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UMaine Museum of Art announces Fall Exhibitions

Darren Emenau, “Wellsford II”

The University of Maine Museum of Art, located at 40 Harlow Street in downtown Bangor, opens four new exhibitions in September. Included are Second Nature: Shelley Reed, Olio: Darren Emenau, So Real: Selections from the Museum Collection, and Animalistic: Selections from the Museum Collection. UMMA is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm and brings modern and contemporary art to the region, presenting approximately 12 original exhibitions each year. UMMA’s fall shows open to the public on September 14 and run through December 29, 2018. Admission to the Museum of Art is free in 2018 thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.
OLIO: DARREN EMENAU
September 14 – December 29, 2018Darren Emenau’s creations emerge through unharnessed and playful explorations of form and materials. As the title suggests, showcased in Olio is a miscellaneous collection of hand-made ceramic objects ranging from irregularly-shaped vessels to wall-oriented pieces. The works featured are the culmination of a fertile period of experimentation resulting in innovative leaps for the artist. New forms were developed, dramatic shifts in scale employed, and new objects conceived within the context of contemporary installation. Among the new creations are vessels of varying sizes that resemble exaggerated clubs. The stretched and slender tubes are grounded by rounded bases and, when arranged in a row, the stance of each exerts a quirky, unique confidence. Also featured is an installation in which Emenau has stripped away all references to the utilitarian. These arranged works incorporate dozens of organic forms that evoke globular organisms or otherworldly rocks. When viewed en masse the objects are like unearthed fragments from unknown terrain.Emenau’s lush surfaces are imbued with nature’s essence. Their simple elegance seems effortless and disguises the technical skill required for creating such elemental forms. Developed through intense experimentation, Emenau’s glazes are remarkable for their color saturation. Hues range from acidic yellow-green to intense blue tones, and from mossy green to pale peach-pink. As a result of his glaze application, and transformation in the kiln, the raised cracked textures bring to mind lichen, bark or the parched, cracked earth. Through these invented forms, Emenau affirms that rustic can also be delicate.Admission to the Museum of Art is FREE in 2018 thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.

Shelley Reed, “Rooster and Turkey”

SECOND NATURE: SHELLEY REED
September 14 – December 29, 2018Shelley Reed’s meticulously rendered subjects, derived from the paintings of old masters, are shrouded in beauty—but within the opulence there’s a glimmer of turmoil and peril. Reed’s paintings highlight essential dualities and are imbued with profound messages related to fragility, power and life’s uncertainties. Using black and white oil paint, Reed has stripped color of its symbolic and seductive potential, while shifting the viewer’s focus to the subtle details of the scene. The artist adds, “In this age of radical visual bombardment, maybe it takes a bit of toning down and an element of quiet and stillness to call attention to the message.”A focal point of Second Nature is the monumental work Bird that spans ten by fifteen feet. Multiple sheets of painted paper make up the image of a huge crane that hangs upside-down with a bent leg and majestic, outstretched wings. Reed poses questions for the viewer: what incident has led to this graceful creature’s treacherous state? Was this hazard caused by humans? The bird’s open eye leads the viewer to question its demise. Moral messages and lessons may be found in the historic paintings that inform these contemporary interpretations. In Bird Concert, an unlikely congregation of bird species, in all shapes and sizes, creates a disconcerting narrative. It’s as if a perilous act has forced these fowl to occupy this compressed space. Surveying the menagerie of agitated birds, it seems that the loudest screech by the biggest bird overshadows the song of others. In light of the nation’s current divisive political climate, Reed’s composition reveals a timely message. The birds are stand-ins for a chorus of humans—the individual voice drowned out by a cacophony of clamoring and opposing rants. The hand of man undoubtedly plays a fundamental role in all this animal theater. In the exhibition, Reed has included two dramatic paintings of men as a reminder that we are both members and encroachers in the natural world.

