Category Archives: Installation

Unwilling

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy

EXPLORE MELANCHOLIA AT HAVERFORD’S CANTOR FITZGERALD GALLERY

HAVERFORD, Pa.- What if we saw sadness not as a giving up or giving in, but a getting out? What if, instead of being seen as a passive pain, feeling deep sorrow was understood to be an act of resistance? What if, given the current political and cultural moment in which so many feel ignored, maligned, or repudiated by the systems and people in power, mourning was not just an understandable reception, but a useful action against those systems? A new exhibit in Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, opening March 23, showcases the work of five artists from across different media to grapple with such questions of power, agency, and melancholy.

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy, curated by Vanessa Kwan and Kimberly Phillips, proposes a re-consideration of melancholia as defined through our contemporary condition. Resisting its historical definition as an affliction that creates disorder or inactivity, this exhibition reimagines passive sadness as a powerful refusal, a conscious (or unconscious) “standing aside,” a willful production of generative failures and resistant potencies. Each of the five contributing artists begins with the idea that outside the boundaries of “contentment” resides a potent flourishing. Unwilling is a resistance and a proposition: it responds to the profound cultural reckoning we are witnessing in this moment in time, as the boundaries and exclusions of state-defined citizenship become increasingly fraught.

The exhibition crosses disciplinary boundaries. Dance artist Justine A. Chambers explores choreographies of resistance, growing out of a studious and embodied interpretation of all the minor gestures on the way to hands raised in surrender. Sculpture- and performance-based artist Mike Bourscheid mines absurdities in relation to our cultural preoccupations with masculinist productivity, while social practice artist Ginger Brooks Takahashi works to create new networks of value in the production of food, drink, and community. (Her piece in the exhibit is a collaboratively created-and consumed-beer.) The “weeping” willow is at the center of media artist Noa Giniger‘s multi-faceted take on reversals of sadness and the refusal to succeed, and poet and critic Billy-Ray Belcourt positions mourning as a defining aspect of an active and resistant subject and proposes that the future must address this subject head on.

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy will be on view March 23 through April 27 at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. To celebrate the exhibit’s opening, there will be several events during its first week. On March 22, ahead of the official opening, a roundtable with four of the featured artists and the two curators will be held from 4:30 to -6:30 p.m. in the College’s new Visual Culture, Arts, and Media (VCAM) building, room 201. On March 23, Justine A. Chambers will perform an all-day, campus-wide, site-specific commission, ten thousand times and one hundred more. And later that day, at 4:30 p.m., there will be a talk with the curators followed by a reception at 5:30 p.m., featuring Ginger Brooks Takahashi’s Wyrt Blod Gruyt, a custom-made beer commissioned specifically for the exhibit and brewed in collaboration with Meredith Rebar Williams and Home Brewed Events. For further event details: exhibits.haverford.edu/unwilling.

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy is made possible with support from the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities. The exhibition is organized in conjunction with the Hurford Center’s 2017-18 faculty seminar “The Arts of Melancholy,” which is led by John B. Whitehead Professor of Humanities and Professor of Music Richard Freedman.

Overseen by the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities and located in Whitehead Campus Center, the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays until 8 p.m. For more information, contact Matthew Seamus Callinan, associate director of the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery and campus exhibitions, at (610) 896-1287 or mcallina@haverford.edu, or visit the exhibitions program website: www.haverford.edu/exhibits.

Haverford College is located at 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, Pa., 19041

Thank you to Rebecca Raber for the content of this post.

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Home

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtBook Number 141, May 1989, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Snake format artist’s book of gelatin silver prints with colored ink washes, watercolor, and machine stitching. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Purchased with funds contributed by Richard L. and Ronay Menschel, Marion Miller, The Paul & Emily Singer Family Foundation, Peter C. Bunnell, and Trevor Drake and Anne Albright, and with the Lynne and Harold Honickman Fund for Photography, 2015-51-1. © Keith Smith.

Keith Smith at Home

February – July 8, 2018

This winter, the Philadelphia Museum of Art presents Keith Smith at Home, the first major monographic presentation of the artist’s work in five decades. Spanning his entire career, the exhibition brings together over 60 exceptional and varied examples of his handmade artist’s books and experimental photographs, prints, collages, and fabric pieces made over the last half century. The exhibition places special emphasis on his artist’s books, the work for which he is best known. Many of these works are from the artist’s collection and have not been exhibited publicly before.

