CAA News Today

CWA Picks: June 2021

posted by June 29, 2021

The June Picks from the Committee on Women in the Arts highlight a selection of events, exhibitions and calls for work that include feminist and womxn artists, and address issues about social justice, the visibility of marginalised subjects, and the digitisation of the everyday. Several of the exhibits engage with the question of relations among the human, non-human and other-than-human bodies but also corporeal entanglements that embed us within the world through embodied experiences. 

"Anne Minich: Her Bone" installation view of interior gallery

“Anne Minich: Her Bone” installation view of interior gallery

Anne Minich, Her Bone
May 22 – June 26, 2021
Thomas Erben Gallery

This solo exhibition of the Philadelphia-based artist Anne Minich engages with the materiality of the human body. Working across different media Minich explores the themes of pleasure and sexual desire, memory and intimacy, to develop personal mythologies and question the boundaries of corporeality. Her transversal language emphasizes the lived experience of being in the body, living it and dying in it. The works reveal multiple kinships and invite a closer inspection of bodily experiences. The interrelationality is emphasized by unexpected juxtapositions between the media used by Minich, including drawings, wooden sculptures and three-dimensional paintings, and found objects such as shells, fruit pits or bones. Intimate and fragile, these painterly collages invite the viewer to feel and sense with.


Susanne M. Winterling, TEMPERATE – under your skin, nano carriers through the web of life
May 20 – September 19, 2021
Schering Stiftung

Susanne M. Winterling’s installation TEMPERATE confronts the viewer with a fluorescent bacterium, inviting us to engage with nano-organisms that are invisible to the naked eye. Questioning that which is visible and that which remains invisible, the artist created large projection surfaces that show the bacterium moving across scientific images. Playing with scale, Winterling offers us another perspective in which magnified nano-organisms are larger than the visitors, articulating complex relationships between humans and microorganisms and interrogating the relevance of anthropocentric views. Inspired by research on drug-loaded nanocarriers, Winterling collaborated with Simone Schürle, a biomedical engineer and professor for Responsive Biomedical Systems at ETH Zurich along with her research team to bring awareness to the productive relations between forms of life and specifically bacteria equipped with therapeutic agents.


SHILPA GUPTA: Today Will End
May 21 – September 12, 2021
M HKA – Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp

Shilpa Gupta’s multimedia works bring visibility to the contemporary art scene in Mumbai Critically engaged with identity politics and psychological discourse, Gupta articulates relationships between human diversity and new aesthetics, exploring entanglements between subjectivity and perception often via interactive installations and audio and visual technologies. Context-related and referring to specific cultural and socio-political framings, her works concern themes that, at the same time, are open to interpretation and may become localised to develop new micro-narratives. Gupta’s interest in conflict, borders and censorship can be seen in this exhibition, in which the artist traces the role of diverse media in the production of fear.


Hito Steyerl. I will survive. Physical and virtual spaces
May 19 – July 5, 2021
Centre Pompidou

This exhibition of Hito Steyerl’s major works is a retrospective in reverse, showing the most recent pieces at the beginning, which then lead to the artist’s 1990s films displayed at the end of the show. It is a collaboration between Centre Pompidou and the K21 Düsseldorf. The multimedia installations, some of which have been designed specifically for the exhibition, are a satirical and critical gesture exploring the relationships between the digital worlds, artistic creativity and its presentation, the pandemic and current social conditions. Steyerl’s point of departure is the architecture of the Centre Pompidou, which for over forty years has supported the heritage mission of the museum as a democratic project of a cultural resource centre. Steyerl engages once again in an intimate and astute manner with the invisible contradictions that drive the power structures of global capitalism and interrogates the challenges encountered by cultural institutions in the current moment of crisis.


AD MINOLITI: Biosfera Peluche / Biosphere Plush
July 24, 2021 – May 8, 2022
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

The exhibition of works of Ad Minoliti, a contemporary Argentine artist, takes place in the Baltic in the form of an ‘alien lounge’. Imagined as an extra-terrestrial space that goes beyond the idea of nature, it traverses dichotomous gender and anthropocentric narratives exploring non-binary and non-human identifications and embodiments. This first institutional presentation in the UK and the largest exhibition to date in Europe also features Minoliti’s ongoing project The Feminist School of Painting, which transforms part of the gallery space into an active classroom holding bi-weekly painting workshops. In her practice Minoliti activates feminist and queer theory to deconstruct the traditional genre of painting and art historical narratives, and generate alternatives that are intersectional, inclusive and diverse.


A Yellow Rose Project
June 1 – September 15, 2021 (virtual tour available)
BU Art Galleries

A Yellow Rose Project, a collaborative photography project between women from the United States, was initiated in 2019 to mark the 2020 centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. On that day women wearing yellow roses, symbolising the fight for equal representation, gathered into a concerted bodily collective and waited to hear if their right to a voice in the government would finally be granted. The photographs in the project engage with the complicated narratives attached to the 19th Amendment and its anniversary, and confront a multitude of histories, some of which are more visible than others. A remarkable historical event to celebrate also marks a troubling moment when only some women were given the right to vote. The collection of visions and voices opens up a dialogue on the power of the movement that led to the ratification, but also on erasures and the need to remember. The presented body of work celebrates women’s resilience and bodily gestures, including the gesture of the taking a photograph, that create a visual archive of vulnerability that through a concerted collective effort becomes a strength in the common.


Photo Vogue Festival 2021: REFRAMING HISTORY Open Call

Who is telling the story? The 6th edition of the Photo Vogue Festival ‘REFRAMING HISTORY’ invites projects that propose an alternative, different way of telling a tale. Selected projects will be featured in the exhibition.

Filed under: Artists, CAA News, CWA Picks, Exhibitions

CWA Picks: May 2021

posted by June 04, 2021

The May Picks from the Committee on Women in the Arts highlight a selection of events, exhibitions and calls for work that include feminist and womxn artists, and address issues about social justice, climate change and the ongoing global pandemic. Several of the exhibits expand and rework traditional narratives of American history, providing a more inclusive account of our country’s past and its current state. 

