My Brain Is in My Inkstand: Drawing as Thinking and Process
November 16, 2013 – March 30, 2014
My Brain Is in My Inkstand: Drawing as Thinking and Process is an original exhibition debuting at Cranbrook Art Museum that brings together 22 artists from around the world to redefine the notion of drawing as a thinking process in the arts and sciences alike. Sketches on paper are the first materialized traces of an idea, but they are also an instrument that makes a meandering thought concrete.
Inspired by the accompanying exhibition The Islands of Benoît Mandelbrot, the exhibition uses multiple sources to show how drawings reveal the interdependency of mark making and thinking. It brings together artists and scientists, basketball coaches and skateboarders, biologists and Native American Indians to show how tracing lines is a prerequisite for all mental activity.
Featured artists include David Bowen, John Cage, Stanley A. Cain, Oron Catts, Benjamin Forster, Front Design, Nikolaus Gansterer, legendary basketball coach Phil Jackson, Patricia Johanson, Sol LeWitt, Mark Lombardi, Tony Orrico, Tristan Perich, Robin Rhode, Eero Saarinen, Ruth Adler Schnee, Carolee Schneemann, Chemi Rosado Seijo, Corrie Van Sice, Jorinde Voigt, Ionat Zurr, and many more. It will also integrate work from the collections of Cranbrook Institute of Science and the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
The title of the exhibition derives from a quotation by American philosopher, mathematician and scientist Charles Sanders Peirce, whose work involving the over- and under-laying of mathematical formulas with pictographic drawings will be presented for the first time.
Organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by independent curator Nina Samuel. Nina Samuel is a German art and science historian based in New York and Berlin. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalogue, published by Cranbrook Art Museum, and designed by Cranbrook Academy of Art Artist-in-Residence Elliott Earls.
Benoît Mandelbrot. Scribbled arrows showing the technique of magnifications of details. Computer-generated prints with scribbles. Collection Aliette Mandelbrot.
The Islands of Benoît Mandelbrot: Fractals, Chaos, and the Materiality of Thinking
November 16, 2013 – March 30, 2014
This exhibition has been organized by the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture, New York, and curated by Nina Samuel.
Focusing primarily on the work of Benoît Mandelbrot (1924–2010), one of the most notable mathematicians of the twentieth century, this exhibition explores the role of images in scientific thinking. With their capacity to generate and shape knowledge, images are at the very core of scientific investigation: charts, graphs, notebooks, instrument readings, technological representations, even mental abstractions--all make up the essential stuff of which ideas are made.
Featuring works on paper, photographs, objects, and films, the exhibition gives viewers a chance to take an inside look at the role images played in the making of the new world of scientific thought that became popularly known as fractal geometry and chaos theory, as exemplified in Benoît Mandelbrot’s Fractal Geometry of Nature (1982).
The Islands of Benoît Mandelbrot is accompanied by a catalogue published by Yale University Press.
Waylande Gregory, Water, 1938, from the Fountain of the Atom, New York World’s Fair, 1939. Collection of Cranbrook Art Museum, partial gift of Patricia Shaw. Photography by R. H. Hensleigh and Tim Thayer.
Waylande Gregory: Art Deco Ceramics and the Atomic Impulse
November 16, 2013 – March 23, 2014
Waylande Gregory (1905-1971) redefined American ceramics in the 1930s and 1940s, creating monumental ceramic sculptures and helping to shape Art Deco design in the United States. Featuring over 60 works by the artist, Waylande Gregory: Art Deco Ceramics and the Atomic Impulse highlights Gregory’s role as the chief designer and lead sculptor at Cowan Pottery from 1928 to 1932, his brief but influential tenure as Resident Ceramic Sculptor at Cranbrook’s Arts and Crafts Studios (the earliest iteration of Cranbrook Academy of Art), and his work with the Works Progress Administration, an experience that served as the foundation for his groundbreaking Fountain of the Atom at the New York World’s Fair in 1939.
With artwork from every stage of his career, the exhibition reunites sculptural pieces from the Fountain of the Atom, including Cranbrook Art Museum’s own Water sculpture. The staging of Waylande Gregory: Art Deco Ceramics at Cranbrook will include objects and archival material unique to Cranbrook and Gregory’s time at the institution.
