Frist Art Museum and Fisk University Galleries Present “Terry Adkins: Our Sons and Daughters Ever on the Altar”

The Frist Art Museum and Fisk University Galleries present Terry Adkins: Our Sons and Daughters Ever on the Altar, concurrent presentations of sculptures, prints, installations, and video by the multidisciplinary and multimedia artist and musician, on view in the Frist’s Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery from February 20 through May 31, 2020, and the Carl Van Vechten Gallery at Fisk University from February 20 through September 12, 2020. Presented forty-five years after Adkins’s graduation from Fisk, the exhibition pays special attention to the influence that his time in Nashville had on the late internationally acclaimed artist.

Frist Art Museum (PRNewsfoto/Frist Center for the Visual Arts)

This is the first exhibition of Terry Adkins’s work in Middle Tennessee, and we are excited to partner with the Frist Art Museum to co-present it,” says Director and Curator of Fisk University Galleries Jamaal Sheats. “A Fisk University alum, Adkins was a member of the jazz orchestra and a disc jockey for WFSK Jazzy 88 radio station. However, the Fisk Art Department was his home. He studied under the then chairman of the art department and director of galleries, historian, and artist David Driskell. Adkins has credited Aaron Douglas, who founded the art department 75 years ago, as igniting his interest in art. Today, I see Adkins’s work and career as a beacon for the arts tradition at Fisk.”

Fisk and the Frist will collaborate with the soon-to-open National Museum of African American Music to produce a multidisciplinary performance, featuring local talent inspired by Terry Adkins and his performance collective, the Lone Wolf Recital Corps.

Terry Adkins (American, 1953–2014). Buffet Flat, from Belted Bronze, 2007–8. Silver bowls and utensils (some modified), glass marbles, leather case, honey, nylon single-sided flags, taxidermied birds, sewing machine, instrument stand, and inkjet print; approximately 240 x 216 x 144 in. Artwork © 2019 The Estate of Terry Adkins / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image © The Estate of Terry Adkins / Lévy Gorvy

Terry Adkins (1953–2014) was principally interested in the intersection of visual art, music, and African American history. First trained as a musician on guitar, saxophone, and other woodwinds, he approached his visual art practice from the perspective of a composer, often arranging series of works to create what he called “recitals,” many of which feature modified musical instruments or other salvaged materials. “One of his primary aims was to forge a link between music and art, reversing each discipline in order to make sculpture more ethereal and music more concrete,” says Frist Art Museum Curator Katie Delmez.

Throughout his career, Adkins also questioned the processes by which historical figures’ pasts become or do not become a part of the historical canon. “He mined African and African American histories for marginalized narratives and organized series of works devoted to either underrecognized figures or highlighted underrepresented aspects of well-known figures’ lives,” says Delmez. The works in Our Sons and Daughters Ever on the Altar pay tribute to the legacies of several influential and enigmatic figures, such as Jimi Hendrix, Bessie Smith, Dr. George Washington Carver, and Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois.

On View At The Frist Art Museum
The “recital” Principalities is dedicated to Jimi Hendrix and his service as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army at nearby Fort Campbell, Kentucky. A centerpiece of the series, Cloud, is a work comprising a white parachute hung above a rack of kimonos. Referencing the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, it underscores the tragic history of war. Flumen Orationus, a video pairing Hendrix’s 1970 anti-war protest song “Machine Gun” with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 speech “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam,” will also be featured.

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Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History Receives Save America’s Treasures Grant

Funding Will Preserve Alexander Graham Bell’s Experimental Sound Recordings

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has received a $488,000 grant from the Department of Interior, National Park Service (NPS) through the Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant program, for conserving sound recordings from Alexander Graham Bell’s Washington, D.C., Volta Laboratory. Dating from 1881 to 1892, they are among the earliest recordings ever made.

Disc recording in green wax on brass holder, probably 1885. Content: male voice reciting opening lines of “To be, or not to be” soliloquy from Hamlet.

This is one of 41 grants awarded this fall, totaling $12.6 million, given in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. With Save America’s Treasures funds, organizations and agencies conserve significant U.S. cultural and historic treasures, which illustrate, interpret and are associated with the great events, ideas and individuals that contribute to the nation’s history and culture. The Alexander Graham Bell Foundation in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, Canada, has pledged matching funds.

