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Archive for the ‘New/Now’ Category

Skylar Hughes, Hem and Leaf and Branch and Bone, Oil on Canvas, 14 x 14 in, 2012, Collection of the artist

Skylar Hughes, Hem and Leaf and Branch and Bone, Oil on Canvas, 14 x 14 in, 2012, Collection of the artist

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.

Skylar Hughes investigates relationships, associations, and the artistic process in the paintings and collages on display in One Big Gust of Wind. The works hover on the edge between abstraction and representation, the familiar and the unrecognizable, and conscious and unconscious painterly gesture. One Big Gust of Wind will be exhibited from June 15 through September 15, 2013 at the New Britain Museum. Please join us for the opening reception on Sunday, June 16 from 3-4:30 p.m., with remarks at 3:30 p.m. (more…)

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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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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.

Michael A. Salter ,whose NEW/NOW exhibition Visual Plastic (on view until August 19th) sprouts from our dizzying world of pop culture and consumerism and speaks the language of advertisements and logos, joins us for a candid Q&A:

100% Real, 2012, Michael A. Salter (b. 1967). MDF (medium-density fibreboard), vinyl stickers, 14” x 22” x 5”. Courtesy of the artist.

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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.

Marc Swanson, whose NEW/NOW exhibition (on view until this Sunday, May 13th) has been a tour de force of mixed media constructions that serve as windows, partially shuttered, into his autobiography, joins us for a candid Q&A:

Untitled (Crystal, Hooking Left), 2011. Marc Swanson (b. 1969). Mixed media, 30 x 22 x 26 in., Charles F. Smith Fund, 2012.06.


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Q: Does your work belong in a traditional museum setting?

Marc Swanson: I think any artwork belongs in a traditional museum setting as long as the museum in question believes in the work and thinks it should be shown at their institution.

I’m happy to have my work in a traditional museum.  But then again, it’s not really up to me.  By this I mean that it can be up to me to not show at a museum if given the opportunity, but it is inherently the decision of the institution if I will have the chance to show at their museum. (more…)

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Carson Fox (b. 1970) installing one of her cast resin snowflakes

“I am interested in beauty but I mistrust it. Instead, I look for beauty that exists in tension with the material or circumstances that invent it”. This has become one of the mantras of Carson Fox, the Brooklyn-based artists whose artwork is the newest installment in the NEW/NOW exhibition series for emerging contemporary artists. The dual nature of beauty is certainly evident in Bi-Polar, which will open at the NBMAA on November 4th.

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