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.

January/February 2016

30 Americans
Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit, Michigan
October 18, 2015–January 18, 2016

“Identity, triumph, tragedy, pride, prejudice, humor and wit. 30 Americans: An exhibition bound by one nation and divided by 30 experiences. A dynamic showcase of contemporary art by African American artists, this exhibition explores issues of racial, political, historical and gender identity in contemporary culture. See more than 50 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and video drawn from the Rubell Family Collection, created by many of the most important African American artists working over the past 30 years, including Kerry James Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Nick Cave, Kehinde Wiley, Carrie Mae Weems, Robert Colescott, Glenn Ligon and Lorna Simpson.”

Walid Raad
Museum of Modern Art
New York, New York
October 12, 2015–January 31, 2016

“MoMA presents the first comprehensive American survey of the leading contemporary artist Walid Raad (b. 1967, Lebanon), featuring his work in photography, video, sculpture, and performance from the last 25 years. Dedicated to exploring the veracity of photographic and video documents in the public realm, the role of memory and narrative within discourses of conflict, and the construction of histories of art in the Arab world, Raad’s work is informed by his upbringing in Lebanon during the civil war (1975–91), and by the socioeconomic and military policies that have shaped the Middle East in the past few decades.

The exhibition focuses on two of the artist’s long-term projects: The Atlas Group (1989–2004) and Scratching on things I could disavow (2007–ongoing). Under the rubric of The Atlas Group, a 15-year project exploring the contemporary history of Lebanon, Raad produced fictionalized photographs, videotapes, notebooks, and lectures that related to real events and authentic research in audio, film, and photographic archives in Lebanon and elsewhere. Raad’s recent work has expanded to address the Middle East region at large. His current ongoing project, Scratching on things I could disavow, examines the recent emergence in the Arab world of new infrastructure for the visual arts—art fairs, biennials, museums, and galleries—alongside the geopolitical, economic, and military conflicts that have consumed the region. The exhibition emphasizes the importance of performance, narrative, and storytelling in Raad’s oeuvre.”

Nari Ward: Sun Splashed
Pérez Art Museum Miami
Miami, Florida
November 19, 2015–February 21, 2016

“In the fall of 2015, Pérez Art Museum Miami will present a mid-career retrospective of Nari Ward (b. 1963, Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica; lives in New York). This exhibition, Sun Splashed, will be the largest survey of the artist’s work to date and will offer a close consideration of his diverse production. Sun Splashed will examine Ward’s career through interrelated frameworks that reveal the ongoing investigations, both material and intellectual, that have guided his practice across more than 20 years. Rather than chronologically, this exhibition will be organized around vital points of reference for the artist, including urban space, performance and the body, the dynamics of power and politics, ideas of migration and movement, vernacular traditions, and his native Jamaica.

Ward’s practice is defined by its embrace of varied media and in particular the recurrent use of found objects, which imbue his works with a tactile and visceral relationship to history and the real world. The ambitious scale of his works and his continued experimentation with new materials and media will be brought to the fore in this exhibition, which will feature mixed-media collages, photography, assemblage, sculpture, interactive works, video, and architectural installations.”

Drawn From Courtly India: The Conley Harris and Howard Truelove Collection
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
December 6, 2015–March 27, 2016

“This exhibition presents masterful drawings from the royal courts of northern India. Lovingly amassed by artist Conley Harris and architectural designer Howard Truelove, the collection features practice sketches, preparatory drawings, subtly modeled scenes, and lightly colored compositions created between the 1500s and 1800s. With images at different stages of completion, the collection allows for a fascinating look at Indian workshop practice. Although the majority of the drawings served as studies for paintings, they are accomplished works of art in their own right. Included are striking portraits, vivid battle scenes, illustrations of popular religious stories, and explorations of love. Gentle yet robust lines convey the creativity of workshop-trained artists with compelling immediacy—from the delicate shading of a ruler’s facial hair to the strong contours of a god’s upstretched arm in battle. Not only do these drawings highlight the artists’ expert handling of medium, they illuminate how workshops labored in artistic collaboration and transmitted skills from one generation to the next. Drawings reveal what paintings conceal, and the works in this exhibition offer new ways of looking and thinking about the art of Indian drawing. By presenting works at distinct moments during the creative process, Drawn from Courtly India showcases how the Indian draftsman transformed a blank sheet of paper into a masterful work of art.”

Njideka Akunyili Crosby: Before Now After (Mama, Mummy and Mamma)
Whitney Museum of American Art
New York, New York
November 23, 2015–

“Over the course of the next five years, a series of public art installations by key American artists will appear across from the Whitney’s new building and the southern entrance to the High Line, on the facade of 95 Horatio Street. Njideka Akunyili Crosby is the third artist to present work as part of the series, which was initiated by the Whitney in partnership with TF Cornerstone and the High Line. This is the artist’s first solo presentation in an institution in New York.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby (b. 1983; Enugu, Nigeria) is a Los-Angeles based artist who makes large-scale, representational work that combines collage, drawing, painting, and printmaking. Her work routinely fuses both Nigerian and American influences and source material, reflecting on contemporary African life (often her family) along with her experience as an expatriate living in the U.S, and the inherent difficulty of navigating these two realms. The works simultaneously become intimate while more broadly exploring the cultural complications of the dual worlds that she inhabits.

Akunyili Crosby’s new work for the billboard, Before Now After (Mama, Mummy and Mamma), continues her ongoing exploration of her relationship to her family, and in this case to her sister, mother, and grandmother specifically. The image is closely based on an existing painting entitled Mama, Mummy and Mamma from 2014, now expanded for this site. Like much of her work, the composition fuses both a portrait (in this case of her sister), photographs of both her mother and grandmother, and an elaborate array of objects arranged carefully on the table, suggesting a still life composition. Additionally, the work’s placement at the foot of the High Line seems to implicate the viewer within Akunyili Crosby’s composition—now able to peer into this carefully composed and invented world reflective of her complex personal history.”

Filed under: CDP Highlights

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 2015

Flawlessly Feminine: Women Who Graced the Cover of JET Magazine and Works by Willie Cole
Golden Lady: Works by Mario Moore
Diggs Gallery, Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
July 9–December 2, 2015

“The pairing of two innovative exhibitions honoring women who graced the cover of JET Magazine, and drawings of young women with their favorite literature, is on display at Winston-Salem State University’s Diggs Gallery through December 2. The exhibits feature works by renowned artist Willie Cole and emerging artist Mario Moore.”

Deana Lawson: Ruttenberg Contemporary Photography Series
Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
September 5, 2015–January 10, 2016

“The first installment of the biennial Ruttenberg Contemporary Photography Series features the work of New York–based photographer Deana Lawson. For nearly a decade, Lawson has been investigating the visual expression of global black culture and how individuals claim their identities within it. Her staged portraits, carefully composed scenes, and found images speak to the ways in which personal and social histories, familial legacies, sexuality, social status, and religious-spiritual ideas may be drawn upon the body.

Lawson began her work in and around her Brooklyn neighborhood but has recently branched out nationally and internationally to places such as Louisiana, Haiti, Jamaica, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While her themes have remained consistent, her landscapes have shifted and broadened—the global scope of the pictures, in her words, “concern and affirm the sacred black body” and speak to a collective psychic memory of shared experiences.

Lawson starts her process by researching communities she has chosen for their cultural histories. Once on site, strangers met through chance encounters become her subjects, selected for a particular expression, mannerism, style of dress, or cultural or religious affiliation. The resulting images are often inspired by multiple trips or planned well in advance. They draw upon Western and African diasporic conventions of self-presentation, popular culture, mythology, and religious rituals and beliefs—emphasizing dialogues among the past, present, and future of black culture.”

Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980
Museum of Modern Art
New York, New York
September 5, 2015–January 3, 2016

Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980 focuses on the parallels and connections among an international scene of artists working in—and in reference to—Latin America and Eastern Europe during the 1960s and 1970s. The radical experimentation, expansion, and dissemination of ideas that marked the cultural production of these decades (which flanked the widespread student protests of 1968) challenge established art-historical narratives in the West. Artists from Prague to Mexico City developed alternative and ever-expanding networks of distribution and organization, via Paris, Vienna, and Venice, to circumvent the borders established after World War II, local forms of state and military repression, and Western accounts of artistic mastery and individualism. One major transformation across Latin American and Eastern European art scenes was the embrace of institutional critique and an emphasis on the creation of art outside a market context.