The National Museum of American History, through an ongoing collaborative project with the Library of Congress and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has recovered sound from 20 experimental Volta Laboratory recordings in 2011, 2013 and 2019, including the only documented recording of Bell’s voice. The earlier conservation work received funding from the Grammy Foundation, Smithsonian Women’s Committee and the Smithsonian Scholarly Studies program. The SAT grant will permit the continuation of this project, enabling the team to work with the museum’s collection of nearly 300 more experimental recordings from Bell’s laboratory and with additional Bell recordings in the collections at Parks Canada’s Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck.

Recovering sound from these recordings will be a major advance in the study of our sonic heritage,” said Carlene Stephens, curator at the museum. “This project allows us to revive sounds from recordings in two Bell collections and reunite the collections digitally. These sounds will enrich what we know about the earliest days of experiments with recorded sound and let us hear history.”

The noninvasive optical technique that scans and recovers sound was first conceived by Berkeley Lab in 2002 and jointly developed with assistance from the Library of Congress and other institutions over the past 15 years. The process creates a high-resolution digital map of a disc or cylinder. This map is then processed to remove evidence of wear or damage (e.g., scratches and skips). Finally, software calculates the motion of a stylus moving through the disc’s or cylinder’s grooves, reproducing the audio content and producing a standard digital sound file. For more information, visit www.irene.lbl.gov. For more information about the museum’s Bell collection, visit the online exhibition.

The National Museum of American History, through an ongoing collaborative project with the Library of Congress and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has recovered sound from 20 experimental Volta Laboratory recordings in 2011, 2013 and 2019, including the only documented recording of Bell’s voice. The earlier conservation work received funding from the Grammy Foundation, Smithsonian Women’s Committee and the Smithsonian Scholarly Studies program. The SAT grant will permit the continuation of this project, enabling the team to work with the museum’s collection of nearly 300 more experimental recordings from Bell’s laboratory and with additional Bell recordings in the collections at Parks Canada’s Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck.

Recovering sound from these recordings will be a major advance in the study of our sonic heritage,” said Carlene Stephens, curator at the museum. “This project allows us to revive sounds from recordings in two Bell collections and reunite the collections digitally. These sounds will enrich what we know about the earliest days of experiments with recorded sound and let us hear history.”

The noninvasive optical technique that scans and recovers sound was first conceived by Berkeley Lab in 2002 and jointly developed with assistance from the Library of Congress and other institutions over the past 15 years. The process creates a high-resolution digital map of a disc or cylinder. This map is then processed to remove evidence of wear or damage (e.g., scratches and skips). Finally, software calculates the motion of a stylus moving through the disc’s or cylinder’s grooves, reproducing the audio content and producing a standard digital sound file. For more information, visit www.irene.lbl.gov. For more information about the museum’s Bell collection, visit the online exhibition.

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Upcoming Exhibition Brings Together 200 Works By 60 American And Mexican Artists At The Whitney Museum In February 2020

The cultural renaissance that emerged in Mexico in 1920 at the end of that country’s revolution dramatically changed art not just in Mexico but also in the United States. Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945 will explore the profound influence Mexican artists had on the direction American art would take. With approximately 200 works by sixty American and Mexican artists, Vida Americana reorients art history, acknowledging the wide-ranging and profound influence of Mexico’s three leading muralists—José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros—on the style, subject matter, and ideology of art in the United States made between 1925 and 1945.

The Whitney Museum’s own connection to the Mexican muralists dates back to 1924 when the Museum’s founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney presented an exhibition of the work of three Mexican artists—José Clemente Orozco, Luis Hidalgo, and Miguel Covarrubias—at the Whitney Studio Club, organized by artist Alexander Brook. It was Orozco’s first exhibition in the United States. A few years later, in 1926, Orozco also showed watercolors from his House of Tears series at the Studio Club; and the following year Juliana Force, Mrs. Whitney’s executive assistant and future director of the Whitney Museum, provided critical support for Orozco at a time when he desperately needed it by acquiring ten of his drawings. The Mexican muralists had a profound influence on many artists who were mainstays of the Studio Club, and eventually the Whitney Museum, including several American artists featured in Vida Americana, such as Thomas Hart Benton, William Gropper, Isamu Noguchi, and Ben Shahn.

Diego Rivera. The Uprising, 1931. Fresco on reinforced cement in a galvanized-steel framework, 74 × 94 1/8 in. (188 × 239 cm). Collection of Marcos and Vicky Micha Levy © 2019 Banco de México–Rivera–Kahlo/ARS. Reproduction authorized by El Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura, 2019.

