The main draw at the University of Michigan Museum of Art right now is Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection.
And rightfully so since it features little-seen works by two masters. (John Cantu raved about the exhibition in his Pulp review.)
Meanwhile, Aftermath: Landscapes of Devastation is a breathtaking collection of "images of the aftermath of events spanning over 2,000 years of human history -- from ancient Pompeii to September 11, 2001."
But there are several other UMMA displays worth your time, even if there's not enough there there for a full review.
Here's a look at some of the smaller exhibits currently at UMMA.
In 1958, Juliet Seignious was a founding member of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. It was during her time in this groundbreaking modernist dance troupe that Seignious started to explore her African-American heritage, which stretched from the Harlem of her youth to her parents’ roots in Edisto Island, S.C., which was a frequent landing spot for slave ships and, eventually, the home of escaped former slaves.
Once her dance career was over, Seignious turned her attention to another form of artistic expression: painting. But her desire to delve into African-American history continued unabated. A 1990 exploratory visit to Edisto Island inspired Journeys, which is comprised of 15 brightly colored but mysterious acrylic paintings and one pastel drawing.
In some eras, artists were inspired by new techniques or materials. Now, it's mass consumption -- and we're not talking tuberculosis.
In the new U-M Institute for the Humanities exhibition Pre-Fab/Post-Fab: Art in a Readymade Era, three Detroit-based artists showcase works that speak to them growing up "with the influences of mass consumption, internet shopping, the glut of plastic toys, baubles, and tchotchkes."
From the press release:
We typically choose to see art by seeking it out at a museum. We want to be there.
Nobody wants to be in a hospital.
But if you are cooped up in the world of doctors and nurses, it's nice to have some high-quality culture to take your mind off your ailments.
Gifts of Art is Michigan's Medicine's way to assist healing by offering music performances and art exhibitions to its patients. But you need not be checked into University Hospital to enjoy the sights; Gifts of Art is open and free to all daily from 8 am-8 pm.
Visit med.umich.edu/goa/performances for a full list of the performances. For a sneak peek at the exhibitions running through March 11, most of which feature works by Michigan-associated artists, read on.
U-M's North Campus Research Center (NCRC) houses two galleries that might be off the radar for some folks, but the spaces are always bubbling with compelling (and free) exhibitions that run for months at a time.
Two new winter exhibitions opened Jan. 15 and continue through April 16, allowing you plenty of time to take in the sights.
The Threads All Arts Festival has finally been rescheduled. The second edition was originally set for August 2017 at the Ann Arbor Distilling Company, but when the city put a temporary kibosh on live events at the artisanal spirits space due to parking issues, Threads was called off. It took the U-M student-run festival a while to reorganize, but it has now found a home in Ypsilanti’s Historic Freighthouse and will present its rangy mix of live music, dance, film, poetry, and art on March 10-11.
The idea for Threads began in 2015 when Nicole Patrick (U-M 2016, percussion and jazz and contemporary improvisation) and her friends "wanted to find a way to share, with many people, all the amazing art they saw coming out of their friends and neighbors," they told Pulp contributor Anna Prushinskaya for piece meant to preview the 2017 edition.
But along with the break came a new mission statement that shows Threads has expanded its focus:
The Ann Arbor Art Center exhibition Favorites’ Favorites opens Friday, Jan. 19, kicking off with a free opening night party from 6-9 pm. The artists will be in attendance, and you can ask them why they chose their individual pieces in the show.
That's right, though there was a curator who chose which artists would exhibit, it was the creators who picked what would be displayed in Favorite Favorites.
Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly at the University of Michigan Museum of Art’s spacious second-story A. Alfred Taubman Gallery is proof that less is more when it comes to art.
Principally managed by the UMMA’s Assistant Curator for Western Art, Lehti Mairike Keelmann -- herself working from the late-Ellsworth Kelly’s instructions -- this exhibit of 45 Matisse drawings (with an additional nine Kelly lithographs) from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection cuts an artful swath across this French master’s career.
“This exhibit reflects the imaginative artistic rapport of two celebrated artists through lyrical line and efficiency of gesture," Keelmann said in a recent interview. "But how they get to the place where they intersect is the subtle underpinning of this deceptively complex exhibition.”
Margaret Condon Taylor is not a typical photographer. The University of Michigan alumna gained a Ph.D. in psychology, which she currently still practices. So, in the spirit of Taylor's day job, the viewer may feel the need to ask probing questions about the photographs on display in An Accidental Photographer: Seoul 1969 at U-M's Institute for the Humanities Osterman Common Room, such as: What do they tell us? And why is the project “accidental”?
Although the title of the exhibition raises questions, one does not need to look far for answers.
The 95th All Media Exhibition marks the continuation of a tradition established in 1922 when the Ann Arbor Art Center was known as the Ann Arbor Art Association. There are 29 artists’ works on display through January 13, with a large portion from Michigan and others from surrounding areas including Illinois, Indiana, New York, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The Ann Arbor Art Center’s previous shows have illustrated its commitment to exhibiting an extensive variety of contemporary artwork, and the All Media show is no exception.