Karel Appel, Dutch, 1921–2006. Floating Face, 1969. Lithograph on paper. 21 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches. Gift from the Collection of Myron and Barbara Levine, 2018.79. © 2019 Karel Appel Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / c/o Pictoright Amsterdam

Harmony in Expression: The Myron and Barbara Levine Print Collection

October 19, 2019 - January 12, 2020

Graphics Gallery

This exhibition highlights the recent gifts of Myron and Barbara Ruth Levine, who, as collectors, acquired works that held expressive meaning for them. Many of the artists were part of a group in the late 1940s called CoBrA (taken from the first letters of the cities in which they lived: Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam), including three of the movement’s founders, Karel Appel, Asger Jorn, and Guillaume Corneille, who are featured in this exhibition. CoBrA artists were interested in automatism—the act of creating art without conscious thought. In their manifesto, the group stated that they practiced “freedom of color and form.” Other CoBrA artists used the idea of the freedom of form and expression in their works.

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Robert Spear Dunning, American, 1829 - 1905. Still life with Apples, Grapes, and Other Fruits, 1868. Oil on canvas. 17 1/4 x 23 1/4 in. (43.8 x 59.1 cm). Manoogian Collection

Visions of American Life: Paintings from the Manoogian Collection, 1850-1940

October 5, 2019 - December 30, 2019

Hodge Gallery

From sweeping landscapes to still-life paintings, the striking images in this exhibition reveal the variety of ways artists envisioned American life. Created between 1850 and 1940, the 40 paintings presented take inspiration from both private and public spaces and capture significant events and places in the country’s history. These works offer a glimpse into American life during this period, allowing viewers to reflect on a time gone by. 

Visions of American Life: Paintings from the Manoogian Collection, 1850-1940 is organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts and made possible by the Richard and Jane Manoogian Collection. This is one in a series of American art exhibitions created through a multi-year, multi-institutional partnership formed by the Detroit Institute of Arts as part of the Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative. Generous support is provided by the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation.

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Robert Riggs, American, 1896–1970. Limestone Kilns, Wyandotte Chemical Company, Michigan, ca. 1947–48. Tempera on panel. 21 3/4 x 26 1/2 inches. Museum purchase with funds from an anonymous donor in honor of Barbara and the late Bruce Mackey, 2011.322


October 5, 2019 - December 30, 2019

Henry Gallery

The development of industry in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries greatly affected artists striving to capture the spirit of the nation by using local subject matter. This exhibition reflects artists’ reactions to the rapid industrial changes, in both straightforward and complex ways. Some artists portrayed these scenes optimistically, such as Robert Riggs and Alexander Levy, who praised the monumentality of the machine. Other artists, such as Arthur Lehmann, portrayed industry in a more critical light, depicting the human and environmental impact as a dark, foreboding presence.

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Greta Alfaro, Spanish, b. 1977. In Ictu Oculi, 2009. 10:37 minutes. Image courtesy of the artist.

In Ictu Oculi

October 1, 2019 - October 31, 2019

Media Arts Gallery

In Ictu Oculi (“in the blink of an eye”) is concerned with the experience of time. The work’s title, which alludes to the brevity of human existence, is shared by a number of vanitas paintings from the 17th century. A dinner table, laden with plates of food and wine bottles, its chairs waiting to be occupied, stands in a semi-mountainous landscape, a breeze flickering its tablecloth. The table’s placement alludes to Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. From out of the blue, vultures descend cautiously, bringing instability to the implied order of the scene. The meal’s duration, and its strange quietness, lend it a human quality. The birds act out a travesty of human vanities: gluttony, selfish aggression, and the coveting of what will quickly pass away.

