Doug Hall, American. Storm and Stress, 1986. 48:00 minutes. Image courtesy of the Video Data Bank, www.vdb.org

Storm & Stress

June 8, 2018 - June 30, 2018

Media Arts Gallery

Displays of violent weather conditions, electrical storms, tornados, floods, fires, and other eruptions are contrasted and equated with equally awe-inspiring images of technology that harnesses or mimics nature. Pitting the specter of nature against technology in time-lapsed images, this stirring video paints a portrait of the encounter between the constructed and the natural, between human control of power and that which eludes man’s control. 

Exhibition Info


Peter Milton, American, b. 1930. Julia Passing (Second State), 1968. Lift-ground etching and engraving on paper. 18 x 24 inches. Gift of the Estate of Irving Leonard Finkelstein, 2016.156. © 2018 Peter Milton / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

In Search of Lost Time: Peter Milton Prints

April 21, 2018 - July 15, 2018

Graphics Gallery

Be sure not to miss this exhibition of works by master printmaker Peter Milton. While Milton began his career as a painter, he turned to etching and engraving in the 1960s. Testing positive for color deficiency in 1962 also influenced his decision to work exclusively in black and white. According to the artist, “I relish drawing and the craft of engraving, and […] everything […]—dramatis personae, details, architecture—is drawn by hand. During the first, planning phase of the image, I construct an initial collage, and I do find a photocopier useful at that point for enlarging and reducing elements. But in the next phase I modify and change these elements quite intentionally in a drawing which serves as the basis for the finished print.”

In Search of Lost Time is the title of a 2006 print by Milton, which comes from an English translation of French author Marcel Proust’s monumental novel À la recherche du temps perdu, published between 1913 and 1927. As the title of the exhibition, it fittingly alludes to the enigmatic and fantastical narratives for which Milton is known in his elaborately detailed, large-scale etchings. Combining the real and surreal, Milton places photographic rendering of figures amidst soft-focused, ethereal atmospheres that seem like a dream. 

The Graphics Gallery is sponsored by


Exhibition Info


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

Release

April 21, 2018 - May 21, 2018

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.

Exhibition Info


Cameron Gray, Swiss, b. 1980. Thinking Hurts Too Much (detail), 2013. Video, monitor and media player. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2013.63

Thinking Hurts Too Much

March 1, 2018 - April 20, 2018

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 eye moves from one area to the next, dancing across a screen that never stops moving. 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.

Exhibition Info


Ntombephi “Induna” Ntobela, My Sea, My Sister, My Tears, 2011. Glass beads sewn onto fabric. 24 x 24 ⅜ inches

Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence

January 21, 2018 - March 31, 2018

Hodge Galleries

This exhibition showcases a new form of bead art, the ndwango (which translates to “cloth”), developed by a community of women living and working together in rural South Africa. The Ubuhle artists use black fabric, reminiscent of the headscarves and skirts they wore growing up, as a canvas for intricate beaded works of art. Ubuhle [pronounced Ub-Buk-lay] means “beauty” in the Xhosa and Zulu languages, and eloquently describes the shimmering quality of light on glass that is present in the ndwangos.

Ubhule Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence was developed by the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, Washington, DC in cooperation with Curators Bev Gibson, Ubuhle Beads, and James Green, and is organized for tour by International Arts and Artists.

Exhibition Info


Utagawa Hiroshige, Japanese, 1797–1858. Harbor Scene, early–mid 19th century. Woodblock on paper. 13 1/4 x 8 3/4 inches. Gift of Mrs. Ralph Harman Booth, 1942.8

Rhythms and Experiences: Everyday Life in 19th-century Japanese Prints

January 13, 2018 - April 15, 2018

Graphics Gallery

This exhibition of Japanese prints, mostly from the 19th century, takes viewers into the quiet rhythms and familiar habits of the everyday. Japanese art and life were focused on telling stories about ordinary people. The prints feature numerous themes from both urban and country life, including pilgrimages to sacred sites, going to the theatre, and undertaking difficult journeys. Ranging from brothels to sacred mountains, Japan’s art of this time documents a look into their life and culture. Guest curator Dr. Sarah Lippert presents a lecture on the exhibition on March 14 at 6:00p in the FIA Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

