UMMA: Exhibitions and events scheduled for May

 
 

The following are exhibitions and events planed for May at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. For more information log onto https://umma.umich.edu/

Opening Exhibition

Unrecorded: Reimagining Artist Identities in Africa

May 12–Sept. 9, 2018

The Jan and David Brandon Family Bridge

Historical collecting practices have had a lasting impact on representations of Africa, its history, culture, and life today. Labeled as ‘unknown’ or ‘anonymous,’ African artists became associated with broad cultural styles and collective identities rather than personal creativity and individual agency. The exhibition Unrecorded: Reimagining Artist Identities in Africa includes artworks from both named and unrecorded, contemporary and historic artists to tell an alternative story. It explores how the changing attributes of an ‘African’ artist’s identity, and constructions of African identity more broadly, have shaped perceptions of Africa outside of the continent.

Lead support for Unrecorded: Reimagining Artist Identities in Africa is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost and the African Studies Center. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and Susan Ullrich.

 

Continuing Exhibitions

Red Circle: Designing Japan in Contemporary Posters

Through 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 AISIN, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies.

 

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.

 

Aftermath: Landscapes of Devastation

Through 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.

 

Cosmogonic Tattoos

Through June 2, 2019

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 2, 2019, 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.

 

Exercising the Eye: The Gertrude Kasle Collection

Through July 22, 2018

  1. Alfred Taubman Gallery

This exhibition celebrates Gertrude Kasle (1917–2016), a key figure in the formation of Detroit’s contemporary art community in the 1960s and 70s. A pioneering female gallerist, Kasle provided midwest audiences with a venue in which to experience avant-garde art from centers like New York City, while also supporting and exhibiting regional artists. Featuring a collection of paintings, works on paper, and sculptures from the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement through the early twenty-first century, Exercising the Eye speaks to the relationships Kasle fostered with local, national, and international artists and her appreciation for artistic expression and experimentation. Critical voices from the last fifty years include Philip Guston, Jane Hammond, Grace Hartigan, Jasper Johns, Michele Oka Doner, and Robert Rauschenberg. The exhibition offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore a dynamic moment in Detroit’s cultural history and insight into Kasle’s love of looking and learning.

Lead support for Exercising the Eye: The Gertrude Kasle Collection is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, and the University of Michigan CEW Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund.

 

New at UMMA: Illuminated Manuscript

Through August 19, 2018

The Connector

Books of hours—custom-made for private devotion in the Christian faith—were a bestseller in medieval Europe. These manuscripts incorporated prayers, hymns, biblical stories, and monthly calendars featuring religious feast days, which were often supplemented by images painted in exquisite detail. Today, books of hours are a testament to the visually rich material culture of the Middle Ages. UMMA was recently gifted a bejeweled double-sided calendar leaf for January. Executed on parchment, the page highlights the material opulence and artistry involved in manuscript illumination. Accompanying the calendar are painted images or miniatures of the labor and characteristic activity of the month, and Aquarius, the zodiac sign for January, embodied by a man collecting water from a stream. The folio’s luminous, gilded surface, accentuated by the use of bright colors, was meant to transport the medieval viewer into a state of spiritual transcendence.

This work was recently gifted to UMMA by Mrs. Carrol Robertsen.


Exhibition & Gallery Tours

Guided Tour

Red Circle: Designing Japan in Contemporary Posters

Sunday, May 6

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. Join Docents as they introduce this exciting exhibition focusing on graphic design.

Lead support for Red Circle: Designing Japan in Contemporary Posters is provided by AISIN, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies.

 

Guided Tour

Exercising the Eye: The Gertrude Kasle Collection

Sunday, May 13

2–3 p.m.

This exhibition celebrates Gertrude Kasle (1917–2016), a key figure in the formation of Detroit’s contemporary art community in the 1960s and 70s. A pioneering female gallerist, Kasle provided midwest audiences with a venue in which to experience avant-garde art from centers like New York City, while also supporting and exhibiting regional artists. Featuring a collection of paintings, works on paper, and sculptures from the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement through the early twenty-first century including Philip Guston, Jane Hammond, Grace Hartigan, Jasper Johns, Michele Oka Doner, and Robert Rauschenberg, among others. Join docents as they explore a dynamic moment in Detroit’s cultural history and insight into Kasle’s love of looking and learning.

Lead support for Exercising the Eye: The Gertrude Kasle Collection is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, and the University of Michigan CEW Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund.

 

Guided Tour

Unrecorded: Reimagining Artist Identities in Africa

Sunday, May 20

2–3 p.m.