Curated by Barbara Haskell, with Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator; Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant; and Alana Hernandez, former curatorial project assistant, Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945 will be on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art from February 17 through May 17, 2020 and will travel to the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, where it will be on display from June 25 through October 4, 2020. At the McNay Art Museum, the installation will be overseen by René Paul Barrilleaux.

Jacob Lawrence. Panel 3 from The Migration Series, From every Southern town migrants left by the hundreds to travel north.,1940–41. Casein tempera on hardboard 12 × 18 in. (30.5 × 45.7 cm). The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; acquired 1942. © 2019 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Vida Americana is an enormously important undertaking for the Whitney and could not be more timely given its entwined aesthetic and political concerns,” said Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. “It not only represents the culmination of nearly a decade of scholarly research and generous international collaboration but also demonstrates our commitment to presenting a more comprehensive and inclusive view of twentieth-century and contemporary art in the United States.”

María Izquierdo. My Nieces, 1940. Oil on composition board, 55 1/8 × 39 3/8 in. (140 × 100 cm). Museo Nacional de Arte, INBAL, Mexico City; constitutive collection, 1982 © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City. Reproduction authorized by El Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura, 2019.

Comprised of paintings, portable frescoes, films, sculptures, prints, photographs, and drawings, as well as reproductions of in-situ murals, Vida Americana will be divided into nine thematic sections and will occupy the entirety of the Whitney’s fifth-floor Neil Bluhm Family Galleries. This unprecedented installation, and the catalogue that accompanies it, will provide the first opportunity to reconsider this cultural history, revealing the immense influence of Mexican artists on their American counterparts between 1925 and 1945.

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High Museum Of Art To Reunite Romare Bearden’s “Profile” Series For 2019-20 Touring Exhibition

More Than 30 Of Bearden’s Iconic Autobiographical Works Will Be Shown Together For The First Time In Nearly 40 Years

n fall 2019, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, will premiere “Something Over Something Else: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series,” the first exhibition to bring dozens of works from the eminent series together since its debut nearly 40 years ago. Having opened on Sept. 14, 2019 and then scheduled to run through Feb. 2, 2020, the exhibition will then travel to the Cincinnati Art Museum (Feb. 28–May 24, 2020). “Something Over Something Else: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series” will be presented in the special exhibition gallery on the second level of the High’s Stent Family Wing.

Profile/Part 1, The Twenties: Mecklenberg County, Miss Bertha & Mr. Seth They rented a house from my grandfather. Collages & Montages Romare Bearden, American, 1911–1988 1978 American Collage on board Profile, Part 1: The Twenties Series Support/Overall: 25 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches Collection of Susan Merker

In November 1977, The New Yorker magazine published a feature-length biography of Bearden (American, 1911–1988) by Calvin Tomkins as part of its “Profiles” series. The article brought national focus to the artist, whose rise had been virtually meteoric since the late 1960s. The experience of the interview prompted Bearden to launch an autobiographical collection he called “Profile.” He sequenced the project in two parts: “Part I, The Twenties,” featuring memories from his youth in Charlotte, N.C., and in Pittsburgh, and “Part II, The Thirties,” about his early adult life in New York. For the series’ exhibitions in New York in 1978 and 1981, Bearden collaborated with friend and writer Albert Murray on short statements for the pieces, which were scripted onto the walls to lead visitors on a visual and poetic journey through the works.

Romare Bearden (American, 1911–1988), Profile/Part II, The Thirties: Artist with Painting & Model, 1981, collage on fiberboard. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, purchase with funds from Alfred Austell Thornton in memory of Leila Austell Thornton and Albert Edward Thornton, Sr., and Sarah Miller Venable and William Hoyt Venable, Margaret and Terry Stent Endowment for the Acquisition of American Art, David C. Driskell African American Art Acquisition Fund, Anonymous Donors, Sarah and Jim Kennedy, The Spray Foundation, Dr. Henrie M. Treadwell, Charlotte Garson, The Morgens West Foundation, Lauren Amos, Margaret and Scotty Greene, Harriet and Edus Warren, The European Fine Art Foundation, Billye and Hank Aaron, Veronica and Franklin Biggins, Helen and Howard Elkins, Drs. Sivan and Jeff Hines, Brenda and Larry Thompson, and a gift to honor Howard Elkins from the Docents of the High Museum of Art, 2014.66. © 2019 Romare Bearden Foundation/VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Inspired by the High’s recent acquisition of a key work from the series, “Something Over Something Else” will be the first exhibition to reassemble more than 30 collages from the series. The exhibition design will reference the experience of the series’ original gallery presentations by incorporating their handwritten captions into the accompanying wall texts. The project is co-curated by Stephanie Heydt, the High’s Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art, and Bearden scholar Robert G. O’Meally, Zora Neale Hurston professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University.

