A Space for Dialogue
October 17, 2015, through December 06, 2015
Home is a complex idea imbued with a variety of meanings and associations. This exhibition explores home as a mutable emotional and conceptual phenomenon inextricably linked to physical spaces. Home is constantly (re)imagined, subject to continual construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction both materially and in the mind. Homes are highly personalized spaces that represent personal narratives and inner lives and continually evolve as their inhabitants age or move. Whether actual or staged, physical or imagined, idyllic or in ruins, images of homes raise the questions: Where is home? What is home? Does (or can) home travel with you or is it something forever left behind?
Journeys along the Tokaido Highway
September 05, 2015, through October 18, 2015
This exhibition, at its essence, is about the power of place. A single locale can carry myriad meanings and experiences for different people, as can be seen through depictions of the Tokaido highway. As the main arterial road in Japan during the Edo period (1603–1868), the Tokaido held great significance for citizens and artists alike. Examining different artists’ representations of the Tokaido illustrates the diverse range of experiences people had along the road, as well as the distinctive meanings each artist attached to the highway.
An Exploration of the Reclining Female Nude
July 18, 2015, through August 30, 2015
The reclining female nude has been a recurring theme in Western art since the 1500s. It began with erotic images portraying an idealized woman (often in the guise of a goddess) for the pleasure of the male viewer. Through her passive, reclined pose, she offers her body for our gaze; her recumbent nudity implies that she is sexually available. She represents sensuality, beauty, and desire. As the subject of the female nude became canonized, artists began to expand the ways in which it was represented. She can be depicted alone or with guests and companions. With each incarnation of the reclining female nude, the tradition continues to grow and change.
Women of Color Existence/Resistance in Contemporary Art
May 30, 2015, through July 12, 2015
Still We Rise features contemporary art from six women of color whose work embodies the theme of existence/resistance. Working against the backdrop of sexism and racism in the United States today, in its particular “post-racial” moment, these artists remind us that women of color live in the dangerous intersection of race-and gender-based forms of oppression.
Exploring the Excesses of Human Emotion
April 11, 2015, through May 24, 2015
When encountering the tortured soul, one is forced to confront aspects of the human experience that are often easier to ignore. The tragedies of human folly frequently appear in literature and have captured the attention of a variety of people, including artists. Often the aberrant behavior of a troubled individual comes as the result of excess, whether it is lust for power, greed, love, or some emotion that is felt so intensely that the pull is irresistible, regardless of consequences. As artists depict these struggles, the relationship between the rational and irrational comes into play. Questions arise about the role of imagination and creativity in the face of fact and logic. Both imagination and reason have much to offer; yet both can be dangerous. The works of art featured in The Tortured Soul represent the darker aspects of humanity described in literature in order to reveal continuities with contemporary life.
Figuring the Abstract in Social Commentary
February 14, 2015, through April 05, 2015
Emblem, type, symbol, token, trope, image, sign—all of these words describe specific visual forms that represent abstract ideas through recognized shapes, colors, and figures. Many emblems contain culturally specific messages, often taken from sacred or ancient texts, the meanings of which evolve over time. Since these images are quickly legible to members of a shared culture, artists mobilize emblems to provoke certain reactions in an audience. This exhibition draws together various types of emblematic prints—primarily woodcuts—that address social problems and issues.
Representations of Biblical Women from Sixteenth-Century Germany
November 08, 2014, through February 15, 2015
Many artists in sixteenth-century Germany created images of biblical women and female saints. The ultimate woman, Eve, brought life and, through her sin, death to the entire world. Biblical accounts also describe an alternative female trope, the virgin martyr or saint. These two ends of the spectrum did not constitute the only ways women could be depicted, and images varied depending on what an artist chose to emphasize.
Vehicles of Artistic Ideas
September 13, 2014, through November 02, 2014
While the use of squares as decorative elements can be traced back to the geometric patterns on Greek pottery in 700 B.C.E., the square did not become a dominant compositional element in paintings until the twentieth century. The simplicity and regularity of the square, as both surface and compositional element, might be seen to restrict freedom of representation; however, some artists found that through nuanced coloring, shading, and positioning of squares they were able to convey ideas without distracting the viewer with complicated forms. This installation explores the use of the square in paintings during the 1960s and 1970s to illustrate the range of effects produced through this simple geometric form.
July 26, 2014, through September 07, 2014
Placemaking is the process of making spaces meaningful to those who experience them. This can be done in small or large ways, by groups or by individuals. Take a moment to think of your favorite place. Maybe it is your childhood backyard, the coffee shop down the street, or a neighbor's front porch. What makes this place meaningful to you? Perhaps it is the social interactions, fond memories, or simply that feel-good sensation you associate with this place. When people attach meaningful ideas and emotions to places, these places take on unique identities. They become a part of our lives and of us.
Small-Scale Art, the Viewer, and the Art World
May 24, 2014, through July 20, 2014
Small-scale contemporary art has often been ignored or trivialized by scholars and critics. This exhibition looks at seven works that reveal different strategies for rejecting conventional artistic standards. Some of these artists appropriate "insignificant" materials—either everyday or ephemeral in nature—while others employ a hybridized practice to break down traditional institutional boundaries between "high" and "low" art.