The Graphics Gallery is sponsored by


Exhibition Info


Kawita Vatanajyankur

Thai, b. 1987

The Scale 2, 2015

2:46 minutes

Courtesy of the artist

The Scale 2

January 1, 2018 - January 31, 2018

Kawita Vatanajyankur’s art offers a powerful examination of the psychological, social, and cultural ways of viewing and valuing the continuing challenges of women’s everyday labor. In her videos, the artist undertakes physical experiments that playfully, often painfully, test her body’s limits—a challenge that is both unavoidably compelling and perplexing to watch. 

The repetitive and arduous tasks that Vatanajyankur performs parody a pervasive slippage between human and machine, and spotlight the forgotten body within a technologically accelerating world. Beyond this literal translation, these gestures also make visible the invisible mechanisms that govern women’s everyday labor in her birthplace of Thailand. It is a place where, for many, daily chores aren’t always assisted by machines but are time-consuming, physically exhausting, and often the task of women.

It is telling that she describes her performances as “meditation postures,” when such grueling tests of resilience are the opposite of what might be considered Zen. But, for Vatanajyankur, extreme physical endurance offers a way to free herself from her mind: a mechanism to lose her sense of being. This deliberate objectification, she says, turns her body into sculpture. The Scale 2 and Squeezers explores the limitations of our bodies, the continuing challenges of mundane labor, and the ongoing tasks for feminism in a globalized and digitally networked world. 

Exhibition Info


Nina McNeely

MORPH, 2014

American, b. 1983

3:39 minutes

Courtesy of the artist

MORPH

December 1, 2017 - December 30, 2017

MORPH is a playful and visually spellbinding performance by choreographer and animator Nina McNeely. Through the use of projection mapping and synchronized movements, she is transformed into a colorful array of creatures and characters. Inspired by the concept of shape-shifting in both folklore and contemporary culture, MORPH journeys through surrealist pop, a mythical animal kingdom, and into a divine realm of apparitions and deities. This piece narrows the line between dreams and reality while inviting the viewer to be transported back into a childlike state of innocence where color is omnipresent, time is nonlinear and illusion is endless. 

Credits 

Animation  Nina McNeely
Choreography  Nina McNeely
Music  Robbie Williamson and Anna Sitko
Costume  Sara Sachs and Briana Gonzales

Exhibition Info


Jason Mitcham

Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise, 2010

American, b. 1979

4:20 minutes 

Music by the Avett Brothers

Courtesy of the artist

Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise

November 1, 2017 - November 30, 2017

Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise, described as a moving painting, explores notions of temporality, evolution, and modernity. Artist Jason Mitcham made 2,600 alterations to a single canvas to produce this stop-motion video. Creating in this way becomes less about the final painting and more about the evolution of the narrative. According to Mitcham, the purpose of each brushstroke “is to bridge the one before it and the one that will follow it. More than likely it will be overlayed later on, by other marks needed to tell another part of the story. The painting must be allowed to destroy itself in order to become itself. This correlates to the concepts within the work, and the video excavates the painting, allowing its history and narrative to be revealed.”

View the making of Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise.

Exhibition Info


Victor Rodriguez

Mexican, born 1970

Anatomy, 1997

Acrylic on canvas

78 × 116 in. (198.1 × 294.6 cm)

Gift of the Friends of Modern Art 1998.6

Size Matters: Big and Small Works from the FIA Collection

September 16, 2017 - December 30, 2017

Hodge Galleries

Scale (or size) is one of the most effective ways to visually communicate an idea. While an oversized painting may envelop our field of vision, a small one requires us to look more closely. Because we often consider the size of an object relative to our own bodies, things that are very large may have a different impact than those that are very small. Size Matters: Big and Small Works from the FIA Collection gives us the opportunity to ask ourselves how scale shapes the way we experience artwork.  

The work’s relationship to the viewer is not the only thing taken into consideration when determining the size of a work of art. Artists must also grapple with the practical issues of scale. Large works require large studio and storage spaces, can be difficult to transport, and are usually more expensive to make. Small works require patience, a steady hand, and visual acuity in order to depict the illusion of space and perspective. Finding the right equipment and tools to render minute details poses potential issues for artists working in small scale. As viewers, we often take for granted the challenges and decisions the artist must make before applying paintbrush to canvas. 

