College Art Association

CAA News Today

The CAA Committee on Diversity Practices highlights exhibitions, events, and activities that support the development of global perspectives on art and visual culture and deepen our appreciation of political and cultural heterogeneity as educational and professional values. Current highlights are listed below; browse past highlights through links at the bottom of this page.

November/December 2014

Esterio Segura
Museum of Latin American Art
Long Beach, California
November 22, 2014–February 15, 2015

“MOLAA is proud to present the first solo U.S. museum exhibition of pioneering contemporary artist Esterio Segura. Based in Cuba, Segura creates work that addresses topics of commercialization, migration, censorship and cultural isolation viewed from a contemporary Cuban perspective. Utilizing a variety of media; from drawing and painting to sculpture, photography and installation, he reflects upon contemporary Cuban anxieties. Segura delivers his social critique with humor and satire, at times evoking controversy. Embracing pop culture, Afro-Cuban influences, religious iconography and eroticism, he celebrates the beauty and ingenuity of the island while challenging the absurdity of the barriers that isolate and separate its people.

Esterio Segura studied at the prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) of Cuba where he also taught professionally. He has had solo exhibitions in Havana, Berlin, London and New York, and has participated in group exhibitions in Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, London, Mexico and Spain. His works can be found in numerous museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Arizona State University Art Museum, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Cuba, Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York, the Latin American Art Museum of the University of Essex, and the Museum of Latin American Art.”  (http://www.molaa.org/Art/Exhibitions/upcoming-exhibitions/Esterio-Segura.aspx)

More information: http://www.molaa.org

Prospect.3: New Orleans
Numerous venues
New Orleans, Louisiana
October 25, 2014–January 25, 2015

“In Walker Percy’s 1961 novel The Moviegoer, the protagonist Binx Bolling is consumed by “the search” in the week leading up to his thirtieth birthday. Pointedly, the birthday falls on Ash Wednesday—the day after the most important holiday in New Orleans, Mardi Gras. Though Binx’s attendance at the carnival is peripheral, there’s much to be learned from his vantage point at the margins of the crowd. Bolling, a solitary moviegoer, lives his life on the margin, slowly creeping closer to the center as he embraces “the search.” He begins the book in the isolated suburbs of New Orleans, comfortably away, and apart from other people’s lives, but finds solace in the contested city by its end. The novel, set in a time of heightened social awareness in the first half of the decade’s movement for civil rights in America, delves into the depths of existentialism in a world where people were legally segregated from each other, making it impossible to celebrate the individual. “The peculiar institution” of slavery and immigration during the 18th century created a city that, even in 1961, was a complex social arrangement, one that remains palpable today. The third Prospect biennial (P.3) is invested in and will explore ‘the search’ to find the self and the necessity of the other as part of that quest.
It is New Orleans’ distinct history that makes it an illuminating source of philosophical inquiry for the present. Percy, a student of Soren Kierkegaard and acolyte of Jean-Paul Sartre, was attempting to “explore the dislocation of man in the modern age,” and certainly the physical and psychological violence we do to each other is one of the continuing facets of our species’ ‘dislocation.’ The “search” in Prospect.3 (P.3) also aims to further explore a philosophical inquiry on humanity, an effort to interrogate human feelings and human relationships. Recognizing the position of P.3 as a biennial-type exhibition for the United States—passionately committed to being international in scope and weary of geographic location as something that is increasingly interchangeable in today’s world of contemporary art—Prospect.3 is, in the mode of past Prospect projects, vitally committed to the city of New Orleans. Placed at the foot of the Mississippi River on the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans’ influx of people has been remarkable in its diversity, and unlike any other American city. As a node for thinking through global issues, New Orleans offers an example that is revelatory, generative and frictional.” (http://www.prospectneworleans.org/exhibition-description/)

Past Forward
Artspace 111
Fort Worth, Texas
October 17–November 29, 2014

Artspace111 looks forward to exhibiting the first major tour of Emirati artwork—which features over 50 paintings, photographs, sculptures, video installations, and other media by 25 Emirati artists—will showcase the creativity radiating throughout the Emirati art scene and highlight the development and history of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).The overarching theme of the exhibition highlights the balance between the UAE’s rapid development while maintaining its ties to its heritage and past and honoring traditional values. The exhibition features core elements of Emirati life and represents all seven emirates while emphasizing the importance of kinship and home, nature and landscape, as well as technology and innovation to Emirati culture. Artspace111 has partnered with the UAE Embassy to share the UAE’s compelling narrative and rich cultural heritage through this groundbreaking cultural diplomacy art initiative, which will be a powerful tool for finding common ground, building lasting relationships, and fostering respect. Past Forward will provide an opportunity for peer-to-peer exchanges of ideas, information, and experiential learning, as well as a framework for Americans and Emiratis to better understand one another through first-hand insight into life and culture in the UAE through these works of art. The exhibition will travel across the United States over the next 18 months, including stops in Texas, California, and Washington.” (http://www.artspace111.com/past-forward/ )
More information: http://www.artspace111.com

Rising Up:  Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Washington, DC
November 7, 2014–March 1, 2015

“Talladega College in Alabama commissioned prominent African American artist Hale Woodruff to paint a series of murals for its newly built Savery Library in 1938. Woodruff painted six murals portraying significant events in the journey of African Americans from slavery to freedom. On Nov. 7, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will present “Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College,” an exhibition of murals and other significant works by the artist. The exhibition will be on view in the NMAAHC Gallery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History through March 1, 2015.

