Monday, March 21, 2011

An Adventure in Louisville

Song of the Day: The Gossip Pop Goes the World

Over the Spring Break, a wonderful friend and I spent a day with another exploring a couple of art galleries in Louisville. One was the Speed Art Museum and the other was 21C.
If you live in Kentucky and love art and you haven't been here then 

If you haven't heard of 21C you must check it out.  It is a fantastic place that both functions as a contemporary art gallery as well as a hotel.  They have a few permanent works including Text Rain by Camille Utterback and Romy Achituv  and the Red Penguin (2005) made by the Cracking Art Group, but they also exhibit new displays frequently.  At this moment the main exhibit is called Cuba Now.  One artist Carlos Gaamez de Francisco, who is currently on display, you must check out.  Both my friend and I loved these works in this display primarily because how they reflect a historical imagery as reflected in both traditional and new methods of presentation.

I studied these works in order to learn how he somehow strategically stained the paper to make that pattern. Still sadly is a mystery, although I have a few theories in mind. 

Another artist the two of us were impressed by was Julius Fridman's collection of graphic photography called Emergence.  This Louisville artist uses as the gallery describes "a harmonious blend of digital layering and nude portraiture that suggests a non-representational reading of photographic image. By incorporating abstract designs, scenes from nature, hieroglyphics or tribal symbols, Friedman is able to blur the lines of portraiture rendering his nude models almost unrecognizable."  I love it that this work was also his first time he used of the human figure for a series. (I am so tired of the overuse of direct portraiture to some extent partly because Facebook and other social networking internet resources)
Although a little out of the way, this collection is a must see right now at 21C 

We also spent the rest of our day exploring a more traditional museum, the Speed Art Museum. Currently the Speed has three wonderful exhibits alongside what is found in their permanent collection.  When you walk in you'll step into a world of Impressionist prints.

Check back to one of my February posts if your interested in learning out our Permanent Collection's Renoir Print

The mini-exhibit, called Light to Line: Impressionism Prints, shows a great example of Impressionist experimentation in another medium, including key artists like Mary Cassatt, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Edouard Manet.  Another is Modern in the Making: Design 1900-2000. For those interested in the evolution of the design of furniture and ceramics should check it out.  Additionally, they have a paid exhibition called Impressionism Landscapes: Monet to Sargent as organized by the Brooklyn Museum in their lower level. If you love Impressionist paintings this is a must to check out.  They also have an exhibit of photographs by Steven Shore in this collection.  These are photographs of Giverny, Monet's home and place of inspiration for some of his most revered paintings.

This collection was especially expansive on American Impressionism

If you haven't been to any local galleries be sure to check them out.  They often have great exhibits that change pretty regularly.  Exploring different styles of galleries helps you contemplate both where you are and where you are going, whether by making art or by writing a paper. So be sure to take one day off and just go on a gallery hop every once in a while. 

I can't wait to head back to Louisville myself in a few weeks in order to hear the art historian Linda Nochlin speak. If I enough time afterwards, a good trip down to Museum Row might be a welcome excursion.  (I've been dying to see the Frazier International Museum, especially with the Toystalgia: The Good The Bad and the Cuddly exhibit.)   

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1 comment:

  1. Devon, I am glad to hear that you made it to the Speed and 21c. Both are among my favorites in the area. Thank you for posting pictures for us.

    I'm interested to hear what you thought of the layout of the Impressionism show. We can talk about that further.

    Also, thanks for the shout out to Linda Nochlin....countdown: 9 days.