University of Michigan Museum of Art January exhibitions and events

 
 

The University of Michigan Museum of Art released its Exhibitions and Events schedule for January 2018. For more information, log onto www.umma.umich.edu/events.

Opening Exhibitions

Red Circle: Designing Japan in Contemporary Posters
January 6–May 6, 2018
The Jan and David Brandon Family Bridge

In the 1980s, Japan’s strong trade surplus and currency were causing friction and antagonism overseas. In response, three renowned Japanese artists—Ikko Tanaka, Shigeo Fukuda, and Kazumasa Nagai—took on the challenge of changing Japan’s global image through graphic design. In posters promoting trade fairs, cultural festivals, exhibitions, and sporting events, they used a powerful language of simple forms, vivid color, and a touch of humor to foster—both nationally and internationally—a deeper understanding of the different faces of Japan and its long cultural history. Their eye-catching designs often incorporated familiar traditional symbols and motifs, notably the iconic red circle against a white background of Japan’s national flag. Archetypal animals, human figures, and landscapes borrowed from folklore and visual culture were also distilled into forms of iconographic clarity. These dazzling posters are a fascinating chapter in the history of Japan’s ongoing efforts to shape its identity in the post-World War II era.

Lead support for Red Circle is provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies.

Aftermath: Landscapes of Devastation
January 13–May 27, 2018
Photography Gallery

Over the last 150 years, the medium of photography has powerfully depicted and shaped representations of past and present scenes of devastation. Aftermath examines landscape photographs made at the sites of natural or human-made disasters, capturing the results of destructive forces wrought on the land and its inhabitants, including volcano eruptions and floods, massacres and uprisings, and even nuclear explosions. The photographs portray both well-known and untold stories of violence, tragedy, and loss. Each scene is visually striking, yet viewers may be surprised at the elements of beauty and tranquility present in these tragic landscapes. The exhibition includes images of the aftermath of events spanning over 2,000 years of human history—from ancient Pompeii to September 11, 2001. These photographs remind us that disaster is often a collective experience that can tear apart the seams of a culture’s social fabric and impact societies well after an event.

Lead support for Aftermath: Landscapes of Devastation is provided by the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability and Department of Screen Arts and Cultures.

Continuing Exhibitions

Gloss: Modeling Beauty
Through January 7, 2018
Photography Gallery

Focusing on the prominent role of women as the subject of photography, Gloss: Modeling Beauty explores the shifting ideals of female beauty that pervade European and American visual culture from the 1920s to today. The exhibition features images of sleek and poised female models and celebrities destined for the glossy pages of fashion magazines and catalogs by leading photographers such as Edward Steichen, Philippe Halsman, Helmut Newton, Andy Warhol, and Guy Bourdin. Outside of commercial advertising practice, documentary photographers Elliott Erwitt, Joel Meyerowitz, and Ralph Gibson portray candid images of fashionable women on city streets and mannequins in shop windows, resulting in intriguing juxtapositions of haute couture and everyday life. And artists James Van Der Zee, Eduardo Paolozzi, and Nikki S. Lee employ the visual strategies of traditional fashion photography, while offering alternative narratives to mainstream notions of female beauty.

Lead support for Gloss: Modeling Beauty is provided by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection
Through February 18, 2018
A. Alfred Taubman Gallery

Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection showcases the master draftsmanship of two of the most significant artists of the twentieth century: Henri Matisse (1869–1954) and Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015). Curated by Kelly in 2014, the exhibition speaks to his admiration for Matisse, as well as to the centrality of drawing in both artists’ practices. To accompany the forty-five rarely exhibited works by Matisse made in the first half of the 20th century, which reveal his process and range of creativity as a draftsman, Kelly selected nine of his own lithographic drawings that derive from his time in France during the 1960s, when the American artist studied Matisse’s sketches and studies of nature and human figures. Together, the works by Matisse and Kelly form a thought-provoking, visually striking artistic dialogue, allowing viewers to experience one artist through the eyes of another and to immerse themselves in the pleasures of close looking.

Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in collaboration with The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation.

This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust and The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation. Additional support provided by the JFM Foundation and Mrs. Donald M. Cox.

