U.S.A. - BOULDER-COLORADO - Viviane Le Courtois : Edible ?


Viviane Le Courtois, Cellules 1 (detail), 2009, natural etching, 1/15

Twenty-two Years of Working With Food

Featuring the new interactive installation
The Garden of Earthy Delights
West Gallery and East Gallery

While Viviane Le Courtois has been working with food as a medium or source of inspiration since 1990, Edible? at Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art presents the first opportunity to experience a large selection from this body of work in context. In addition to the newly commissioned interactive installation The Garden of Earthy Delights, the exhibition comprises a mid-career retrospective of food-related work of the past twenty-two years by this Denver-based artist. Through sculptures, performances, videos, photos, prints, and interactive installations, Le Courtois explores the processes of consumption, focusing on the repetitive aspects of food preparation, ceremonial food offerings, and the social implications of eating.

The earliest works in the exhibition, executed in France in the 1990s before her move to the US, include an installation of chewed licorice sticks as well as photographs and video documentation of performances and sculptural work made from foraged foods, fruit peelings, and nut shells. For a series of Pickles from the early 2000s, Le Courtois filled over 200 jars with various liquids and random objects in memory of her then recently-deceased mother, who had a tendency to keep pickle jars long after the contents had been consumed.

A series of etchings employing the naturally occurring acids of the kombucha mushroom continues to fascinate Le Courtois, who has created over forty different plates since developing the process in 2004. A number of these prints, as well as the mushrooms used to create them, will be on view alongside large-scale sculptures from a series of works created from junk food such as chips, candy, and marshmallows. These include the Cheetovore, Shane The Obese Marshmallow Teenager, a group of Little Fat Kids – small figurines made from melted and cast candy, and the Venus of Consumption, a crocheted sculpture of an obese, reclining woman.

Since 2010, Le Courtois has become increasingly interested in aspects of interaction and participation and has organized a number of events for which she prepared and served meals for a large number of guests, including How to Eat An Artichoke, held at RedLine Denver in 2010, and a curry dinner for the exhibition Do It! at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design in 2011.

The Garden of Earthy Delights, a living interactive installation created for BMoCA, is envisioned as a space for people to relax, think, and interact. Herbs such as mint, verbena, thyme, sage, and rosemary are arranged throughout the gallery in miniature gardens for consumption in tea, in reference to the ancient process of growing, collecting, and consuming plants. Every Saturday between 1pm and 3pm, the artist will tend to the plants, serve tea, and offer samples of sprouts, microgreens, and baby greens, grown inside the museum as part of the exhibition.

Viviane Le Courtois was born in France in 1969. She moved to the US in 1994 and currently lives in Denver, Colorado. She received her Diplôme National Supérieur d’Expression Plastique (MFA) in Sculpture/Installations from the International School of Art and Research in Nice, France in 1992 and an MA in Art History from the University of Denver in 2000. In 2009 Westword presented Le Courtois with the Mastermind Award in Visual Arts. She was a resident artist at RedLine Denver from 2008 to 2011. She regularly exhibits in the US and Europe and has shown her work at the Passerelle Art Center in France, Mobius in Boston, and at many venues in Colorado, including Rocky Mountain School of Art + Design, Regis University, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver during the 2010 Biennial of the Americas.

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art    23.02.2012 - 17.06.2012

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U.S.A. - BOSTON-MASSACHUSETTS - Silver, Salt, and Sunlight: Early Photography in Britain and France


The invention of photography in 1839 was a pivotal achievement that changed the course of cultural history. The early years of the medium were rich in experimentation. As each process and technique was invented, artists enthusiastically explored new possibilities for visual recording and expression. This exhibition celebrates the golden age of early photography in France and Britain, the two countries in which the medium was simultaneously invented.

Arranged according to theme and exploring a range of photographic approaches, “Silver, Salt, and Sunlight” features some rare early photographs from the Museum's collection. Among the photographic pioneers included are William Henry Fox Talbot, Hill and Adamson, Roger Fenton, Edouard Baldus, Gustave Le Gray, Nadar, Julia Margaret Cameron, and Francis Frith.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston     07.02.2012 - 05.08.2012

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U.S.A. - BIRMINGHAM-ALABAMA - Look of Love: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection


This stunning exhibition explores the little-known subject of “lover’s eyes,” hand-painted miniatures of single human eyes set in jewelry and given as tokens of affection or remembrance. In 1785, when the Prince of Wales secretly proposed to Mrs. Maria Fitzherbert with a miniature of his own eye, he inspired an aristocratic fad for exchanging eye portraits mounted in a wide variety of settings including brooches, rings, lockets, and toothpick cases.

With over 100 examples, the collection of Dr. and Mrs. David A. Skier of Birmingham is the largest in the world. This exhibition offers an unprecedented look at these unusual and intriguing works of art.

The exhibition is accompanied by a full color, hardbound catalogue of the same name, edited by Dr. Graham C. Boettcher, The William Cary Hulsey Curator of American Art, and published by D Giles Ltd., London. An essay by Elle Shushan sets the historical scene and examines the role of lover’s eyes in the broader context of Georgian and early Victorian portrait miniatures. Boettcher looks at the language and symbolism of these tokens and their jeweled settings. Additionally, novelist and biographer Jo Manning offers five fictional vignettes imagining the circumstances surrounding the creation of these extraordinary objects.

Visitors can also interact with the exhibition in a new way: the Museum's very first iPad app! The Look of Love app allows visitors to see these tiny, intricate objects at up to twenty times their actual size. They can also see images of the backs of objects or short videos of how the objects open. Twenty iPad devices are available for check-out and use in the Arrington Gallery, and volunteers are on hand to show how the devices and the app work.

Birmingham Museum of Art     07.02.2012 - 10.06.2012
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U.S.A. - BALTIMORE-MARYLAND - Embroidered Treasures: Textiles from Central Asia

Detail, Borpush or Nimsuzani. Uzbekistan. Early 20th century. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Jerry Maizlish, Sparks, Maryland, BMA 1991.446

Approximately 19 bold, colorful embroidered textiles from Central Asia are being presented for the first time at the BMA. These stunning late 19th- to early 20th-century textiles include wall hangings, covers, a wedding canopy, and saddle cover made in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. They represent both city cultures and those of formerly nomadic peoples such as the Lakai. Primarily made of cotton with multicolored silk thread embroidery by young women and their female relatives, many of these textiles were used as part of their dowries and family treasures that were reluctantly parted with during periods of political and economic hardship.

Baltimore Museum of Art    13.11.2011 - 08.07.2012

Website : Baltimore Museum of Art

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