 

Bowdoin Museum Commissions Artist linn meyers

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Bowdoin Museum Commissions Interactive Wall Drawing by Artist linn meyers Who Will be Artist-in-Residence at Bowdoin in Fall 2018

meyers Collaborates with Interaction and Sound Artists Rebecca Bray, James Bigbee Garver, and Josh Knowles to Create a Site Specific, Multi-Sensory Experience

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) announced today that it has commissioned a site-specific, multi-media art installation to be unveiled this fall. Washington, D.C.-based contemporary artist linn meyers will create a large-scale wall drawing entitled Let’s Get Lost, while serving as the 2018 halley k. harrisburg ’90 and Michael Rosenfeld Artist-in-Residence at the College. Concurrently, interaction and sound artists Rebecca Bray, James Bigbee Garver, and Josh Knowles, along with meyers, will create an interactive sound installation, Listening Glass, that corresponds with the wall drawing and features acoustic components activated through audience participation. The works will be exhibited together as Let’s Get Lost and Listening Glass at the Museum for a year from September 27, 2018 through September 29, 219.

For nearly 20 years, linn meyers has created large-scale wall drawings in both public institutions and private collections. Using paint markers favored by graffiti artists, she creates sprawling and oscillating linear patterns that activate spaces for visitors, reveal elements of a site’s architecture, and highlight the inevitable imperfections of the human gesture. For Let’s Get Lost, meyers will use the four niches in the BCMA’s Charles Follen McKim-designed Walker Gallery to drive the composition of her wall drawing. Her drawn piece will take cues from Listening Glass, using the sound project to inform the composition of the drawing, thus turning sound into drawn gesture. Listening Glass grew from meyers’s recent 2016–17 installation at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, where she created a 400-foot long drawing entitled Our View From Here. While the work was on view at the Hirshhorn, Bray and Garver independently created an interactive sound installation as a response. The BCMA’s commission formalizes this partnership and makes it accessible for a broad public.

Using a custom iPhone app with advanced digital audio software and augmented reality technology, Listening Glass allows museum-goers to interact with Let’s Get Lost, to generate sound, creating improvised collaborative musical compositions using the drawing as a score. With the app on a handheld device, Listening Glass transforms the museum visitors’ gestures into sound, rendering the audience-performers’ motions in sonic triggers, audio distortion, reverberation, arpeggiations, and other expressive sonic events. The resulting sounds will emanate from each visitor’s iPhone, allowing sound and motion to connect audiences more fully to each other and to the drawn piece.

This project is a collaboration between the artists and the audience, pushing existing boundaries to create new compositional possibilities. In Let’s Get Lost and Listening Glass, drawing is explored as a multi-sensory experience, inviting responses through sight, sound, and movement. Listening Glass heightens the audience’s interaction with Let’s Get Lost from contemplative observation to active involvement.

Let’s Get Lost and Listening Glass represent an innovative and powerful collaboration, demonstrating the exceptional potential of creative exchange across artistic boundaries,” said Bowdoin Museum Co-Director Anne Collins Goodyear. “We are excited about the many ways in which the artists have already engaged the Bowdoin community, bringing together students, faculty, and staff across the visual arts, music, and computer science departments,” continued Co-Director Frank Goodyear. “We hope to continue to foster opportunities for the Bowdoin community and the public at large to engage with contemporary art.”

In conjunction with the installation of Let’s Get Lost and Listening Glass, linn meyers will serve as the fourth annual halley k harrisburg ’90 and Michael Rosenfeld Artist-in-Residence at Bowdoin College for the Fall 2018 semester. The halley k harrisburg and Michael Rosenfeld Artist-in-Residence program allows Bowdoin Visual Art faculty to invite internationally renowned artists to campus to work directly with students from across campus in a range of disciplines, and the college community through critiques, discussions, workshops, lectures, and other activities.