Lead support for the local presentation of this exhibition is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Richard and Rosann Noel Endowment Fund, and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and the Department of the History of Art.

In Focus: Paul Rand
Through April 15, 2018
The Connector

Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, pioneering art director and graphic designer Paul Rand (1914–1996) was celebrated for crafting the brand identities of such American corporate icons as ABC, IBM, UPS, and Westinghouse. Rand considered the designer’s task to be the symbolic communication of a company’s character. This recent acquisition presentation features the poster Rand created as part of IBM’s THINK promotional campaign. The design is a rebus, or visual puzzle, wherein Rand cleverly transforms the letters of IBM’s logo into pictures. The whimsical use of symbols encourages viewers to interpret—or think—in order to comprehend the company’s intended message that it values “insight,” “industriousness,” and “motivation.” The poster is part of a larger recent gift of archival Paul Rand objects donated to UMMA by Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo—professor in the U-M Stamps School of Art and Design and published scholar on Paul Rand—and Maria Phillips.

Patricia Piccinini: The Comforter
Through April 15, 2018
Irving Stenn, Jr. Family Gallery

Australian artist Patricia Piccinini’s strange, hyperreal yet sentimental sculptures are often rooted in her speculative visualizations of future species—beings transformed by, or even created by, developments in genetic engineering and technology.  On view at UMMA, The Comforter presents the likeness of a young girl whose appearance suggests a rare genetic condition causing excessive hair across her face and body. In her lap she tenderly cradles an udder-shaped, eyeless creature—a possible reference to current experiments in genetically altered milk-producing animals. The encounter staged by the sculpture, though curious and unexplained, appears to be one of innocence and intimacy, and suggests the potential for emotional connection between a diversity of beings. This theme is a common one for Piccinini, whose work incorporates (often obliquely) ideas and questions about the ethical implications of scientific progress and the conflicts in our culture between the natural and the man-made.

Lead support for Patricia Piccinini: The Comforter is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment, the University of Michigan Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, and the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

Tim Noble and Sue Webster: The Masterpiece
Through May 13, 2018
Media Gallery

Since the 1980s, British artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster have been known for their shadow sculptures built from materials as diverse as scrap metal, garbage, taxidermy, and sex toys. When light is directed at these assemblages, they project shadows that are exceptionally accurate and intricate representations of other things entirely.

The Masterpiece (2014) is a shadow self-portrait of the artists created from metal casts of dead vermin they collected and welded together into a ball. From afar the casts appear to be a stunning abstract silver sculpture; on closer inspection the disturbing menagerie of creatures emerges, only to change form again—as a shadow on the wall—into a precise and elegant image that is astonishingly different from the objects that create it.

Lead support for Tim Noble and Sue Webster: The Masterpiece is provided by the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment, the University of Michigan Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, the Susan and Richard Gutow Fund, the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities and School for Environment and Sustainability. Additional generous support is provided by the Richard and Janet Miller Fund.

Cosmogonic Tattoos
Through June 3, 2018
UMMA Commons and Exterior

In celebration of the University of Michigan’s Bicentennial in 2017, artist and distinguished U­–M art professor Jim Cogswell was invited to create a series of public window installations in response to the holdings of the University of Michigan Museum of Art and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. For this visionary project, the artist adheres a procession of vivid images to the glass walls of the museums in a rhythmically evocative narrative, based on reassembled fragments from a diverse range of artworks in both museums’ permanent collections. The juxtaposed images address our shared histories and experiences while connecting the viewer to the origins and meaning of objects and their power to shape knowledge, memory, and identity. By leveraging the buildings’ unique architecture, the artist expands our understanding of a museum as a cultural repository and highlights the significant role of these institutions in the life of the campus community.

Cosmogonic Tattoos is on view at UMMA through June 3, 2018, and at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology through May 2, 2018.

Lead support for Cosmogonic Tattoos is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost. Additional support for the artist’s project is provided by the University of Michigan Bicentennial Office and the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design.

Exhibition and Gallery Tours

All of UMMA’s tours and events are free and open to the public. No reservations or pre-registration required, unless otherwise noted.

Engaging with Art
Sunday, January 7
1–2 p.m.

