2019 preview: What’s ahead in visual arts

A glimpse at some of the exhibits coming up

Pictured clockwise from left: At the Norman Rockwell Museum: “Triple Self-Portrait, 1959,” Norman Rockwell (1894–1978), cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, Feb. 13, 1960 (Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. Copyright SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN); At the Hyde Collection: “New York, 1950,” Jacob Houston; At the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie: “Beech-Nut Plant on the Mohawk River, ca. 1920,” artist unknown.

There will be no shortage of art to see and experience around the greater Capital Region this year. Here’s a glimpse at some of the exhibits coming up: 

Albany Institute of History & Art 
“Shape and Shadow: The Sculpture of Larry Kagan” – opens January 19
A retrospective in three parts, this exhibition will give viewers a look at the distinctive sculptural works of Troy sculptor and retired Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor, Larry Kagan. Over 50 of the artist’s works will be on display, including his cast acrylic sculptures that manipulate light, his found steel works that play with texture and his shadow pieces that direct light using steel rods. 

“Bejeweled and Bedazzled” – opens January 26
The Museum’s extensive and impressive collection of Victorian fashion took the spotlight in 2017 and 2018. This year, the jewelry in the collection will get its time in the limelight. Using intricate and sometimes whimsical pieces of jewelry that Albany residents bought and created both home and abroad, the exhibit explores the lives of its wearers, the cultural and personal meaning of the adornments, as well as the journey of the jewelry through history and into the Museum’s collection. 

“The Schuyler Sisters and their Circle” – opens July 20
In the last few years, there’s been an increased focus on the Schuyler sisters due to “Hamilton: An American Musical.” The Tony award-winning Broadway musical, which makes its way to Proctors later this year, features the three eldest Schuyler daughters; Angelica, Elizabeth and Peggy. The stories of these three women, how they acted as mothers, business women, influencers and revolutionaries, will be told through clothing, decorative arts, portraits and manuscripts. 

Arkell Museum – opens on March 9
Nestled beside the Canajoharie library, the museum will be opening its season with two exhibits that visitors can revisit. “Marketing the Mohawk Valley,” which opened in November of 2018, examines how the idyllic landscape the Canajoharie area made for impressive marketing materials for the Beech-Nut Plant. “Portraits and Landscapes,” includes some new acquisitions for the museum as well as some pieces that have recently been restored. They’ll be running through the spring with other soon-to-be-announced exhibits coming this summer. 

The Clark Art Institute 
“Renoir: The Body, The Senses” – opens June 8
In honor of the 100th anniversary of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s death, the Clark is taking a look at how the artist captured the human form and how he frequently turned to it for inspiration throughout his lifetime. The exhibit features around 60 paintings, drawings, pastels, and sculptures by the artist, his predecessors, contemporaries, and followers.

“Ida O’Keeffe: Escaping Georgia’s Shadow” – opens July 4
Even people who aren’t interested in the visual arts know the name, Georgia O’Keeffe. Her younger sister, Ida, is not so well known, yet she created over 70 works throughout her life, in both realism and abstract styles. The exhibition explores the rivalry between the two sisters, spurred on by Georgia’s desire to be the only painter in the family, as well as the training and life of Ida. 

The Hyde Collection 

“A Magical World: The Art of Jacob Houston” – opens on April 7
Artist Jacob Houston, a Greenwich native, is known for creating halcyon landscapes and cityscapes. He recreates the places he’s traveled to, using bright colors that give his work a sense of wonder. 

“From the Rooftops: John Sloan and the Art of a New Urban Space” – opens June 16
Artist John Sloan, a founding member of the Ashcan movement, was one of the first to give viewers a look at the working class on the rooftops of New York City. Sloan and his contemporaries, George Ault, Edward Hopper, William Glackens and Reginald Marsh, depicted life in the Big Apple, often painting the lower class rather than the upper echelons. 

“Picasso, Braque, and Léger: Twentieth Century Modern Masters” – opens October 6
This exhibit brings three key founders of Cubism to the forefront: Pablo Picasso, George Braque and Fernand Leger. Though each artist worked during a time when Post-Impressionism was popular, these three artists decided to find their own style. “Picasso, Braque, and  Léger” includes prints by each artist. 

Mandeville Gallery at Union College 
“A Decolonial Atlas: Strategies in Contemporary Art of the Americas” – opens January 19
This exhibit brings together works by artists in the United States and from Latin America that are grappling with the ideas of colonialism and postcolonialism. Using film, along with painting, photography, sculpture and works on paper, the exhibit will explore place, identity and other themes to create an alternate narrative on decolonization. 

Massachusetts Museum of Modern Art 
“Rafa Esparza: Staring at the Sun”  – Opens January 19
Artist Rafa Esparza will be redesigning part of MASS MoCA out of adobe bricks, a building material that holds creative, cultural and personal meaning. Esparza learned the labor-intensive process of making adobe bricks when his father was making them to build the family home in Mexico. This month the artist will use the bricks to “brown” a section of the museum’s typically white walls. 

“Suffering from Realness” – Opens April 13
This title is drawn from a song recorded by a recent visitor, namely Kanye West. Curated by Denise Markonish, “Suffering from Realness” explores the human condition, as well as racism, gender inequality, the complex idea of responsibility and the power of collective action. 

Norman Rockwell Museum 
“The Art and Wit of Rube Goldberg” – opens March 19
The creator of the “Rube Goldberg Machine” was also a popular cartoonist during his lifetime and it was actually through his cartoons that his “machines” came to life. The idea of creating an incredibly complex machine to accomplish a simple task has been used in numerous cartoons, movies, and videos posted on various social media platforms over the years. This exhibit brings together his comical and political cartoons. 

“Norman Rockwell: Private Moments for the Masses” – opens June 8
Using Rockwell’s illustrations and covers for various American publications, this exhibit will examine the biographical elements that played a role in the artist’s work. Rockwell’s eldest son, Jarvis, once said that it felt as though the family felt that they were “living out the cover of a ‘Saturday Evening Post.’” Candid photographs, correspondence, datebook diaries, as well as iconic covers will be on display. 
Opalka Gallery
“In Place of Now” – opens February 12
This exhibition takes on the idea of “otherness” by bringing together artists both established and emerging, whose work deals with politically subversive acts. Afrofuturism is a common thread in the show, curated by writer/scholar Rone Shavers and Opalka Director Judie Gilmore. The exhibit incorporates works by Shani Crowe, Wayne Hodge, Renée Cox, Krista Franklin and others.    

Tang Teaching Museum
“Like Sugar” – opens February 9
The saccharine substance has a long and problematic history, from slavery to food injustice, and so much in between. This exhibit takes a deep dive into sugar production and consumption, using works by contemporary artists as well as historical materials. 

“The Second Buddha: Master of Time” – opens February 9 
Tibetan scroll paintings, sculpture, textiles and manuscripts dating back to the 13th through the 19th centuries come together in this exhibit. It explores how the Buddhist master Padmasambhava, who is believed to have brought Buddhism to Tibet, has been represented throughout history. 

University at Albany
“we are here”  – opens February 1
Sculptural work by Nicole Cherubini has always sought to challenge both conventions and expectations. Cherubini blends clay and integrating platforms, frames, fiberboard and found objects to create her sculptures. They’ll be on display until April 6. 

“Carrie Schneider: Rapt” – opens February 1
Inspired by “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” (Linda Nochlin, 1972), artist Carrie Schneider spent two years capturing female-identifying people reading texts of their choice. The exhibit includes works from that time period, as well as large-scale black and white works. 

Categories: Art, Entertainment

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