UMMA announces August schedule of events and exhibitions  

Opening Exhibitions

Beyond Borders: Global Africa

 
 

August 11–November 25, 2018

A. Alfred Taubman Gallery

More than ever in the era of globalization, ideas traverse geographic, generational, and cultural boundaries, even as national borders seem to be closing.  Beyond Borders: Global Africa  reflects on this moment by considering how Africa and its artists have been at the center of complex histories of encounter and exchange for centuries. Bringing together a dazzling array of works made in Africa, Europe, and the United States from the nineteenth to twenty-first century, the exhibition demonstrates the international scope and reach of art from Africa and the African diaspora. It also explores issues such as slavery, colonization, migration, racism, and identity at play in the objects and their histories. Highlights include paintings, photographs, sculpture, and installations by Kudzanai Chiurai, Omar Victor Diop, Wangechi Mutu, and Serge Alain Nitegeka. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication, the tenth in the UMMA Books series.

Lead support for  Beyond Borders: Global Africa  is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the University of Michigan Office of Research, African Studies Center, and Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan CEW Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund and Susan Ullrich.

New at UMMA: Life Magazine 1947 Homecoming Photographs

August 25–November 18, 2018

The Connector

In October 1947, just two years after the end of World War II, the popular weekly news magazine LIFE sent staff photographers Lisa Larsen and Ralph Morse to cover homecoming weekend at the University of Michigan. The subsequent article, “Michigan Homecoming,” which brought national attention to UM’s athletic program, featured a seven-page spread with photographs of the campus during a much-anticipated football game between the number-one ranked Michigan Wolverines and the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gophers. This installation provides a unique opportunity to view twenty-one images of that weekend, many of which were not published in the original article, recently donated to UMMA by John and Susan Edwards Harvith. Considered alongside the article, these photographs of fervent fans, strolling couples, alumni making their annual pilgrimage, and the game itself present LIFE magazine’s view of a giddy post-war public enjoying a return to American pastimes.

These photographs were recently gifted to UMMA by John (AB ’69, JD ’73) and Susan (MMP ’73) Harvith.

Continuing Exhibitions

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.

Unrecorded: Reimagining Artist Identities in Africa

Through September 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.

Marcel Dzama: A Jester’s Dance

Through September 23, 2018

Media Gallery

Canadian artist Marcel Dzama is known for imaginative drawings, sculptures, dioramas, and films rooted in the traditions of Surrealism, Dada and outsider art. His 2013 film Une danse des bouffons (or A jester’s dance ) tells the tale of a romance between two principal figures of these traditions: Dada icon Marcel Duchamp and Brazilian sculptor Maria Martins, who was the model for Duchamp’s final, enigmatic artwork Étant donnés. Rife with art-historical references not only to the work of Duchamp but also to Francisco Goya, Francis Picabia and Joseph Beuys, among others, Une danse des bouffons navigates a sexually charged and mesmerizing world in which fantasy and torture run amok. The gallery presentation also includes a storyboard for the film featuring Dzama’s ink and watercolor drawings, renderings of small hybrid figures resembling children’s book illustrations. The drawings underscore the fantastical elements in a film that combines the carnivalesque with a nightmarish exploration of the surreal.

Lead support for Marcel Dzama: A Jester’s Dance  is provided by Candy and Michael Barasch. Additional generous support is provided by the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment and the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities and Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design.

See Through: Windows and Mirrors in Twentieth-Century Photography

Through September 23, 2018

Photography Gallery

See Through: Windows and Mirrors in Twentieth-Century Photography  brings together a group of images that are doubly framed—once by the camera lens and again by the border of a mirror or window. By refracting and distorting, revealing and concealing, these reflective and transparent surfaces both draw attention to the photographer’s efforts to frame the world and expose the contingent nature of reality. Highlights from the exhibition include works by Eugène Atget, Robert Doisneau, Elliott Erwitt, Walker Evans, André Kertész, Joanne Leonard, Danny Lyon, and Joel Meyerowitz. By extending the limits of perception, these witty and provocative works invite us to see [through to] new visual possibilities.

Lead support for See Through: Windows and Mirrors in Twentieth-Century Photography  is provided by the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment.