We are privileged to organize ‘Something Over Something Else,’ which honors Bearden’s legacy as one of the 20th century’s most influential artists and brings important recognition to this beautiful and powerful series,” said Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director of the High.

We are very excited to reassemble Bearden’s original ‘Profile’ project—and to experience these works along with their captions, presented in the original sequence,” said Heydt. “Bearden was a wonderful storyteller, and ‘Profile’ shows Bearden at his best, using words and images to evoke deeply personal memories. But Bearden also invites us all to find something to relate to along the way. There is a poetry in the arrangement of the exhibition that feels unique for Bearden’s work and this show, which assembles nearly two-thirds of the original group and may be the only opportunity to see those works together again.

Bearden presented the “Profile” series as a shared history—his reflection on a life path that follows the journey of migration and transition in black communities across the mid-20th century. The series is an origin story that tracks Bearden’s transition from rural South to urban North, weaving his personal history into a communal one. Beyond providing the opportunity to explore an understudied body of work, the exhibition will investigate the roles of narrative and self-presentation for an artist who made a career of creating works based on memory and experience. It will also reveal some of Bearden’s broader inspirations, which lend insight into American life in the first decades of the 20th century.

Heydt was inspired to develop the exhibition in 2014 when the High acquired “Profile/Part II, The Thirties: Artist with Painting & Model” (1981), the culminating work in the series and one of Bearden’s only known self-portraits. The collage, which will feature prominently in the exhibition, is a retrospective work in which Bearden brings together important memories and spiritual influences from his youth in the South with broader art-historical themes that guided his career for more than four decades.

The exhibition will be arranged roughly chronologically according to the original presentations, moving from collages featuring Bearden’s early memories to works exploring his development as an artist in New York. Thematically, the subjects range from neighbors, friends, music and church to work, play, love and loss. The works also vary greatly in size. Though some are large, many are diminutive, a deliberate choice by Bearden to convey his experience of revisiting childhood memories. In addition to the wall texts by Bearden and Murray, the galleries will feature an original copy of The New Yorker article and the catalogues from the 1978 and 1981 gallery exhibitions. The High will also show clips from the 1980 documentary “Bearden Plays Bearden,” directed by Nelson E. Breen.

Featured works will include:

Part I, The Twenties:

  • School Bell Time” (1978): this collage is the first work in the exhibition and recalls one of Bearden’s earliest memories.
  • Pittsburgh Memories, Mill Hand’s Lunch Bucket” (1978): Based on Bearden’s memories of the interior of his grandmother’s boardinghouse in Pittsburgh, this work inspired playwright August Wilson to write the play “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.” Wilson’s stage set description reflects the composition of the collage, and the two main characters in the play were inspired by another painting in the series, “Mecklenberg County, Miss Bertha & Mr. Seth” (1978).
  • Pittsburgh Memories, Farewell Eugene” (1978): this work features a scene from the funeral of childhood friend who had introduced Bearden to drawing.
Romare Bearden (American, 1911–1988), Profile/Part I, The Twenties, Mecklenberg County, School Bell Time, 1978, collage on board. Kingsborough Community College, The City University of New York. © Romare Bearden Foundation/VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Paul Takeuchi.

Part II, The Thirties:

  • Pepper Jelly Lady” (1981): in this work, Bearden returns to his memories of the South and Mecklenburg County.
  • Artist with Painting & Model” (1981): from the High’s collection, this collage is one of Bearden’s only known self-portraits and a reminiscence on his studio above the Apollo Theater in Harlem in the 1940s.
  • Johnny Hudgins Comes On” (1981): This work features the famous vaudeville performer. According to Bearden, Hudgins’ act inspired Bearden’s own approach to “making worlds” with his art.
Romare Bearden (American, 1911–1988), Profile/Part I, The Twenties, Mecklenberg County, Daybreak Express, 1978, collage on board. Courtesy of the McConnell Family Trust. © Romare Bearden Foundation/VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Exhibition Catalogue
The High, in collaboration with University of Washington Press, will publish a full-color, illustrated catalogue to accompany the exhibition. Texts will include an introduction by former National Gallery of Art curator Ruth Fine and essays by Heydt, O’Meally, Rachael DeLue (Christopher Binyon Sarofim ’86 professor in American art at Princeton University) and Paul Devlin (assistant professor of English at the United States Merchant Marine Academy).