This exhibition—featuring 24 artworks that date from the late 18th century to the 21st century—allows you to see works in the FIA’s collection in a new way, realizing that for an artist, whether it’s a material manifestation or ideological expression, size always matters.

Exhibition Info


William Stolpin

American, 1942–2017

William Stolpin, 2004

Screenprint on paper

26 x 20 inches

Promised gift of the artist

The Eccentric Vision of William Stolpin

September 16, 2017 - January 7, 2018

Graphics Gallery

Well-known local artist William (Bill) Stolpin knew he wanted to explore the possibilities of printmaking in junior high school. One year, he made a linoleum block Christmas card that had seven different blocks and 15 colors, a highly technical project for a novice printmaker. He became well-versed in all printmaking techniques, but focused his career on screen printing, relief, intaglio, and lithographic artworks. His subjects were as varied as his techniques. He explored everything from nature and abstraction to fantasy and outer space. Twenty-nine works from the artist’s prolific career are on display in The Eccentric Vision of William Stolpin

Exhibition Info


William Kidd, American, b. 1961. Crusty Vase, 2003. Earthenware. Promised gift of Sidney Swidler

The Art of Containment – Vessels from the Sidney Swidler Collection

September 16, 2017 - March 18, 2018

Ann K. Walch-Chan Gallery

Don’t miss the final days of this exhibition featuring over 40 vessels made by local, national, and international contemporary ceramicists. Each object is part of a large collection recently gifted to the FIA by ceramics collector Sidney Swidler. He has collected ceramics since 1984 and his gift of more than 100 works is an important addition to the museum’s permanent collection.

Exhibition Info


Alex Hubbard. “The Border, The Ship,” 2011. Courtesy of the artist and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.

The Border, The Ship

September 16, 2017 - October 31, 2017

Alex Hubbard’s videos involve carefully choreographed and dynamically composed experimentation with objects, paint, and deconstruction. The Border, The Ship seamlessly blends layers of activity in a reality-defying vision. It is a moving collage of sorts, showing various disjointed objects interacting in front of a white backdrop. Avoiding a single point of focus, Hubbard constructs his videos in layers where movement is multi-directional, time is non-linear, and narrative is convoluted.

Exhibition Info


Flint Youth Media Project

July 1, 2017 - July 31, 2017

In conjunction with the Flint Youth Film Festival, the FIA will exhibit several works by young, local filmmakers throughout July. The Flint Youth Media Project introduces the art of filmmaking to people ages 13–25 and to 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, the public, and professional filmmakers and screenwriters.

Exhibition Info


Hans Alexander Mueller

American, b. Germany, 1888–1962

Self-Portrait, ca. 1950

Woodcut on paper

15 7/8 x 11 1/8 inches

Gift of Mr. Jack B. Pierson, FIA 1985.25


Self-Expression: University of Michigan-Flint Student Organized Exhibition

May 13, 2017 - July 30, 2017

Graphics Gallery

When artists create self-portraits, they reveal more than just their likenesses. Self-portraits are often windows into artistic psyches, giving viewers a glimpse at how artists see themselves or wish to be seen. In a self-portrait, an artist materializes the abstract and internal on paper, deliberately choosing how to present themself. Self-portraits merge the artist’s objective physical likeness with a subjective and self-composed portrayal of their identity. Self-Expression is a selection of 20th-century self-portraits on paper drawn from the FIA’s permanent collection, including woodcuts, lithographs, and etchings. The styles of self-presentation vary widely, featuring realistic to surreal portrayals, in serious to playful, and straightforward to complex approaches. Carefully constructed, and as individual as the artists who created them, these self-portraits explore intersections of self and artistic identity.

This exhibition is organized and curated by University of Michigan-Flint students enrolled in Dr. Sarah Lippert’s Museum Studies course. The students developed, researched, and curated the exhibition.