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtMargaret Gave me a Rainbow, 2:30pm 21 November, 1971, 1971, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Collage of 3-M Color-in-Color photocopy transferred to buff-colored manila paper, gold star, multicolored thread, gelatin silver print, and rayon braid and tassels, hand and machine stitched to green plain weave cotton with gold rayon faille backing. Courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York. © Keith Smith.

Smith is an especially private person, and one whose life at home has been the inspiration for much of his art. Central to the installation is Book Number 82, Keith Smith at Home (1982), showing a sequence of views of his residence in Rochester, New York, where he has lived since 1975. Page by page, it conveys the passage of time: views of the same room shift, household objects trade places, and friends appear and reappear in framed artwork on the house’s walls. Visitors will be able to page through this book digitally on an iPad in the gallery.

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtMe at My Shed ‑ About to Go after the Mail, 1973, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Gelatin silver print with colored ink washes, machine stitched to secondary support. Courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York. © Keith Smith.

The exhibition highlights books that challenge perceptions of what a book can be. Book Number 11, Up (1969) explores the interplay of images by alternating film-positive transparencies with opaque pages. As the film-positive page is turned, it creates the appearance of an image moving from one side of the page to the next. Book Number 91: a string book (1982) consists of cord, punched holes, and blank pages. Strings are extended across each page and spread in different patterns, sometimes taut and other times slack, creating an abstract and rhythmic narrative. Smith considers his string book to be photographic, as it deals with light, shadow, focus, motif, and sequence.

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtBook Number 11, Up, 1969, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Artist’s book with photographs, drawings, prints, and transparencies. Courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York. © Keith Smith.

Smith has referred to his work as an open diary. Self-representation is a key motif, whether appearing lighthearted or uneasy. Some self-portraits reflect the struggles and joys the artist has experienced in coming out as a gay man, as in Untitled, from Roadside Attractions (1979), a multilayered photograph in which two silhouetted male figures caress each other’s shoulders.

Smith has said, “Social intimidation is not as odious as repression that is self-inflicted. When I permitted my work to speak openly, I gained my freedom and my self-respect.”

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtSelf Portrait, November 1969, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. 3-M Color-in Color-photocopy, hand stitching, and pen and red ink. Courtesy of Keith Smith. © Keith Smith.

Also on view is a selection of handmade postcards, a format that Smith has experimented with since the 1960s. He made these cards with particular recipients in mind, but, feeling unable to part with them, has kept them. In addition, the exhibition features fabric pieces from the 1960s and 1970s. Among these is Margaret Gave me a Rainbow 2:30pm 21, November 1971, a collage of a photograph of an ear, curtain tassels, and an impression of the artist’s profile made on a color photocopier affixed to an army-issue bedsheet. Smith made Eye Quilt (1965), a full-size quilt screenprinted with a dense pattern of eyes, while a student at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Keith Smith: Word Play is a related installation on view in the Museum’s Library. This intimate display highlights the ways in which Smith uses word play, poetry, typography, and sequencing to create surprising relationships between images and text in his books.

Exhibition organizer Amanda N. Bock, The Lynne and Harold Honickman Assistant Curator of Photographs, said: “While Smith may seem shy personally, his art is candid, intimate, delightfully irreverent, and transgressive. To share a large body of his work with the public is an exciting and rare opportunity, and it underscores our commitment to showing provocative work by living artists.”

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtAatis with his arm on his hip, August 30, 1973, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Postcard: pen and ink, graphite, and colored ink washes on gelatin silver print, machine stitched to secondary support. Courtesy of Keith Smith. © Keith Smith.

About Keith Smith (born 1938, Indiana)

Smith’s reluctance to categorize his work established him as a rogue member of both the photography and printmaking departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he graduated in 1967. His works are often radical departures from conventional books, and may unfold, light up, hang on the wall or in a corner, or be constructed of pencils or the shirt off the artist’s own back. Certain themes-friendship, love, desire, intimacy, and domesticity- recur. He has made over 300 artist’s books and over half a dozen seminal instructional manuals on bookbinding.

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtPeeled, August 30, 1973, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Postcard: graphite and colored ink washes on gelatin silver print, machine stitched to secondary support. Courtesy of Keith Smith. © Keith Smith.

Smith’s work is represented in leading public and private collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; the Nelson-Atkins Museum; the George Eastman Museum, Rochester; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships (1972 and 1980) and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1978), and has taught at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester.

Keith Smith at Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtBook Number 91, a string book, 1982, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Artist’s book with cut outs, punched holes, and string. Courtesy of Keith Smith and Philip Zimmermann.