Something Over Something Else: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series” is organized and supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the Andrew Wyeth Foundation for American Art. This exhibition is made possible by Exhibition Series Sponsors Delta Air Lines, Inc., and Turner; Premier Exhibition Series Supporters the Antinori Foundation, Sarah and Jim Kennedy, Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot, and wish foundation; Benefactor Exhibition Series Supporter Anne Cox Chambers Foundation; Ambassador Exhibition Series Supporters Tom and Susan Wardell, and Rod Westmoreland; and Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters the Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust, Lucinda W. Bunnen, Corporate Environments, Marcia and John Donnell, W. Daniel Ebersole and Sarah Eby-Ebersole, Peggy Foreman, Robin and Hilton Howell, Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones, and Margot and Danny McCaul. Generous support is also provided by the Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Marjorie and Carter Crittenden, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, Isobel Anne Fraser–Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund, and Dr. Diane L. Wisebram.


Located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, the High Museum of Art connects with audiences from across the Southeast and around the world through its distinguished collection, dynamic schedule of special exhibitions and engaging community-focused programs. Housed within facilities designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architects Richard Meier and Renzo Piano, the High features a collection of more than 17,000 works of art, including an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American fine and decorative arts; major holdings of photography and folk and self-taught work, especially that of artists from the American South; burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, including paintings, sculpture, new media and design; a growing collection of African art, with work dating from pre-history through the present; and significant holdings of European paintings and works on paper. The High is dedicated to reflecting the diversity of its communities and offering a variety of exhibitions and educational programs that engage visitors with the world of art, the lives of artists and the creative process. For more information about the High, visit www.high.org.

The Whitney To Present Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium

Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium, to be presented at The Whitney Museum of American Art from July 14 through October 1, 2017, is the first retrospective to survey the groundbreaking Brazilian artist’s entire career, including the formative years he spent in New York in the 1970s. One of the most influential Latin American artists of the post–World War II period, Oiticica (1937–80) was a tireless innovator, from his start with the Neo-Concrete movement to his groundbreaking environmental installations. Co-organized by the Whitney together with the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, the exhibition presents a wide array of his paintings, interactive sculptures, films, audiovisual works, writings, and environments.

Hélio Oiticica (b. 1937), PN1 Penetrable (PN1 Penetrável), 1960. César and Claudio Oiticica Collection, Rio de Janeiro. © César and Claudio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro

Hélio Oiticica (b. 1937), PN1 Penetrable (PN1 Penetrável), 1960. César and Claudio Oiticica Collection, Rio de Janeiro. © César and Claudio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro

Oiticica was one of the most daring artists to appear anywhere in the years following World War II,” said Elisabeth Sussman, co-curator of the exhibition. “In conceiving this show, it was particularly important to us to focus attention on Oiticica’s presence in New York City in the 1970s, a time when many international artists came to live and work here. The expansion of his ideas into film, photography, and writing has been fully explored, as never before, in the research for this exhibition, and the works, some displayed for the first time, identify Oiticica as a paradigmatic presence in the global expansion of art practice in that decade.

Co-curator Donna De Salvo commented: “Oiticica’s departure from traditional notions of the static art object and his transformation of the viewer into an active participant were part of a larger, international desire to integrate art and life. Though his reputation is due primarily to his earlier work in Brazil, Oiticica was drawn to the scene of artistic experimentation in New York, and the eight years he spent working in the United States had a huge impact on his thought and continued to shape his art after his return to Brazil. By calling attention to the distinct differences that he absorbed in each locale, we hope to further the notion of art history as one comprised of multiple stories, and emphasize the Whitney’s expansive definition of who belongs in a museum of American art. This openness to patterns of artistic migration and cross-cultural thinking has a long history at the Whitney, which we are delighted to extend with this important exhibition.”