The Graphics Gallery is sponsored by


Exhibition Info


Auguste Rodin

French, 1840 – 1917

Large Hand of a Pianist, modeled 1885; Musée Rodin, cast 9 in 1969

Bronze

7 1/4 × 10 × 4 7/8 in. (18.4 ×25.4 × 12.4 cm)

Lent by Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation

Rodin: The Human Experience – Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections

May 6, 2017 - July 30, 2017

Hodge Galleries

In commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the death of sculptor Auguste Rodin (French, 1840–1917), the Flint Institute of Arts presents Rodin: The Human Experience/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections. At the peak of his career, Rodin was regarded as the greatest sculptor since Michelangelo. Leaving behind 19th-century academic traditions, Rodin focused on conveying the vitality of the human spirit. His vigorous modeling emphasized his personal response to the subject, and he captured movement and emotion by altering traditional poses and gestures. Rodin’s sculpture is often considered a crucial link between traditional and modern art.

Rodin: The Human Experience showcases over more than 45 bronze sculptures from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections, from small-scale to monumental works. Included are some of the artist’s best-known pieces, such as studies for his monuments to Balzac and The Burghers of Calais, works from The Gates of Hell, and portraits of well-known people, like writer Victor Hugo and artist Claude Lorraine.

Between 1945 and the early 1990s, B. Gerald Cantor (1916–1996) and his wife, Iris, created the world’s largest and most comprehensive private collection of works by Auguste Rodin. Over 500 objects from the Cantor Collection have been donated to the Cantor Foundation, as well as to more than 100 museums worldwide, including the FIA.

This exhibition has been organized and made possible by the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation

Check out this video » Plaster, Mold, Wax, & Fire The Lost Wax Casting Process


Exhibition Info


Video courtesy of the artist and Mark Moore Fine Art

Mound

May 1, 2017 - June 30, 2017

2011, Allison Schulnik, American b. 1978, 4:23 minutes

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. 

Schulnik 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. 

Exhibition Info


Courtesy of the artist.

Madame Perfetti & the Tree

April 1, 2017 - April 30, 2017

Laetitia Hohenberg, American, b. 1962, 4:04 minutes

“Madame Perfetti is a person I visit. She has dementia. My piece is a replica of the space we both share. It is a suspended moment; an exquisite present lived at a glance, with no past or future.”    

    — Laetitia Hohenberg

Exhibition Info


Image courtesy of the artist.

Civitas

March 1, 2017 - March 31, 2017

Jacek Jerzy Kolasinski, Polish, 2004, 7:07 minutes, Museum purchase, FIA 2006.81

Jacek Jerzy Kolasinski’s installations are rooted in the experience of growing up in two worlds: the “Old World” of Krakow, Poland, and the “New World” of the United States. The search for identity in the vortex of cultural displacement surfaces often in his work. Civitas is a small-scale re-creation of a medieval town destroyed by fire. It serves as a parable describing the devaluation of various social institutions like religion and family. The dilapidated buildings are emblematic of urban decline. The projected images are captured, transmitted, and transformed by a small video camera situated in the center of the installation. This imagery gives the impression of an anonymous explorer documenting the ruins in the heart of an unnamed village devastated by some unknown disaster.

Exhibition Info


Paul Peter Piech
American, 1920–1996
Star Wars Terrorism, 1985
Linocut on paper 
30 x 21 1/16 inches
Gift of Mr. Jack B. Pierson, FIA 1986.12.2

Reaction: The Art of Social Commentary

February 4, 2017 - May 7, 2017

Graphics Gallery

In the 1930s, works on paper showing scenes of union organization, racial violence, fascism, and other political and social issues became more prevalent. Artists used the print medium as a tool of social commentary, creating the artistic and political movement called Social Realism. The Social Realism movement often used art as a tool to expose the struggle of the working class.

Although some of the issues have changed, artists still create imagery that expresses their opinion and comments on social, political, and economic subjects. Some have faced intense criticism for their art while others have been commended for their courage. This exhibition examines works by Social Realist artists such as Hugo Gellert, George Grosz, and Ben Shahn, as well as contemporary social activist artists such as Sue Coe, Andy Warhol, Rupert Garcia, and David Wojnarowicz. 

Exhibition Info