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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Asya Reznikov, American, born Russia, 1973. Mapping: 23 minutes, 23 tongues. Single channel, looped video. 23 minutes. Museum purchase, 2007.142

Mapping

April 1, 2022 - April 30, 2022

Media Arts Gallery

Asya Reznikov’s work explores how culture, tradition, language, and a sense of home shape and define our identity, as well as the ways immigration, emigration, and travel alter that identity. Mapping records Reznikov writing the names of the seven continents in 23 languages to form the world map. As a childhood political refugee, she is particularly aware of her cultural identity. The imagery is inspired by the myth of the Tower of Babel, personal experience, and data about contemporary language extinction. Reznikov’s use of languages is also an examination of the experience of both otherness and perception.

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Sam Jury, English, born 1969. All Things Being Equal, 2009. Single channel, looped video. 11 minutes, 58 seconds. Gift of Cynthia Griffin, 2016.3

All Things Being Equal

March 1, 2022 - March 31, 2022

Media Arts Gallery

All Things Being Equal is a looped video that explores the notion of suspended trauma. Through the visual tool of mass media, the artist shows how traumatic incidents from the past can repeat and replay, offering the viewer a shared experience. This video depicts the repetitive movements of a figure in confinement, beleaguered by water, an element both destructive and sustaining. Here the water moves almost as an independent agency, and the figure is neither suffocating nor surviving.

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Nicolas Provost, Belgian, born 1969. Suspension, 2007. 4:50 minutes. B&W and color, silent. Courtesy of Video Data Bank, www.vdb.org, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Suspension

February 1, 2022 - February 28, 2022

Media Arts Gallery

Letting go of realist constraints, this sequence of mirror-images dives into a cosmic ocean of ever-metamorphosing baroque circumvolutions in which our minds try to capture reassuring forms before letting the ghostly demons blur our vision. The work of Nicolas Provost walks the fine line between dualities, balancing fiction and fine arts, the grotesque and the moving, the beautiful and the cruel. His works provoke both recognition and alienation and succeed in pulling audience expectations into an unraveling game of mystery and abstraction. Time and form are manipulated, cinematographic and narrative language is analyzed, accents are shifted, and new stories are told. 

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Jerry Taliaferro, American, born 1953. Omar Batson, 2021. Digital print, 18 x 13 inches. 2021.89 

Sons: Seeing the Modern African American Male

January 22, 2022 - April 16, 2022

Henry Gallery Hodge Gallery

Listen to the audio tour of the Sons exhibition online

Sons: Seeing the Modern African American Male features black-and-white and color photographs by Jerry Taliaferro of 49 men from the Flint community. This exhibition is much more than a photographic study, as it also aims to explore perceptions and biases. In Taliaferro’s words, “Recent events point to the urgent need for conversations about the contemporary Black American male. Any effort, however humble, to foster an understanding of this largely misunderstood and often marginalized segment of the American population is of utmost importance.” 

For his subjects, Taliaferro photographed men who were nominated by the community in early 2021. The resulting images are divided into two sections: first a black-and-white photograph of just their face, and then later in the exhibition a photograph in color, where the subjects were instructed to “be themselves.” Visitors will have the opportunity to reflect and reconcile their initial reactions to the portraits, after getting to know the men and their stories through text labels and QR codes that lead to interviews conducted by the artist. 

This exhibition marks both the return of Jerry Taliaferro to Flint and the fifth anniversary of Women of a New Tribe, a popular exhibition that featured 49 black-and-white photographs by Taliaferro of women from the Flint community. 

An accompanying exhibition catalogue is available for purchase in the Museum Shop.


Sponsored by

Community Foundation of Greater Flint logo

McCombs Family Flint Non-Endowed Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint


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Ed Watkins, American, born 1950. Preach Jennings, 2021. Mixed media drawing, 29 x 36 in.

