At the Nasher Museum of Art: “Open This End: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Blake Byrne” through July 12 and “Area 919: Artists in the Triangle” through April 12.
Sarah Anne Johnson (b. 1976) uses a variety of art techniques such as painting, sculpture and digital enhancement to enlarge the meanings of her photographs. What she does can best be explained through one of her pictures from the Arctic.
A pair of spectacular photographic exhibitions on Iraq by Lynsey Addario and James Longley are now on view in Durham. Both Addario and Longley are recipients of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.
Making art is a three-way partnership: the artist, the work of art, and the viewer. Think about it. Until that object has been seen by someone other than the artist, it is not complete. The collector, of course, is that spectator with the added dimension of having acquired not one, but several objects, from a particular artist.
“Genius and Grace: Francois Boucher and the Generation of 1700,” from the Horvitz Collection, Ackland Art Museum, UNC Chapel Hill, through April 5.
The exhibition “Starring North Carolina: 100 Years, 3000 films” at the Museum of History in Raleigh through Sept. 6 is a survey about the movies and the important place North Carolina has in the industry.
The spring schedule is all about new work in the galleries and a new look at painting, sculpture and architecture in the museums. Stand-outs from just reading the lists are Francois Boucher (1703-1770) at the Ackland, the Freelon Associates at N.C. Central University’s Museum of Art and late 20th century art from the collection of Blake Byrne at the Nasher Museum of Art.
It is that time of the year when lists appear about everything and, not to be outdone, here is one more. Looking at the last 12 months is a necessary exercise; it brings into focus the quality of art we see on a regular basis in the Triangle. That high standard includes local, national and international artists.
“Market Mixers: When Social & Market Norms Collide” runs through Dec. 31 at the Center for Advanced Hindsight, 2024 W. Main St., Erwin Mill, Bay C.
The Scrap Exchange has moved. They have finally found a permanent home at 2050 Chapel Hill Road (the Lakewood Shopping Center site) and it is a spiffed up warehouse type building, painted white on the outside and, miraculously, organized on the inside. In fact, according to Cameron Gallery Coordinator Roderick McClain, the regular patrons are not certain they like being able to find stuff. What makes the Scrap Exchange and places like it so inviting is the chance to ferret out special treasures before someone else finds them.
In 1910 James E. Shepard founded a liberal arts college for black men (and women) in Durham, and 30 years later the school opened its Art Department, with a major in art. Sound simple? It was extraordinary because across the American black academic world two of the greatest African-American scholars, Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) and W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963), were fighting over the soul of education for the country’s young African-Americans who were the first generation born out of slavery.
Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck are giants by any standard and a first impulse may be to sniff at small paintings by them and their contemporaries, but the images in the “Small Treasures” exhibit at the N.C. Museum of Art only prove what a rich place northern Europe was for artists in the 17th century. Yes, they are small and the huge gallery walls seem painfully empty, but as the North Carolina Museum of Art’s curator of Northern European art, Dennis Weller, writes in his first catalog essay, “The closer you are the more you see” and that close look offers one delightful surprise after another, proving why their giant status has only grown over the centuries.
Outside the Joan Miró (1893-1983) exhibition is one of the artist’s sculptures, “La Caresse D’un Oiseau” (“Caress of a Bird”), 1967, on loan from the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas. The wall text tells us the green body is made from an ironing board, the head from a straw hat, the stomach from a tortoise shell and, in the back, two bocce balls sit where the buttocks might be. A bird perches at the top. This cast metal statue began with found objects and recalls, among its artistic ancestors, Picasso. It is a jaunty figure, inviting and whimsical, and promises colorful and fun art.
For the second year in a row, Frank Gallery has invited students and professionals to create clothing that re-purposes discarded materials while thinking about sustainable design. Seventeen Orange County artists have used ingenuity, craftsmanship, talent, artistic ability, creativity and design to create wearable clothes from every imaginable material except cotton, linen or silk cloth. The results are fabulous. Beneath this offering of fashion is the other story -- consumerism and our total disregard for the environment.
“Photography is a problem,” said Peter Nisbet, interim director and curator of the new photography show at the Ackland Art Museum. At the press preview, he talked about the deluge of photographs that will not stop. Everyone takes pictures, he said, and for a museum which has the biggest photography collection in the state, the question remains, is it art and which images are worth preserving? With that said, Nisbet introduced a show filled with 150 photographs chosen from more than 500 that have been collected in the last 10 years.