The exhibition brings together landmark works from MoMA’s collection by Eastern European artists including Geta Brặtescu, Tomislav Gotovac, Ion Grigorescu, Sanja Iveković, Dóra Maurer, and the anti-art collectives Gorgona, OHO, Aktual, and Fluxus East, as well as Latin American artists such as Beatriz González, Antonio Dias, Lea Lublin, and Ana Mendieta. Particular attention is paid to the group of Argentine artists clustered around the influential Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, including Oscar Bony, David Lamelas, and Marta Minujín, who confronted the aesthetic and political implications of mass media communication—including film, television, and the telex—during a vibrant, experimental period of technological innovation and political tension.

Featuring series of works and major installations, several of which are on view for the first time, Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980 highlights multiple points of contact, often initiated and sustained through collective actions and personal exchanges between artists. The exhibition suggests possible counter-geographies, realignments, alternative models of solidarity, and new ways of thinking about art produced internationally in relation to the frameworks dictated by the Cold War.”

Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms
The Asia Society
New York, New York
September 11, 2015–January 3, 2016

“This exhibition of more than 100 gold objects focuses on the wealth of the golden age of Butuan (pronounced boot’ wan), a polity on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao that rose to commercial prominence in the tenth century and declined in the thirteenth century. Works from ancient polities beyond Butuan, such as those on the islands of the Visayas and Luzon, bear witness to the early use of gold throughout the Philippines. A selection of the most extraordinary objects from a 1981 discovery—now in the collection of the Ayala Museum in Makati City and on view in the United States for the first time—forms the core of “Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms.” The exhibition also includes a few important loans from public and private collections including the Central Bank of the Philippines. Featuring spectacular gold necklaces, chains, waistbands, bangles, ritual bowls, implements, and ceremonial weapons, the exhibition showcases the rich artistry and material wealth of Butuan and related island polities.”

Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings
Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
September 13, 2015–January 3, 2016

“This fall, the Art Institute of Chicago offers a glimpse into one of the world’s most intimate religious traditions. Bringing together over 100 artworks from private and public collections in India and the United States, Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings is the first major U.S. exhibition to explore the unique visual culture of the Pushtimarg, a Hindu denomination from Western India.

Founded in the 16th century by the saint and philosopher Shri Vallabhacharya (1479–1531), the Pushtimarg is a religious community dedicated to the devotion of Shrinathji, a divine image of the Hindu god Krishna as a seven-year-old child. The religious and artistic center of the sect is based in the temple town of Nathdwara (literally, “The Gates of the Lord”), near Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan, India. Scholars and artists have long been fascinated by the distinctive and highly aestheticized manner in which members of this group venerate Shrinathji, as well as by the legacy of miniature paintings created as a record of such worship. This exhibition showcases centuries of pichvais (textile hangings) and miniature paintings that have been created by and for the Pushtimarg in devotion of Shrinathji.

The exhibition takes visitors through a year in Nathdwara, where the daily worship of Shrinathji is characterized by the changing seasons and a bustling festival calendar. Gallery by gallery, visitors are introduced to the pichvais used as backdrops for Shrinathji in his shrine, each uniquely suited to a particular season or festival. The accompanying miniature paintings offer further insight into the Pushtimarg sect: its mode of veneration, history, and important priests and patron families. Enhancing the experience of the sect’s rich culture are festival and devotional music, a shrine reconstruction, and touchscreen kiosks that allow visitors to page through religious manuscripts, an artist’s sketchbook, and a historic photo album. The exhibition concludes with an exploration of the works, sketches, and observations of prominent 20th- and 21st-century Nathdwara artists who have kept the painting tradition flourishing through the present day.

Gates of the Lord comprises drawings, pichvais, paintings, and historic photographs borrowed chiefly from two major private collections in India, the Amit Ambalal Collection (Ahmedabad, India) and the TAPI Collection (Surat, India). These rare loans are augmented by important objects from a number of public and private collections within the United States, including the Art Institute’s own permanent collection, in order to present the richest possible story of Pushtimarg art and tradition.”

Kongo: Power and Majesty
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, New York
September 18, 2015–January 3, 2016

“Central Africa’s Kongo civilization is responsible for one of the world’s greatest artistic traditions. This international loan exhibition will explore the region’s history and culture through 134 of the most inspired creations of Kongo masters from the sixteenth through the early twentieth century.

The earliest of these creations were diplomatic missives sent by Kongo sovereigns to their European counterparts during the Age of Exploration; they took the form of delicately carved ivories and finely woven raffia cloths embellished with abstract geometric patterns. Admired as marvels of human ingenuity, such Kongo works were preserved in princely European Kunstkammer, or cabinets of curiosities, alongside other precious and exotic creations from across the globe.

Kongo luxury arts from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century—many of which have never been exhibited before—will give an unprecedented historical backdrop to the outstanding work produced by master sculptors active in the same region during the nineteenth century. The array of figurative representations they produced range from miniature ivory finials for the staffs of office of Kongo leaders to the carved-wood commemorative shrine figures positioned above their burial sites.

The presentation will culminate with a gathering of fifteen monumental Mangaaka power figures produced in the Chiloango River region during the second half of the nineteenth century; these will include the celebrated example acquired by the Met in 2008, the original catalyst for the exhibition. For the first time, this electrifying form of expression will be understood as a defensive measure conceived by Kongo leaders to deflect Western incursions into this region of Central Africa.

With works drawn from sixty institutional and private lenders across Europe and the United States, Kongo: Power and Majesty will relate the objects on view to specific historical developments and will challenge misconceptions of Africa’s relationship with the West. In doing so, it will offer a radical, new understanding of Kongo art over the last five hundred years.”

Impressionism and the Caribbean: Francisco Oller and His Transatlantic World
Brooklyn Museum of Art
Brooklyn, New York
October 2, 2015–January 3, 2016

“The painter Francisco Oller contributed greatly to the development of modern art in both Europe and the Caribbean and revolutionized the school of painting in his native Puerto Rico.

Oller emerged from the small art world of San Juan in the 1840s, spending twenty years in Madrid and Paris, where he was inspired by the art of Gustave Courbet and joined the avant-garde circles of such artists as Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, and Claude Monet. While European Romanticism, Realism, and Impressionism formed a critical jumping-off point for Oller’s aesthetic, his most important source of inspiration was Puerto Rico, where he painted tropical landscapes, still lifes with indigenous fruits and vegetables, and portraits of distinguished artists and intellectuals.

This is the first U.S. exhibition to present Oller’s work within both its New and Old World contexts.”

Walid Raad
Museum of Modern Art
New York, New York
October 12, 2015–January 31, 2016

“MoMA presents the first comprehensive American survey of the leading contemporary artist Walid Raad (b. 1967, Lebanon), featuring his work in photography, video, sculpture, and performance from the last 25 years. Dedicated to exploring the veracity of photographic and video documents in the public realm, the role of memory and narrative within discourses of conflict, and the construction of histories of art in the Arab world, Raad’s work is informed by his upbringing in Lebanon during the civil war (1975–90), and by the socioeconomic and military policies that have shaped the Middle East in the past few decades.

The exhibition focuses on two of the artist’s long-term projects: The Atlas Group (1989–2004) and Scratching on things I could disavow (2007–ongoing). Under the rubric of The Atlas Group, a 15-year project exploring the contemporary history of Lebanon, Raad produced fictionalized photographs, videotapes, notebooks, and lectures that related to real events and authentic research in audio, film, and photographic archives in Lebanon and elsewhere. Raad’s recent work has expanded to address the Middle East region at large. His current ongoing project, Scratching on things I could disavow, examines the recent emergence in the Arab world of new infrastructure for the visual arts—art fairs, biennials, museums, and galleries—alongside the geopolitical, economic, and military conflicts that have consumed the region. The exhibition emphasizes the importance of performance, narrative, and storytelling in Raad’s oeuvre. The artist will give lecture-performances in MoMA’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium multiple times a week for the duration of the exhibition.”

Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern
Museum of Modern Art
New York, New York
October 25, 2015–February 15, 2016

“This major retrospective of Joaquín Torres-García (Uruguayan, 1874–1949) features works ranging from the late 19th century to the 1940s, including drawings, paintings, objects, sculptures, and original artist notebooks and rare publications. The exhibition combines a chronological display with a thematic approach, structured in a series of major chapters in the artist’s career, with emphasis on two key moments: the period from 1923 to 1933, when Torres-García participated in various European early modern avant-garde movements while establishing his own signature pictographic/Constructivist style; and 1935 to 1943, when, having returned to Uruguay, he produced one of the most striking repertoires of synthetic abstraction.