UMMA docents will guide visitors through the galleries on tours as diverse as their interests and areas of expertise. Each docent plans a theme and includes a variety of styles and media to illuminate his or her ideas. Themes may be repeated but each docent’s approach and choice of objects is unique.

Engaging with Art tours are generously supported by the Berkowitz Family Endowed Fund.

Guided Tour
GLOSS: Modeling Beauty
Sunday, January 7
2–3 p.m.

Focusing on the prominent role of women as the subject of photography, GLOSS: Modeling Beauty explores the shifting ideals of female beauty that pervade European and American visual culture from the 1920s to today. The exhibition features images of sleek and poised female models and celebrities destined for the glossy pages of fashion magazines, images of fashionable women on city streets and mannequins in shop windows juxtaposing haute couture and everyday life, and artists who employ the visual strategies of traditional fashion photography, while offering alternative narratives to mainstream notions of female beauty. Join UMMA docents for a lively review of these photographic strategies.

Lead support for Gloss: Modeling Beauty is provided by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

Engaging with Art
Sunday, January 14
1–2 p.m.

UMMA docents will guide visitors through the galleries on tours as diverse as their interests and areas of expertise. Each docent plans a theme and includes a variety of styles and media to illuminate his or her ideas. Themes may be repeated but each docent’s approach and choice of objects is unique.

Engaging with Art tours are generously supported by the Berkowitz Family Endowed Fund.

Guided Tour
Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection
Sunday, January 14
2–3 p.m.

This exhibition of drawings by Henri Matisse showcases the mastery of draftsmanship by two of the most significant artists of the twentieth century: Henri Matisse (1869–1954) and Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015). Curated by Kelly in 2014, the exhibition speaks to his admiration for Matisse, as well as to the centrality of drawing in both artists’ practices. Accompanying the forty-five rarely exhibited works by Matisse, Kelly selected nine of his own lithographic drawings that derive from his time in France when the American artist studied Matisse’s sketches and studies of nature and human figures. Join UMMA docents as they explore this artistic dialogue, seeing one artist through the eyes of another.
Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in collaboration with The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation.

This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust and The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation. Additional support provided by the JFM Foundation and Mrs. Donald M. Cox.

Lead support for the local presentation of this exhibition is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Richard and Rosann Noel Endowment Fund, and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and the Department of the History of Art.

Engaging with Art
Sunday, January 21
1–2 p.m.

UMMA docents will guide visitors through the galleries on tours as diverse as their interests and areas of expertise. Each docent plans a theme and includes a variety of styles and media to illuminate his or her ideas. Themes may be repeated but each docent’s approach and choice of objects is unique.

Engaging with Art tours are generously supported by the Berkowitz Family Endowed Fund.

Guided Tour
Red Circle: Designing Japan in Contemporary Posters
Sunday, Jan. 21
2–3 p.m.

In the 1980s, Japan’s strong trade surplus and currency were causing friction and antagonism overseas. In response, three renowned Japanese artists took on the challenge of changing Japan’s global image through graphic design. Their eye-catching designs often incorporated familiar traditional symbols and motifs, notably the iconic red circle against a white background of Japan’s national flag, from which this exhibition gains it name, Red Circle: Designing Japan in Contemporary Posters. Paul Rand also crafted memorable graphic design in the second half of the twentieth century. Rand was celebrated for crafting the brand identities of such American corporate icons as ABC, IBM, UPS, and Westinghouse. This installation features the poster Rand created as part of IBM’s THINK promotional campaign, a rebus which transforms the letters of IBM’s logo into pictures. Join docents as they introduce and connect these two exciting exhibitions focusing on graphic design.

Lead support for Red Circle is provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies.

Engaging with Art
Sunday, Jan. 28
1–2 p.m.

UMMA docents will guide visitors through the galleries on tours as diverse as their interests and areas of expertise. Each docent plans a theme and includes a variety of styles and media to illuminate his or her ideas. Themes may be repeated but each docent’s approach and choice of objects is unique.

Engaging with Art tours are generously supported by the Berkowitz Family Endowed Fund.

Guided Tour
Aftermath: Landscapes of Devastation
Sunday, January 28
2–3 p.m.

