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Past Exhibitions

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.

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.

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

The Expanding Grid

April 07, 2012, through August 26, 2012

This exhibition explores the important legacy of cubism and other forms of grid-based abstraction for contemporary artistic expression. The structural underpinnings of the pioneering works of art that Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque made in the 1910s allowed them to negate the perspectival illusionism of naturalistic representation. Subsequent artists, such as Josef Albers and Mark Rothko, refined and developed the grid-like scaffolding of cubism to produce an austere and rather impersonal form of abstract art, in which flatness and order were of paramount importance. By the 1960s, however, a new generation of artists, including Chuck Close and Eva Hesse, began to negatively associate the rigid geometry of modernist abstraction with male dominance and political authoritarianism. These artists expanded and, in some cases, exploded the modernist grid to create works of art that embraced political content, figuration, narrative, and subjectivity. As this exhibition shows, contemporary artists continue to explore the temporal and spatial possibilities of grid-based art in works of art that challenge and revitalize the invented language of abstraction.

Looking Back at Earth

Environmental Photography from the Hood Museum of Art

July 07, 2012, through August 26, 2012
J Henry Fair, Arsenic and Water

This exhibition showcases photography that goes beyond landscape to engage with issues of the earth and its environment. It features the work of Subhankar Banerjee, Virginia Beahan, Daniel Beltrá, Diane Burko, J. Henry Fair, Emmet Gowin, Patricia MacDonald, David Maisel, and Ian Teh, among others. Its themes include consumption and waste, industrial pollution, urban sprawl, unsustainable farming, and climate change and its effects on the Arctic.

Marcel Duchamp

The Box in a Valise

April 07, 2012, through August 26, 2012

Marcel Duchamp described his Boîte-en-valise (Box in a Valise) as a “portable museum” that would allow him to carry around his life’s work in a traveling box.  The artist spent five years, between 1935 and 1940, recreating his oeuvre in miniature through photographs, hand-colored reproductions, and diminutive models.  These facsimiles of the artist’s major paintings, drawings, and sculpture were then placed in imitation-leather boxes or valises that he would spend the rest of his life assembling. Duchamp’s most significant works are cleverly arranged inside each box like a traveling salesman’s wares; open the lid and you find a treasure trove of art objects all reproduced on a miniature scale. The Hood Museum of Art recently acquired an important example of the Box in a Valise edition. This work, which the artist housed in a red linen-lined box about the size of a large attaché case, will be shown at Dartmouth College for the first time in this installation.


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