The Sea is History, made in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, is a free adaptation of the poem of the same name by Derek Walcott, a Saint Lucian poet. This film is a critique of the monumentalization of European colonial history, reading the past as something intimately entangled within the present—as a living thing made up of the living and the dead. The footage is from Santo Domingo, the first capital of the New World located in the Dominican Republic, and of Lago Enriquillo, a hyper-salinated lake, once part of the Caribbean sea, that is flooding the border of Haiti due to the drastic rise in sea temperature currently affecting the global ocean deeply.
Brilliant Noise takes us into the data vaults of solar astronomy. After sifting through hundreds of thousands of computer files made accessible via open access archives, Semiconductor has brought together some of the sun’s finest unseen moments. These images, kept in their most raw form, reveal the energetic particles and solar wind as a rain of white noise. NASA, usually hiding the processes and mechanics in action behind the capturing procedure, routinely cleans up the black-and-white grainy quality of footage. Satellites orbiting the Earth have collected most of the imagery as single frames, or files of information, that are then reorganized into spectral sequences. The soundtrack brings to light the hidden forces at play upon the solar surface, by directly translating the intensity of the brightness into audio manipulation.
The Art of Collecting, organized by the FIA, is an exhibition of paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures on consignment from galleries in New York, Chicago, and Detroit, selected based on comparisons of price and quality. All artworks are available for purchase. Each object represents an outstanding value in the art market and an excellent opportunity for seasoned, as well as novice, collectors to purchase high quality artwork with confidence. Prices range from $200 for prints to more than $400,000 for works by master artists.
Though originally trained in painting, William Wegman is known for his photos and videos featuring dogs in various costumes and poses, and with an array of props. Around the Park stars Wegman’s favorite cast of iconic Weimaraners as they enjoy a fall day in Madison Square Park. The curious figures engage in mundane tasks, from waiting in line for a Shake Shack lunch and making security rounds in a park vehicle, to taking a visit to the park’s Jemmy’s Dog Run.
You may be familiar with Childe Hassam’s impressionist oil paintings, such as Newport Waterfront, which hangs in the FIA’s Rabiah Gallery. This exhibition explores another side of Hassam’s artistic output—his works on paper. He began producing etchings in 1915, turning away from oil paintings to experiment in a different medium. Still impressionist in style, his etchings demonstrate his fascination with city and country landscapes, as well as figures.
What happens when you combine the magic of Disney with one of the most disturbing characters in cinematic history? Bryan Boyce shows us just that in this reimagining of Martin Scorsese’s classic, Taxi Driver, with a Mickey Mouse–obsessed Travis Bickle roaming the Disney-fied streets of New York in search of love.
Did you know that FIA owns two paintings that were included in the famous 1913 Armory Show in New York City, one of the most important art exhibitions in the history of American art? Or that the very first work of art to enter the collection, Tunis Ponsen’s The Old Pier, was purchased by the general public through a donation box? These are just two of several collecting stories that comprise this exhibition that celebrates 90 years of FIA history. From its beginning as an art school in 1928, the FIA has grown into the second largest art museum in the state. This growth is attributable to the many civic-minded and generous community members who had the foresight to establish and sustain both an art school and museum.
For 90 years, the FIA collected art and artifacts spanning the continents and 5,000 years. The world-renowned collection is significant for its depth of important European and American paintings and sculptures, as well as its extensive holdings of contemporary craft, decorative and applied arts, and important ethnographic collections. The collection began in 1929 and now numbers more than 8,000 objects—from ancient to contemporary. It is our most enduring legacy, one that reveals the interests of a community that has had such an impressive and lasting influence on American industry and design.
This exhibition reveals the behind-the-scenes stories about how important artworks came into the collection over the past nine decades, with special attention paid to significant donors and giving legacies.
The Dark, Krystle features a montage of Linda Evans and Joan Collins from the 1980s evening soap opera Dynasty. The film rekindles issues of identity, consumption, and excess in 1980s pop culture. Michael Robinson reconfigures the rivals’ melodrama in repetition—theatrical breakdowns, nasty glares, excessive drinking—allowing viewers to feel the clichés recharged with new emotional power.
Imagine that the camera is possessed with a psychosis similar to human schizophrenia. Suppose that this disease subtly changes every single frame of film while leaving the narrative superficially intact. Then imagine that these symptoms came on because of the trauma of recording bizarre or horrific events, such as those of the 1941 horror film Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Scenes from the Victor Fleming movie are restaged frame-by-frame with new performers occupying the body spaces of the original cast.