Public Programs

Representing Queerness
Sunday, March 4 | 2:30 p.m. | Perelman Building
Community Conversations open discussions about socially relevant topics.
Included in Pay What You Wish admission.

Bookmaking Workshops
Saturdays, March 17, April 21, and May 5 | 1:30-4:30 p.m. | Perelman Building
Each session includes a tour of Keith Smith at Home with the exhibition curator.
Each workshop: $20 ($16 members); includes Perelman Building admission

Curator
Amanda N. Bock, The Lynne and Harold Honickman Assistant Curator of Photographs

Exhibition Location
Julian Levy Gallery, Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building
Installation Location, Library, Second Floor, Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building

Support
Support for this exhibition was provided by The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

Social Media
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr/YouTube: @philamuseum

We are Philadelphia’s art museum. A landmark building. A world-renowned collection. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors-through scholarly study and creative play-to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world-and themselves-anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street.

Thank you to The Philadelphia Museum of Art for the content of this post.

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Book 91- String Book; by Keith Smith (1984)

InvisAbility

InvisAbility, Art in City Hall Gallery

InvisAbility

February 12 – March 23, 2018
Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Room 116
Reception: March 7, 2018, 5-7 p.m. in Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Room 116

The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy presents InvisAbility, an exhibition featuring the work of professional artists with disabilities. The exhibit is in partnership with five programs from the Philadelphia region that provide opportunities to artists with disabilities: Allens Lane Art Center’s Vision Thru Art programArt Ability from Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, Center for Creative WorksCultural Arts Center of SpArc Services, and Moss Rehab’s All About Art program. The exhibit is featured in City Hall within the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Room 116. A reception is tentatively planned for March in celebration of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Month.

37 Featured artists:

Meri Adelman, Nancy Alter, Robin Antar, William Bolds, DoN Brewer, Joanne Brothers, Kelly Brown, Ronald Bryant, Elizabeth Core, Martha Cowden, Jenny Cox, John Creagh, Charles Domsky, Alysse Einbender, Gerard di Falco, Terri Fridkin, Zila Friedman, Gregory Gans, Michael Gieschen, Cindy Gosselin, Tim Heflin, Clyde Henry, Michael Hogin, Thomas Jennings, Cindy Lally, Sarah Lewis, Eric Mohn, David Neiser, Timothy O’Donovan, Olubunmi Ojo, Victoria Pendragon, Randy Perin, James Sanders, Carla Schaffer, Sriharsha Sukla, Maxim Tzinman, Anthony Zaremba.

As an exhibition without any apparent central subject matter, InvisAbility is a break from City Hall’s standard juried thematic showcases. However, it does follow a trend of recent exhibits aimed at raising awareness of Philadelphia’s diverse and talented cultural community. InvisAbility affirms the notion that within the People’s Building, the people behind the art, their stories and concerns matter as much as the art they create. By weaving art with identity, the show aims to provide some insight into the creative experience of artists living with a disability, and perhaps even challenge traditional notions of quality.

Artist Nancy Alter:

“My current work reflects personal physiological struggles in the day to day struggles with my MS symptoms. Through the deconstruction and reconstruction of monotype prints, there is great satisfaction on how unrelated pieces fit together to make a whole. It is an expression of push and pull and the physiological rhythm of the body.”

Artist DoN Brewer:

“Living with Crohn’s disease has both positive and negative effects of my artwork. On the one hand, I stay home on the computer a lot and have created an on-line persona that reaches a wide audience. On the other hand, sometimes I don’t feel well enough to travel to art shows and events, to attend art workshops or even to write my art blog. My fans don’t know me as a disabled person; they support me for who I am, as an artist.”

InvisAbility runs thru March 23rd.

Questions about Art in City Hall? Contact City Hall Exhibitions Manager Tu Huynh, tu.huynh@phila.gov or call (215) 686-9912

Thank you to City Hall Exhibitions Manager Tu Huynh for the content of this post.

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Blood

Russell Craig, Philadelphia Magic Gardens

POWERFUL ARTWORK ADVOCATES FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Works by Russell Craig

An Exhibition at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens: March 2 – April 29, 2018

PUBLIC OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, March 2, 2018; 6:00 – 9:00 PM

SOUTH STREET, PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens’ exhibition, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, highlights the provocative works of self-taught artist Russell Craig. His artistic style and stirring imagery were developed during his seven-year incarceration. Featured in this exhibition are Craig’s large-scale portraits, which are made from prison paperwork, court documents, and discarded materials.