Sonya Clark: Heavenly Bound

April 10 – September 12, 2021

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

Sonya Clark’s Heavenly Bound, currently on view at the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, explores the Underground Railroad and its connection to those seeking freedom throughout history and today. The piece includes a series of large-scale photographs of abolitionists, a night sky made up of the artist’s hair, a parachute installation and a book of cyanotype constellations, which all reference the treacherous journey that self-emancipated Black Americans experienced during their escape.

 


Personal and Political: Women Photographers, 1965–1985

May 1 – November 28, 2021

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Adriana Lestido, Mother and Daughter from Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, 1982. Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Personal and Political: Women Photographers, 1965–1985 includes the work of many well-known American photographers including Diane Arbus and Nan Goldin alongside recently acquired works by lesser-known artists working internationally such as Adriana Lestido and Paz Errázuriz. The exhibit focuses on a specific time in photographic history when women were becoming professional photographers at a higher rate than ever before. 

 


 

Sharon Harper: Returning Light

April 9 – June 25, 2021

Rivalry Projects

Installation view

Sharon Harper’s Returning Light, currently on view at Rivalry Projects, includes several series of photographs that investigate the cycles of light, providing a more macro view of time and space. Through the imprint of light Harper’s work instills a sense of awe and points toward the changing climate and landscape of our world. 

 


 

Ground/work

Aug 1, 2020 – Oct 1, 2021 

Clark Art Institute

Ground/work includes the installation work of Kelly Akashi, Nairy Baghramian, Jennie C. Jones, Eva LeWitt, Analia Saban, and Haegue Yang. Each of the site-specific pieces considers the relationship between sculpture and nature as well as notions of time, scale and transformation.  

 


 

Judy Chicago Art Education award

Deadline: June 1, 2021

The Judy Chicago Art Education Award is open to scholars, artists, and educators whose projects engage with the Judy Chicago Research Portal. The award includes a $2,500 prize along with a certificate to be presented in July 2021 in Belen, New Mexico.  

 


 

Allison Katz: Artery

May 22 – October 31, 2021

Nottingham Contemporary 

Allison Katz’s exhibition, Artery includes paintings, ceramics and posters created in the past 18-months during a time of ongoing national lockdowns. The title of the exhibit speaks to the artist’s interest in networks and systems of connection as well as the spaces in between what is shared and private. Katz’s work will be on display at Nottingham Contemporary through October 2021 and will then be revisualized for the Camden Art Centre in January 2022.

 


 

On Hannah Arendt: What is Authority?

April 26 – June 6, 2021

Richard Saltoun 

What is Authority? exhibits work from Lili Dujourie, Everlyn Nicodemus, Lerato Shadi and sound artist Laima Leyton. The exhibit is part of a year-long series of shows inspired by Hannah Arendt’s writings about power structures. 

 


 

Girl You Want

ArtYard

May 1 – August 1, 2021

Genevieve Gaignard, Black is Beautiful, 2016. Installation view in ArtYard’s gallery, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter, Los Angeles, photo by Paul Warchol

Girl You Want, curated by J. Vanessa Lyon, includes the work of Genevieve Gaignard, Julia Greenburger, Jen Liu, Josh Rabineau, Wendy and Beatrice Red Star, Karinne Smith, Ivy Stewart, and María Vargas Aguilar. The exhibit is a broad exploration of what it means to be a girl and traverses the space between girlhood and adulthood. 

 


 

Promise, Witness, Remembrance

April 7 – June 6, 2021

Speed Art Museum

Installation view, Promise, Witness, Remembrance, Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky. Photo by Xavier Burrell

Promise, Witness, Remembrance was created under the direction of Breonna Taylor’s family along with a committee of artists, mental health professionals and community members. The exhibit pays tribute to Taylor’s life, reflecting on her killing in 2020 and the subsequent protests that took place both locally in Louisville and globally. The artists in this exhibit explore the disconnect between what the American dream has promised and the reality for many of its citizens.

 


 

Turkey Land Cove Foundation

Artist Residency

Deadline: October 1, 2021

Turkey Land Cove Foundation (TLC) offers a residency opportunity in Martha’s Vineyard for women who are in any stage of a project from development to completion. TLC specifically supports applicants who could not otherwise personally finance a residency. Room and board along with travel expenses are provided.

 


 

Mom Egg Review

Call for Submissions

Deadline: July 15, 2021

For the 20th annual issue, Mom Egg Review is requesting submissions that respond to the idea of “Mother Figures.” Artwork and Literary pieces including poetry, nonfiction, short fiction, and hybrid works should be submitted by July 15, 2021 for consideration. You do not need to be a mother to participate.

Filed under: Artists, CWA Picks, Uncategorized


Wednesday, October 14, 2020
12:00-12:30 PM (ET)

Free and open to the public

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE CONVERSATION

We’re delighted to introduce CAA members to a new series of conversations between Meme Omogbai, our executive director and CEO, and N. Elizabeth Schlatter, the president of the CAA Board of Directors. Amidst so much change in our lives, workplaces, and world, join CAA leadership for an informal chat on how CAA is reshaping its efforts to provide access and resources where members need it most. Meme and Elizabeth will speak on the economic implications of COVID-19, the urgent importance of members’ scholarship, and the changing terrain of this cultural moment.

For best results, we recommend using the most up-to-date version of Chrome as your web browser. The conversation will be recorded and shared afterwards.