Torres-García is one of the most complex and important artists of the first half of the 20th century, and his work opened up transformational paths for modern art on both sides of the Atlantic. His personal involvement with a significant number of early avant-garde movements—from Catalan Noucentismo to Cubism, Ultraism-Vibrationism, and Neo-Plasticism—makes him an unparalleled figure whose work is ripe for a fresh critical reappraisal in the U.S.”

Filed under: CDP Highlights

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.

September/October 2015

Doris Salcedo
Guggenheim Museum
New York, New York
June 26–October 12, 2015

“This major retrospective will survey the searing, deeply poetic work of Doris Salcedo (b. 1958, Bogotá, Colombia). Over the past three decades, Salcedo’s practice has addressed the traumatic history of modern-day Colombia, as well as wider legacies of suffering stemming from colonialism, racism, and other forms of social injustice. Originating in lengthy research processes during which the artist solicits testimonies from the victims of violent oppression, her sculptures and installations eschew the direct representation of atrocities in favor of open-ended confluences of forms that are fashioned from evocative materials and intensely laborious techniques. Many of her works transmute intimate domestic objects into subtly charged vessels freighted with memories and narratives, paradoxically conjuring that which is tragically absent. The Guggenheim’s presentation of Doris Salcedo will occupy four levels of the museum’s Tower galleries. It will feature the artist’s most significant series from the late 1980s to the present, as well as a video documenting her remarkable site-specific public projects and architectural interventions.”

Flawlessly Feminine: Women Who Graced the Cover of JET Magazine and Works by Willie Cole
Golden Lady: Works by Mario Moore
Diggs Gallery, Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
July 9–December 2, 2015

“The pairing of two innovative exhibitions honoring women who graced the cover of JET Magazine, and drawings of young women with their favorite literature, is on display at Winston-Salem State University’s Diggs Gallery through December 2. The exhibits feature works by renowned artist Willie Cole and emerging artist Mario Moore.”

Black Like Who?
Birmingham Museum of Art
Birmingham, Alabama
July 11–November 1, 2015

“Issues regarding visual depictions of blackness in American art have been such highly scrutinized topics in both artistic production and museum exhibitions that one could ask what else is there to examine that has not already been sufficiently analyzed? Black Like Who? answers that inquiry with a question that considers who renders imagery of blackness and contemplates the various reasons why.

Drawing on the Museum’s collection and select loans from Birmingham private collectors, the exhibition surveys a variety of historical and contemporary works, and explores how various representations of blacks in American art have been influenced at particular historical moments by specific political, cultural, and aesthetic interests, as well as the motives and beliefs of the artists. Comprising work by both white and black artists, the diverse works examined in Black Like Who? range from romanticized Civil War depictions painted in the early 20th century by Gilbert Gaul (1855–1919) to a contemporary print by Iona Rozeal Brown (born 1966) that blends hip-hop culture with late 19th-century Japanese art.”

Deana Lawson: Ruttenberg Contemporary Photography Series
Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
September 5, 2015–January 10, 2016

“The first installment of the biennial Ruttenberg Contemporary Photography Series features the work of New York–based photographer Deana Lawson. For nearly a decade, Lawson has been investigating the visual expression of global black culture and how individuals claim their identities within it. Her staged portraits, carefully composed scenes, and found images speak to the ways in which personal and social histories, familial legacies, sexuality, social status, and religious-spiritual ideas may be drawn upon the body.
Lawson began her work in and around her Brooklyn neighborhood but has recently branched out nationally and internationally to places such as Louisiana, Haiti, Jamaica, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While her themes have remained consistent, her landscapes have shifted and broadened—the global scope of the pictures, in her words, “concern and affirm the sacred black body” and speak to a collective psychic memory of shared experiences.
Lawson starts her process by researching communities she has chosen for their cultural histories. Once on site, strangers met through chance encounters become her subjects, selected for a particular expression, mannerism, style of dress, or cultural or religious affiliation. The resulting images are often inspired by multiple trips or planned well in advance. They draw upon Western and African diasporic conventions of self-presentation, popular culture, mythology, and religious rituals and beliefs—emphasizing dialogues among the past, present, and future of black culture.”

Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980
Museum of Modern Art
New York, New York
September 5, 2015–January 3, 2016

Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980 focuses on the parallels and connections among an international scene of artists working in—and in reference to—Latin America and Eastern Europe during the 1960s and 1970s. The radical experimentation, expansion, and dissemination of ideas that marked the cultural production of these decades (which flanked the widespread student protests of 1968) challenge established art-historical narratives in the West. Artists from Prague to Mexico City developed alternative and ever-expanding networks of distribution and organization, via Paris, Vienna, and Venice, to circumvent the borders established after World War II, local forms of state and military repression, and Western accounts of artistic mastery and individualism. One major transformation across Latin American and Eastern European art scenes was the embrace of institutional critique and an emphasis on the creation of art outside a market context.
The exhibition brings together landmark works from MoMA’s collection by Eastern European artists including Geta Brặtescu, Tomislav Gotovac, Ion Grigorescu, Sanja Iveković, Dóra Maurer, and the anti-art collectives Gorgona, OHO, Aktual, and Fluxus East, as well as Latin American artists such as Beatriz González, Antonio Dias, Lea Lublin, and Ana Mendieta. Particular attention is paid to the group of Argentine artists clustered around the influential Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, including Oscar Bony, David Lamelas, and Marta Minujín, who confronted the aesthetic and political implications of mass media communication—including film, television, and the telex—during a vibrant, experimental period of technological innovation and political tension.
Featuring series of works and major installations, several of which are on view for the first time, Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980 highlights multiple points of contact, often initiated and sustained through collective actions and personal exchanges between artists. The exhibition suggests possible counter-geographies, realignments, alternative models of solidarity, and new ways of thinking about art produced internationally in relation to the frameworks dictated by the Cold War.”

Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms
The Asia Society
New York, New York
September 11, 2015–January 3, 2016

“This exhibition of more than 100 gold objects focuses on the wealth of the golden age of Butuan (pronounced boot’ wan), a polity on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao that rose to commercial prominence in the tenth century and declined in the thirteenth century. Works from ancient polities beyond Butuan, such as those on the islands of the Visayas and Luzon, bear witness to the early use of gold throughout the Philippines. A selection of the most extraordinary objects from a 1981 discovery—now in the collection of the Ayala Museum in Makati City and on view in the United States for the first time—forms the core of “Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms.” The exhibition also includes a few important loans from public and private collections including the Central Bank of the Philippines. Featuring spectacular gold necklaces, chains, waistbands, bangles, ritual bowls, implements, and ceremonial weapons, the exhibition showcases the rich artistry and material wealth of Butuan and related island polities.”

Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings
Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
September 13, 2015–January 3, 2016

“This fall, the Art Institute of Chicago offers a glimpse into one of the world’s most intimate religious traditions. Bringing together over 100 artworks from private and public collections in India and the United States, Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings is the first major U.S. exhibition to explore the unique visual culture of the Pushtimarg, a Hindu denomination from Western India.
Founded in the 16th century by the saint and philosopher Shri Vallabhacharya (1479–1531), the Pushtimarg is a religious community dedicated to the devotion of Shrinathji, a divine image of the Hindu god Krishna as a seven-year-old child. The religious and artistic center of the sect is based in the temple town of Nathdwara (literally, “The Gates of the Lord”), near Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan, India. Scholars and artists have long been fascinated by the distinctive and highly aestheticized manner in which members of this group venerate Shrinathji, as well as by the legacy of miniature paintings created as a record of such worship. This exhibition showcases centuries of pichvais (textile hangings) and miniature paintings that have been created by and for the Pushtimarg in devotion of Shrinathji.
The exhibition takes visitors through a year in Nathdwara, where the daily worship of Shrinathji is characterized by the changing seasons and a bustling festival calendar. Gallery by gallery, visitors are introduced to the pichvais used as backdrops for Shrinathji in his shrine, each uniquely suited to a particular season or festival. The accompanying miniature paintings offer further insight into the Pushtimarg sect: its mode of veneration, history, and important priests and patron families. Enhancing the experience of the sect’s rich culture are festival and devotional music, a shrine reconstruction, and touchscreen kiosks that allow visitors to page through religious manuscripts, an artist’s sketchbook, and a historic photo album. The exhibition concludes with an exploration of the works, sketches, and observations of prominent 20th- and 21st-century Nathdwara artists who have kept the painting tradition flourishing through the present day.
Gates of the Lord comprises drawings, pichvais, paintings, and historic photographs borrowed chiefly from two major private collections in India, the Amit Ambalal Collection (Ahmedabad, India) and the TAPI Collection (Surat, India). These rare loans are augmented by important objects from a number of public and private collections within the United States, including the Art Institute’s own permanent collection, in order to present the richest possible story of Pushtimarg art and tradition.”