Drawing from Life: Ed Watkins

January 15, 2022 - April 10, 2022

Graphics Gallery

For almost 40 years, Flint native Ed Watkins has taught visual arts and design, which emphasizes the importance of observational skills practiced in life drawing classes. For Watkins, however, “drawing from life” is not just a necessary technical skill but is how he defines his practice, using his personal observations and life experiences to guide what he creates. This exhibition includes drawing and mixed media artworks that are inspired by the artist’s African American experience, exemplifying moments of reflection, celebration, healing, and despair. According to Watkins, “While some Black artists desire to be referred to simply as an artist, I have always desired to make my Black experience the center of my practice as a fine artist.”

Ed Watkins received his Bachelor and Master in Education degrees from Bowling Green State University. Watkins is a retired adjunct instructor at Mott Community College, having taught classes in visual arts and design.

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Bill Viola, American, born 1951. Reverse Television–Portraits of Viewers (Compilation Tape), 1984. 15 minutes. Color, sound. Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

Reverse Television–Portraits of Viewers (Compilation Tape)

January 1, 2022 - January 31, 2022

Media Arts Gallery

Bill Viola inverts the position and gaze of the television viewer in a series of 44 portraits of individuals sitting at home in their living rooms, staring silently at the static camera as though it were a TV set. Produced specifically for broadcast television, the original one-minute segments of over 40 subjects from the Boston area were intended as unannounced inserts during the daily programming schedule. Viola essentially subverts the time and space of broadcast television, as the extended duration of these real-time portraits interrupts the spatial and temporal field of TV scheduling, like edits. Writes Viola, “Two classical poses emerge in this work­—the formal photographic portrait and the posture of the private television viewer at home. The work momentarily inverts the classical TV/viewer relationship, and television becomes a medium of reverse portraiture.”

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Joan Bankemper, American, born 1959. Pimlico, 2018. Manufactured and cast porcelain, 41 1/2 × 37 × 10 in. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment 2018.56

Steeped in Tradition

October 23, 2021 - March 20, 2022

Harris - Burger Gallery

After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world and it plays a profound role in many cultures. Over 2 billion cups are consumed per day worldwide. Because of this, teaware—objects related to the consumption of tea—has been a popular outlet for artistic expression. This exhibition includes contemporary teapots, tea bowls, cups and saucers and other tea-related objects from the museum’s permanent collection. Whether they are intended to be fully functional, ornamental, or somewhere in between, these artworks showcase the endless possibilities for creativity in teaware.

Teapots (along with other teaware in this exhibition) can hold clues to history, cultural and societal practices, identity, and self-expression. Many contemporary artists are drawn to them not only for their important place in the history of ceramics but also for the technical challenge. Making a teapot requires mastery of many techniques and is somewhat a rite of passage for many artists working in clay. Elements like the handle can be handbuilt, one of the oldest techniques for working with clay, while the body and spout could be produced on the potter’s wheel, all of which takes practice and skill. While some artists prefer to create functional teapots, others adapt the form with no intention of it ever being used.

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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

Based in New York City, Yigal Ozeri is an Israeli artist best known for his meticulously crafted large-scale images of women in lush landscapes. These works have the appearance of photographs, but they are actually paintings. In varying degrees, painters have been using the camera or photograph to inform their work since the medium was invented in the mid-19th century. Typically the use of the camera was disguised or alluded to only in stylistic terms. In the late 1960s, however, artists in California and New York began to deliberately reference the photograph in their works by making the paintings look exactly like a photograph, re-creating sharp precise details, alongside fuzzy, out-of-focus elements. This movement in art was called Photorealism.

 In the 21st century, Yigal Ozeri is taking Photorealism in new directions. In his choice of subject matter, he employs intricate, realistic brushwork to create a narrative that blurs the lines between what is real and fantasy. He uses the medium of digital photography and processes the image on a computer until he arrives at the desired image, which he then carefully creates on canvas using a brush and paint. Brush with Reality offers highlights from the last decade of Ozeri’s works, from his first depiction of Priscilla in the jungles of Costa Rica in 2007 to his latest series that captures people on the streets of New York City. Ozeri has shown his work around the world, with several solo exhibitions in Europe, Mexico, and China.

Sponsored by

    Friends of Modern Art

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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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