We would love to hear your questions, too. Please send them in advance to: caanews@collegeart.org

SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES

Meme Omogbai is Executive Director and CEO of College Art Association (CAA). Before joining CAA, Omogbai served as a member and past Board Chair of the New Jersey Historic Trust, one of four landmark entities dedicated to preservation of the state’s historic and cultural heritage and Montclair State University’s Advisory Board. Named one of 25 Influential Black Women in Business by The Network Journal, Meme has over 25 years of experience in corporate, government, higher education, and museum sectors. As the first American of African descent to chair the American Alliance of Museums, Omogbai led an initiative to rebrand the AAM as a global, inclusive alliance. While COO and Trustee, she spearheaded a major transformation in operating performance at the Newark Museum. During her time as Deputy Assistant Chancellor of New Jersey’s Department of Higher Education, Omogbai received Legislative acknowledgement and was recognized with the New Jersey Meritorious Service Award for her work on college affordability initiatives for families. Omogbai received her MBA from Rutgers University and holds a CPA. She did post-graduate work at Harvard University’s Executive Management Program and has earned the designation of Chartered Global Management Accountant. She studied global museum executive leadership at the J. Paul Getty Trust Museum Leadership Institute, where she also served on the faculty.

N. Elizabeth Schlatter is the President of the CAA Board of Directors and Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions at the University of Richmond Museums, Virginia. A museum administrator, curator, and writer, she focuses on modern and contemporary art and on topics related to curating and issues specific to university museums. At UR, she has curated more than 20 exhibitions, including recent group exhibitions of contemporary art such as “Crooked Data: (Mis)Information in Contemporary Art,” “Anti-Grand: Contemporary Perspectives on Landscape,” and “Art=Text=Art: Works by Contemporary Artists.” She also serves on and chairs various University and School of Arts & Sciences committees. Prior to the University of Richmond, she worked with exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in Washington, D.C, and in fundraising at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. She is author of Museum Careers: A Practical Guide for Novices and Students (Left Coast Press, Inc.) and a contributor to A Life in Museums: Managing Your Museum Career (American Association of Museums). She has a BA in art history from Southwestern University in Texas, and an MA in art history from George Washington University.

Film still from Tending Breadth (2019), courtesy of Heather Taylor and Jacklyn Brickman

CAA’s Services to Artists Committee (SAC) invites current graduate students (or 2020 graduates) to submit work for consideration in the 2021 Graduate Screenings: Film/Video, Animations, & New Genres program for the upcoming 109th Annual Conference in February 2021. For the conference, SAC will screen the selected winners online.

Through this screening and exhibition initiative, SAC aims to give the next generation of artists and practitioners an opportunity to display their work in a national forum. Our annual Graduate Screenings celebrates the hard work of graduate students across the nation and world, while exposing their artworks to a broad audience. We look forward to reviewing your submission.

Eligibility

Applicants must be enrolled currently in an MFA (or equivalent MA or PhD) program OR have graduated from a program in the spring or summer of 2020. Due to the university shutdowns in the spring of 2020, SAC will accept submissions from recent 2020 program graduates.

Please use the form below to submit your entry. Submission for consideration is free and membership with CAA is not required (we are collecting this information for statistical purposes). All videos must follow the specifications and meet all technical requirements or they will not be accepted.

SAC Jurors

Farhad Bahram, Indiana State University; Robert Howsare, West Virginia Wesleyan College; Sue Huang, University of Connecticut; Richard Serrano, Art This Week Productions

Guest Juror

Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, the Steven and Lisa Tananbaum Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

Invited guest juror Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi will select one work from the SAC juried program to be awarded best in show.

Contact: servicestoartists@gmail.com; please include “Graduate Screening Question” in the subject line if you have a question

Deadline for submission: December 4, 2020

Acknowledgment of submission selection: January 19, 2021

APPLY HERE

Submissions Items for Application Form Input:

—First and last name

—Name of school and department

—Degree (MFA, PhD or MA) and major/concentration

—Year of graduation

—CAA member status (it is not required to be a member)

—If member, CAA membership number

—Narrative bio

—Artist statement

—Personal website (optional)

—Vimeo link (see specs below)

—Film still from your video to be used for promotion purposes (see specs below)

Video/Image Submission Specifications:

Please note that submissions missing any of the below specifications may be disqualified from consideration.

Video:

—5 minutes in maximum length (excerpts accepted)

—H.264 at 1920 x 1280px (MP4 file format)

—Include 2 opening title cards:

—1st card–5 seconds; include your full name (first and last), title of work, year of completion, name of school, department and/or program

—2nd card–5 seconds; include credits for music, sound, other camera people, editing. Even if these were you, include these credits

—Upload submission to Vimeo.com (include your link. Video must remain viewable on Vimeo until February 9th). —Selected participants will be required to upload their hi-res video file to a Google drive in late January and maintain their video on Vimeo till the end of the conference

Image:

—Still from video submission

—960 x 640px (landscape), 72 dpi (JPG file format)

Filed under: Annual Conference, Artists, Video

A participant and artist Jill Odegaard work on Woven Welcome as part of ARTexchange at the 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago. Photo: Stacey Rupolo

CAA’s Services to Artists Committee seeks proposals for interactive and participatory projects and/or workshops for CAA’s 2021 ARTexchange.

Originally formatted as a pop-up exhibition and meet-up event for artists and curators, ARTexchange provides an opportunity for artists to share their work and build affinities with other artists, historians, curators, and cultural producers.

This year, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) will host ARTexchange on Saturday, February 13, 2021, for a day of interactive and participatory projects and/or workshops.

ARTexchange projects and/or workshops will take place in MAD’s theater. The museum is located on Columbus Circle, just a short walk from the New York Hilton Midtown.

Safety permitting, projects will be available for in-person participants/viewers, as well as live streamed, and/or made available for online participation. Proposals that include community engagement and meaningful interaction with the CAA and New York City communities will be prioritized.