Kongo: Power and Majesty
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, New York
September 18, 2015–January 3, 2016

“Central Africa’s Kongo civilization is responsible for one of the world’s greatest artistic traditions. This international loan exhibition will explore the region’s history and culture through 134 of the most inspired creations of Kongo masters from the sixteenth through the early twentieth century.
The earliest of these creations were diplomatic missives sent by Kongo sovereigns to their European counterparts during the Age of Exploration; they took the form of delicately carved ivories and finely woven raffia cloths embellished with abstract geometric patterns. Admired as marvels of human ingenuity, such Kongo works were preserved in princely European Kunstkammer, or cabinets of curiosities, alongside other precious and exotic creations from across the globe.
Kongo luxury arts from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century—many of which have never been exhibited before—will give an unprecedented historical backdrop to the outstanding work produced by master sculptors active in the same region during the nineteenth century. The array of figurative representations they produced range from miniature ivory finials for the staffs of office of Kongo leaders to the carved-wood commemorative shrine figures positioned above their burial sites.
The presentation will culminate with a gathering of fifteen monumental Mangaaka power figures produced in the Chiloango River region during the second half of the nineteenth century; these will include the celebrated example acquired by the Met in 2008, the original catalyst for the exhibition. For the first time, this electrifying form of expression will be understood as a defensive measure conceived by Kongo leaders to deflect Western incursions into this region of Central Africa.
With works drawn from sixty institutional and private lenders across Europe and the United States, Kongo: Power and Majesty will relate the objects on view to specific historical developments and will challenge misconceptions of Africa’s relationship with the West. In doing so, it will offer a radical, new understanding of Kongo art over the last five hundred years.”

Impressionism and the Caribbean: Francisco Oller and His Transatlantic World
Brooklyn Museum of Art
Brooklyn, New York
October 2, 2015–January 3, 2016

“The painter Francisco Oller contributed greatly to the development of modern art in both Europe and the Caribbean and revolutionized the school of painting in his native Puerto Rico.
Oller emerged from the small art world of San Juan in the 1840s, spending twenty years in Madrid and Paris, where he was inspired by the art of Gustave Courbet and joined the avant-garde circles of such artists as Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, and Claude Monet. While European Romanticism, Realism, and Impressionism formed a critical jumping-off point for Oller’s aesthetic, his most important source of inspiration was Puerto Rico, where he painted tropical landscapes, still lifes with indigenous fruits and vegetables, and portraits of distinguished artists and intellectuals.
This is the first U.S. exhibition to present Oller’s work within both its New and Old World contexts.”

Walid Raad
Museum of Modern Art
New York, New York
October 12, 2015–January 31, 2016

“MoMA presents the first comprehensive American survey of the leading contemporary artist Walid Raad (b. 1967, Lebanon), featuring his work in photography, video, sculpture, and performance from the last 25 years. Dedicated to exploring the veracity of photographic and video documents in the public realm, the role of memory and narrative within discourses of conflict, and the construction of histories of art in the Arab world, Raad’s work is informed by his upbringing in Lebanon during the civil war (1975–90), and by the socioeconomic and military policies that have shaped the Middle East in the past few decades.
The exhibition focuses on two of the artist’s long-term projects: The Atlas Group (1989–2004) and Scratching on things I could disavow (2007–ongoing). Under the rubric of The Atlas Group, a 15-year project exploring the contemporary history of Lebanon, Raad produced fictionalized photographs, videotapes, notebooks, and lectures that related to real events and authentic research in audio, film, and photographic archives in Lebanon and elsewhere. Raad’s recent work has expanded to address the Middle East region at large. His current ongoing project, Scratching on things I could disavow, examines the recent emergence in the Arab world of new infrastructure for the visual arts—art fairs, biennials, museums, and galleries—alongside the geopolitical, economic, and military conflicts that have consumed the region. The exhibition emphasizes the importance of performance, narrative, and storytelling in Raad’s oeuvre. The artist will give lecture-performances in MoMA’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium multiple times a week for the duration of the exhibition.”

Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern
Museum of Modern Art
New York, New York
October 25, 2015–February 15, 2016

“This major retrospective of Joaquín Torres-García (Uruguayan, 1874–1949) features works ranging from the late 19th century to the 1940s, including drawings, paintings, objects, sculptures, and original artist notebooks and rare publications. The exhibition combines a chronological display with a thematic approach, structured in a series of major chapters in the artist’s career, with emphasis on two key moments: the period from 1923 to 1933, when Torres-García participated in various European early modern avant-garde movements while establishing his own signature pictographic/Constructivist style; and 1935 to 1943, when, having returned to Uruguay, he produced one of the most striking repertoires of synthetic abstraction.
Torres-García is one of the most complex and important artists of the first half of the 20th century, and his work opened up transformational paths for modern art on both sides of the Atlantic. His personal involvement with a significant number of early avant-garde movements—from Catalan Noucentismo to Cubism, Ultraism-Vibrationism, and Neo-Plasticism—makes him an unparalleled figure whose work is ripe for a fresh critical reappraisal in the U.S.”

Filed under: CDP Highlights

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.

July/August 2015

Hidden Histories in Latin American Art
Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix, Arizona
May 9, 2015–August 23, 2015

“This exhibition features Latin American and Latino artists who investigate stories or histories marginalized by the media, historical events and present circumstances that we might rather forget. These artists explore neglected yet pressing histories, such as the violence against women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico; the marginalization of indigenous communities in Guatemala; the fate of civilians “disappeared” by military and paramilitary groups in Colombia; and the lynching of Latinos in the southern United States beginning in the mid-19th century and continuing into the mid-20th.

These works allude to politics, though they touch upon different historical moments in diverse regions of Latin America as well as the special circumstances confronting Latinos living in the United States. Each story is different, but what unites them is the means by which they are told: through intentional processes of veiling and fragmentation. These artists engage in a kind of storytelling in which the part stands in for the whole. They also endow everyday objects with potent symbolism, often made all the more powerful through collaged imagery. In this way, a handcrafted dress, a felt blanket, a wooden barricade, a wardrobe, and even part of an urban glass wall become vehicles for exploring larger histories, made present before the viewer but only partially revealed.

Hidden Histories includes works by Luis González Palma (Guatemala, born 1957), Annie Lopez (US, 1958), Teresa Margolles (Mexico, 1963), Graciela Sacco (Argentina, 1956), Doris Salcedo (Colombia, 1958), and Vincent Valdez (US, 1977).”

Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, California
June 7, 2015–September 27, 2015

“Noah Purifoy (1917–2004) lived and worked most of his life in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, California. A founding director of the Watts Towers Art Center, his earliest body of sculpture, constructed out of charred debris from the 1965 Watts Rebellion, was the basis for 66 Signs of Neon, a landmark group exhibition about the riots that traveled to nine venues between 1966 and 1969. In line with the postwar period’s general fascination with the street and its objects, Purifoy’s 66 Signs of Neon constituted a Duchampian approach to the fire-molded alleys of Watts, a strategy that profoundly impacted artists such as David Hammons, John Outterbridge and Senga Nengudi.

In the late 1980’s, after eleven years of public policy work for the California Arts Council, where Purifoy initiated programs such as Artists in Social Institutions, bringing art into the state prison system, Purifoy moved his practice to the Mojave desert. He lived there for the last fifteen years of his life, creating ten acres of large-scale sculpture constructed entirely from junked materials.

The exhibition explores a pivotal yet under-recognized figure in the development of postwar American Art whose effect is only beginning to be fully understood.”

Zanele Muholi: Isibonelo/Evidence
Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn, New York
May 1, 2015–November 1, 2015

“Zanele Muholi meshes her work in photography, video, and installation with human rights activism to create visibility for the black lesbian and transgender communities of South Africa. Zanele Muholi: Isibonelo/Evidence is the most comprehensive museum presentation to date of Muholi’s works and features several of the artist’s ongoing projects about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) communities, both in her home country and abroad.

