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Archive for the ‘Contemporary Art’ Category

For the purpose of these interrogations, the Museum has developed a series of questions for exhibiting contemporary artists in an attempt to enliven and explore the discourse between the artist and the institution – with specific focus on site, interpretation, relevance, process, and sources.

Eric Souther builds and utilizes his own software, manipulating video and sound to explore how technology shapes experience and communication in our contemporary culture. His individualistic artistic explorations of the unseen network of the digital age reveal the experiences of modern life “saturated with digital information.”

Souther’s “Chair” is on view at the NBMAA until March 31st. Search Engine Vision “Chair”, 2009. Eric Souther. Single-channel video.

Souther’s “Chair” is on view at the NBMAA until March 31st.
Search Engine Vision “Chair”, 2009. Eric Souther. Single-channel video.

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Now through January 27th, the public is invited to participate in an upcoming installation by NEW/NOW artist, Michael Mahalchick, by donating objects which will become the raw material for his work. Welcomed items include trinkets, hand-made treasures, decorative objects, manufactured goods,  etc. If an object could conceivably be found at a garage sale and is of reasonable size, it likely fits the bill. Objects selected for inclusion in the artist’s work will be featured in the upcoming exhibition NEW/NOW: Michael Mahalchick in the Cheney Gallery March 9- June 9, 2013.

The work of Michael Mahalchick defies any one specific definition. Moving seamlessly between the realms of sculpture/assemblage, installation, performance, music and dance, Mahalchick incorporates a self-identified “scavenging” aesthetic or “thrift-store nostalgia” to his work. In utilizing objects of everyday use (or disuse), the artist is free to imbue whatever meaning he sees fit to ascribe, making icons out of the ordinary.

Michael Mahalchick March 7 – April 22nd, 2012 : Michael Mahalchick, "IT" installation, March 6th, 2012, Canada Gallery

Michael Mahalchick, “IT” installation, March 6th, 2012, Canada Gallery

Ever since Duchamp scandalized the world with his Fountain, the concept of the object as art has been a prominent part of our visual lexicon, from Rauschenberg’s gritty Combines to the poetic assemblages of Joseph Cornell. Like Duchamp, Mahalchick’s works call into question meaning and purpose in art and culture. Who holds the power to ascribe meaning in our every day lives and why? (more…)

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This post come to us from Alexandra Nasto, Curatorial Intern.

Museum Project #011, The Field Series, 1997. Atta Kim (b. 1956). Chromogenic print, 122 x 162 cm, 56 x 66 cm

Many modern-day artists are inventors of reality, bringing to life people and places of the past and creating new realms of experience through experimentation with traditional techniques and media. The contemporary art scene is ever ripe with innovative concepts and technologies that inspire artists to push the boundaries of their own work. Atta Kim (b. 1956) is one such photographer whose highly conceptual images have been shown in his native Seoul, South Korea and in international shows from Paris to São Paulo, Copenhagen to Kansas City, and Beijing to Berlin. Kim’s work arrives in Connecticut this summer, when seven magnificent, large-scale photographs will be displayed at the New Britain Museum of American Art. The New/Now: Atta Kim exhibition is the latest in the museum’s New/Now series for emerging contemporary artists, and will be on view from August 25th to November 25th.

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This post comes to us from Bethany Gugliemino, Curatorial Intern

Joyous Windows, 2003-2006. Mundy Hepburn (b.1955). Hand-blown glass, phosphor, argon, helium, krypton, neon, radon, xenon, small static electric charge. Charles F. Smith Fund, 2006.00.

Mundy Hepburn, of Old Saybrook, Connecticut, began his experiments with glassblowing in 1963 at the age of eight after accompanying his mother to the Guilford Town Fair, where he witnessed a glassblowing demonstration. Captivated by what he had seen, he attempted to replicate the effects himself at home by melting an old light bulb over the flames of a gas stove. His mother caught him, but Hepburn quickly explained that he had “fire polished” the glass, removing the sharp edges. His mother was impressed by his inventiveness, and from that point on his parents encouraged his experiments (and made sure that they were more properly supervised). He dropped out of school at fourteen but continued to explore new methods of working with glass as a way of dealing with personal problems he was experiencing at the time.

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Red Head, 1982. Barbara Nessim
(b.1939) Digital illustration (Norpak II computer; ilfochrome print), 30 3/4” x 26 1/2”. Collection of the artist.

This post comes to us from Alex Salazar, Curatorial Intern.

“Since the dawn of picture-making, illustrators have taken the tools available to them to document and react to the world around them,” explains Scott Bakal, the curator of Pixelated: The Art of Digital Illustration.  The face of art is constantly changing, and new tools like Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter are exposing artists to a virtually unlimited range of possibilities.  On view at the New Britain Museum of American Art’s Low Illustration Gallery until Dec. 9th, 2012, this exhibition showcases “the brilliant ideas and processes that go into making illustrations today.”

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This post comes to us from Sara Cotter, Curatorial Intern.

A large detail of Sol LeWitt’s “Wall Drawing #1105 “Colored bands of arcs from four corners”” which resides on the Dakille Building on Columbus Blvd.

Today in downtown New Britain a newly-created and highly anticipated Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) wall mural will be unveiled. Wall Drawing #1105 “Colored bands of arcs from four corners” was painted on the exterior of the Dakille Building on Columbus Boulevard as part of Connecticut’s City Canvases Project, which aims to revive urban areas across the state by promoting the visual arts and the work of local artists. This initiative was funded by the Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Office of the Arts, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The City of New Britain, in partnership with the NBMAA and the LeWitt Estate, was thrilled to have the opportunity to create a public mural that will not only enliven the downtown area and an already thriving local arts community, but also pay homage to Sol LeWitt, a longtime resident of New Britain and lifelong patron of the NBMAA. (more…)

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This post comes to us from Bethany Gugliemino, Curatorial Intern.

 

Particular Heights 2.0, 2012. Paul Theriault (b.1972) and Siebren Versteeg (b.1971). Handmade steel swing set, counter, and LCD monitor. Collection of the artists.

 On the evening of May 25, the LED counter mounted above the swing in the front courtyard of the NBMAA displayed a single red digit: 0. Two weeks later, the counter boasted the significantly larger number of 3614, a number that will only continue to grow in the coming months. This swing is one part of Particular Heights 2.0, the second incarnation of an installation by artists Paul Theriault and Siebren Versteeg that was first displayed in New Haven, Connecticut in 2010. Consisting of an outdoor component (the swing and LED counter) and a gallery component, the installation falls into the category of New Media, a field with which both Theriault and Versteeg are very familiar. New Media involves the fusion of traditional mediums such as painting, sculpture, and music with the interactive potential of computers, communications technology, and the internet. Both Theriault and Versteeg have worked individually with New Media in the past, producing works that explore themes of contemporary life and the way that digital technology can be used to create pieces that constantly change and grow.

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