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.
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)
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.
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.
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.)