The exhibition presents eighty-seven works created between 2007 and 2014, including Muholi’s Faces and Phases portrait series, which uses firsthand accounts to speak to the experience of living in a country that constitutionally protects the rights of LGBTI people but often fails to defend them from targeted violence. Also included is the new series Weddings and the video Being Scene, both of which focus on love, intimacy, and daily life within Muholi’s close-knit community.”

Arts Aids America
ONE Archives Gallery & Museum and the West Hollywood Library
West Hollywood, California
June 6, 2015–September 6, 2015

Art AIDS America examines 30 years of artistic production made in response to the AIDS epidemic in the United States. Surveying the early 1980s to the present, this exhibition reintroduces and explores a spectrum of artistic responses to HIV/AIDS from the politically outspoken to the quietly mournful, considering how the disease shifted the development of American art away from the conceptual foundations of postmodernism and toward a more insistently political and autobiographical voice.

Presented in two parts at the ONE Gallery and the West Hollywood Library as a part of One City One Pride, this iteration of the exhibition comprises a select preview of the larger show opening at the Tacoma Art Museum in October 2015. In West Hollywood, works on view at the Library explore a wide range of creative expressions from the early years of AIDS to the present, while the presentation at the ONE Gallery focuses special attention on California-based artists.”

Hoy toca el Prado (Touching the Prado)
Museo Nacional del Prado
Madrid, Spain
January 20, 2015–October, 18 2015

The Prado Museum and the AXA Foundation, with the collaboration of ONCE have devised a pioneering initiative aimed essentially at people with visual disabilities. Curated by Fernando Pérez Suescun, the exhibition comprises six embossed paintings, which are the most representative of the Prado Museum, belonging to diverse genres and artistic styles (religious paintings, portraits, still life’s, mythology and traditional scenes). They include Touch me Not by Correggio; The Forge of Vulcan by Velázquez; The Parasol by Goya; The Mona Lisa from Leonardo da Vinci’s studio; Gentleman with his Hand on his Chest by El Greco; and Still Life with Artichokes, Flowers and Glass Vessels by Van der Hamen. The last three are real scale reproductions and the rest are on a lower scale. Visitors can touch them with their own hands, offering them the unique possibility of capturing their beauty down to the very smallest detail.

Coinciding with the presentation of Touching the Prado, the Museum has launched a new audioguide service that includes audio descriptions of fifty-three works in its collection. These detailed explanations of the figures, themes and other elements depicted in the works are specifically aimed at visually impaired visitors. Fourteen descriptions of masterpieces in the collection are particularly detailed. Audio descriptions are available free for visually impaired visitors at the Audioguide desks.

Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College
Birmingham Museum of Art
Birmingham, Alabama
June 13, 2015–September 6, 2015

“In 1938 Atlanta-based artist Hale Woodruff was commissioned to paint a series of murals for Talladega College, Alabama, one of the first colleges established for blacks in the United States. Installed in the institution’s newly constructed Savery Library, the six murals portray noteworthy events in the rise of blacks from slavery to freedom. Though he painted the murals for a local audience of students and faculty, Woodruff intended their impact to reach beyond Talladega’s campus.

They attracted national attention. Cultural leaders in the African American community, in particular, championed Woodruff’s murals, adopting the project as a statement of pride and hope for racial equality. Today the murals remain symbols of the centuries-long struggle for civil rights. This project, a collaboration between the High Museum of Art and Talladega College, conserves these works and presents them to a national audience for the first time.”

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933–1945
Museum of Jewish Heritage
New York, New York
May 29, 2015–October 2, 2015

“Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazi German regime promoted racial health policies that sought to eliminate all sources of biological corruption to its dominant “Aryan” race. Among the groups persecuted as threats to the national health were Germany’s homosexual men. Believing them to be carriers of a “degeneracy” that weakened society and hindered population growth, the Nazi state arrested and incarcerated in prisons and concentration camps tens of thousands of German men as a means of terrorizing them into social conformity.

This exhibition examines the Nazi regime’s attempt to eradicate homosexuality. The Nazis’ efforts left thousands dead and shattered the lives of many more.”

Baye Fall: Roots in Spirituality, Fashion, and Resistance
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan
Brooklyn, New York
June 18, 2015–September 27, 2015

Baye Fall: Roots in Spirituality, Fashion, and Resistance is a photographic series that visually engages the Baye Fall, an enterprising sub-group of Senegal’s notable Sufi Muslim community, the Mourides. These images encourage viewers to contemplate Sufism in a West African context by exploring the community’s reverence for Baye Fall’s founder and leader, Cheikh Amadou Bamba, and his most celebrated disciple, Ibrahima Fall, the namesake of this suborder.

An integral part of the cultural fabric of Senegalese society, the Baye Fall possess a unique aesthetic that includes ‘locked’ hair, patchwork garments, symphonic chanting and artisanal leather talismans and prayer beads. Gathering after the evening prayer to sing in collectives calleddahrias, their voices gently resonate throughout the shadows of the night. But perhaps the most distinctive aspect of their religious practice is the incorporation of physical labor as a form of worship.

Through witnessing the everyday lives of the Baye Fall, and the Senegalese cities in which they dwell, this series shows how indigenous ideology and pre- and post-colonial politics have influenced the contemporary spiritual practice of the Baye Fall, as well as their social, economic and political philosophies.”

Royals & Regalia: Inside the Palaces of Nigeria’s Monarchs
Recent Photographs by George Osodi

Newark Museum
Newark New Jersey
February 25, 2015–August 9, 2015

Royals & Regalia: Inside the Palaces of Nigeria’s Monarchs presents 40 visually stunning portraits from a new series by acclaimed Nigerian photographer George Osodi. Exhibited for the first time in the U.S., these vibrant color photographs feature the regional rulers of modern-day monarchies throughout the country. They provide audiences with a rare and intimate look inside Nigeria’s palaces and throne rooms, capturing the personalities of the rulers, the splendor of their dress, and the details of their settings. The near life-size photographs will be shown to dramatic effect along with select examples of prestige dress and regalia from the internationally renowned collections of the Newark Museum.”

“The idea behind this project is to travel around this diverse country and go beyond the portraits to explore the subjects’ environments—being the custodians of our cultural heritage and peace makers—exploring their architecture and fashion with the view to showcase and celebrate them and to mirror the country’s great culture through their personalities.”— Photographer George Osodi

Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life
New York Botanical Gardens
New York, New York
May 16, 2015–November 15, 2015

“This blockbuster exhibition is the first to examine Frida Kahlo’s keen appreciation for the beauty and variety of the natural world, as evidenced by her home and garden as well as the complex use of plant imagery in her artwork. Featuring a rare display of more than a dozen original Kahlo paintings and works on paper, this limited six-month engagement also reimagines the iconic artist’s famed garden and studio at the Casa Azul, her lifelong home in Mexico City.

Accompanying events invite visitors to learn about Kahlo’s life and enduring cultural influence through music, lectures, Frida al Fresco evenings, Mexican-inspired shopping and dining experiences, and hands-on art activities for kids. As a complement to your visit, use our new mobile guide to see rare photos and footage, listen to expert commentary, and create your own Frida Selfie to share with friends.”

Filed under: CDP Highlights

CDP Highlights

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.

May/June 2015

Kahlil Joseph: Double Conscience
Museum of Contemporary Art
Los Angeles, California
March 20, 2015–August 16, 2015

Kahlil Joseph: Double Conscience is MOCA’s presentation of Kahlil Joseph’s m.A.A.d, a double screen projection that is a lush portrait of contemporary Los Angeles. The camera sinuously glides through predominantly African American neighborhoods, pausing to capture quotidian moments—driving in a car, a marching band, the barbershop—that are suffused with creativity, joy, and sadness. The split screen divides the viewer’s attention, and alludes to the history of auteur cinema—a form of filmmaking pioneered by French director Jean Luc Godard—which sacrificed linear narrative for experimentation with the formal and political possibilities of filmmaking. m.A.A.d extends this tradition of formal experimentation by crossing the wires of music videos, amateur film footage, and moments of magical realism. The two-part projection may also slyly evoke philosopher W.E.B. Dubois’s early twentieth century concept of “double consciousness,” a psychological description of Black life in America. The film’s verbally dense and thick booming soundtrack, provided by hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar, adds yet another layer to this prismatic account of contemporary life in Los Angeles.” (http://www.moca.org/museum/exhibitiondetail.php?&id=503)

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

UNDER THE MEXICAN SKY: Gabriel Figueroa—Art and Film
Museo El Barrio
New York, New York
March 4, 2015–June 27, 2015

“From the early 1930s through the early 1980s, the Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa (1907–1997) helped forge an evocative and enduring image of Mexico. Among the most important cinematographers of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, Figueroa worked with leading directors from Mexico, the United States and Europe, traversing a wide range of genres while maintaining his distinctive and vivid visual style.

