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Past Exhibitions

Abstracting Emotion

The Intersections between Black and White

August 10, through October 20, 2013

In Western culture, the color black is a code or symbol sometimes associated with depression, darkness, and despair. Some twentieth-century artists have gone beyond these preconceptions to imbue the color with very personal associations by manipulating the cultural significance of black using the principles of abstraction. The artists harness a range of tones, forms, lines, and edges to create a unique style and form of expression centered upon black. 

Word and Image

March 26, 2013, through August 04, 2013
An oil on canvas showing a Standard gas station

Organized in collaboration with twenty-two Studio Art Majors from the Class of 2013, this exhibition celebrates the dynamic dialogue and complex interactions between art and language in contemporary art. Adopting a historical perspective to understand current innovations, Word and Image presents key examples of paintings, sculpture, video, photography and other works on paper by a wide range of artists, including Gerald Auten, Marcel Duchamp, Daniel Heyman, Faith Ringgold, Ed Ruscha, Nancy Spero, and Fred Wilson. The word-imbued artworks on display reveal the strange, unsettling, and often humorous and subversive results when words escape from their traditional confines and begin to infiltrate the visual arts.

What's in a Flag?

Artists' Intentions and the Meaning of the Stars and Stripes

June 1, through August 4, 2013

The six artists featured in this installation use the flag to make a wide range of points, from a scathing indictment of American foreign policy to a commentary on the paranoia and insecurity of the American middle class. Some of them, intentionally or not, challenge viewers' presumptions about such a recognizable symbol. With introspection and additional information, the viewer can come closer to understanding the artists' intention and the flags' meanings. The more aware we are of the possibilities, the richer our experience of these works will be.

Modern Melancholy

March 28, through May 26, 2013

The artists selected for this exhibition express the melancholic condition within a contemporary context and raise questions about what distinguishes melancholy today. In a society of constant sensory stimulation, instant gratification, and hedonistic saturation, have happiness and satisfaction become an obligation? Have we attained the object of our desire but lost the reason for its desirability? Through their deliberate interpretations of melancholic subjects and settings, the artists in this exhibition realize the vitality that emerges as the melancholic sees opportunities everywhere to mourn this lost desire. In fact, melancholy's redemption lies precisely within those infinitely unfolding creative and intellectual possibilities that it reveals.

Crossing Cultures

The Owen and Wagner Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art at the Hood Museum of Art

September 15, 2012, through March 10, 2013
Danny Gibson Tjapaltjarri, Mukula

This exhibition highlights the extraordinary Owen and Wagner Collection at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, through its display of more than one hundred works of contemporary Indigenous art from Australia. These objects are by artists from outback communities as well as major metropolitan centers and span five decades of creative activity. They also represent the many art-making practices of Aboriginal peoples across the Australian continent, including acrylic paintings on linen and canvas, earthen ochre paintings on bark, board, and canvas, and sculpture in a variety of media. While the exhibition features many influential artists who have contributed to the development of an Indigenous art canon since the 1970s, the focus is squarely on subsequent generations of artists, who are breathing new life into ancient stories and broadening the possibilities of Indigenous art. The exhibition therefore also includes contemporary paintings that recall the ancestral narratives of the Dreaming as well as photographs from urban-based artists who depict the contemporary realities of Indigenous people from Australia. Resonant with cultural memory, these objects reference and... read more

Stacey Steers

Night Hunter House

August 25, 2012, through January 06, 2013

Night Hunter House, a recent Hood acquisition now on view for the first time, is by Denver-based multimedia artist Stacey Steers. The dollhouse is conceived around and incorporates segments from Steers's sixteen-minute handmade film Night Hunter (2011) on ten small HDTV screens embedded in the house. Visitors who peek into the rooms through the house's windows are exposed to a surreal world filled with snakes, giant moths, pulsating eggs, and strange happenings. Silent film star Lillian Gish (1893–1993) has been transported from several of her best-known films to become the dweller of the house and the film's protagonist through Steers's expert collage artistry.

Text as Image/Image as Text

Narratives of African American History and Identity

November 03, 2012, through December 02, 2012

The written narrative is the most valued form of knowledge production throughout modern Western history. This has significant implications for, among others, African American slaves, who were systematically denied participation in written discourse. It is not only a question of who has written history, but more importantly, who can? And how? With this background as a rich framework for critique, text as image has in turn become a powerful tool for artists interested in illuminating the dominant ways of manufacturing narratives and claiming knowledge.

Watercolor Washes and the Lure of the Sun

The Climate and Demographics Informing the California Watercolor

September 29, 2012, through October 28, 2012

From the 1930s to the 1960s, a group of watercolorists based in Southern California responded to the region's distinctive environment by creating primarily large, colorful watercolors of the local scene, painted on the spot outdoors. These generally upbeat, optimistic images celebrated the Edenic California landscape, despite the dramatic demographic and economic forces that were already altering both the physical characteristics and social mosaic there.

Escaping the Moment

Seeing Time in Photography

August 13, through September 16, 2012

The weakness of human sight—its flickering hesitation and intermittent inattentiveness—gives way to the verity of the apparatus's machinic capture. Photo-graphia: one writes the light of reality, burning it into film. With these qualities, photography is still often said to be about holding on to lost moments.

The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection

Fifty Works for Fifty States: New Hampshire

August 08, 2012, through September 02, 2012

In 2008, the Hood Museum of Art was selected as the New Hampshire museum recipient of fifty works from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection. Dorothy and Herbert Vogel are somewhat unusual art collectors. Now retired, Herb worked for the U.S. Post Office and Dorothy was a librarian. After their marriage in 1962, they developed a deep interest in the New York contemporary art scene. They began collecting and, using only their civil servants' salaries, acquired over four thousand objects. The Vogels befriended many young artists, many at the beginnings of their careers, and often purchased works on paper in order to store them more easily in their modest apartment. Their collection is strong in minimal and conceptual art, especially drawings, but moves beyond those categories. Much of the Vogels' collection was given to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., but in 2007 they decided to distribute 2,500 works nationally. Dubbed the "50X50 project," they donated fifty works to one institution in each state. The Hood Museum of Art was honored to be the New Hampshire institution designated to receive this important gift.

The Hood is marking the Vogels' gift with... read more


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