The Services to Artists Committee encourages applicants to engage issues of inclusivity and intersectional discourses in the arts. As part of the 2021 Annual Conference, CAA seeks to offer a selection of programming on the topic of Climate Crisis, including but going beyond eco-art and eco-criticism, and with climate justice and intersectional thinking as priorities. The conference content will stress a broad and inclusive conversation on climate crisis impact through the lens of age; gender; nationality; race; religion; and socioeconomic status among others. The Services to Artists Committee encourages ARTexchange proposals that respond to this call for content, though we will also consider proposals beyond its scope.

Please consider that activities may take place in a public, open, non-studio environment, and should not include toxic materials or processes.

Please email any questions to servicestoartists@gmail.com. Include “CAA ARTexchange” in the subject line.

APPLY HERE

Proposals are due by November 9, 2020 (extended deadline).

You will be asked to provide:

  • Contact information
  • A short narrative bio (up to  150 words)
  • A short artist statement (up to 150 words)
  • Website url (optional)
  • A PDF (one file maximum 10 MB) of your proposal detailing your project, including supporting images, materials requests, technical needs, and how you will engage the community and/or consider inclusivity through the proposal. (up to 500 words)
  • Work samples (5–10 images and/or links to 1–2 video/audio files)
  • An image description list detailing the title, year completed, medium, and dimensions of each work. You may also include a short description describing how the work relates to the proposed project.
  • A 50 word description of your proposed project that can be used in publications
  • Availability: do you plan to be in NYC during the 2021 Conference, or will your project be presented in a fully virtual format
Filed under: Annual Conference, Artists, Workshops

The following article was written in response to a call for submissions by CAA’s International Committee. It is by Tenley Bick, Assistant Professor of Global Contemporary Art, Department of Art History, Florida State University, and the 2019–20 Scholar in Residence at Magazzino Italian Art Foundation, New York. A related essay, “Ghosts for the Present: Countercultural Aesthetics and Postcoloniality for Contemporary Italy,” will be included in an edited volume forthcoming from Lexington Books.

Figure 1. “Indro Montanelli, imbrattata la statua a Milano” (Indro Montanelli, statue smeared in Milan). Corriere della Sera, June 13, 2020 (https://www.corriere.it/cronache/20_giugno_13/indro-montanelli-statua-imbrattata-81a5c120-adad-11ea-84a7-c6d5b5b928b0.shtml). Photo: AP

June 13, Milan. The 2006 monument to Italian journalist Indro Montanelli was found covered in red paint and tagged “razzista, stupratore”: racist, rapist. The intervention targeted the statue of Montanelli and the journalist’s past as a colonial soldier in East Africa. In 1935, Montanelli bought a twelve-year-old Eritrean girl, Destà, to serve as his wife under the practice of madamismo. Montanelli never apologized. The intervention ignited public debate in Italy on racism and public monuments, bringing the country popularly known for apathy toward its colonial and fascist histories, pervasive associated monuments and street names into renewed transatlantic debates on these topics. Four days prior, Italian-Somali writer Igiaba Scego, writing on anti-Black racism, Black Lives Matter, and monument debates in the United States and Europe in the Italian weekly Internazionale, made a call for Italy to confront the “uncomfortable traces of our past.” Citing an earlier intervention at the Montanelli monument in 2019, Scego noted the absent memorialization of Destà: “It would be nice if someone, whether a street artist or a municipality, dedicated a statue, a drawing, a memory to that distant child” (trans. Bick). Street artists and activists responded (Figs. 2–3). Cities did not. The Montanelli monument was cleaned and, by mayoral decision, remains in place.

Figure 2. In Milan, Italian street artist Ozmo’s mural depicts a fictional monument to Destà, the Eritrean child “bride” of Indro Montanelli, when the famous journalist was a colonial soldier. Working specifically in response to Igiaba Scego’s call, the artist used a photo of a contemporary Eritrean girl of approximately the same age as Destà upon her “marriage,” to stand defiantly in place of Montanelli on the base of his monument, relabeled in memory to “Montanelli’s child bride” (IG @ozmone, June 15). The mural was vandalized within two days. Inkjet on blueback paper, measurements to site (dimensioni ambientali). Photo by Gianfranco Candida, @wallsofmilano. Courtesy of Ozmo.

Figure 3. In Palermo, artists Mr. Cens, Betty Macaluso, and Ulrike conceived the mural depicting the vandalized monument to Montanelli and a portrait of Destà. Mr. Cens executed the large public mural. Acrylic on tissue paper, 9.8 x 9.8 ft. (3 x 3 m). Palermo, June 16, 2020. Courtesy of Mr. Cens. The mural builds upon a 2018 work by Wu Ming 2 (Giovanni Cattabriga) and Palermo-based artist collective Fare Ala (Luca Cinquemani, Andrea Di Gangi, Roberto Romano), Viva Menilicchi!, which temporarily renamed via Montanelli “via Destà.”

One of the first hotspots in the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy was then emerging from a three-month lockdown. During that time, Italian museums (public and private) became leaders in innovative arts programming for a pandemic-era world. The Museo Madre launched an #iorestoacasa “call to action” campaign, publishing artists’ responses to the pandemic online; the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna invited and posted videos about its permanent collection; the Fondazione Prada produced podcasts and alternative exhibition encounters through its #innerviews and #outerviews programs, using social media as a “laboratory” for “new formats and codes” (@FondazionePrada, Mar. 18). This innovation has since extended to safety technology. Florence’s Museo dell’Opera del Duomo introduced wearable sensors to ensure social distancing—technology subsequently implemented by institutions of Italian art outside of Italy. Magazzino Italian Art Foundation (New York) is the first museum in the United States to use the technology, reopening with Homemade (cur. Vittorio Calabrese with Chiara Mannarino), an exhibition of work made during the pandemic by New-York-based Italian artists.

While the Montanelli debate coincided with a moment of reckoning for institutions in the United States and Western Europe, the overwhelming majority of art museums in Italy have not announced such programming, policy changes, or statements of solidarity. This inattention is not due to a lack of anti-racist social justice activism in Italy (Black Lives Matter Roma, Neri Italiani, the Stati Popolari movement, among others), nor is it due to an absence of Black Italians in Italian popular culture, especially in literature (Scego), cinema (Fred Kuwornu, Amin Nour), and music (Ghali).