In the 1930s, Figueroa was part of a vibrant community of artists in many media, including Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, Edward Weston and Manuel Alvarez Bravo, who sought to convey the country’s transformation following the trauma of the Mexican Revolution. Later, he adapted his approach to the very different sensibilities of directors Luis Buñuel and John Huston, among others. Figueroa spoke of creating una imágen mexicana, a Mexican image. His films are an essential part of the network of appropriations, exchanges and reinterpretations that formed Mexican visual identity and visual culture in the mid-twentieth century and beyond.

The exhibition features film clips, paintings by Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, Manuel Rodriguez Lozano and José Chavez Morado, photographs, prints, posters and documents, many of which are drawn from Figueroa’s archive, the Televisa Foundation collection, the collections of the Museo de la Estampa and the Museo Nacional in Mexico. In addition, the exhibition includes work by other artists and filmmakers from the period such as Luis Buñuel, Sergei Eisenstein, Edward Weston, and Tina Modotti that draw from the vast inventory of distinctly Mexican imagery associated with Figueroa’s cinematography or were heavily influenced by his vision.” (http://www.elmuseo.org/under-the-mexican-sky/)

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

Imagining New Worlds: Wilfredo Lam, Jose Parla, Fahamu Pecou
High Museum of Art
Atlanta, Georgia
February 14, 2015–May 24, 2015

“Imagining New Worlds traces the lengthy career of Wifredo Lam (1902-1982), perhaps best remembered as a member of the Surrealist group in the 1940s. Born in Cuba to a Chinese father and mother of African and Spanish descent, Lam gave expression to his multiracial and cultural ancestry through a signature hybrid style of painting that blended Surrealism, magical realism, modernism, and postmodernism. The exhibition begins with the academic work made while studying painting in Madrid, and includes the fantastical mid-century canvases that incorporate figures from the syncretic religion Santéria. His work is informed by a cross-cultural fusion of influences such as Afro-Cuban symbolism and Negritude, a movement that rejected the French colonial framing of African identity.” (http://www.high.org/Art/Exhibitions/Imagining-New-Worlds.aspx)

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

Kehinde Wiley:  A New Republic
Brooklyn Museum of Art
Brooklyn, New York
February 20, 2015–May 24, 2015

“The works presented in Kehinde Wiley: A New Republicraise questions about race, gender, and the politics of representation by portraying contemporary African American men and women using the conventions of traditional European portraiture. The exhibition includes an overview of the artist’s prolific fourteen-year career and features sixty paintings and sculptures.
Wiley’s signature portraits of everyday men and women riff on specific paintings by Old Masters, replacing the European aristocrats depicted in those paintings with contemporary black subjects, drawing attention to the absence of African Americans from historical and cultural narratives. The subjects in Wiley’s paintings often wear sneakers, hoodies, and baseball caps, gear associated with hip-hop culture, and are set against contrasting ornate decorative backgrounds that evoke earlier eras and a range of cultures. Through the process of “street casting,” Wiley invites individuals, often strangers he encounters on the street, to sit for portraits. In this collaborative process, the model chooses a reproduction of a painting from a book and reenacts the pose of the painting’s figure. By inviting the subjects to select a work of art, Wiley gives them a measure of control over the way they’re portrayed. The exhibition includes a selection of Wiley’s World Stagepaintings, begun in 2006, in which he takes his street casting process to other countries, widening the scope of his collaboration. Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic is organized by Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum. A fully illustrated catalogue published by the Brooklyn Museum and DelMonico Books • Prestel accompanies the exhibition.” (http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/kehinde_wiley_new_republic/)

More information: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/home.php

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit
Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit, Michigan
March 15, 2015–July 12, 2015

“Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo were an explosive couple. He carried a pistol. She carried a flask. He romanticized Detroit. She rejected it. But what they shared was a belief in communism, a thirst for tequila and a passion for each other. Discover how they left their mark on Detroit. And how Detroit left its mark on their art. Exclusively on view at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit brings together nearly 70 works of art that depict the evolution of these two extraordinary artists’ careers, including eight of Rivera’s epic preparatory drawings for the Detroit Industry murals and 23 pieces by Kahlo, whose work has never before been shown at the DIA.” (http://www.dia.org/calendar/event.aspx?id=4608&iid=)

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

Filed under: CDP Highlights

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.

March/April 2015

Wael Shawky: Cabaret Crusades
MoMA PS1
Long Island City, New York
January 31, 2015–August 31, 2015

“For his first solo exhibition at a major American museum, Wael Shawky presents his epic video trilogy that recounts the history of The Crusades from an Arab perspective. Inspired by The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Lebanese historian Amin Maalouf, Shawky’s videos chart the numerous European campaigns to the Holy Land, starting from the early Crusades from 1096–1099 A.D. that are depicted in CABARET CRUSADES: THE HORROR SHOW FILES (2010) and the First and Second Crusades from 1099–1145 A.D. in CABARET CRUSADES: THE PATH TO CAIRO (2012). The MoMA PS1 exhibition will feature both works and debut the third and final video from the series, CABARET CRUSADES: THE SECRETS of KARBALA.

Based on accounts from primary sources, Shawky complicates the traditional civilization clash narrative by describing scenes that refute common notions of the era. Shawky highlights both the secular motivations of the European fighters and the competition and violence among Arab leaders. Using 200-year-old marionettes from a collection in Italy for the first installment, and custom-made ceramic figures for the second, Shawky says the puppets help create a “surreal and mythical atmosphere that blends drama and cynicism, telling a story of remote events that could hardly be more topical today. The puppets’ strings clearly refer to the idea of control. The work also implies a criticism of the way history has been written and manipulated.” (http://momaps1.org/exhibitions/view/394)

More information: http://momaps1.org

After Midnight: Indian Modernism to Contemporary India 1947/1997
Queens Museum
Queens, New York
March 8, 2015–June 28, 2015

After Midnight: Indian Modernism to Contemporary India 1947/1997 presents a comparative study of art created in the wake of two defining moments in Indian history. The first, Indian independence in 1947 was notable for the emergence of the Progressives Artists Group. The second was 1997, which marked 50 years of India’s independence, a period that coincided with economic liberalization, political instability, the growth of a religious right wing, as well as a newly globalizing art market and international biennial circuit, in which Indian artists had begun to participate. The year 1997 also prompted a host of several important international exhibitions of Indian art around the world including the first Indian exhibitions in the United States: Out of India, at the Queens Museum and Traditions/Tensions at The Asia Society 1996–1997. Telling Tales: 5 Women artists from India, held at the Victoria Gallery, Bath, UK was followed by Private Mythology: Contemporary Art from India, curated by The Japan Foundation in Tokyo, 1998.

After Midnight will be the first exhibition large-scale examination of Indian art in the United States prominently featuring the Modern masters, core members of the Progressives including M. F. Husain, S. H. Raza, F. N. Souza, and their extended circle of friends such as Ram Kumar, Krishen Khanna, V. S. Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, and Akbar Padamsee.

The contemporary section of the show brings to the fore pertinent issues that have taken place from 1997 to the present. These include a critique of globalization-at-large, affected by the changing economy that forever altered the nation. Not only did this prompt economic growth in India that created opportunities for growth and progress, but at the same time it brought several setbacks such as the exploitation of labor and rural migration to name a few. The contemporary artists in the exhibition are CAMP, Nikhil Chopra, Desire Machine Collective, Atul Dodiya, Anita Dube, Sheela Gowda, Shilpa Gupta, Subodh Gupta, Tushar Joag, Jitish Kallat, Tallur L. N., Prajakta Potnis, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Raqs Media Collective, Sharmila Samant, Mithu Sen, Dayanita Singh and Asim Waqif.