Upon her appointment, artist linn meyers said, “I am honored to be the halley k harrisburg ’90 and Michael Rosenfeld Artist-in-Residence at Bowdoin College and am looking forward to exploring pressing interdisciplinary questions with faculty and students.” Explaining the project, she said, “Our team has been working to map gesture, drawing, and sound in ways that are intuitive and satisfying, encouraging surprising interactions and new kinds of spatial and sonic thinking.”

James Bigbee Garver continued, “For example, vertical movements of the handheld device can be mapped to resonance; rate of movement is mapped to loudness; color information is mapped to attack, decay, sustain, and release envelopes. When one or multiple participants are in the room, the ensemble of sounds from the handheld devices will voice the drawing’s score to varying degrees of complexity through improvisation.”

Listening Glass,” Rebecca Bray continued, “allows the audience to collaborate with us to perform an audiovisual piece, using handheld devices to interact with a wall drawing to turn gestures into music. We anticipate some audience gestures will intuitively mimic the gestures which meyers used to make the wall drawing, and some will be very different. By listening to the sound emanating from their handheld device, participants will see the drawing anew–the interaction will connect them to the particulars of line, form, and space in the drawing.”

Speaking to the goals of the project, Josh Knowles added, “Listening Glass challenges us to consider how to make technology invisible while making interactions intuitive and rich with possibility. We seek to create a piece of technology that serves as a creative conduit between a person and a piece of visual art, an architectural space, and other viewers.”

meyers concluded, “The audience member will be confronted with questions about experiencing art, interpreting art, and the private versus social nature of perceiving and relating to art.”

About the Artists

linn meyers is an internationally-recognized, award-winning visual artist with work in public and private collections around the world. Celebrated for her large-scale wall drawings, her work relies on the constantly shifting nature of experience and what she calls the “unplanned imperfect.” Meyers has exhibited at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; among others. The recipient of a Pollock Krasner Award and a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, she earned her B.F.A. from The Cooper Union and her M.F.A. from The California College of the Arts.

Rebecca Bray is an artist whose artwork spans performance, installation, and game design. She creates work that is deeply responsive to, and challenging of, audiences. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Whitney Museum of Art. Bray was previously the Chief of Experience Design at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and is the Managing Director of the Center for Artistic Activism.

James Bigbee Garver is a sound designer and composer, preferring the title of Sound Writer. He creates sonic inventions, soundscapes and music for live performance, interactive media, and film, often mixing the timbres of acoustic instruments with synthetic audio to sculpt imagined textures and environments. Garver has exhibited at the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.; the National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.; and the American Museum of Natural History, New York; among other venues.

Josh Knowles is a software developer, game designer, educator, and electronic musician. His work explores the edges of technology and seeks to create seamless and beautiful relationships between people and information. Through his company, Frescher-Southern, Ltd., he has built creative technology projects for numerous brands and technology start-ups. Josh is an adjunct professor at NYU and a former member of the board of directors of the Austin Museum of Digital Art. He has spoken at conferences around the world about game design, digital audio, and software. Josh is also an award-winning digital musician.

 

Farnsworth Presents First Ai Weiwei Exhibition in Maine

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Farnsworth Art Museum Presents Ai Weiwei’s

Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold

Beginning on Saturday, March 24, 2018, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine will present a special exhibition of sculptural works by Chinese dissident-artist Ai Weiwei (b. 1957). Ai’s gilded bronze Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold series will be on display in the museum’s Rothschild Gallery through December 30, 2018. This will be the first presentation of the internationally-known artist’s works in Maine, and the first New England showing of his gilded Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads.

Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze series—his first work of monumental public art—drew worldwide attention in spring 2011 when the artist was detained by Chinese authorities a month before the work debuted in New York City. Held incommunicado for eighty-one days, Ai Weiwei was released after an international protest campaign was mounted by museums, artists, and concerned citizens. Upon his release he was put under house arrest and forbidden to travel outside Beijing until July 2015.