Cosmogonic Tattoos

Through June 2, 2019

UMMA 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.

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 & Gallery Tours

Guided Tour

Cosmogonic Tattoos

Sunday, August 5

2–3 p.m.

Forum

In celebration of the University of Michigan’s Bicentennial in 2017, artist and distinguished Stamps School of Art and Design professor Jim Cogswell has been invited to create a series of public window installations at the University of Michigan Museum of Art and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. For this visionary project, the artist will adhere a procession of vivid images to the glass walls of the museums in a rhythmically evocative narrative of reassembled fragments from a diverse range of artworks in both museums’ permanent collections. 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. UMMA docents will introduce the juxtaposed images and help connect the viewer to the origins and meaning of objects and their power to shape knowledge, memory, and identity.

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.

Guided Tour

Unrecorded: Reimagining Artist Identities in Africa

Sunday, August 12

2–3 p.m.

Forum

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.

Guided Tour

See Through: Windows and Mirrors in Twentieth-Century Photography

Sunday, August 19

2–3 p.m.

Forum

See Through looks at how photographers of these images doubly frame the world around us—once through the frame of the camera lens and, again, through the frame of a reflective mirror or transparent window. UMMA Docents will reveal which photographers include their own reflections in their photographs, highlighting their active role in the creation of images. A tour will also indicate which photographers look outward, enacting an exchange of public and, sometimes, voyeuristic glances; and which look inward to domestic spaces, framing intimate views and personal moments among families and lovers. Mirrors and windows, like the medium of photography itself, expand the limits of the human eye to perceive the world and, in turn, invite viewers to see through to new visual possibilities.

Lead support for See Through: Windows and Mirrors in Twentieth-Century Photography is provided by the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment.

Guided Tour

Beyond Borders: Global Africa

Sunday, August 26

2–3 p.m.

Forum

More than ever in the era of globalization, ideas traverse geographic, generational, and cultural boundaries, even as national borders seem to be closing. Beyond Borders: Global Africa reflects on this moment by considering how Africa and its artists have been at the center of complex histories of encounter and exchange for centuries. Bringing together a dazzling array of works made in Africa, Europe and the United States from the nineteenth to twenty-first century, the exhibition demonstrates the international scope and reach of art from Africa and the African diaspora. Join UMMA docents as they explore the significant themes of our times including slavery, colonization, migration, racism and identity.

Lead support for Beyond Borders: Global Africa is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the University of Michigan Office of Research, African Studies Center, and Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan CEW Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund and Susan Ullrich.

UMMA Programs

In Conversation: Borders in the Age of Globalization 

Sunday, August 12

3–4 p.m.

A. Alfred Taubman Gallery

This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Visit umma.umich.edu/events to register.

J oin exhibition curator Laura De Becker for this first look at the new UMMA exhibition Beyond Borders: Global Africa . More than ever, ideas cross geographic, generational and ethnic boundaries, even at a time when national borders are becoming increasingly impenetrable.Beyond Borders reflects on this moment by considering the arts of Africa and how they have been shaped by, and have contributed to, conversations taking place across the world. Enjoy this opportunity to look at the dynamic and influential qualities of contemporary African art and discuss works by leading artists such as Kudzanai Chiurai, Yinka Shonibare and Serge Alain Nitegeka, among others.

Lead support for Beyond Borders: Global Africa  is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the University of Michigan Office of Research, African Studies Center, and Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan CEW Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund and Susan Ullrich.

Storytime at the Museum

Saturday, August 25

11:15 a.m.–12 p.m.

Forum

Storytime at the Museum promotes art enjoyment for our youngest patrons. During the summer we take advantage of the warm weather and the public art situated outside the Museum. As always, we include a fun, age-appropriate hands-on activity related to the story. Children ages three to six are invited to join Storytime. 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.

Artscapade!

Friday, August 31

7–10 p.m.

Whole Museum

UMMA and Arts at Michigan celebrate Welcome Week by introducing new University of Michigan students to the wide array of possibilities for arts participation on campus. This evening event will feature live music and performances, dance, poetry, film, games, prizes, and a variety of art-making activities.

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

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UMMA announces August schedule of events and exhibitions  

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