Russell Craig‘s work offers an opportunity to talk about the justice system in the United States by chronicling his life and honoring the people that share his story. Through confrontation and contemplation, Craig’s pieces create a platform to help unify all who have struggled through trauma and advocate for positive change within ourselves and our communities. Craig’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions. He has also worked with Mural Arts
Philadelphia through their Restorative Justice program, and is a “Right of Return” fellow – a program that invests in formerly incarcerated artists to create original works of art that can further propel criminal justice reform efforts.

He is a mentor for those who are currently incarcerated and works with communities who are
often affected by the criminal justice system. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is excited to host this show and other exhibitions that use art to address current social concerns and spark conversations that help ignite change within our city. Through these unique curated experiences, PMG aspires to promote meaningful engagement with visitors and community
stakeholders and to project its values of inclusion and community out to Philadelphia.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens and Russell Craig welcome you to a night of art and conversation during the opening reception on Friday, March 2, 2018, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM.

PHILADELPHIA’S MAGIC GARDENS

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (PMG) is a nonprofit visionary art environment and community arts center located in Isaiah Zagars largest public artwork. Spanning half a block on Philadelphia’s famous South Street, the museum includes an immersive outdoor art installation and indoor galleries.

Zagar created the space using nontraditional materials such as folk art statues, found objects, bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles, hand-made tiles, and thousands of glittering mirrors. The site is enveloped in visual anecdotes and personal narratives that refer to Zagar’s life, family, and community, as well as references from the wider world such as influential art history figures and other visionary artists and environments.

PMG is a unique Philadelphia destination that inspires creativity and community engagement by providing educational opportunities and diverse public programming to thousands of visitors each year. For more information, visit www.phillymagicgardens.org.

Thank you to Allison Boyle, Events & Marketing Manager, for the content of this post. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South Street, Philadelphia PA 19147,

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Virtually

Virtually Rudy, Michener Art MuseumCharles Rudy with Cornish Red Chicken

Michener Art Museum to Present Innovative Sculpture Exhibition

Virtually Rudy: New Dimensions in Sculpture opens on February 17, 2018

DOYLESTOWN, PA–Beginning February 17, 2018, the James A. Michener Art Museum will present Virtually Rudy: New Dimensions in Sculpture, an innovative sculpture exhibition that joins 20th century art with 21st century technology. Nine sculptures by artist Charles Rudy (1904-1986) will be on display alongside three-dimensional representations made possible through a partnership with the Google Cultural Institute.

Through Google Cardboard viewers, visitors will be able to explore the sculptures in virtual-reality mode. The exhibition will be on view through April 8, 2018.

“This is a first-of-a-kind show–not only for the Michener, but for many art museums in the United States,” said Adrienne Neszmelyi-Romano, director of interpretation and innovation, who co-curated the exhibition with assistant curator Louise Feder. “We are very proud that our museum, which has long been committed to showcasing the work of important regional artists, is also at the forefront of technology, and is taking a leading role in understanding how technology can enhance the visitor experience.”

The James A. Michener Art Museum was the first institution on the East Coast to partner with the Google Cultural Institute 3D Operations team to digitize objects from its permanent collection, making 26 objects–including 15 of Rudy’s sculptures–accessible in 3D in 2015 to a global audience. Virtually Rudy pairs the tangible with the intangible, presenting scan and sculpture side by side for the first time. A graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Charles Rudy achieved national status as a sculptor for his work on public buildings across the country as well as for his prize-winning sculptures. His most notable commissions include the Noah on the Bronx post office in New York and the Sun Seaman’s Memorial in Delaware. In 1936, Rudy and his wife purchased a 70-acre farm in Ottsville, Pennsylvania, where he located his studio. His sculptures of farm animals, several of which are featured in this exhibition, are said to have been inspired by his time spent on his farm. A 1942 Guggenheim fellow, Rudy taught as the head of Cooper Union’s sculpture department for ten years. He also held teaching positions at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art, Michigan State College, and Philadelphia Museum School of Art.

Through a partnership with the Perkiomen School in Pennsburg, PA, 3D-printed reproductions of Rudy’s sculptures will be available for visitors to handle, and live demonstrations of the 3D printing process will take place during visiting hours. The 3D printer and the models will be provided by the school’s Entrepreneur Institute, the students of its additive manufacturing class, and the Perk Tech Hub. Throughout the exhibition, museum visitors can register to win 3D-printed models of the sculptures through periodic drawings.

For more information and to purchase tickets in advance, visit MichenerArtMuseum.org.

Thank you to the James A. Michener Art Museum for the content of this post.

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