A few exceptions demonstrate the potential for institutionally supported, sustained, collaborative programs to counter anti-Black racism in Italy. The Uffizi has partnered with Black Lives Matter Florence on a series of virtual programs to address “the presence of black culture in European art, told through the works of the Gallerie degli Uffizi” (https://www.uffizi.it/video-storie/black-presence). Organized by Justin Randolph Thompson, co-founder and director of Black History Month Florence (BHMF), in collaboration and partnership with the Uffizi as part of their On Being Present program, the eight-week series entitled “Black Presence” debuted July 4th with Thompson’s video discussion of a Piero di Cosimo work and continues with concerts and video tours on representations of Black Africans in Renaissance art. MAXXI, one of Italy’s major contemporary museums, launched a short-lived social media initiative: #MAXXIforblacklivesmatter. The campaign “aims in raising awareness and consciousness of the @blklivesmatter movement through art” (@museomaxxi). With eighteen tagged Instagram posts (most recently dated June 17), the museum posted images of BLM protests in Italy and works by African and African diaspora artists Robin Rhode, John Akomfrah, and Yinka Shonibare from MAXXI’s 2018–19 exhibitions. The initiative was highlighted on June 12 by Italian-Haitian-Ghanaian cultural curator and Griot founder Johanne Affricot in an essay for Artribune as a “necessary” if late action amidst the generally delayed response from arts and culture in Italy to BLM in comparison to the global context (“Black Lives Matter ma non in Italia. Il ritardo dell’arte e della cultura nel paese,” June 12). Program information is notably no longer available on MAXXI’s bio.

Beyond these varied efforts, Black artists have been included in major museum and gallery exhibitions, and Black curators have curated exhibitions at prominent museums, but these figures are almost always non-Italian artists and art workers. While Italy is becoming increasingly multi-ethnic (and multi-racial), the country does not track ethno-racial statistics (Reynolds 2018, BBC; Ambrosetti and Cela 2015). Instead, citizenship and place of birth serve as “proxies” for race and ethnicity (Ambrosetti and Cela 2015). This is one of many reasons—from racial laws under fascism to renewed racism in response to cross-Mediterranean migration—why Blackness in Italy is most associated with foreign identity (with populations of African migrants, immigrants, and residents) rather than with Italian identity as well.

Two Afro-Italian artists—Jem Perucchini (b. 1995) and Luigi Christopher Veggetti Kanku (b. 1979), both based in Milan—are making inroads that might change that. Perucchini made a series of portraits of Black Italians in history for Vogue Italia during Black History Month (see Jordan Anderson, Mar. 12, 2020) (Fig. 4).

Figure 4. Jem Perucchini’s Alessandro Sinigaglia (2020) depicts a little-known Black, Jewish Italian member of Italy’s anti-fascist resistance during World War II. Oil on linen, 15.75 x 12 in. (40 x 30 cm). Courtesy of Jem Perucchini.

Harper’sBazaarTV followed with a “visual interview” in mid-July. When asked “What colour is your world, these days?” the Ethiopian-Italian artist responded: “Certainly my world now is black in color. I think it is the color that is most suited to represent the situation that the whole world is experiencing, in terms of sanitary, economic, social problems” (interview by Laura Taccari, trans. Bick). At the end of lockdown, Perucchini had completed a large painting of the Stele of Axum: the ancient obelisk that Italy returned to Ethiopia in 2005, nearly seventy years after stealing it as war spoils (Zoom interview with Bick, Fig. 5).

Figure 5. Jem Perucchini, Axum, 2020. Oil on linen, 55 x 43 in. (140 x 110 cm). Courtesy of Jem Perucchini. Completed during the lockdown, Perucchini’s Axum depicts the fourth-century stele that was taken as war spoils during Italy’s second colonial invasion of Ethiopia. The stele remained on display in Rome for nearly seventy years.

Veggetti Kanku (represented by Galleria Rubin, Milan) has confronted the institutional and cultural marginalization of Black people in Italy directly. In late June, the Congolese-Italian artist held a soft opening of a new exhibition space in Milan’s center for Afro-Italian artists (Zoom interview with Bick, Jun. 29). Entitled The Office, the evenings-and-weekends-only arts space is a legal office during regular business hours. Veggetti Kanku’s monumental portraits of Black women (Fig. 6), intended to bring Black figures into (white) Italian bourgeois homes (Griot, Mar. 25; Zoom interview with Bick), hang in the space, to be inaugurated this fall with his solo show SOTTOPELLE: “A show dedicated to black women, inclusive of social status, a show that destabilizes and puts up for discussion the canons of strictly Western beauty in an ever-increasing multi-ethnic Italian reality” (Veggetti Kanku, email correspondence with the author, July 16, trans. Bick).

Figure 6. Luigi Christopher Veggetti Kanku, Untitled, 2020. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 65 x 39 in. (165 x 100 cm). Veggetti Kanku’s monumental portraits of Black women will be exhibited in his solo show, SOTTOPELLE (UNDERSKIN) at his new space for Afro-Italian artists, The Office, located in the center of Milan.

The museum complex now perhaps most directly engaged with Italy’s colonial history, the Museo delle Civiltà (home to Italy’s national ethnographic museum and partial repository of Italy’s colonial collection, formerly at the Museo Coloniale di Roma and various iterations that followed), has announced plans for a new museum (in development since 2017) dedicated to Italian colonialism in Africa (including postcolonial periods and an engagement with contemporary art): the Museo Italo-Africano Ilaria Alpi, to open in 2023. (See Scego, and Giulia Grechi and Viviana Gravano’s interview with colonial collections’ curator and cultural anthropologist Rosa Anna Di Lella in Roots–Routes). As Italy begins to address the presentness of its colonial past, the absence of Black Italian artists in Italy’s museums and galleries persists. What might a Perucchini or Veggetti Kanku exhibition look like at MAXXI or the Galleria Nazionale? What might happen if the innovation of Italian arts programming and centrality of the arts to Italian identity made space for the multi-ethnicity of Italy today? It remains to be seen if and how the country’s art museums and galleries—leaders in arts programming in many ways—will address racial inequity in their own collections.