Surrealismo, Ojos de México (Surrealism, Eyes of Mexico) features photographs by celebrated artists who demonstrate the enduring influence of surrealism on photography in Mexico. While Europe was torn apart by World War I, Mexico had its own upheaval: the 20th century’s first monumental revolution, stretching from 1910 to 1920. Seven percent of Mexico’s population lost their lives, 2,000 communities vanished, and economic growth came to an abrupt halt. However, just as World War I led to fresh approaches to art in Europe, the Mexican Revolution spawned an artistic renaissance.
At this time, many photographers embraced modernism as they sought to capture the realities of the country in innovative ways. They were particularly drawn to European surrealism with its dream-like compositions and explorations of the subconscious. Mexico itself was a country with many contrasts; its juxtapositions were unexpected, ironic, humorous, frustrating, and hopeful—ancient and modern, poor and rich, indigenous and foreign. In this setting, surrealism was a natural fit for what many photographers were observing in the world around them.
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, the public, and professional filmmakers, and screenwriters.
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.
Since the invention of photography in the mid-19th century, artists have used photographs as both a tool and an inspiration for their work; but the Photorealists were the first to translate information from one medium to another unapologetically. In a period where abstraction was dominating the art world, these artists presented viewers with the most commonplace subject matter that mimicked the most popular type of image—the photograph.
Some artists elaborated on the hyperreal elements of a photograph by enhancing every detail, while others faithfully re-created the blurring that occurs in photographs with a shallow depth of field. Still others experimented with cropping to create paintings that were reminiscent of snapshots. This exhibition brings together key works from public and private collections in a broad survey of this movement. It features paintings dating from the late 20th century to the present, illuminating the very definition of Photorealism from its beginning up to
today. A catalogue accompanies this exhibition.
This exhibition was organized by the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York.
The exhibition, From Lens to Eye to Hand: Photorealism 1969 to Today, is made possible, in part, by the generous leadership support of Louis K. and Susan P. Meisel, Barbara Slifka, Linda Hackett and Melinda Hackett/ CAL Foundation, Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder, Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Muriel F. Siebert Foundation, and Arlene Kaufman and Sanford Baklor. Public Funding provided by Suffolk County.
From Lens to Eye to Hand: Photorealism 1969 to Today
by Terrie Sultan
(paperback; 128 pages; $39.95)
Now 40% off through August 12.
This generously illustrated book examines Photorealism in contemporary art from its roots in the late 1960s to today. Photorealism reintroduced straightforward representation into an art world dominated by Pop Art, Minimalism, Land Art, and Performance Art. Often misunderstood as being overtly traditional, artists at the vanguard of this important movement were trailblazers. Use of the camera as the foundation of painterly expression is common today, but in the 1970s Photorealists were embarking on a groundbreaking way of seeing and depicting the world. Drawing on major public and private collections, the book features works by the masters of Photorealism. Along with numerous illustrations, the book also includes an introductory essay by noted artist and writer Richard Kalina, and an in-depth essay by Terrie Sutlan, focusing on photorealistic watercolors and works on paper.
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.
Breaking with Tradition features work by artists who have bent the rules and subverted ideas about traditional ceramics with unconventional subjects, experimental techniques, and manipulations of historical and traditional forms.
Like the other artists in this exhibition, Kathryn Kennedy Sharbaugh took an unconventional approach to a traditional subject: the teapot. In 1999, Sharbaugh created Night Jump, imbedding her own symbolic language based on geometric forms. The emblematic language of Night Jump comes from Sharbaugh’s personal experience with looking at the night sky through a spotting scope she had purchased for bird watching. She became fascinated with the rings of Saturn, which prompted her to think about the type of night jumps soldiers took with parachutes. Saturn’s rings and the shape of the parachute make up the body of the design.
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.
Closing in October, Small Worlds not only features a vast collection of historical European paperweights from the FIA’s permanent collection but also a large variety of contemporary paperweights from private collections. The exhibition explores the world of paperweights from the 19th century, the classic period of production, to present day contemporary weights. Paperweights continue to be a popular art object today, and manufacturers and artists all over the world have enlarged the scope, scale, design, and fabrication of these small artworks.
Paperweights: Highlights from the Flint Institute of Arts Collection
(hardcover; 248 pages; $24.95)
This exhibition catalog features more than 140 weights from the Classic Period (1845–1860) of French manufacturers Baccarat, Clichy, and Saint-Louis, to works by contemporary artists Josh Simpson and Debbie Tarsitano, from the collections of Mrs. Viola E. Bray and Mrs. Genevieve Shaw. Kathryn Sharbaugh, FIA Director of Development, serves as guest curator to research and write about the history of paperweights, as well as highlight their various styles, techniques, and categories. This book is published in conjunction with the exhibition Small Worlds, which presents a survey of glass paperweights from the 19th century to the present. Support for the catalogue provided by the Bray Charitable Trust.
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.
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.
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.