Feature Articles

July 2013

Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC, Features New Summer Exhibitions

The University of North Carolina Greensboro, is offering several new exhibits on view at the Weatherspoon Art Museum including: the kids are all right: an exhibition about family and photography, on view in The Bob & Lissa Shelley McDowell Gallery through Aug. 18, 2013; Arlene Shechet: That Time, on view in The Louise D. and Herbert S. Falk, Sr. Gallery through Sept. 15, 2013; Art History: Redux, on view in The Gregory D. Ivy Gallery, The Weatherspoon Guild Gallery, through Oct. 20, 2013; and Resolutely Matisse, on view in Gallery 6 through Sept. 29, 2013.

the kids are all right brings the bedrock theme of family into the twenty-first century - an age when love defines the family unit more than tradition, convention, the law, or even blood. This exhibition will feature photography and time-based media created in the last ten years by 38 established and emerging artists who sensitively reveal, with radical openness, the current notion of family.

The exhibition demonstrates today’s reality: Family is a complicated entanglement of people. Uninhibited by the failed promise of a conventional family, the artists reject irony and judgment to show us families - natural or found - in whatever forms they take. The artists take no critical position but, rather, affirm with poignancy and humor the ever-shifiting notion of the contemporary family.

Just as families have changed, so too has photography. Now that almost everyone carries a digital camera in the form of a cell phone, human behavior is being extensively documented. Further, they are immediately disseminated with little or no editing via e-mail, Facebook, and YouTube. The medium and the manner in which photography is now understood substantially contribute to the frankness and honesty of the images included in the kids are all right.

Artists participating in the exhibition include: Janine Antoni, Matt Austin, Guy Ben-Ner, Melonie Bennett, Nina Berman, David Bush, Patty Chang, Goseong Choi,Yolanda Del Amo, Todd Deutsch, Jenny Drumgoole, Rafael Perez Evans, Martha Fleming-Ives, Lucas Foglia, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Tiereny Gearon, Aron Gent, Steve Giovinco, David Hilliard, Justin Kirchoff, Justine Kurland, Deana Lawson, Jocelyn Lee, Carrie Levy, Lisa Lindvay, Julie Mack, Ryan McGinley, Andrea Modica, Sanitago Mostyn, Catherine Opie, Josh Quigley, Robert Rainey, Justine Reyes, Kathleen Robbins, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Betsy Schneider, Angela Strassheim, Chris Verene, and Rona Yefman.

The exhibition was curated by Alison Ferris. the kids are all right is organized by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI, and made possible through grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Ruth St. John and John Dunham West Foundation, a foundation that prefers anonymity, BMO Harris Bank, and the Frederic C. Kohler Charitable Trust. This project is also funded by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board, with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Contributions from the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s loyal corporate, foundation, and individual donors have also been vital.

This exhibition in Greensboro is funded in part by The Bob and Lissa Shelley McDowell Fund.

The exhibition, Arlene Shechet: That Time, of sculptures by Arlene Shechet offers an up-to-the-minute look at her iconoclastic approach to ceramics. Shechet favors improvisational methods and a trial-and-error process over methodical and technical facility. At once comically awkward and elegantly poised, her paradoxical forms teeter, lean, bulge, torque, and reach in multiple directions at once, defying their own weight. “In fact, often things do collapse or fall over, and many don’t make it, but I love working on that precarious edge,” she says of her process. “For me, this has obvious emotional, psychological, and philosophical meaning.”

Shechet’s latest works combine a cartoonish demeanor with painterly effects. She constantly tests glazes and uses eccentric color combinations with an experimental disregard for traditional firing temperatures and techniques. The resulting variations in hue, texture, and opacity create complex, highly visceral surfaces. Similarly diverse, the bases she makes for her sculptures cover a wide range of shapes, sizes, and materials - from roughhewn timbers to painted kiln bricks and welded steel. Each is designed for a specific piece and is integral to its completion. Once installed, the finished works populate the space of the exhibition like so many characters, suggestive of both the imperfections and possibilities implicit in the human condition.

Shechet (lives in New York City and upstate New York) earned her BA from New York University and MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Shechet’s work has been exhibited widely, with recent solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS. Her work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Walker Art Center, among many other institutions.

Shechet’s numerous awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Art, Anonymous Was A Woman Individual Artist Award, and Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. She is represented by Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, and Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica.

Arlene Shechet: That Time was organized by Ashley Kistler, Director, Anderson Gallery, VCU School of the Arts, Richmond, VA.

With the exhibition, Art History: Redux, this journey through the history of art will explore the nuanced distinctions between inspiration, innovation, and imitation. In the works included in the exhibit, the artists consider and probe art historical precedents in search of standards, ideals and icons, but ultimately produce unique objects that are noteworthy in themselves.

Known for his use of bright colors, flat patterns, simplified forms, and graceful lines, Henri Matisse developed a unique artistic vision that continues to draw admirers to this day. Drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibit Resolutely Matisse, showcases Matisse’s devotion to the human form. The exhibition also includes images by other artists whose stylistic similarities in subject and technique suggest a broadly shared set of artistic concerns with Matisse.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 336/334-5770 or visit (http://weatherspoon.uncg.edu/).

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