The Avant-Garde Collection opens at OCMA September 7

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The Avant-Garde Collection

Orange County Museum of Art

September 7, 2014 – January 4, 2015

www.ocma.net/exhibition/avant-garde-collection

The Avant-Garde Collection traces the museum’s acquisitions highlights across five decades, with a specific focus on the evolving definition of avant-garde during that period. In the 1960s it was cutting-edge to employ imagery from popular culture, and by the 1970s performance and installation were the bywords of innovation. In the 1980s new media and appropriation appeared on everybody’s radar for the first time, while the 1990s in retrospect were all about identity politics and post-colonialism. Due to the pluralist tendencies of the 21st century that make the notion of avant-garde seem quaint, the challenge for artists to produce work that conceals the influence of generations past is more demanding than ever. Drawn entirely from OCMA’s collection, the selection’s underlying premise is to combine the retroactive gaze that enables us to determine which artists transcended the avant-garde of their time and which did not, with an historical effort to reconsider works that may have been visible in their heyday but have since slipped from view, there awaiting future scholarly reassessment.

Image: conspirar (after Michael Joyce’s “conspire,” 2004), 2005, mixed media on paper, 126″ x 80″. Photo by Brian Forrest.  Collection of the Orange County Museum of Art.

Grasshoppers book event at the Polk County Historical Society June 29th

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Grasshoppers is a children’s book created by Los Angeles-based artist Alexandra Grant in collaboration with the Polk County Historical Society (PCHS) in Osceola, Nebraska.  Invited to be the Historical Society’s first Artist-in-Residence and to work with every 5th grader in Polk County, Alexandra suggested creating a book based on a local story.  PCHS’s Patricia Larson suggested adapting her grandmother Belle Davis Hotchkiss’s story about the grasshopper infestation of 1874 (from an annal of local history, “Osceola 1871 -1971”).  Florence Grant, a historian at Yale’s Center for British Art, and Alexandra’s sister, condensed the story.

Over the period from October 4-8, 2013, Alexandra, Florence, Patricia and other PCHS volunteers worked with almost every 5th grader in the county and others to collaboratively illustrate the Grasshoppers story.  The book was published in June 2014, with the participation of 145 people on the drawings and covers, with 19 original illustrations.

Alexandra has developed a long-term relationship with Polk County and the Historical Society since she returned a stolen tombstone to a local cemetery in 2011.  Grasshoppers is part of her commitment to exploring the role contemporary art can play in remembering and reimagining local history.

The Polk County Historical Society will host a book launch and open house on Sunday, June 29th from 2-4pm at the Museum in Osceola, Nebraska.  The address is State and Beebe Streets in Osceola.

Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art at the Broad Museum at Michigan State University

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Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art at the Broad Museum at Michigan State University

March 21 – September 21, 2014

http://broadmuseum.msu.edu/exhibitions/postscript-writing-after-conceptual-art

This exhibition brings together a wide selection of paintings, sculptures, installation art, and works on paper that explore the ways we read, see, hear, and process language. For generations, artists and writers have referenced or appropriated existing texts in their work, using the language of others as the basis for original expressions of their own. By recontextualizing their sources, these new creations offer fresh ways of understanding the original texts, often dramatically altering their meaning. Although working with preexisting material might be considered limiting, this presentation reveals that such repurposing and adaptation can generate remarkably varied works of art.

As the first exhibition to examine Conceptual writing, a cross-disciplinary field focused on recontextualized and repurposed language, Postscript investigates the roots of a parallel movement in art from the 1960s and 1970s and presents contemporary examples of text-based art practices. Many of the works on view borrow self-consciously from Conceptual art of the 1960s, taking an approach that is less about self-expression and more about selection and arrangement. The inclusion of publications by noted conceptual artists Carl Andre, Marcel Broodthaers, Dan Graham, Sol LeWitt, and Andy Warhol alongside contemporary works of art highlights these connections. Ultimately, Postscript demonstrates how work created across decades and artistic disciplines can be derived from the same idea, yet produce wildly different results.

Artists and writers featured in the exhibition include: Mark Amerika & Chad Mossholder, Carl Andre, Fiona Banner, Erica Baum, Derek Beaulieu, Caroline Bergvall, Jen Bervin, Jimbo Blachly & Lytle Shaw, Christian Bök, Marcel Broodthaers, Pavel Büchler, Luis Camnitzer, Ricardo Cuevas, Tim Davis & Robert Fitterman, Mónica de la Torre, Craig Dworkin, Tim Etchells, Ryan Gander, Michelle Gay, Kenneth Goldsmith, Dan Graham, Alexandra Grant, James Hoff, Seth Kim-Cohen, Sol LeWitt, Glenn Ligon, Tan Lin, Gareth Long, Michael Maranda, Helen Mirra, Jonathan Monk, Simon Morris, João Onofre, Michalis Pichler, Paolo Piscitelli, Vanessa Place, Kristina Lee Podesva, Seth Price, Kay Rosen, Joe Scanlan, Dexter Sinister, Frances Stark, Joel Swanson, Nick Thurston, Triple Canopy, Andy Warhol, Darren Wershler, and Eric Zboya.

Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and curated by Nora Burnett Abrams and Andrea Andersson. The presentation of Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU is made possible by the Broad MSU’s general exhibitions fund.

Image: babel, (after Michael Joyce’s “Was,” 2006), 2006, mixed media on paper, 80″ x 264″.  Photo credit: Brian Forrest.

LOVE: Creativity, Connection, Community at Montalvo Arts Center

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LOVE: Creativity, Connection, Community at Montalvo Arts Center

February 28 – June 8, 2014

montalvoarts.org/exhibitions/love/

Less than 50 years ago, “the Summer of Love” was more than a pop culture fad: it aspired to bring about a major social and political shift in America. Today, however, we face a near total lack of public debate about love as the basis of connection, understanding, and acceptance in our culture and our communities. Technological innovation makes it possible for us to be better informed about each other’s lives and feelings than any other time in human history. But is it deepening our connections with others? Or do cell phones, e-mail, and social media strip nuance from our communication and leave us lonelier than before?

L O V E, Montalvo’s latest exhibition, considers the challenges of extending ourselves to commune and connect with others, with an installation of video, drawings, sculpture, and other works. Featured artists include Elisheva Biernoff, Double Zero, Alexandra Grant, Jon Meyer, Omar Mismar, Fiamma Montezemolo, Stephanie Taylor, and Allison Wiese. Through installation, sound work, video, drawing, and outdoor sculpture, participating artists explore the bonds of friendship; the important role of empathy in our lives; the intersection between desire and new technologies; and the complex relationships between love, belonging, identity and community.

CONNECTING IN THE 21ST CENTURY

A panel discussion

Friday, April 25, 2014, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

montalvoarts.org/events/final_friday_0414/

Image: Alexandra Grant, I see my self in you, 2013, coated glass tubing, argon gas, transformer and mirror, 51″ x 16″ x 2″.  Photo credit: The Lapis Press.