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A lively re-envisioning of the twelve animals of the ancient Chinese zodiac, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads dates back to a dark episode with respect to China’s relationship with the West. During the Second Opium War in 1860, the famed Yuanming Yuan (or Garden of Perfect Brightness) was destroyed and looted by British and French troops. An imperial retreat built a century earlier during the Qing Dynasty (1636 – 1912), the Yuanming Yuan featured an ornate, European-style section with grand fountains, gardens, and palaces. At its center was a splendid zodiac water-clock fountain with spouting bronze-headed figures representing the animals of the Chinese zodiac. The 12 animals marked the hours of the day. The entire complex was ransacked long ago, but in recent years the seven bronze zodiac heads that survive have become fraught symbols of the cultural achievements of the Qing era, the nation’s period of humiliation by the West. The original zodiac heads represent a powerful topic for contemporary China’s relationship with its own history. Seizing on the rich and contradictory symbolism of the heads, Ai Weiwei’s re-interpretation of this work is a powerful statement about the “fake” in relation to the “real.”

Ai’s exquisitely designed and fabricated golden Zodiac Heads are featured in this exhibit, the first presentation of the internationally known artist’s works in Maine. The Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze and Gold series have been exhibited at over 40 international venues and counting since the official launch of this body of work in 2011. The Zodiac Heads have been seen by millions of people worldwide, making it one of the most viewed sculpture projects in the history of contemporary art.

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Ai is recognized around the world as a creative force and cultural commentator, and he continues to redefine the role of both artist and activist. Ai was born in Beijing in 1957, to the renowned poet and intellectual Ai Qing. When his father was denounced in 1959 during the Anti-Rightist Movement, the family was sent to a labor camp in rural Xinjiang Province where Ai spent the next 16 years. After the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, the family returned to Beijing and Ai then studied at the Beijing Film Academy in 1978 before moving to the United States in 1981. After living in New York’s East Village for a decade, he returned to China in 1993 and helped establish the Beijing East Village contemporary art scene. In 2011, after a period of escalating conflict with Chinese authorities, Ai was arrested for purported tax evasion. In recent years Ai Weiwei has been living in Berlin, Germany.

Ai Weiwei’s recent major solo exhibitions include those held at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2009); the Tate Modern, London (2010); the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2012); the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2015); and the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy (2016). He has received numerous awards and honors, notably Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award (2015) and the Wall Street Journal’s Innovator of the Year (2016). His recent documentary Human Flow, which calls attention to the current refugee crisis, has received worldwide attention and his current New York City exhibition of city-wide public art titled Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is currently on display through February 11, 2018.

The Farnsworth Art Museum celebrates Maine’s ongoing role in American art. It offers a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists, with 20,000 square feet of gallery space and over 15,000 works in the collection. The Farnsworth has one of the largest public collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson, while its Wyeth Center features works of N.C., Andrew and Jamie Wyeth. The National Register-listed Farnsworth Homestead; the Olson House, a National Historic Landmark; and Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists complete the museum complex.

Please visit www.farnsworthmuseum.org for more information on current exhibitions, programs and events.

UMaine Museum of Art announces Winter Exhibitions

 
The University of Maine Museum of Art, located at 40 Harlow Street in downtown Bangor, opens new exhibitions in January. UMMA is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm and brings modern and contemporary art to the region, presenting approximately 12 original exhibitions each year. UMMA’s winter shows open to the public on January 12 and run through May 5, 2018. Admission to the Museum of Art is free in 2018 thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.
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Poogy Bjerklie, “On the Marsh”

 
NOWHERE IN PARTICULAR: POOGY BJERKLIE
January 12 – May 5, 2018

Nowhere in Particular features a series of paintings by New York City-based artist Poogy Bjerklie. The artist’s work is influenced by memories of growing up in Hallowell, Maine and summering on Richardson Lake. The works depict references to bodies of water, but not the typical coastal scenes that some may associate with Maine. Instead, Bjerklie’s images focus on the somber morning and grey evening light that is characteristic of the inland portion of the state. She uses oil paint on square wood panels, utilizing the rough surfaces of the wood to reinforce the atmospheric quality of the landscape scene. Bjerklie’s images seem to be viewed through a hazy lens. Details dissolve into diffused brushstrokes, conveying the notion of remembrance and longing, as if the images are a reflection of the past.