Historical collecting practices have had a lasting impact on representations of Africa, its history, culture, and life today. Labeled as ‘unknown’ or ‘anonymous,’ African artists became associated with broad cultural styles and collective identities rather than personal creativity and individual agency. The exhibition Unrecorded: Reimagining Artist Identities in Africa includes artworks from both named and unrecorded, contemporary and historic artists to tell an alternative story. It explores how the changing attributes of an ‘African’ artist’s identity, and constructions of African identity more broadly, have shaped perceptions of Africa outside of the continent.

 

Lead support for Unrecorded: Reimagining Artist Identities in Africa is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost and the African Studies Center. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and Susan Ullrich.

 

UMMA Programs

Family Art Studio: Sunprints

Saturday, May 5

11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Multipurpose Room

Free. Registration is required: click here to register. Please include the number of people in your group.

Design and create your own sunprints using broad range of works featured in in UMMA’s collection as inspiration. Sunprinting is based on the cyanotype process, which has been used by artists since its development in the 19th century and results in brilliant high-contrast blue & white compositions. We will explore patterns, shapes, and motifs from the Asian, Modern and Contemporary, and Decorative Art collections, and possibly more! UMMA docents will lead a tour through the galleries followed by a hands on workshop with local artist Adrian Deva. Designed for families with children ages 6 and up. 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.

 

Family Art Studio: Sunprints

Saturday, May 5

2–4 p.m.

Multipurpose Room

Free. Registration is required. This event is fully-subscribed. Please click here to be waitlisted.

Design and create your own sunprints using broad range of works featured in in UMMA’s collection as inspiration. Sunprinting is based on the cyanotype process, which has been used by artists since its development in the 19th century and results in brilliant high-contrast blue & white compositions. We will explore patterns, shapes, and motifs from the Asian, Modern and Contemporary, and Decorative Art collections, and possibly more! UMMA docents will lead a tour through the galleries followed by a hands on workshop with local artist Adrian Deva. Designed for families with children ages 6 and up. 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.

 

Outside In: A Walking Tour of Cosmogonic Tattoos with Jim Cogswell

Sunday, May 6

3–4 p.m.

Commons

In celebration of the University Bicentennial, Stamps School of Art & Design Professor and artist Jim Cogswell was invited to develop a public installation drawing upon the collections of the University of Michigan Museum of Art and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. For this visionary project, the artist created a single rhythmic procession of vivid, but fragmentary images installed on the glass walls of the two museums. In this walking tour of the installation at UMMA, Cogswell will describe the purpose and process of his project which narrates a compelling story about the movement of people and objects throughout history, their stories now set in new relationships to each other.

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.

 

Fridays After 5

Friday, May 11

5–8 p.m.

Stop in to UMMA on select Friday evenings to enjoy special exhibitions and engaging activities at Fridays After 5! With all of UMMA’s galleries remaining open until 8:00 p.m., this exciting series provides an interactive atmosphere for all audiences.

​Park in the Maynard Structure (between Liberty and William) and receive free, validated parking. The Museum is always free.

UMMA Fridays After 5 are generously supported by Comerica Bank and State Street District. The media sponsor for Fridays After 5 is Michigan Radio.

 

In Conversation: Unrecorded: Reimagining Artist Identities in Africa

Sunday, May 13

3–4 p.m.

The Jan and David Brandon Family Bridge

This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited: click here to register.

Unrecorded traces how African artists became “anonymous” in museum settings to current debates on representing named artists from Africa and the diaspora. The exhibition displays works made by both unrecorded and named artists, including renowned artists Yinka Shonibare, William Kentridge, the Adugbologe family, and Osei Bonsu. Join Allison Martino, exhibition co-curator and 2016-2017 Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow, for an introduction to artworks featured in the exhibition. She will also discuss the historical and contemporary issues surrounding the attribution of African artists and museum displays of their work.

Lead support for Unrecorded: Reimagining Artist Identities in Africa is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost and the African Studies Center. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and Susan Ullrich.

 

Meet Me at UMMA: A Museum Arts Experience for Persons with Mild Memory Loss and Their Care Partners

Sunday, May 20

3–4 p.m.

UMMA Store

To register for this program, email aelliston@alz.org or call the local Alzheimer’s Association at 800.272.3900 at any time. For more information, please contact UMMA at 734.764.1917 during normal business hours.

Meet me at UMMA invites people with mild memory loss to enjoy a guided gallery experience along with family members or care partners. This program is designed for people who live at home and their companions.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing mild memory loss, research has shown that the visual and expressive arts can be good for your mind. In addition, great enjoyment is to be found in seeking out the sights, sounds, textures, and good feelings that come with looking at, learning, and sharing feelings about paintings, music, and other creative arts.

UMMA’s trained docents will accompany small groups for a guided tour and provide the opportunity for everyone to experience different kinds of art and share their responses.

Meet Me at UMMA is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Monroe-Brown Foundation Discretionary Fund for Outreach to the State of Michigan, and individual donors.

 

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