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Past Exhibitions

Tradition and Transformation

Twentieth-Century Inuit Art from the Collection of the Hood Museum of Art

October 22, 2014, through December 06, 2015
carved whalebone inlaid with walrus ivory, baleen, and stone

The majority of artists in this installation represent a generation of Inuit from the arctic and subarctic regions of Canada who lived fully “on the land.” Several changes occurred during the mid-twentieth century that pressured the Inuit to change their traditional life ways by moving into settlements. Although the Inuit had been trading works they made out of a variety of materials since the time of contact, new visitors encouraged them to use their knowledge and skills to create work—in stone, fabric, drawings, and on paper—that would be oriented for a non-Inuit art market.

The majority of works in this installation were made by the first generation of Inuit artists to exhibit and sell their work to new markets in the south through art dealers and cooperatives. The objects they produced are remarkable works of art, widely sought after by collectors, and now in the collections of major museums all over the world. Most importantly, the production of this work created a vehicle for preserving cultural knowledge and sustaining tradition while innovating and creating new forms of expression.

Collecting and Sharing

Trevor Fairbrother, John T. Kirk, and the Hood Museum of Art

August 22, 2015, through December 06, 2015
McDermott & McGough, Keyhole

This exhibition features the collection of Trevor Fairbrother, an independent curator, and John T. Kirk, a scholar of early American decorative arts, who have donated important works in their collection to the museum. Emphasizing the Hood’s teaching mission, this exhibition is thematically organized and each section displays one work from the museum’s collection alongside those of the donors. These themes include Histories, Wonders, Goods, Marks, Geometries, Males, and Surfaces. The exhibition will showcase paintings, drawings, and sculpture alongside early American furniture and include works by Carl Andre, Richard Artschwager, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Marsden Hartley, Mike Kelley, Sol Lewitt, Glenn Ligon, Catherine Opie, Elizabeth Peyton, John Singer Sargent, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Robert Wilson, and many others.

Canaletto's Vedute Prints

An Exhibition in Honor of Adolph Weil Jr.

August 01, 2015, through December 06, 2015
Giovanni Antonio Canal (Canaletto), Title Plate

Although the Italian eighteenth-century artist Antonio Canaletto is best known for his luminous, sweeping views of the Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco, the Vedute, a portfolio of prints made in the early 1740s, reveal another side of Venice. These scenes are intimate in scale and contain an extraordinary variety of subject matter, encompassing both real and imaginary views, from urban portraits to bucolic landscapes. This exhibition presents the full range of Canaletto’s Vedute project and celebrates the legacy of Adolph J. “Bucks” Weil, Class of 1935, an astute and generous collector who over his lifetime amassed one of the most impressive collections of Old Master prints in the country.

(Re)Imagining Home

91
October 17, 2015, through December 06, 2015

Home is a complex idea imbued with a variety of meanings and associations. This exhibition explores home as a mutable emotional and conceptual phenomenon inextricably linked to physical spaces. Home is constantly (re)imagined, subject to continual construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction both materially and in the mind. Homes are highly personalized spaces that represent personal narratives and inner lives and continually evolve as their inhabitants age or move. Whether actual or staged, physical or imagined, idyllic or in ruins, images of homes raise the questions: Where is home? What is home? Does (or can) home travel with you or is it something forever left behind?

The City as Memory Machine

August 29, 2015, through December 06, 2015

Life in the city is lived in daily patterns of mobility. Each day, most of us stroll past the same shops and cafés, or distractedly gaze across receding rooftops from the vantage of an elevated train. We often think of time spent in transit as lost time, life on the periphery of real living. But as the French anthropologist Marc Augé has shown us, traveling through the city is a practice of history and memory. Instead of life lost, cities unfold at the stop-and-go pace of a crowded bus line. Along the way, monuments to the city’s collective history spark personal, individualized memories. In those fleeting moments, as the bus rolls along, we may be struck by the memory of a childhood trip to Central Park or suddenly recall a moment of heartbreaking loss. On the commute, the past and the present intermingle in barely recognized flashes of illumination, all in the time it takes to glance up from the morning newspaper. 