After Midnight, while a large-scale survey show itself, adopts a critical position against blockbuster exhibitions of Indian art that have undertaken tokenist representation of India, or have attempted to illustrate the nation through its art. Instead of capitulating to the market forces and the need of the West to “present” and “frame” Indian cultural practices, the intent of the exhibition is to dismantle the stereotypical nationalist presentations of India. The exhibition attempts to produce and present art practices, dialogues, and questions emerging from an Indian context to be embraced within the larger global framework of modernity. After Midnight resists being mapped or firmly placed with the boundaries of the nation. Instead, it looks to draw on a new critical body of knowledge that has arisen from a new globalism, in which everything seems to be in the process of being redefined, including individual freedom and rights and the idea of India itself. Most importantly the exhibition disbands positions that are no longer useful, to allow for an expanded, inclusive dialogue of art and culture to emerge. The exhibition includes work in a variety of media and consists of both existing works and new commissions.” (http://www.queensmuseum.org/exhibitions/2013/11/08/after-midnight/)

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

Jesse Howard: Thy Kingdom Come
Contemporary Art Museum St Louis.
St. Louis, Missouri
January 16, 2015–April 11, 2015

Thy Kingdom Come is the first comprehensive museum survey of the work of Jesse Clyde Howard, a self-taught artist, evangelist, and keen advocate of “free thought and free speech” who lived and worked in Fulton, Missouri, from the 1940s through the early ’80s.  Presenting more than 100 of Howard’s hand-painted signs comprising religious exhortations, political denunciations, and autobiographical details, the exhibition documents the profusion of creative energy reflected in the artist’s dogmatic faith in the First Amendment—rights that were, according to Howard, under threat from the dissemination of communism and progressivism.

In 1903, at the age of eighteen, Howard left home to pursue a variety of temporary occupations on the West Coast. These years of migrant labor exposed him to a system of vernacular signage that would later instruct his principal period of artistic production. In 1944 Howard and his wife, Maude Linton, moved with their five children to “Sorehead Hill,” a twenty-acre compound north of Fulton. Here he began crafting model airplanes, dog carts, and other curiosities before devoting himself to creating signs expounding personal dogmas and cultural perceptions. By the time of his death in 1983, Howard had constructed a landscape of sculptural and textual works surrounding his home and workshops.

Howard’s initial artistic projects of the 1940s were met with condemnation by Fulton, leading some in the community to steal and deface his works, which resulted in subsequent allegations in Howard’s later signage. For Howard, the biblical citations of “the confusion of language” and “the earth divided” found throughout his text are not simply cosmic consequences of human transgression but intimate biographical details that reflect his community’s misunderstanding and rejection. Howard projects the inequities present in Biblical literature onto his neighbors to legitimize the prophetic nature of his “signs and wonders,” and in the process reveals the problematic relationship between self-advertisement and recourse to scriptural authority.” (http://camstl.org/exhibitions/main-gallery/jesse-howard/)

More information: http://camstl.org

Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds
High Museum of Art
Atlanta, Georgia
February 14, 2015–May 24, 2015

“The High Museum of Art presents a retrospective of work by Wifredo Lam, a preeminent artist of Latin American origin and one of the Surrealist movement’s most influential figures, from Feb. 14 through May 24, 2015. Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds features more than 40 paintings and a selection of drawings, prints and ephemera by the internationally renowned, Cuban-born artist. Many of Lam’s masterworks—drawn from public and private collections across Europe, Latin America and the U.S.—are presented together for the first time in the exhibition, which offers a rare overview and reexamination of the artist’s career.

Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Words sheds light on Lam’s seminal periods of artistic development, tracing the global path of his career from its academic roots in Madrid to Lam’s pivotal stay in pre-war Paris and his return to Cuba in the early 1940s. The works reveal the many important influences on Lam’s career, from the European literary and artistic avant-garde to African art.

Born in Cuba to a Chinese father and a mother of African and Spanish descent, Lam (1902-82) gave expression to his multiracial and cultural ancestry while engaging with the major political, literary and artistic circles whose work came to define modernism in the 20th century. In 1938, Lam moved to Paris, where he absorbed the tenets of European modernism, became an important artist of the 1940s Surrealist group, and was introduced to such influential figures as Pablo Picasso and André Breton.

The impact of Lam’s interactions with artists, poets and philosophers on his work is a central theme of Imagining New Worlds, which examines the influence of such pioneering figures as Picasso, Breton, Federico García Lorca, Alejo Carpentier, Gabriel García Márquez and Aimé Césaire.

The exhibition will also consider how the Négritude movement shaped Lam’s work. Lam discovered the literary and ideological movement during his time in Haiti through his relationship with Césaire, the Francophone writer from Martinique whose book of poetry “The Native Land” was published in Spanish translation (“Retorno al pais natal”) in 1943 with illustrations by Lam. Césaire was one of the founders of the movement, which focuses on a black identity that rejects French colonialism.

Returning to Havana in 1941, Lam arrived at his signature hybrid style of painting: a blend of surrealism, magic realism, modernism and postmodernism characterized by a cross-cultural fusion of influences including Afro-Cuban symbolism and imagery related to the Santería religion practiced in the Caribbean.” (http://www.high.org/Press/Press-Releases/2015/February/Wifredo-Lam-Press-Release.aspx)

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

Lee Bul
National Museum of Contemporary Art
Seoul, Korea
September 30, 2014–March 1, 2015

“In the 1980s, Lee received a very traditional education in sculpture at Hongik University in Korea. From her earliest works, however, she has actively rebelled against the conventional academic art that tends to dominate the Korean art field. She officially launched her professional career in the late 1980s with a series of provocative performances, installations, and sculptures that scathingly criticized the social and political power structure of patriarchal culture. She hung upside down from a rope while naked, to the accompaniment of a pop song. The work was a powerful visualization of the pain of abortion as well as a public confession about her own experience. The same year, in her outdoor performance, she wore the makeup of a shaman and a soft costume of a monster with giant tentacles, and then ran through the fields of Jangheung. In another performance, she wore a similar monster outfit when she wandered Gimpo Airport in Korea, Narita Airport in Japan and the streets of downtown Tokyo for twelve days in costume, eliciting various responses from pedestrians. These performances represented her resistance to a number of binary oppositions: human vs. monster, reason vs. feeling, man vs. woman, logic vs. illogic. Furthermore, they were parodies of femininity, which has been identified with the seditious object of exclusion. As such, she raised compelling questions about existing values and conventions.

Lee’s Mon grand récit series, first shown in 2005, continued to explore the oppressive relationship between the human and society and the gloomy future of science and technology. At the same time, Lee harkened back to some of the central issues of early twentieth-century architecture, with its pursuit of utopia through design. For On Every New Shadow, Lee’s 2007 exhibition at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris, she made to unfold massive installation works, as if reconstituting these themes as landscapes unto themselves. The Mon grand récit series reflects Lee’s views on Jean-François Lyotard, who posited that the so-called “grand narrative,” or metanarrative, was impossible in the age of post-modernism. Recognizing the impossibility of grand narrative, Lee presented various “small narratives” that were fragmented and imperfect, and which continuously floated around with no resolution. Her works were designed to make viewers contemplate the traces of corruption disclosed in history, the failure of modernist idealism, and the specters of modernism that continue to haunt the daily life and consciousness of individuals.” (http://www.mmca.go.kr/eng/exhibitions/exhibitionsDetail.do?exhId=201409300000154&menuId=1010000000)

More information: http://www.mmca.go.kr/eng/

Filed under: CDP Highlights

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.