During his brief but remarkable career, Oiticica seamlessly melded formal and social concerns in his art, seeking to be internationally relevant and, at the same time, specifically Brazilian. The exhibition begins with elegant, geometric works on paper (1955–58): formal investigations in painting and drawing. These dynamic compositions gave way to more radical works as Oiticica became increasingly interested in surpassing the limits of traditional painting. By 1959, his painterly-sculptural Spatial Reliefs and Nuclei broke free of the wall and morphed into three-dimensional investigations of color and form. The Nuclei, composed of panels suspended from the ceiling, created areas through which the viewer could walk.

Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, Oiticica moved further toward the destabilization of the art form, making art that is intended for the viewer to manipulate, wear, and inhabit, including his Parangolés, wearable paintings inspired in part by samba schools in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, and Penetrables, colorful structures for viewers to navigate. In addition to viewing works on display, visitors will be invited to engage interactively with some of the artist’s works.

As Oiticica became further interested in bringing his art into the everyday, he began to create total environments suffused with color, texture, and tactile materials which were increasingly immersive in nature and transformed the viewer from a spectator to an active participant. The exhibition will include a number of these large-scale installations, including Tropicália and Eden. “Tropicália,” a name subsequently borrowed by the musician Caetano Veloso for his anthem against Brazil’s dictatorship, became an important and powerful movement in all the arts. Continue reading

Immigrant Contributions To American Society Recognized With 2017 Vilcek Prizes

Visual Artist Nari Ward And Biophysicists Lily And Yuh-Nung Jan Receive $100,000 Vilcek Prizes

Winners Of Vilcek Prizes For Creative Promise Each Receive $50,000 Awards

The Vilcek Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the annual Vilcek Prizes, recognizing outstanding immigrant contributions to the American arts and sciences. The Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science will be awarded jointly to Chinese-born Lily and Yuh-Nung Jan, a collaborative research duo and professors of molecular physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. The Vilcek Prize in the Arts recognizes Jamaican-born Nari Ward, a New York-based visual artist known for found-object assemblage art. Each prize includes a $100,000 cash award. The prizewinners were selected by panels of experts in each field; they will be honored at an awards gala in New York City in April 2017.1083773.jpg

Like all great artists and scientists, these immigrant prizewinners challenge our very perceptions of the world,” said Rick Kinsel, president of the Vilcek Foundation. “Their works are attempts to understand fundamental questions and concepts in American society, from the neurological underpinnings of the self to the institution of democracy.”vilcek_logo_black_xsmall

The Vilcek Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the foundation, to honor the contributions of immigrants to the United States and to foster an appreciation of the arts and sciences, was inspired by the couple’s respective careers in biomedical science and art history, as well as their personal experiences and appreciation for the opportunities they received as newcomers to this country. The foundation awards annual prizes to prominent immigrant biomedical scientists and artists and manages the Vilcek Foundation Art Collections, a promised gift from its founders.

This year, the Vilcek Prize in the Arts is awarded in the fine arts, marking the completion of an 11-year cycle through various disciplines in the arts and humanities. The recipient, Nari Ward, was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 12. He is known for found-object assemblage artworks that invite both a public conversation and an intimate dialogue with the viewer around topics of race, immigration, and the Caribbean diaspora identity. His usage of found objects aims to highlight the history of a place and the urgency of the moment; his installation Naturalization Drawing Table features a large desk—built out of Plexiglas bodega barriers—covered with dense linear drawings made over copies of Immigration and Naturalization Service applications. On select days during the exhibition, viewers are invited to “apply” for naturalization by lining up and filling out an application, giving them a taste of the bureaucratic process of applying for citizenship. Ward has won several prestigious art prizes, including the Joyce Award, the Rome Prize, a Bessie Award, and several other awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

Lily and Yuh-Nung Jan were both born in China and raised in Taiwan. They came to the U.S. as graduate students of physics at the California Institute of Technology but switched their focus to biology, in part inspired by their mentor, the renowned biophysicist Max Delbrück. Over the course of a collaborative career spanning over four decades, the husband-and-wife team has made many significant discoveries in the field of neuroscience, with far-reaching clinical implications. They isolated the gene encoding a protein that shuttles potassium ions across cell membranes, enabling the characterization of a molecular player important to functions as vital as maintaining heart rate and controlling muscle movement. Today, this type of ion channel is implicated in diseases such as epilepsy, ataxia, and hypertension. Simultaneously, the Jans identified genes and principles underlying the processes by which neurons acquire distinct identities, burgeon into thickets, and establish precise circuits; their work in this area may help unravel human diseases such as autism and schizophrenia. Currently, professors of molecular physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, the Jans have been honored with membership in the United States National Academy of Sciences, as well as with Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator awards.