Filed under: Art History, Artists, International

From left to right: Natalia Nakazawa, Meme Omogbai, and Deborah Obalil.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020
2 PM – 3:15 PM (ET)

RSVP HERE

Hosted by Art World Conference

Facilitator: Natalia Nakazawa, Artist, Arts Administrator, and Educator

Participants: Deborah Obalil, President and Executive Director of AICAD; Meme Omogbai, Executive Director and CEO of CAA

In 2020, colleges and universities across the world have rushed to adapt to a new reality that questions the very nature of their work: a pandemic sent students home and protests shone a spotlight on inequality supported by many of our institutions, including those in higher education. Since March, everyone involved in education has had to rethink fundamentals and challenge core assumptions ranging from the format of instruction to what and who creates value. Since arts education is historically vulnerable to funding cuts and much of the instruction relies on hands-on studio classes, specialized equipment, in-person mentorship, and tuition dollars, the systemic changes necessary to thrive require radical, ethical thinking. What are the responsibilities and priorities being considered going into this exceptional academic year?

Artist and educator Natalia Nakazawa will facilitate a discussion between two important leaders in arts education: Deborah Obalil, the President and Executive Director of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), and Meme Omogbai, the Executive Director and CEO of the College Art Association (CAA). Both institutions support and advocate for artists, arts workers, and scholars in the art and design fields. Together, they will discuss the evolving paths forward for higher education in the arts, including structural changes and very significant challenges. What is the role of higher education in times of crisis? Since creativity is nurtured by the institutions they oversee, what are the creative solutions being implemented to address health concerns, anti-racism efforts, adjunct culture, and affordability? What are their hopes and expectations for the future?

This 75-minute webinar is designed with everyone in the art world from current students to artists, arts administrators, and art historians in mind. Questions submitted during registration will be incorporated into the discussion as appropriate.

RSVP HERE

PARTICIPANT BIOGRAPHIES

Natalia Nakazawa is a Queens-based interdisciplinary artist working across the mediums of painting, textiles, and social practice. Utilizing strategies drawn from a range of experiences in the fields of education, arts administration, and community activism, Nakazawa negotiates spaces between institutions and individuals, often inviting participation and collective imagining. She has held the position of Assistant Director of EFA Studios for over 8 years, supporting a large network of contemporary artists through subsidized studio spaces and professional practice opportunities in midtown Manhattan. Nakazawa received her MFA in studio practice from California College of the Arts, a MSEd from Queens College, and a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has recently been exhibited at Wave Hill (Bronx, NY), Arlington Arts Center (Washington, DC), Transmitter Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY), The Old Stone House in Brooklyn (Brooklyn, NY), and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY). Nakazawa has been an artist-in-residence at MASS MoCA, SPACE on Ryder Farm, The Children’s Museum of Manhattan, and Wassaic Project. She teaches at CUNY.

Deborah Obalil has over twenty years experience as a leader in the national arts and culture industry. She was appointed the Executive Director of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD) in June 2012, and then President in the fall 2015. Prior to her appointment with AICAD, Obalil operated a successful boutique arts management consulting firm, Obalil & Associates for four years. The firm provided consultation and facilitation in strategic business planning, marketing research and planning, and board development for non-profit arts organizations, independent artists of all disciplines, and creative for-profit ventures. Obalil has also served as Executive Director of the Alliance of Artists Communities and Director of Arts Marketing Center & Research at the Arts & Business Council of Chicago.

Meme Omogbai is Executive Director and CEO of College Art Association (CAA), the preeminent international support organization for professionals in the visual arts. Before joining CAA, Omogbai served as a member and past Board Chair of the New Jersey Historic Trust, one of four landmark entities dedicated to preservation of the state’s historic and cultural heritage and Montclair State University’s Advisory Board. Named one of 25 Influential Black Women in Business by The Network Journal, Meme has over 25 years of experience in corporate, government, higher education, and museum sectors. As the first American of African descent to chair the American Alliance of Museums, Omogbai led an initiative to rebrand the AAM as a global, inclusive alliance. While COO and Trustee, she spearheaded a major transformation in operating performance at the Newark Museum. During her time as Deputy Assistant Chancellor of New Jersey’s Department of Higher Education, Omogbai received Legislative acknowledgement and was recognized with the New Jersey Meritorious Service Award for her work on college affordability initiatives for families. Omogbai received her MBA from Rutgers University and holds a CPA. She did post-graduate work at Harvard University’s Executive Management Program and has earned the designation of Chartered Global Management Accountant. She studied global museum executive leadership at the J. Paul Getty Trust Museum Leadership Institute, where she also served on the faculty.

In Memoriam: Cynthia Navaretta

posted by June 15, 2020

Cynthia Navaretta.

We were saddened to learn of the passing of critic, publisher, and longtime CAA member Cynthia Navaretta last month at the age of 97. An active member of the organization and a founding member of the Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA), Navaretta was founder of the feminist arts publisher Midmarch Arts Press and a tireless advocate for women artists.

A memorial in her honor will be hosted via on Sunday, September 13th, 2020, at 6pm (EST). Members interested in attending are invited to contact cyncelebration@gmail.com to receive information and a link closer to the event. Readers are also invited to post comments and pictures about her life on a newly created Facebook page, here.