January/February 2015

Chitra Ganesh: Eyes of Time
Brooklyn Museum, New York
December 12, 2014–July 12, 2015

“Exploring ideas of femininity, empowerment, and multiplicity, Brooklyn-based artist Chitra Ganesh draws inspiration from the Museum’s encyclopedic collection, including representations of the goddess Kali, to create a site-specific multimedia installation for the Herstory Gallery. Chitra Ganesh: Eyes of Time centers on a monumental mural that takes Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction and rebirth, and other figures from Judy’s Chicago’s The Dinner Party as starting points for portraying female power and plurality. The artist expands on this theme by showcasing works from our Egyptian, Indian, and Contemporary collections. For more than a decade, Ganesh has used the iconography of mythology, literature, and popular culture to bring to light feminist and queer narratives. One of her first major works, Tales of Amnesia (2002)—a zine inspired by Indian comic books that the Museum acquired out of our 2004 exhibition Open House: Working in Brooklyn—is also on view. Chitra Ganesh: Eyes of Time is organized by Saisha Grayson, Assistant Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum. This exhibition is made possible by the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation.”  (http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/chitra_ganesh/)
More information:
http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/home.php

Judith Scott–Bound and Unbound
Brooklyn Museum, New York
October 24, 2014–March 29, 2015

“Judith Scott’s work is celebrated for its astonishing visual complexity. In a career spanning just seventeen years, Scott developed a unique and idiosyncratic method to produce a body of work of remarkable originality. Often working for weeks or months on individual pieces, she used yarn, thread, fabric, and other fibers to envelop found objects into fastidiously woven, wrapped, and bundled structures. Born in Columbus, Ohio, with Down syndrome, Scott (1943–2005) was also largely deaf and did not speak. After thirty-five years living within an institutional setting for people with disabilities, she was introduced in 1987 to Creative Growth Art Center—a visionary studio art program founded more than forty years ago in Oakland, California, to foster and serve a community of artists with developmental and physical disabilities. As the first comprehensive U.S. survey of Scott’s work, this retrospective exhibition includes an overview of three-dimensional objects spanning the artist’s career as well as a selection of works on paper Judith Scott—Bound and Unbound is organized by Catherine J. Morris, Sackler Family Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum, and Matthew Higgs, artist and Director/Chief Curator of White Columns, New York. The accompanying catalogue is published by the Brooklyn Museum and Prestel. This exhibition is made possible by the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation. Additional generous support has been provided by the Helene Zucker Seeman Memorial Exhibition Fund and Deedie Rose.” (http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/judith_scott/)
More information:
http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/home.php

LOUD silence
gallery@Calit2
University of California San Diego
January 22–March 13, 2015

“LOUD silence is an exhibition that offers the opportunity for viewers to consider definitions of sound, voice, and notions of silence at the intersection of both deaf and hearing cultures. The exhibition displays prints, drawings, sculptures, videos, and a film installation, and features work by four artists who have different relationships to deafness and hearing, including Shary Boyle, Christine Sun Kim, Darrin Martin and Alison O’Daniel. These four artists explore how the binary of loudness and silence might be transformed in politicized ways through their own specificities, similarities and differences in relationship to communication and language. The stereotypical view of the deaf experience is that they live a life of total silence, where they retain little to no concept of sound. But on the contrary, deaf people actually know a lot about sound, and sound informs and inhabits their world just as much as the next person. Through these artworks, the artists aim to loudly explode the myth of a silent deaf world, and they seek to trouble just how “inaudible” sound really is through their own visceral experiences of it. The distinction between the deaf person and the hearing person in their relationship to sound is the extent to which deaf people use senses other than the auditory to understand what they are hearing. Sound is felt and sound is seen. Indeed, some of the artists’ “deaf hearing” in this exhibition often involves sensory input from a variety of sources, and is not simply confined to the ears. Ultimately, the work in LOUD silence offers an avenue for eradicating deaf oppression, where new ways of listening and thinking about sound and silence might be developed. A full-color catalogue will accompany this exhibition produced in partnership with the Grand Central Art Center at California State University Fullerton, with essays written by the exhibition curator, Amanda Cachia, alongside Dr. Zeynep Bulut, Lecturer in Music, Kings College, London, and Michael Davidson, Professor of American Literature in the Literature Department, UCSD.” (http://www.calit2.net/events/popup.php?id=2444)

Filed under: CDP Highlights, Uncategorized

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

Each month, CAA’s Committee on Diversity Practices highlights a number of 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.

September/October 2014

Whitfield Lovell: Deep River
Telfair Museums, Jepson Center for the Arts
Savannah, Georgia
August 15, 2014‒February 1, 2015

“Artist Whitfield Lovell is internationally renowned for his thought-provoking portraits and signature tableaux. In this exhibition, Lovell utilizes sculpture, video, drawing, sound, and music to create an environment that fully engages our senses and emotions. His art pays tribute to the lives of anonymous African Americans and is universal in its exploration of passage, memory, and the search for freedom.”

National Conference of Artists, New Orleans Chapter 21st Anniversary Exhibition
Southern University
Visual Arts Gallery, Frank Hayden Hall
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
October 9‒November 15, 2014

The art on display will feature pieces by the New Orleans Chapter of the National Conference of Artists. Admission is free.

The National Conference of Artists organizes chapters to preserve, promote, and develop African-American culture and creative forces. The conference was granted charter in 1991.

My Generation: Young Chinese Artists
Museum of Fine Arts
St. Petersburg, Florida
June 7 –September 28, 2014

This is the first U.S. exhibition to focus solely on the new post-Mao generation of Chinese artists, who work in a variety of media and address issues of alienation, self-definition, cynicism, and rebellion. Almost all of the artists are products of the One-Child Policy and have been brought up in a country with a high-powered market economy. These artists have grown up in an international milieu, liberated from stereotypes of an east-west dichotomy. They speak volumes about China, a society that has undergone rapid industrialization and globalization in the past two decades. As such, this exhibition is a window on to this new China with new technologies, exhibition strategies, and reinvention of traditional practices that reflect the impact that rapid development has had on these artists’ lives.

My Generation is curated by Barbara Pollack, and is co-presented in two venues simultaneously through a unique collaboration with the Tampa Museum of Art.

Mel Chin: Confucius
Social Science CLASS Gallery
Savannah State University
Savannah, GA
September 1, 2014 ‒October 31, 2014

For more information about Mel Chin’s work, please see http://www.melchin.org/.

Filed under: CDP Highlights

Each month, CAA’s Committee on Diversity Practices highlights a number of 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.

February 2014

As Cosmopolitans & Strangers: Mexican Art of the Jewish Diaspora from the Permanent Collection
National Museum of Mexican Art

1852 W. 19th Street, Chicago, IL 60608
January 16–August 3, 2014

This NMMA Permanent Collection exhibition explores the notion of both “insiders and outsiders” and the struggle between preservation and integration among the Jewish communities in Mexico. Furthermore, the exhibition provides a unique opportunity to challenge established notions of Mexicanidad (Mexicaness), as these artists of Jewish heritage have been integral to the evolution of a modern Mexican visual culture. The diverse experiences that have cultivated Mexican identity now raise questions of citizenship and immigration.

Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China
Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028
December 11, 2013–April 6, 2014

The first major exhibition of Chinese contemporary art ever mounted by the Metropolitan, Ink Art explores how contemporary works from a non-Western culture may be displayed in an encyclopedic art museum. Presented in the Museum’s permanent galleries for Chinese art, the exhibition features artworks that may best be understood as part of the continuum of China’s traditional culture. These works may also be appreciated from the perspective of global art, but by examining them through the lens of Chinese historical artistic paradigms, layers of meaning and cultural significance that might otherwise go unnoticed are revealed. Ultimately, both points of view contribute to a more enriched understanding of these artists’ creative processes.

For more than two millennia, ink has been the principal medium of painting and calligraphy in China. Since the early twentieth century, however, the primacy of the “ink art” tradition has increasingly been challenged by new media and practices introduced from the West. Ink Art examines the creative output of a selection of Chinese artists from the 1980s to the present who have fundamentally altered inherited Chinese tradition while maintaining an underlying identification with the expressive language of the culture’s past.

Featuring some seventy works by thirty-five artists in various media—paintings, calligraphy, photographs, woodblock prints, video, and sculpture—created during the past three decades, the exhibition is organized thematically into four parts: The Written Word, New Landscapes, Abstraction, and Beyond the Brush. Although all of the artists have challenged, subverted, or otherwise transformed their sources through new modes of expression, Ink Art seeks to demonstrate that China’s ancient pattern of seeking cultural renewal through the reinterpretation of past models remains a viable creative path.

Fútbol: The Beautiful Game
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
February 2–July 20, 2014

The exhibition examines football—nicknamed “the beautiful game” by one sports commentator—and its significance in societies around the world. As a subject, football touches on issues of nationalism and identity, globalism and mass spectacle, as well as the common human experience shared by spectators from many cultures. Celebrating the sport on the eve of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the exhibition includes approximately thirty artists from around the world who work in video, photography, painting and sculpture. Two room-sized video installations—Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, by the artists Philippe Parreno and Douglas Gordon, and Volta by Stephen Dean—anchor the exhibition. Other works by artists including Miguel Calderon (whose 2004 video Mexico v. Brasil represents a 17-0 victory for Mexico), Robin Rhode, Kehinde Wiley, and Andy Warhol provide a sense of the miraculous possibilities of the sport as universal conversation piece.

Filed under: CDP Highlights