exhibitions

Challenging Tradition: Fine Craft from the Permanent Collection

August 20 through October 25, 2015
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Muskegon Museum of Art Theodore and Joan Operhall Gallery

Functional craft-based objects have served humanity for thousands of years, and in many cases are the only surviving records of lost civilizations. As these techniques progressed, and cultures overlapped, new ideas and materials were developed and explored. In the middle 20th century, as part of the advent of Modernism in the United States, there was an explosion of interest in the use of traditional craft materials and techniques to create unique, original works of fine art. Function might still be referenced, but the interest was now in the object as a work unto itself, existing for the same reasons a painting or sculpture would. This new direction quickly overlapped multiple art disciplines as artists incorporated fiber and textile into sculpture, drawing, painting, printmaking, and even electronic media. The experimentation with craft has led to innovative and exciting works of contemporary art, and blurred the line between craft and fine art forever.

Challenging Tradition showcases some of the best contemporary craft works in the MMA’s collection. These artworks speak both to the enduring legacies of craft and the continuing innovation and creativity of today’s artists.

Underwritten by the Van Kampen Boyer Molinari Foundation.

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Left:
Amanda Stark
Zephyr Emanation Observer
2006
Copper, sterling silver, Nu-gold, glass, sausage casing
Purchased in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Muskegon Museum of Art, through the gifts of the Robert D. and C. Corcoran Tuttle Family and the gifts of the Ralph G. Kuris Estate, Col. and Mrs. Secundino Veiga, Mrs. Phil Porter, the Grace M. Harris Estate, and William Allen May, by exchange.
2009.10

Right:
David Huang
Luminous Relic #496
Copper, silver, 23k gold leaf, 2005
Purchase, Art Acquisition Fund and Gifts of Tom Tuttle, John Tuttle, Martha Giacobassi, Judith Hayner, Larry and Roxanna Herder, William L.”Bill” Rogers, Gary and Janice Walker, Judith Anderson, John and Patricia Fanberg, Dr. Morton and Maxine Kantor, Richard Stien, Vinecroft Studios, Nona Bushman, and Theodore and Jeannie Caris
2007.9

StarkAmanda2WEBDavid Huang Luminous Relic

Doorways: A Passage through the Permanent Collection

August 6 through October 11, 2015
Konrad Cramer
Doors, Window, and Hall
Oil on board, 1930
Purchased in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Muskegon Museum of Art, through the Hackley Picture Fund. 2012.9

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Alcoa Foundation/Ernest and Marjorie Cooper Gallery

Every doorway, every intersection, has a story.
~Katherine Dunn

Doors, we would say without hesitation, are functional structures, essential to our everyday lives, that open and close and through which we enter and exit from one place to another. In the hands of artists, however, doors, as everyday or metaphorical entities, are often valuable assets around which an artwork is conceived. Additional passageways—gates and arches come to mind; less conspicuous objects like books and picture frames, also provide access—join doors as carriers of narrative themes, compositional structure, contemplative journey, even psychological intrigue.

Such door ways provide one means to enter the MMA’s permanent collections. Through a select group of paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and decorative arts, this exhibition has been developed to expand our understanding and appreciation of artworks in the Museums’ ever-expanding holdings.

Underwritten by Rehmann. Additional support provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Konrad Cramer
Doors, Window, and Hall
Oil on board, 1930
Purchased in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Muskegon Museum of Art, through the Hackley Picture Fund. 2012.9

Extreme Fibers: Textile Icons and the New Edge

August 20 through November 1, 2015
Máximo Laura Aliento "Sagrado del Jaguar (Sacred Breath of the Jaguar)" Tapestry weaving, 2004 41” x 98.5”

L. C. and Margaret Walker Galleries and Michael and Kay Olthoff & Thelma and Paul Wiener Gallery
Opening Event: Thursday, August 20
5:30 pm Reception | 7:00 pm Gallery Lecture

 

Selections from the exhibition:

 

Extreme Fibers: Textile Icons and the New Edge examines the state of fibers and textiles in the fine art world today. The exhibition has been developed by the Muskegon Museum of Art in coordination with Guest Curator Geary Jones of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The artworks on display reveal the diversity of the fine art textile and fiber movement, and its transformation into a multi-media and discipline-spanning phenomenon. Participating artists come from around the world, including an invited slate of 27 artists that are visionaries in the field: Luis Acosta, Kyoung Ae Cho, Kate Anderson, Ewa Bartosz-Mazus, Lia Cook, Thomas Cronenberg, Nancy Crow, Patricia Hickman, Jan Hopkins, Wolfgang Horn, Ferne Jacobs, David Johnson, Gerhardt Knodel, Gyöngy Laky, Maximo Laura, Tom Lundberg, Libby Mijanovich, Laura Foster Nicholson, Krystyna Sadej, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, Chizu Sekiguchi, Sherri Smith, Ixchel Suarez, Yoshiko Wada, Dawn Walden, Carole Weller, and Bhakti Ziek.

Laura_Aliento Sagrado del Jaguar

Máximo Laura Aliento Sagrado del Jaguar (Sacred Breath of the Jaguar) Tapestry weaving, 2004 41 x 98.5 inches

A slate of artists selected from juried submissions received from countries around the world will join these masters. Narrowing from a field of over 300 entries, jurors Ferne Jacobs and Namita Gupta Wiggers selected 79 works from 51 artists for inclusion. These juried pieces join those by our invited artists for a showing of over 120 fiber and textile based artworks. One artist from the juried portion of the show will be selected by Ferne Jacobs and Namita Gupta Wiggers for the California Fibers Beyond the Boundaries Award. This award is sponsored by California Fibers and is given annually to a fiber artist for artistic innovation in subject matter, materials and/or technique in a national or international fiber exhibition. The winner will be announced at a later date

Viewers will find tapestries, quilts, weavings, sculpture, basketry, and a host of other forms on display, from functional works to fully abstracted shapes. This is a remarkable opportunity for West Michigan to see truly contemporary, international artwork by artists that defined and continue to transform a major art movement

One artist from the juried portion of the show will be selected by Ferne Jacobs and Namita Gupta Wiggers for the California Fibers Beyond the Boundaries Award. This award is sponsored by California Fibers and is given annually to a fiber artist for artistic innovation in subject matter, materials and/or technique in a national or international fiber exhibition. The winner will be announced at a later date.

Extreme Fibers will open at the Dennos Museum in Traverse City, Michigan, December 6, 2015 and run through March of 2016.

Underwritten by Bayer CropScience. Program support provided by the Michigan Council for the Arts with the National Endowment for the Arts.

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