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 Sarah Meyohas, French-American, b. 1991. Generated Petals Interpolation, 2018. Installation at the Wasserman Projects, Detroit

Generated Petals Interpolation

August 1, 2019 - September 30, 2019

Media Arts Gallery

Using the former Bell Labs complex in New Jersey as her setting, Sarah Meyohas executed her latest performance, Cloud of Petals. Sixteen workers photographed 100,000 individual rose petals, compiling a digital database of their findings. Using the information gathered, the artist developed an artificial intelligence algorithm that generated new, unique petals. Generated Petals Interpolation is the result of this project. The installation features unique and continuously morphing digital flower petals that undulate on the screen.

Made possible by

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Wangechi Mutu, American, born Kenya, born 1972. Second Born, 2013. 24 kt gold, collagraph, relief, digital printing, collage, and hand coloring on paper. 36 x 43 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2015.65

Cut & Paste: The Art of Collage

July 20, 2019 - October 13, 2019

Graphics Gallery

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.

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Philip Haas: The Four Seasons

July 6, 2019 - November 18, 2019

Hurand Sculpture Courtyard

The Four Seasons is a large-scale homage to the Italian Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526–1593), who painted a series of the same name for Habsburg Emperor Maximilian II. Contemporary artist and filmmaker Philip Haas conceptualized the transformation of the portraits from two-dimensional paintings to three-dimensional, 15-foot-tall sculptures. 

As in Arcimboldo’s paintings, the physical features of the four sculpted figures are rendered in botanical forms appropriate to each season. Each sculpture is made up of hundreds of sections. Welders created supporting steel infrastructures for the monumental figures. The museum and Haas’s staff assembled the figures on site over the span of nearly a week.

Exhibition Sponsors

Susie's Hope Fund

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Flint Youth Film Festival

July 1, 2019 - July 31, 2019

Media Arts Gallery

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.

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Jeremy Ross and Drew Kups. Untitled, 2018. Flameworked borosilicate glass, silver, and gold. 6 x 4 inches. Courtesy of the artist. Photography by Jeff Dimarco 

From the Flame: Juried Flamework Exhibition

June 29, 2019 - October 6, 2019

Harris - Burger Gallery

From the Flame is a juried exhibition that showcases the tremendous range and vitality of flamework as an art form. The artists included in this exhibition come from across the country, as near as southeast Michigan and as far as southern California. Some have been in the field for years—working, writing, and teaching— while others are breaking through with innovative concepts and laying the foundation for the next generation. 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.  

Between now and October 6th visit the exhibition and vote for your favorite artwork. You can cast your ballot one time per visit, so stop in often! The winner of the People’s Choice will receive an award as will the juror-selected winners of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

Mark your calendar for the Exhibition Reception on Friday, September 27th from 5:30-8:30pm. The evening will include an awards ceremony, a reception with a cash bar, open museum galleries, and exciting demos in the Hot Shop. This event is FREE and open to the public.  

Participating Artists
• 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
• Tweed
• 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

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Isabelle de Borchgrave, Belgian, born 1946. Mantua, 2011. Mixed media, acrylic, ink, metallic powder and adhesive on paper. 59 x 94 ¼ x 25 inches. Collection of the artist.

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper

June 14, 2019 - September 8, 2019

Hodge Gallery Henry Gallery

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.

Major funding provided by

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Philip Haas, American, born 1954. The Butcher’s Shop, 1987. 7 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.

The Butcher's Shop

June 2, 2019 - June 30, 2019

Media Arts Gallery

The Butcher’s Shop was commissioned by the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas as an homage to their 16th-century Annibale Carracci painting of the same name. Through a series of vivid images presented on a split screen, Philip Haas conjures up the world of the butchers, the world of the artist, and the encounter that led to the painting. The images on one screen show the scene in the Carracci painting: two butchers working amid wooden trellises with iron spikes and hooks from which hang animal carcasses. On the other screen, we see the opposite side of the shop, a view not shown in the painting, where Carracci has set up an easel to paint the butchers at work. The film is a meditation on Carracci’s painting, the painter’s character, and artistic preoccupations.