This will be the first time the murals have been exhibited in the Washington metro area. The murals were removed from Talladega College for a five-year collaborative restoration project organized by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, which also organized a multicity tour of the works. The murals are six monumental canvases arranged in two cycles of three, portraying heroic efforts of resistance to slavery and moments in the history of Talladega College, which opened in 1867 to serve the educational needs of a new population of freed slaves. The first cycle includes the murals “The Mutiny on the Amistad,” which depicts the uprising on the slave ship La Amistad; “The Trial of the Amistad Captives,” depicting the court proceedings that followed the mutiny; and “The Repatriation of the Freed Captives,” portraying the subsequent freedom and return to Africa of the Amistad captives.

The companion murals “The Underground Railroad,” “The Building of Savery Library” and “Opening Day at Talladega College” show themes of the Underground Railroad, the construction of Savery Library at Talladega College and the early days of the college campus, for which the murals were commissioned, respectively.

“Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College” is presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and is organized by the High Museum of Art in collaboration with Talladega College. The exhibition is co-curated by Jacquelyn Serwer, chief curator at NMAAHC, and Rhea Combs, museum curator. A full-color, 155-page catalog, published by the High Museum of Art, will be on sale in the National Museum of American History’s store during the exhibition.” (http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/rising-up)
More information: http://nmaahc.si.edu

Classical Nudes and the Making of Queer History
Leslie + Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
New York, NY
October 17, 2014–January 4, 2015

“Classical Nudes and the Making of Queer History, curated by scholar Jonathan David Katz, investigates the continued centrality of the classical nude over centuries of art making. This exhibition explores how images of the classical past have acted as recurring touchstones in the historical development of same-sex representation, and as such, constitute a sensitive barometer of the shifting constructions of what we today call gay and lesbian or queer culture. The classical past is thus gay culture’s central origin myth, and its representation offers far more information about the culture that appropriates the classical past then it does about that past itself. In tracing this trajectory of the classical nude across history, this show concentrates on four major periods: Antiquity, the Renaissance, the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the modern/contemporary periods.” (https://www.leslielohman.org/exhibitions/current.html)
More information: https://www.leslielohman.org

V. S. Gaitonde: Painting as Process, Painting as Life
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
New York, NY
October 24, 2014–February 11, 2015

“An artist of singular stature, modernist painter Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde (1924–2001) was known to fellow artists and intellectuals, as well as to later generations of students and admirers, as a man of uncompromising integrity of spirit and purpose. Born in Nagpur, India in 1924, Gaitonde was briefly affiliated with avant-garde collectives such as the Progressive Artists’ Group and the Bombay Group in the early ’50s. Nonetheless, he remained independent throughout most of his career. This exhibition draws an arc from Gaitonde’s early, figurative, mixed-medium compositions and watercolors inspired by Paul Klee, through his major bodies of signature canvases from the 1960s and ’70s, to his late works from the 1980s and ’90s. Departing from Klee, Gaitonde’s practice began in the late 1950s in a nonrepresentational mode—or, as he preferred to call it, a nonobjective style. This turn towards abstraction is in accordance with the artistic principles first espoused by Vasily Kandinsky, as is embodied by the Guggenheim’s origins as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, and also dovetails with Gaitonde’s lifelong interest in Zen Buddhism.

Short, stocky, self-critical, and confident, Gaitonde scorned sentimentality in his biography and his artistic practice. As fellow painter Krishen Khanna has stated, “There’s a very strong correlation I see between the way Gaitonde thought, the way he lived, and the way he painted.” Alongside art, he was an avid admirer of Indian and Western poetry, cinema, literature, theater, and classical music. Stressing the importance of the present moment, the completeness and joy of the creative process, and the intimate relationship between painter and painting, “Gai,” as he was popularly known among peers, was an intrepid and influential artist whose career remains unequaled in the history of South Asian modern art. Yet Gaitonde remains sorely understudied in the genealogies of twentieth-century world art.

As current scholarship revisits non-Western traditions of mid-twentieth-century modern art, this seminal retrospective exhibition presents an unparalleled opportunity to explore the context of Indian modern art as it played out in the metropolitan centers of Bombay (now Mumbai) and New Delhi from the late 1940s through the end of the twentieth century. It comprises forty-five major paintings and works on paper drawn from thirty leading public institutions and private collections, forming the most comprehensive overview of Gaitonde’s work to date. Including many pieces that have never been seen by the public, the exhibition reveals Gaitonde’s extraordinary use of color, line, form, and texture, as well as symbolic elements and calligraphy, in works that seem to glow with an inner light.

A transnational set of references and influences provides an art historical context for Gaitonde’s work and defines this exhibition. Gaitonde’s work spans the traditions of nonobjective painting and Zen Buddhism as well as Indian miniatures and East Asian hanging scrolls and ink paintings. When looking at Gaitonde’s oeuvre within the wider related context of international postwar art, one can also draw parallels to artists working within the contemporary School of Paris, as well as movements such as Art Informel, Tachisme, and Abstract Expressionism. Yet Gaitonde’s output continues to be defined by the particular ethos of India, where the artist lived and worked his entire life.

A scholarly catalogue and series of public programs accompanies the exhibition, which is organized by Sandhini Poddar, Adjunct Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, with Amara Antilla, Curatorial Assistant, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.” (http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/exhibitions/on-view/v-s-gaitonde-painting-as-process-painting-as-life)

More information: http://www.guggenheim.org

Filed under: CDP Highlights