Aftermath examines landscape photographs made at the sites of natural or human-made disasters including volcano eruptions and floods, massacres and uprisings, and even nuclear explosions. The photographs picture well-known or, at times, untold stories of violence, tragedy, and loss. Each scene is visually stunning yet viewers may be surprised at the elements of beauty and tranquility present in these tragic landscapes. The images remind us that disaster is often a collective experience that can tear apart the seams of a culture’s social fabric and shape histories of a culture well after an event. UMMA docents will guide visitors as they contemplate photography’s role in depicting and shaping representations of past and present landscapes of devastation.

Lead support for Aftermath: Landscapes of Devastation is provided by the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability and Department of Screen Arts and Cultures.

 

UMMA Programs

Seeking Henri: Matisse Through the Eyes of Ellsworth Kelly
Friday, January 12
5:30–7 p.m.
Helmut Stern Auditorium

This program is free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served.

John R. Stomberg, the Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961s Director at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, worked directly with the late Ellsworth Kelly to create the exhibition Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection now on view at UMMA through February 18, 2018.

In this talk, Dr. Stomberg will begin by tracing the creative evolution of each artist in turn. Matisse got his start in Paris in the late 1880s just as construction workers completed the Eiffel Tower; Kelly moved there during the reconstruction years that followed World War II. While they shared a passion for color, the expressiveness of line, and the vast potential for a collage-based aesthetic, they did not have a personal relationship. Then, through an overview of the drawings included in the exhibition, Stomberg will share insights gleaned on both artists while co-curating the exhibition with Kelly.

John R. Stomberg is the Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961s Director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College. Before joining Dartmouth he served as the Florence Finch Abbott Director of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum and the Joseph Allen Skinner Museum and held leadership positions at the Williams College Museum of Art and the Boston University Art Gallery. He holds a BA from Georgetown University and both an MA and Ph.D from Boston University—all in art history. The primary focus of his curatorial work is American art and culture since 1900. Moving between photography, prints, paintings, sculpture, media art, and installation work, his exhibitions have been conceived to broaden our understanding of how art operates in, and often shapes, society.  He publishes on modern and contemporary art and issues directly related to museums, education, and academia.

Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in collaboration with The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation.

This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust and The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation. Additional support provided by the JFM Foundation and Mrs. Donald M. Cox.

Lead support for the local presentation of this exhibition is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Richard and Rosann Noel Endowment Fund, and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and the Department of the History of Art.

Family Art Studio: The Line Comes Alive
Saturday, January 13
11 a.m.–1 p.m. and 2–4 p.m.
Multipurpose Room

Free. Registration is required: email umma-program-registration@umich.edu. Please include date and title of program in the subject line of your email. Indicate if you would like to register for the 11:00 a.m. session or the 2:00 p.m. session and how many adults and children are in your group.

Create your own project inspired by the drawings of Henri Matisse and Ellsworth Kelly. UMMA docents will lead a tour of the exhibition followed by a hands-on workshop led by local artist Nora Venturelli. Designed for families with children ages six and up to experience art together. Parents must accompany children.

Family Art Studio is generously supported by the University of Michigan Credit Union Arts Adventures Program, UMMA’s Lead Sponsor for Student and Family Engagement.

Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in collaboration with The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation.

This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust and The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation. Additional support provided by the JFM Foundation and Mrs. Donald M. Cox.

Lead support for the local presentation of this exhibition is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Richard and Rosann Noel Endowment Fund, and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and the Department of the History of Art.

Mark Webster Reading Series
Friday, January 19
7–8 p.m.
Helmut Stern Auditorium

One MFA student of fiction and one of poetry, each introduced by a peer, will read their work. The Mark Webster Reading Series presents emerging writers in a warm and relaxed setting. We encourage you to bring your friends – a Webster reading makes for an enjoyable and enlightening Friday evening.

This week’s reading features Sam Krowchenko and Kyle Hunt.

Sam Krowchenko’s writing has appeared in Salon, Full-Stop, and Michigan Quarterly Review, among other venues. A bookseller at Literati, he also hosts Shelf Talking, the store’s official podcast.

