Less than six months ago the Ackland Art Museum acquired “box” by Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), one of a series of multiples he made over a period of some 20 years which contained reproductions of his work. Peter Nisbet, interim director and chief curator of the Ackland Art Museum, called it a “masterpiece” and added, “I don’t use those terms lightly.”
The world of contemporary art is no longer just traditional paint on canvas and sculpture of marble and metal. It now includes videos, audio tapes, sculpture worked with cornstarch, and shards of paint and ceramics from yesterday’s art objects displayed like ancient archaeological finds.
Downtown Durham has enjoyed outdoor sculpture placed at strategic locations for almost a year. Those who walk past them regularly may already feel they belong, and the occasional visitor, especially to the Durham Performing Arts Center or the American Tobacco complex has to believe these works of art indicate a city interested in the arts. The sculpture is all part of the Bull City Sculpture Show which opened in May 2014.
“The Patton Collection: A Gift to North Carolina,” is at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh through Aug. 23.
The art deco Hill Building at the corner of West Main and Corcoran streets has been resurrected. It is now the 21c Museum Hotel. Besides its new life as a hotel, it is also an art museum which is accessible seven days a week, whether you have booked a room or just want to come in and look.
Invitations to artists come for a variety of reasons: There is a call to spotlight landscapes or portraits or abstractions. The group at the Ackland Museum Store gallery, however, has studios at Durham’s Golden Belt complex, and that is the common thread that brings them to Chapel Hill.
The Semans Gallery is the first art space in the Durham Arts Council building and sometimes gets bypassed.
A current exhibition at North Carolina Central University’s Art Museum is about buildings for the general population commissioned and designed by Durham’s Freelon Group and its founder Philip Freelon (b. 1952).
The Scrap Exchange is a funny place to some and a treasure trove to others. The pragmatist sees barrels of stuff ready for the recycling machine; the romantic sees glittery jewels, the makings of toys or the elements of a painting.
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.