In his ethnography of the Paris Metro, Marc Augé refers to the Metro map as a “memory machine,” arguing that each stop highlighted on the map indexes and generates individual and shared experiences of place. The works of art in this exhibition offer... read more

A Feast for the Eyes and a Sacred Trek for the Feet

Journeys along the Tokaido Highway

90
September 05, 2015, through October 18, 2015

This exhibition, at its essence, is about the power of place. A single locale can carry myriad meanings and experiences for different people, as can be seen through depictions of the Tokaido highway. As the main arterial road in Japan during the Edo period (1603–1868), the Tokaido held great significance for citizens and artists alike. Examining different artists’ representations of the Tokaido illustrates the diverse range of experiences people had along the road, as well as the distinctive meanings each artist attached to the highway.

Goddesses, Models, & Prostitutes

An Exploration of the Reclining Female Nude

89
July 18, 2015, through August 30, 2015
Goddesses, Models, and Prostitutes: An Exploration of the Reclining Female Nude

The reclining female nude has been a recurring theme in Western art since the 1500s. It began with erotic images portraying an idealized woman (often in the guise of a goddess) for the pleasure of the male viewer. Through her passive, reclined pose, she offers her body for our gaze; her recumbent nudity implies that she is sexually available. She represents sensuality, beauty, and desire. As the subject of the female nude became canonized, artists began to expand the ways in which it was represented. She can be depicted alone or with guests and companions. With each incarnation of the reclining female nude, the tradition continues to grow and change.

Water Ways

Tension and Flow

April 04, 2015, through August 23, 2015
Edward Burtynsky, Oil Spill #1

Water is essential to human life, shaping the geography of human settlement, modes of travel, and ease of trade. Too much water (flooding) or too little (drought) has wrought havoc in communities for millennia. This exhibition considers humans’ relationship to water, from the architecture of socialization pictured in Edward Burtynsky’s photograph of a stepwell in India to the dramatic effects of flooding shown in images of people in front of their homes from Gideon Mendel’s series Drowning World. From quiet still lifes (David Goldes) to panoramic landscapes (Ian Teh), these photographs showcase the beauty and power of this miraculous, yet quotidian, substance.

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Works by Victor Ekpuk

April 18, 2015, through August 02, 2015
Victor Ekpuk, Composition No. 13 (Sante Fe Suite)

Nigerian-born artist Victor Ekpuk is best known for his improvisational use of nsibidi, a form of ideographic writing associated with Ekpe, the powerful, interethnic men’s association active in the southern border regions of Nigeria and Cameroon. Though familiar to him since his childhood, Ekpuk’s aesthetic engagement with nsibidi emerged during his fine art studies at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ife, Nigeria, where students were encouraged to explore the logics of pattern and design in indigenous African art forms. Ekpuk’s fascination with nsibidi during these years—its economy of line and encoded meanings—led to his broader explorations of the visual properties of linguistic signs and to the invention of his own fluid letterforms. As a mature artist, Ekpuk has so internalized the rhythm and contours of his “script” that it flows from his hand like the outpouring of a personal archive.

Ukara

Ritual Cloth of the Ekpe Secret Society

April 18, 2015, through August 02, 2015
Mazi Okereke Agbam of Arochukwu’s personalized ukara cloth

Ukara cloth symbolizes the power, wealth, and prestige of the Ekpe secret society, an interethnic all-male association, and the sacrality of Ekpe meeting lodges. Although commissioned and used by the Ekpe, located in the Cross River region at the border of southeastern Nigeria and western Cameroon, ukara is designed, sewn, and dyed by the Ezillo people in present-day Ebonyi State. The process of creating ukara cloths is laborious and involves many hands, but ultimately each cloth is highly individualized, clearly produced to be worn by a specific Ekpe person or to mark a particular Ekpe lodge. Nsibidi symbols, an ideographic and gestural system of communication, are dyed onto the cloth. The symbols’ meanings are largely guarded by Ekpe members, with more established members becoming deeply knowledgeable about the poly-semantic signs. 

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