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Elliott Jamal Robbins, American, born 1988. Snow White Clapping, 2018. 2:00 minutes. Courtesy of the Artist and Kai Matsumiya Gallery

Snow White Clapping

May 1, 2019 - May 31, 2019

Media Arts Gallery

Elliott Jamal Robbins casts his protagonist as the embodiment of a boy, circumscribed by the trappings of representation, queerness, and race. In the film, Robbins fuses a series of frames from Disney’s Snow White with hand-drawn, virtual armature of a black body. The figure claps in silence; perhaps at an audience or perhaps an individual spectator. Robbins creates an ambiguity between subject and identity, and also between viewer and gaze. He writes of his work, “Through the use of appropriated and self-generated imagery and text, as well as the inclusion of the black male cartooned figure, the viewer is presented with a disjointed narrative. The narrative in question is an exploration of the intersection of societal reading of a black body, as well as subject experience, and the dichotomies to be found between.” Robbins is a graduate of the University of Arizona (MFA 2017). He lives and works in Tucson.

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Paul Signac, French, 1863 - 1935. Zinnias and Marigolds, ca. 1911 – 1915. Watercolor on paper. 13 x 15 1/4 in. (33 x 38.7 cm). Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Ryerson 1939.2

Still Modern

April 20, 2019 - July 14, 2019

Graphics Gallery

Artists of the 20th and 21st centuries have embraced the genre of still life, manipulating its traditional significance for their own creative purposes. Of contemporary still lifes, artist Roy Lichtenstein said, “It’s not meant to have the usual still life meaning.” 

Still lifes are often characterized by commonplace, inanimate objects like fruit and bowls. These compositions initially appear simple and uninspiring in their ordinary domesticity. However, hidden in the objects are complex systems of symbolism and semantic codes. A flower, for instance, could represent the ephemeral nature of beauty or the shortness of life. Closing soon, Still Modern displays the enduring relevance of the still life genre in present day.

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

Thinking Hurts Too Much

April 1, 2019 - April 30, 2019

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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Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Swiss. The Way Things Go, 1987. 30 minutes. Image courtesy of the artists

The Way Things Go

March 1, 2019 - March 31, 2019

Media Arts Gallery

In a warehouse, artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss build a structure made out of common household items. Then, with fire, water, gravity, and chemistry, they create a self-destructing performance of physical interactions, chemical reactions, and precisely crafted chaos.

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Michael Glancy, American, born 1950. Sterling Convergence, 2002. Engraved blown glass, engraved industrial plate glass, copper, silver. 8 1/2 × 12 × 12 in. (21.6 × 30.5 × 30.5 cm). Courtesy of the Isabel Foundation L2017.53

Hybrid: Glass + Metal

February 16, 2019 - June 16, 2019

Harris - Burger Gallery

Glass and metal may seem like an unexpected pairing but they are not as different as you may think. Both are fundamental elements in our everyday life. While once considered precious, in the industrial era, glass and metal are mass-produced. Although artists still use these materials to create intriguing artwork, industrially made objects have lost some of their exquisiteness. Nevertheless, things began to change among artists who strongly believed in the value of the handmade object. Disenchanted with the impersonal, mechanized direction of manufacturing, they sought a new path through materials like glass, metal, ceramic, and wood.

Closing soon, the artworks in this exhibition illustrate the vast possibilities of these two materials, from cast to blown glass and from forged to electroformed metal. Each object embodies a dynamic synergy that could not be achieved if the materials were used independently.

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Nicolas Provost, Belgian, born 1969. Papillon d’amour, 2003. 4:00 minutes.

Papillon d’amour

February 1, 2019 - February 28, 2019

Media Arts Gallery

By subjecting fragments from Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon to a mirror effect, Provost creates a hallucinatory scene of a woman’s reverse chrysalis into an imploding butterfly. This physical audiovisual experience produces skewed reflections upon love, its lyrical monstrosities, and a wounded act of disappearance.