Cynthia Navaretta, art critic, curator, publisher,  art collector,  architectural engineer died on May 18, 2020 at 97

In her mid-twenties Cynthia Navaretta was immersed in the New York art scene from the early days of the New York School and the influential 8th Street Club (one of only 6 female members!) before she married Emanuel Navaretta, artist, poet, criticprofessor and roommate of Franz Kline in 1950Cynthia’s friends and neighbors in New York and Long Island (Springs in the Hamptons) included Jackson Pollack, Harold Rosenberg, Lee Krasner, Milton Resnick, Milton Avery, Franz Kline, the De Kooning’s (Elaine and Willem) Ibram Lassaw, David Smith, Phillip Pavia, Judy Chicago, Agnes Martin, Pat Passlof, Hans Hofmann, June Wayne, Susan Schwalb and a long list of other art legends.   

In 1974, she was a founding steering committee member of Artists Talk On Art, the art world’s longest running panel discussion series. With her knowledge of the New York art scene, along with her professional qualifications in engineering and building, Cynthia served as a mayoral appointee to the Artists Certification Committee of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and later served as the public voting member of the powerful Loft Board in Manhattan for 20 years, deciding who was a bona fide artist and deserving of live-work studio space in converted factories. She was a founding member of the Women’s Caucus for Art, the Coalition of Women’s Arts Organizations, and also Women in the Arts.  

She represented the United States at the 1985 UN Conference on Women in Kenya and served in similar capacities on other boards and meetings around the world including the International Festival of Women Artists, Copenhagen in 1980. She befriended many well-known African-American women artists throughout the United States. In 1995, she published the first definitive compendium of American women artists of color  – Gumbo Ya Ya: Anthology of Contemporary African – American Women Artists with an introduction by Leslie King HammondMidmarch Arts Press.  

As the founder of Midmarch Arts Press, she published numerous memoirs, guideshistories and anthologies by and about American artists, male and female including: Guide to Women’s Arts Organizations, Women Artists of the World edited by Sylvia Moore, Cindy Lyle and Cynthia NavarettaMutiny in the Mainstream — Talk That Changed Art (with Judy Seigal), The Heart of the Question, The Writings and Paintings of Howardena Pindellintroduction by Lowery S. Sims, Voices of Women, by Lucy Lippard, Postmodern Heretics, by Eleanor HeartneyOut of the Picture: Milton Resnick and the New York School edited and with an Introduction by Goeffey Dorfman and The First Wife’s Tale: A Memoir by Louise Strauss – Ernst, to name only a few.   

Cynthia Navaretta at the National Women’s Conference in Houston 1977. Credit: Judy Seigel, via The New York Times

Her sharp mind, mixed with her organizational skills and ability to span many spheres of knowledge and personalities made her the ideal art panel planner, moderator or guest speaker. She was a beloved panel participant at College Art Association and mentored many young female artists. She was an active member of the International Art Critics Association and often traveled on their numerous trips around the world. She was also the publisher, along with photographer Judy Siegel, of the well-known Women Artist News (1978 – 1991), the first publication sent out on a regular basis covering the doings and activities of women artists; thus, publishing the first constant and continuing dialogue for women artists in the United States. A prodigious publisher, author and critic of feminist art in the United States Cynthia was one of the few who acknowledged and attracted regional and southern feminist artists whose work would otherwise most probably never have seen the light of day. Through the vehicles of Women Artist News and Midmarch Press, Cynthia was determined to document and champion many obscure female artists, offering them an exclusive avenue to introduce themselves and their work to a wider audience in the art world. 

In her later years, she organized and curated her archives which were accepted by the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art. This written legacy from one of the leading feminist voices on art- is sure to be preserved, shared, and seen as a unique transcript of the American art experience. 

In her ‘other’ life, Cynthia earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering the 1940s. Returning to NYC, she was hired by the construction company Alvord & Swift. Established in 1911, Alvord became a significant contractor in the emerging specialty of HVAC design and construction. She designed and built many of the HVAC systems with Alvord & Swift for well-known skyscrapers in New York, including the famous Solow building. She also designed many of the HVAC systems at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. During her several year’s tenure there, she had the thankless job of training and preparing no fewer than three less talented male colleagues to assume the position and prestige of Vice President. This glass ceiling was the deciding factor in her eventual resignation. At that time, she was one of approximately 400 female mechanical engineers in the United States.   

Throughout her engineering career, she held a variety of ambitious, supervisory positions. These included a managerial position for the ABC Television Network when the new Lincoln Center broadcast facility was being built. She also did a stint as an AMTRAK vice president, responsible for ‘new construction’ and ‘rights of way.’ She eventually retired to devote all her time to her publishing house and friends and family. But well into her nineties she could still be seen at art openings dressed to the ninths with her walker having arrived fashionably late by bus. 

Remembrance by Susan Schwalb.

Filed under: Art History, Artists, Obituaries

Fridays For Future protest in Toronto, Canada. Photo: Jasmin Sessler

As part of the 2021 Annual Conference, CAA seeks to offer a selection of sessions, papers, speakers, and related programming on the topic of Climate Crisis. Including but going beyond eco-art and eco-criticism, and with climate justice and intersectional thinking as priorities, panels and presentations can address ecology as a matter of the content of artworks, but also, and pressingly, how we—artists, designers, and art historians, institutional stakeholders and independent practitioners, and members of allied fields—can and should change our professional practices in light of the crisis.

We invite discussions of creative interventions into the status quo, up to and including a serious discussion of ways of reducing the carbon footprint of the annual conference itself, while preserving and enhancing access. Practices and themes may include remediation and amelioration, thematic representation and critique, the ramifications of change for institutions and collections, issues of preservation, and the nature of research. We invite radical and practical proposals. The conference content will stress a broad and inclusive conversation on climate crisis impact through the lens of age; gender; nationality; race; religion; and socioeconomic status among others.