Kyle Hunt is a poet from West Texas and Middle Tennessee. He has work published with Toe Good, previously known as Toe Good Poetry.

Value the Voice: Nobody Told Me
Presented by the U-M Comprehensive Studies Program and Department of Afroamerican and African Studies
Tuesday, January 23
7–8:30 p.m.
Helmut Stern Auditorium

Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of educational entertainment known to mankind. From the West African tradition of the Griot to modern day Moth events, storytelling environments have served as a means to pass along history, shape culture, share helpful lessons, and establish a sense of belonging and community.

The U-M Comprehensive Studies Program and Department of Afroamerican and African Studies invite you to explore themes related to campus life, coming of age, and learning and growing, at this series of Moth Style Storyteller Lounge events.  The theme for January’s event will be Nobody Told Me, stories of things people wish they would have known before the started a new semester. Storytellers include students, faculty and staff, and Voices of Wisdom (alums or community members).

Future Value the Voice programs:
Tuesday, March 27 – Triumph, stories of overcoming challenges in the college environment.

Light food and refreshments will follow in the UMMA Commons.

For more information, please contact Keith Jason at mrjason@umich.edu or 734-764-9128.

SMTD@UMMA Performance Series: Out of the Silence
A Narrated Concert to Honor Black Classical Musicians of the Past

Friday, January 26
7–8:30 p.m.
Museum Apse

Out of the Silence celebrates the musical life of African Americans living during the late-19th and early-20th centuries. Mixing spoken narrative and live musical performances, this evening will explore the meaning of classical music to African American individuals and communities, provide insights into the social uplift music fostered in those communities, and create an awareness of the challenges faced and successes enjoyed by African American musicians.

Out of the Silence will be told through seldom-heard works by the black America composers William Grant Still, Florence Price, Harry Freeman, Harry T. Burleigh, and Margaret Bonds, among others, accompanied by images that capture these musicians and others at work. Many of these items are drawn from the rich collections held at the University of Michigan Music Library and the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts at the Detroit Public Library. Special guests will include professor emeritus and renowned bass Willis Patterson and the 2017 Kresge Eminent Artist, harpist Patricia Terry-Ross. Presented on the occasion of the University of Michigan’s 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium, this performance is a collaboration with the U-M Museum of Art, School of Music, Theatre & Dance, U-M’s Gershwin Initiative and the School of Music, Theatre & Dance / University Musical Society’s concert production of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.

This performance, co-curated by Leah Claiborne and Austin Stewart, is presented as part of the SMTD@UMMA Performance Series which presents 6-8 unique performances each year that connect with the exhibitions, collections, and spaces of UMMA and showcases the talent of SMTD faculty, students and staff.

The SMTD@UMMA performance series is generously supported by the Katherine Tuck Enrichment Fund and the Greg Hodes and Heidi Hertel Hodes—Partners in the Arts Endowment Fund.

Storytime at the Museum
Saurday, January 27
11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
UMMA Store

Storytime at the Museum promotes art enjoyment for our youngest patrons. Children ages three to six are invited to join in on some children’s fun, hear a story, and do a short activity responding to the art on display. Parents must accompany children. Siblings are welcome to join the group. Meet in front of the UMMA Store.

Storytime is generously supported by the University of Michigan Credit Union Arts Adventures Program, UMMA’s Lead Sponsor for Student and Family Engagement.

In Conversation: Graphic Power: Promoting Japan through Contemporary Posters
Sunday, January 28
3–4 p.m.
The Jan and David Brandon Family Bridge

This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Please register to secure your place by emailing umma-program-registration@umich.edu. Please include date and title of program in the subject line of your email.

Japanese graphic designers Ikko Tanaka, Shigeo Fukuda, and Kazumasa Nagai created eye-catching posters for trade fairs, cultural festivals, and exhibitions in the 1980s and early 1990s, when Japan’s strong economy was causing anti-Japanese sentiment overseas. Their posters became powerful tools to promote a deeper understanding of Japan and its long cultural history. Join Curator of Asian Art, Natsu Oyobe, and explore concepts and visual strategies behind these poster designs, which helped to remake the national image.

Lead support for Red Circle is provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies.

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