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Vanessa German at ARThouse, Homewood, Pittsburgh. Courtesy of the artist and Pavel Zoubok, Fine Art, NY. Photo: Brian Cohen

Vanessa German: Miracles And Glory Abound

January 27, 2019 - April 20, 2019

Henry Gallery

Miracles and Glory Abound explores the power of stories through Vanessa German’s assembled sculptures. The exhibition draws from both the visual and emotional concepts of the iconic painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware (currently on view in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art) by Emanuel Leutze. German uses what she terms “power figures” to imitate Leutze’s composition and create a conversation about public memory and the rewriting of history through the lens of privilege. After closing at the FIA, Miracles and Glory Abound travels to Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, and Bates College Museum of Art in Lewiston, Maine. 

A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition with essays from performance artist Holly Bass, art theorist Hilary Robinson, and abstract expressionist painter Danny Simmons. The catalogue is available in the FIA Museum Shop for $19.95. 

View Vanessa German's performance during the 12th Annual Community Gala here.

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Mbole-Yela peoples, Democratic Republic of Congo. Mask, n.d. Wood. 11 3/4 in. (29.8 cm). Collection of Dr. Robert Horn.

Engaging African Art: Highlights from the Horn Collection

January 27, 2019 - May 26, 2019

Hodge Gallery

Engaging African Art is an exhibition of works collected by New York psychiatrist Robert Horn over five decades. According to Horn, he was first exposed to African art in the mid-1950s, after stumbling upon the Museum of Primitive Art in New York City. This museum, founded by Nelson Rockefeller in 1954, was closed in 1976, and its collections were transferred to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That first exposure to African art made an indelible impression, with Horn writing, “I walked often through its intimate galleries, usually completely alone, an amazed, eager, and curious young man, almost startled to discover the collection’s unique objects, powerful, but each beautiful and expressive, of meanings not readily revealed.”

This exhibition is not meant to be a comprehensive history or encyclopedic survey of African art; rather it explores one collector’s viewpoint and taste. Horn’s emphasis, for example, has been collecting sculpture, mostly masks and small- to medium-sized figures. Of these categories, he has collected primarily West and Central African works from more than 60 different cultures. Engaging African Art presents highlights from Horn’s collection, showing pieces that carry ritual, social, and ceremonial messages, as well as display a range of techniques and materials.

According to Nii O. Quarcoopome, Co-Chief Curator and Department Head, Africa, Oceania, and Indigenous Americas at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Horn’s collection is “perhaps best described as an adventure in connoisseurship” because of his eclectic tastes and collecting practices. Says Quarcoopome, “In addition to the usual forms we have come to expect in most museum collections, it also includes some rare or uniquely carved pieces that suggest Horn’s refined tastes and sophistication as a seasoned collector. […] Horn’s collecting approach may have inadvertently created opportunities for rich immersive cultural experiences, as well.”

A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition with essays from Nii O. Quarcoopome and Henry John Drewal. The catalogue is available in the FIA Museum Shop for $24.95.

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Tsukioka Kōgyo, Japanese, 1869–1927. Kinatsu, 1923, Woodblock print, 14 7/8 × 10 1/16 inches. Collection of David R. Weinberg

The Drama of Japanese Prints

January 19, 2019 - April 14, 2019

Graphics Gallery

This exhibition features colorful, early 20th-century woodblock prints from Japanese artist Tsukioka Kōgyo. Although he depicted many subjects, Kōgyo is most well-known for his numerous scenes from Noh theater, one of the oldest existing forms of theater still practiced today. His artworks provide a glimpse into the rich stories, elegant actors, and subdued ambiance of Noh plays. Artwork from two of Kōgyo’s most important series, Pictures of Noh Plays (Nōgaku zue) and One Hundred Noh Plays (Nōgaku hyakuban) are on view in The Drama of Japanese Prints.

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