Forever Young: A Retrospective
December 12, 2015 - March 27, 2016
Dorothy Jenkins Gallery
Russell Young’s exploration of American counter culture represents a journey that bears witness to both the excess and ambition that has helped shape the ‘American dream,’ a brooding and sometimes brutal celebration of the characters and events that glamorize and chastise in equal measure. Whether through direct visual reference or by title, the works set out to both assert and challenge our perception and understanding of what it is to be American in the 21st century.
“We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” -Marilyn Monroe
Matter Makes Space: Michiko Fujii Fowler
December 19, 2015 – March 27, 2016
Award winning Japanese artist Michiko Fujii Fowler explores how space is altered by the painting process. She is intrigued by a painting’s duality of space: the illusive space within a painting and the physical space of a painting. Fowler explains, “I believe that a painting has two layered spaces: one is fictional space that is depicted in the painting, and another is a real space that is the painting itself. Generally, when we look at a painting, we focus on the fictional space. However, what we are really looking at is an object called a painting and material called paint.” A major contributor to a painting’s physical space is the multi-layered material that projects into the viewer’s space. It is often difficult for audiences to toggle their perspectives of a painting between its subject and its physical existence, after all the fundamental identity of a painting is found on its painted surface. Fowler creates illusions that invoke regard for her paintings as physical objects.
Matter Makes Space is Michiko Fujii Fowler’s first major museum exhibition in the United States. A native of Japan, Fowler has lived and painted in San Francisco, CA since 2008. Her work is featured in the permanent collection of the Saku Museum of Modern Art and has appeared in a variety of exhibitions. She lived as an artist-in-residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2007 and received the Sokei Award and the Takazawa Award from the Sokei Academy of Fine Art & Design in Tokyo.
Some Things Contemporary
December 19, 2015 - March 12, 2016
The adjectives modern and contemporary are often misused in reference to fine art. But, that misuse is understandable since the two words are synonyms in the English vernacular. It is also fairly innocent within the context of fine art where we still have art historians who often confuse the two. If someone defines contemporary art in terms of art historical chronology, it is often said to have begun in the 1960s with the rise of postmodern Pop Art. If someone prefers a more literal interpretation, however, it describes a work by any artist currently living.
For this exhibition, we sided with the latter definition; all of the works on display were produced by artists who are still around. Contemporary art is one of the primary collecting focuses for the Polk Museum of Art. As an addendum to the museum’s exhibitions of works by contemporary artists Russell Young and Michiko Fujii Fowler, we are showing a sampling of works from the museum’s permanent collection of contemporary art.
Another America: Contemporary Latin American Art from the Permanent Collection
January 30, 2016 - April 23, 2016
Murray & Ledger Galleries
Since its inception in 1966, Polk Museum of Art has established a sophisticated permanent collection. From prehistoric Pre-Columbian antiquities to 21st-century digital prints, the collection boasts a wide ranging survey of historic periods, artistic styles, and cultural trends. Contemporary art is one particularly strong collecting focus for the museum. The museum’s contemporary art collection includes works by artists from diverse cultural backgrounds who are inspired by their unique global perspectives. In order to celebrate one such perspective, Polk Museum of Art exhibits a selection of works by contemporary Latin American artists. Each of these artists have unique approaches to their cultural heritage and create a modern interpretation of what it means to be Latin American.
Ancient Art of the Americas
David and Lucia Taxdal Pre-Columbian Gallery
Ancient Art of the Americas, a refocused installation of the Museum’s collection of Pre-Columbian artworks which was completed in December 2000, and updated with recent acquisitions in March 2003, features a comprehensive overview of artifacts from Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Peru. The gallery is divided into two themed rooms. Warriors, Priests, and Rituals presents effigies related to those three categories, including bound prisoners, warriors ready for battle, and priest figures. The second room is arranged geographically, with artifacts grouped according to the current name of the country in which they were found. This arrangement allows visitors to see how cultures that were geographically close influenced each other. This room also contains an archaeology display which explains how scientists uncover and interpret artifacts like those in the gallery.
Contemporary works by by James Bassham, Jane Jaskevich, Fonchen Lord, Carol Brown and Michael Mick are featured in the Museum's permanent outdoor exhibition space.
Material World: A Global Family Portrait
The Material World: A Global Family Portrait exhibition is the result of American photojournalist Peter Menzel’s project to help viewers grasp a sense of cross-culture realities and to celebrate our common humanity. Sixteen of the world’s foremost photographers traveled around the world, visiting thirty different countries to live for a week with families that are statistically average for that nation. At the end of each visit, the photographer and subjects collaborated on the Big Picture, a remarkable portrait of the family outside of its home, surrounded by all of its possessions. This exhibition is an attempt to capture through photos and statistics, both the common humanity of the peoples inhabiting our Earth and the great differences in material goods and circumstances that make rich and poor societies.
Hungry Planet: What the World Eats
For the first time in history, more people are overfed than underfed. And while some people still have barely enough to eat, others overeat to the point of illness. To find out how mealtime is changing in real homes, authors Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio visited families around the world to observe and photograph what they eat during the course of one week. During their project, they sat down to eat with twenty-five families in twenty-one countries.
As Peter and Faith ate and talked with families, they learned firsthand about food consumption around the world and its corresponding causes and effects. The resulting family portraits, which are displayed in this exhibition, offer a glimpse into the cultural similarities and differences served on dinner plates around the globe.
This show joins Material World: A Global Family Portrait in the Marks Gallery to stimulate further thought and discussion about cultural commonalities and differences.