U.S.A. - ORLANDO-FLORIDA -- Life Stories: American Portraits Past and Present

Robert Henri, Rosaleen, 1928, oil on canvas, 28 x 20 in., On long-term loan from Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation, Inc.

The artist’s task in creating an exceptional portrait must be more than rendering an accurate likeness of the subject. The artist must find a story to tell about the subject and make that story compelling. Formal portraits typically focus on the public aspects of an individual’s life, such as their position in a family or society or their celebrated accomplishments and honors. Portraits can also be informal, revealing aspects of the sitter’s private interests, friendships and emotional life. Life Stories: American Portraits Past and Present features paintings, photographs and sculpture spanning a period of over two hundred years. The exhibition explores how styles and purposes of portraiture have changed over time, reflecting changing social values and the shift of emphasis from formal to casual representations of the individual. Early American paintings by Benjamin West, Rembrandt Peale and William Hubard include formal portraits of distinguished individuals, families and military heroes and reveal much about the history and social values of the period. From the late 19th and early 20th centuries are portraits by John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam and Robert Henri. These artists are represented with portraits of friends and acquaintances that are painted with engaging warmth that expresses the bond between artist and subject. Cindy Sherman, Elizabeth Peyton and Anneè Olofsson are among the contemporary artists represented in the exhibition. These important artists have used portraiture to explore issues of identity, psychology and spirituality that go beyond individual character. For these artists, portraiture is an opportunity to make broader statements about culture and society. These contemporary artists demonstrate that portraiture remains a vital tradition still open to new and creative possibilities.

Orlando Museum of Art     07.01.2010 - 30.06.2011


U.S.A. - MADISON-WISCONSIN - Shinique Smith: Menagerie

Shinique Smith, Bale Variant No. 0017, 2009. Clothing, fabric, ink, twine, ribbon and wood, 72 x 52 x 52 inches. Private collection.

In her first large-scale museum exhibition, multi-media artist Shinique Smith presents site-specific installations, as well as two- and three-dimensional works created over the last decade. Shinique Smith: Menagerie presents almost fifty installations, paintings, photographs, sculptures, and works on paper, as well as two videos. The exhibition will be on view in MMoCA’s main galleries from January 22 through May 8, 2011.
Works included in Shinique Smith: Menagerie combine complex social and cultural references. They also demonstrate diverse art historical associations and techniques, including Abstract Expressionism, colorfield painting, minimalist sculpture, and Japanese calligraphy. Smith’s sculptures and installations are composed of found objects and second-hand clothing tied together in a variety of forms, including bales, totems, and reclining figures. Clothing and objects from friends and family also appear in her two-dimensional mixed-media works, imbuing them, like her sculptures, with personal meaning.
Smith, who grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York, finds inspiration in the world around her. She riffs on objects, phrases and references from music, literature, and popular culture. For example, her drawing titled Take My Apples, sketch (2005) shows a group of red tied-cloth bundles nesting together, surrounded by curly, calligraphic black lines. Smith uses both Western and Eastern techniques of drawing and writing in this poignant reference to Shel Silverstein’s famous children’s book The Giving Tree.
Addressing the theme of consumer excess head-on, Smith created Bale Variant No. 0017 (2009), a large block of black, grey, and white cloth. Smith and friends have written personal notations—partially hidden—on some of the garments. Using contemplative and enigmatic associations, Smith thus probes our culture’s contradictory underpinnings and focuses the viewer’s attention on aesthetics, style, and meaning.
Trained as an art educator as well as a visual artist, Smith will work with students from the Malcolm Shabazz City High School in Madison and the Middleton Alternative Senior High School to install No dust, no stain (2006) at MMoCA. This complex work, which includes sculptural and two-dimensional elements, is reconfigured for each new installation and demonstrates Smith’s ability to dissolve the line between the object and the surrounding architecture.
Writing in the exhibition catalogue, the artist describes the works on view in Shinique Smith: Menagerie as “meditations on writing, tying, ritualism, mythology, love, and human nature, on cleanliness as a spiritual concept, on what we create, consume, and hold dear, on my childhood, on my place in the world, and my romance with art and life.”

 Madison Museum of Contemporary Art    22.01.2011 - 08.05.2011



U.S.A. - LITTLE ROCK-ARKANSAS - The Impressionists and Their Influence

Claude Monet - 1840-1926 - Autumn on the Seine, Argenteuil, 1873 - oil on canvas
High Museum of Art; Purchase with funds from the Forward Arts Foundation, The Buisson Foundation, Eleanor McDonald Storza Estate, Frances Cheney Boggs Estate, Katherine John Murphy Foundation , and High Museum of Art Enhancement Fund

Organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta and the Arkansas Arts Center.

In late 19th century Paris, a group of artists broke from long-standing tradition when they moved outdoors to paint. These artists, the Impressionists, captured the world around them in new ways creating colorful, light-filled scenes of carefree summer outings, riverbanks and seashores, private gardens, public parks, dance halls, cafés and the people who inhabited them. This exhibition brings together beautiful master paintings and intimate works on paper by French artists such as Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, as well as works by major Post-Impressionist artists Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Paul Signac and more. In addition, the show features works by American artists, such as Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, and Theodore Robinson, who fell full sway under the influence of the Impressionists. Featuring more than 100 works from the collections of the renowned High Museum of Art, the Arkansas Arts Center and private collections, The Impressionists and Their Influence is a unique opportunity to explore the movement that became Impressionism. 

Arkansas Arts Center      01.04.2011- 26.06.2011