jake Fried creates hallucinatory vistas by modifying and shooting the same image over and over again. The result is a mind-bending animation at a frenzied pace. Beginning his career as a painter, Jake Fried was drawn to the process of layering and modifying images, which led him to pursue animation. Fried is an instructor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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Leslie Thornton, American, b. 1951. Binocular Menagerie, 2014. 2:50 minutes

Binocular Menagerie

March 1, 2021 - March 31, 2021

Media Arts Gallery

In Binocular Menagerie, Thornton plays with vision, perception, and transformation. A series of images of animals—a virtual menagerie of birds, reptiles, and mammals—is framed within a format of two circular windows. Each animal's movements on the left are remapped into an elegant abstraction on the right, transforming the "real" into a digital kaleidoscope. In this unexpectedly profound meditation on the minutiae of perception, the smallest shift in the animal's movement ripples into resonant motion, multiplied, recast, and folded back upon itself. Thornton's manipulations intensify the viewer's focus, offering revelatory ways of seeing and perceiving the ordinary that is both strange and beautiful.

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Renee Cox, American, born 1960. Chillin’ with Liberty, 1998. Archival digital print. 39 3/4 x 29 3/4 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Posing Beauty in African American Culture

January 31, 2021 - April 18, 2021

Hodge Gallery Henry Gallery

Posing Beauty in African American Culture explores the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and contemporary contexts. The exhibition does this by presenting a diverse range of media including photography, video, fashion, advertising, and other forms of popular culture. The first of three thematic sections, “Constructing a Pose,” considers the interplay between the historical and the contemporary, between self-representation and imposed representation, and the relationship between subject and photographer. The second section, “Body and Image,” questions the ways in which our contemporary understanding of beauty has been constructed and framed through the body. The last section, “Modeling Beauty & Beauty Contests,” invites us to reflect upon the ambiguities of beauty, its impact on mass culture and individuals, and how the display of beauty affects the ways in which we see and interpret the world and ourselves.

Jack Willson Thompson Fund and the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Program Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint 

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Allison Schulnik, American, born 1978. Mound. 4:23 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.

Mound

January 1, 2021 - January 31, 2021

In Mound, Allison Schulnik creates an alternate world where over 100 hand-sculpted and sewn figures morph with fluid movements. Their bodies dance and sway in a melancholic fashion to the haunting 1969 recording of It’s Raining Today by Scott Walker. The artist uses traditional stop-motion techniques, shooting each image frame by frame, without the use of special effects or digital manipulation. Comprising over 6,000 frames, the film took nearly eight months to create. Schulnik received a BFA in experimental animation from the California Institute of the Arts. In addition to art making, she has a background in dance and music.

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