Bjerklie’s paintings recall romantic art with its emphasis on mood and shadow. Nineteenth and twentieth century American artists such as Albert Pinkham Ryder, Ralph Blakelock, and George Inness, are particularly influential to the artist’s work. Bjerklie also cites the museum-like displays of antique shops in her hometown of Hallowell as a prominent source of her stylistic approach to painting. The artist states that her images “act as memories of a place to escape to.” Her use of small, square picture planes creates intimate spaces resulting in a dialog between mark-making, memories, and place. Viewed from afar the images suggest dreamlike landscapes of remembered places, nostalgic, and just out of reach.

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Caleb Charland, “Attempting to paddle straight to the Moon”

SHADOWS OF EARTH: CALEB CHARLAND
January 12 – May 5, 2018

Shadows of Earth features recent bodies of work by Maine-based photographer Caleb Charland. The artist is known for his inventive handling of materials that expands traditional notions of the photographic medium. Charland’s creative process is rooted in scientific inquiry—he often employs multi-layered steps and experiments designed to yield these alluring images. The artist states, “Each piece I make begins as a question of visual possibilities and develops in tandem with the laws of nature, often yielding unexpected results measurable only through photographic processes. Energy vibrates in that space between our perceptions of the world and the potential the mind senses for our interventions within the world.”

In several of the works, Charland’s utilizes the movement of his body in the creation of the images. With camera lens pointed at the night sky in a long exposure, the artist’s breathing is recorded as streaks of stars and planets. In another image, a spherical full moon takes on the form of a luminous tangle of light. The image captures Charland’s steady movements while paddling a canoe on a calm lake at night. In other works, the photographer’s desire to “more deeply understand the mechanisms of nature” is reflected in a grid depicting a variety of leaf species. The compositions are created by using half of the image as a paper negative, revealing the tonal opposite of the other half of the leaf. Through his photographs Charland encourages an introspective contemplation of the natural world, while also exploring the materiality of the photographic medium.

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Craig Taylor, “The Inverse Ascent”

THE ELASTIC CACHE: CRAIG TAYLOR
January 12 – May 5, 2018

The Elastic Cache features oil paintings, intaglio prints, and works on paper by Brooklyn, New York-based artist Craig Taylor. The forms in Taylor’s compositions invite multiple associations. Some paintings resemble abstracted portrait busts or barnacle covered stones placed on crude plinths. Others may appear to be the weathered bark of trees or microscopic views of medical abnormalities. Taylor’s irregularly shaped forms are covered with thick slabs of manipulated paint and horizontal marks of varying sizes. The precariously balanced, yet detailed shapes are prominently placed in a shallow ambiguous space. In some of the works there is an uncanny, almost humorous gesture that is further magnified by Taylor’s palette that ranges from saturated reds to monochrome mixtures.

Craig Taylor received his MFA from Yale University and is an Associate Professor of Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Admission to the Museum of Art is FREE in 2018 thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.

CMCA Opening weekend events

CMCA

Sunday, June 26
Members and Supporters preview reception, 11am-1pm
Open to CMCA Members, Business Supporters, and all Donors to the Capital Campaign | Reservations required | RSVP here

Ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony, 1-2pm

Public opening, 2-5pm
Jonathan Borofsky Human Structures | Alex Katz Small Paintings | Rollin Leonard Vernal Pond
Free admission

Camden National Bank | Public event sponsor

Opening weekend celebrations dedicated to the memory of Judith Daniels.