SUBMIT A PROPOSAL

ARTexchange2020

Workshops • Performances • Exhibition

at Columbia College Chicago, Hokin Gallery, 623 South Wabash
February 12–February 24, 2020
Gallery Hours: Monday–Friday 9:00am–10:00pm; Saturday, 9:00am–5:00pm

Take part in workshops and performances facilitated by artists: Noah Breuer, Wendy DesChene + Jeff Schmuki, Jennifer Natalya Fink & Julie Laffin, Carol Flueckiger, Visda Goudarzi & Artemi-Maria Gioti, MiHyun Kim, Jill Odegaard, Lydia See, Christine Stiver.

View dynamic installations co-created with the public. Visitors can interact with many of the installations even when facilitating artists are not present. Come by every day to see how the space changes. Workshops and events are “drop-in” friendly. You can come and go for any time during facilitated workshops.

CAA’s Services to Artists Committee (SAC), in collaboration with the “Hokin Project,” a gallery management practicum course at Columbia College Chicago, presents ARTexchange 2020 as an opportunity for artists to share their work and build affinities with other artists, historians, curators, cultural producers, and the public.

The exhibition will remain on view through February 24, 2020.

For a full listing of all SAC programming at the 108th CAA conference, see here.

And don’t forget the ARTexchange Reception, Friday, February 14, 7:00pm–8:30pm.

Black Lunch Table — Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Join us for a Wikipedia edit-a-thon hosted by the Black Lunch Table. Their initiative creates and improves articles about Black visual artists. Celebrating artists of color, women artists, and artists with disabilities, this program supports inclusion and recognition of intersectionality. No prior experience necessary. Bring a computer and a friend!

This programming is partially funded by the Office of Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Columbia College Chicago.

Workshop times: Thursday, 10:30am–1:30pm; Friday, 10:30am–1:30pm in the Media Lounge

Noah Breuer – CB&S Rubbings and Print Project

Noah Breuer leads a printmaking workshop, utilizing engraved designs inspired by CB&S, his great-great-grandfather’s textile factory that was seized along with all Jewish-owned property in German-occupied areas during WWII. Participants leave with their own book and contribute one copy for visual materials to be built upon by the next participants.

Workshop times: Wednesday, 4:00pm–6:00pm; Thursday, 4:00pm–6:00pm; Friday, 12:00pm–2:00pm

Wendy DesChene + Jeff Schmuki – Ostraka

Join DesChene and Schmuki in celebration of our fundamental right to vote through Ostraka, a collaborative installation that mirrors a 5th-century BC Athenian tradition, where citizens would inscribe the name of a person they wanted to politically neutralize on a shard of broken pottery called an ostrakon.

Workshop times: Wednesday, 2:00pm–4:00pm; Friday, 12:00pm–2:00pm

Jennifer Natalya Fink & Julie Laffin – UNDERBELLY

Join artists Fink and Laffin in a performance and “modern suffragette” march, retracing the steps of historical suffrage parades. Airing some dirty laundry to expose the underbelly of the movement, participants will wear two-sided sashes imprinted with both positive and negative statements related to the suffragette movement and voting rights.

Performance time: Thursday, 4:00pm–6:00pm

If you want to be a modern suffragette and participate in the march, sign up here to be contacted by the artists. Meet at the Hokin Gallery at 3:40 pm. Don’t forget to dress weather appropriate.

Carol Flueckiger – Solitude of Selfie

Flueckiger’s project explores Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 19th century women’s suffrage address “Solitude of Self”. Participants will be prompted to engage with Stanton’s speech and make response drawings. Works will be pinned to the wall and later scanned and integrated into a book honoring the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment.

Workshop times: Wednesday, 9:00am–11:00am; Friday, 9:00am–11:00am

Visda Goudarzi & Artemi-Maria Gioti – Soundsourcing

Soundsourcing is a participatory performance orchestrated by artists Goudarzi and Gioti. In this collaborative sound performance, audience members contribute vocal sounds (words, phonemes and noises) which are picked up by two condenser microphones and processed by laptop performers in real-time. The artists invite participation in this unique sound creation process.

Performance time: Friday, 7:00pm–8:00pm

MiHyun Kim – Stories Become Data

Stories Become Data is an interactive digital environment that invites participants to add their own stories to a collective narrative. MiHyun Kim will lead a workshop utilizing iPads and projection to create a space for participants to share and to visualize their stories collectively and simultaneously through real time.

Workshop time: Friday, 2:00pm–4:00pm

Jill Odegaard – Woven Welcome

Woven Welcome is a community-based art project that utilizes the form of a woven rug as a statement of the interconnectedness of individuals. Join artist Jill Odegaard in creating this artistic metaphor, and engage in a dialogue with other conference attendees and community members.

Workshop times: Wednesday, 6:00pm–10:00pm; Friday, 9:00am–12:00pm

Lydia See – BMC Playbook

Lydia See’s BMC Playbook encourages the examination and manipulation of materials, space, and the collective spirit. This collaborative project, resulting in an installation in the Hokin Gallery, includes a series of chance operations based on a generative BMC card game, inspired by material study workshops at Black Mountain College.

Workshop time: Thursday, 4:00pm–6:00pm

Materials and instructions are available outside facilitated workshop times for the entire exhibition.

Christine Stiver – Banquet Art

Stiver’s participatory performance Banquet Art is modeled after one of Caroline Shawk Brooks’ own sculpting demonstrations in which she sculpted one face after another on the same bust of butter. Participants will sculpt a series of portraits, starting with Napoleon and George Washington, a litany of “great leaders” will follow.

Workshop time: Friday, 4:00pm–8:00pm

Ongoing

Graduate Student Screenings

A curated selection of current MA/MFA videos/digital artworks, premieres at the Media Lounge Wednesday. Participating artists: ANDiLAND, Jorge Bañales, Andrea Bagdon, Jacklyn Brickman/Heather Taylor, Christian Casas, Danielle Damico, Jesse Egner, Caleb Engstrom, Mary Gring, Selena Ingram, Bibiana Medkova, Carolina Montejo, Strange Lens, Maria V, F. C. Zuke

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