The Vilcek Foundation also awards the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise, given to younger immigrants who have shown substantial talent and ability early in their careers. Each prize includes a $50,000 cash award. The winners in the fine arts are the following:

Iman Issa, born in Egypt, a conceptual artist, creates objects and installations in an attempt to address complex philosophical questions. Her original area of study was phenomenology, a branch of philosophy that examines the structures of consciousness that organize subjective experience—or, put another way, how we take meaning from things we individually experience. Later, Issa realized that art allowed for nuanced exploration of those topics, and continued her philosophical questioning through art. She is particularly interested in monuments and memorials—aesthetic forms tasked with a function that holds a shifting relevance based on their location in time and relationship to history. Her work has been shown at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the 8th Berlin Biennial, and the New Museum, and she has received the DAAD 2017 Artist in Residence Award, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, and the HNF-MACBA Award.

Meleko Mokgosi, born in Botswana, is a slow, considered painter; behind every painting he produces are hours of research, reading, and conversations with people. Mokgosi is interested in depictions of Africa and its people; he believes that the widespread misrepresentation of Africa and Africans has done a violence to the people of the continent, and through his art he attempts a representation that is fair and just. He is deeply concerned with politics and seeks to understand and illuminate the relations of power that shape people, families, villages, regions, and nations. Mokgosi has been named the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters Grant and the Jarl and Pamela Mohn Award, and he has shown his work at Art Basel, the Armory, the Hammer Museum, and the Whitney Museum. Continue reading

ArtsWestchester to Debut Spring Art Exhibit, SHE: Deconstructing Female Identity in March, Women’s History Month

Opening Reception to be Held on Sunday, March 13; Exhibit Runs Through Saturday, June 25

As Mattel reimagines the look of Barbie with the release of new dolls that have diverse physical appearances, ArtsWestchester, exploring what it means to be a woman today, has announced its 2016 spring exhibition, called SHE: Deconstructing Female Identity.

Mari Ogihara, “Underthing”

Mari Ogihara, “Underthing”

The contemporary art exhibition will open in March, during Women’s History Month, and run through the end of June, providing an artistic exploration of issues related to gender and female identity.

Laurel Garcia Colvin, “Beyond a Room of Our Own,” detail

Laurel Garcia Colvin, “Beyond a Room of Our Own,” detail

Modern American women are struggling to redefine themselves in the face of shifting societal values, changing perceptions of femininity and the choices between domesticity and executive leadership. These issues will be explored in a new exhibition, SHE, in which 11 artists will weigh in on the role of gender in society today,” said ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam, adding that with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the exhibition presents ideas by a selection of both well-known and emerging New York artists.

Debbie Han, Season of Being I

Debbie Han, “Season of Being I”

Mari Ogihara, Strip and Dismantle

Mari Ogihara, Strip and Dismantle

For more than 50 years, ArtsWestchester has been the community’s connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest, private, not-for-profit arts council in New York State whose mission is to provide leadership, vision, and support, to ensure the availability, accessibility, and diversity of the arts. The arts organization provides programs and services that enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County, which includes helping fund concerts, exhibitions and plays through grants; bringing artists into schools and community centers; advocating for the arts; and building audiences through diverse marketing initiatives.

Nancy Davidson, installation view with “Maebe” and “Netella,” Prague 1999

Nancy Davidson, installation view with “Maebe” and “Netella,” Prague 1999

22.Tricia Wright, “Vir Domesticus”

Tricia Wright, “Vir Domesticus”

Kathy Ruttenberg, “The Nature of the Beast”

Kathy Ruttenberg, “The Nature of the Beast”

The opening reception for SHE: Deconstructing Female Identity will take place on Sunday, March 13 from 3:00 pm to 5:00PM. at ArtsWestchester, located at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains, N.Y. The exhibition will be on view through Saturday, June 25.

The following artists will be featured in SHE includes Nicole Awai of Brooklyn, Laurel Garcia Colvin of Chappaqua, Nancy Davidson of New York City, Marcy B. Freedman of Croton-on-Hudson, Debbie Han of New York City, Rebecca Mushtare of Oswego, Valerie Piriano of Brooklyn, Mari Ogihara of White Plains, Kathy Ruttenberg of New York, Barbara Segal of Yonkers and Tricia Wright of Kingston Continue reading