Waylande Gregory: Art Deco Ceramics and the Atomic Impulse was organized and circulated by the University of Richmond Museums, Virginia, and curated by independent ceramics scholar Dr. Thomas C. Folk. Support for the presentation of the exhibition at Cranbrook has been provided by Mr. and Mrs. Martin Stogniew, an anonymous donor, Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan J. Belding, Mr. Francis J. Brady, Dr. Thomas C. Folk, Mr. Gerald Maschino and Mrs. Shirley Wynne Maschino, and Richard Rossello Fine Arts Advisory Services, Inc. The exhibition is accompanied by a new monograph on the work of Waylande Gregory, which is available for purchase at Cranbrook Art Museum.
Wallace Mitchell, Double Pennants, 1949, casein on watercolor board, 20 1/8 x 27 3/8 inches.
Gift of Joan and LeRoy Bence
What to Paint and Why: Modern Painters at Cranbrook, 1936 – 1974
Exhibition Dates: Through Sunday, March 16, 2014
At Cranbrook Academy of Art, fundamental questions about painting emerged during the midcentury through the productive tension between the styles of its early painting instructors: Zoltan Sepeshy, a figurative painter, and Wallace Mitchell, an abstractionist. This exhibition mines the dynamic contrast between these two foundational figures in Cranbrook’s history, tracing the effects of their legacy through their own work and that of their students—several of whom went on to careers of national renown.
What to Paint and Why was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Chad Alligood, 2012-2013 Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow. The exhibition is sponsored, in part, by The Clannad Foundation. The accompanying catalog is sponsored by Joan and Roy Bence; Sheri and Jonathan Boos; Jeffrey and Holly Mitchell; and Reuel Ruder, Rhine Ruder, and Rhea and Jim Sleeman.
A Driving Force: Cranbrook and the Car
Exhibition Dates: Through Sunday, March 30, 2014
A Driving Force: Cranbrook and the Car explores the ways in which Cranbrook has played a role in the automobile industry since the start of the twentieth century. Looking at figures such as automobile designer James Scripps Booth and Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate Suzanne Vanderbilt, the exhibition highlights how Cranbrook has helped to define the ultimate symbol of modern America: the car.
A Driving Force was organized by the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and curated by the Center’s 2012-2014 Collections Fellow Shoshana Resnikoff. The Center, which includes Cranbrook Archives, is supported, in part, by its Charter Patrons, the Towbes Foundation of Santa Barbara, California, and the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation.
From the Archives: Forging Cranbrook’s Gatescape
Exhibition Dates: Through March 16, 2014
Cranbrook has a rich history of gate design and fabrication, beginning with George Booth’s 19th-century work as a designer for Barnum Wire & Iron Works in Windsor, Ontario.
From peripheral entrance gates to interior ornamental gates executed in wood, wrought iron, cast iron and steel, over 80 gates have been installed on the campus. These gates—Cranbrook’s “gatescape”—are the focus of the second exhibition in the From the Archives series.
Forging Cranbrook’s Gatescape presents the historical and contemporary uses of gates, and explores the relationship between designer and fabricator, and how the gates of Cranbrook define space and create a visual bridge between the visitor and the architecture.
For more information, please click here.
Anders Ruhwald at Saarinen House: The Anatomy of a Home
Exhibition Dates: Through October 31, 2013
For tour dates and times, click here
For his first solo exhibition in Michigan, Danish ceramist Anders Ruhwald will present a series of “site-sensitive” installations in Saarinen House, the “total work of art” designed by the Finnish American architect Eliel Saarinen in 1930. Saarinen House, which Cranbrook Art Museum operates as a historic house museum, will provide the ideal backdrop for Ruhwald’s continued investigations into the nature of Modernism—specifically Scandinavian Modernism—and will serve to heighten the dialogue that his work promotes within the overlapping fields of art, craft, and design. Ruhwald serves as an Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Ceramics Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Although Ruhwald has presented other site-sensitive installations in Europe, his interventions into the domestic spaces of Saarinen House, from the iconic dining room to the private rear courtyard, will allow the artist to fully explore Modernism’s construction of the everyday, and what happens to that ideal when it is frozen in time in the fictive environment of a house museum. The exhibition will only be accessible through Cranbrook’s campus tour program, which necessarily means the experience will be mediated by an Art Museum staff member or a volunteer docent—further underlining the tension between the reconstructed historic environment and Ruhwald’s intervention.
The installation will also explore the interpersonal relationships of the Saarinen family, including the father-son dynamic of Eliel and Eero and the link between the two provided by the work of Alvar Aalto.
A full-color catalogue will accompany the exhibition, which is organized as a collaboration between Cranbrook Art Museum and the new Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Anders Ruhwald at Saarinen House was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum in association with the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and curated by Art Museum and Center Director Gregory Wittkopp. The accompanying catalog is sponsored by Jeanne and Ralph Graham and Danish Crafts. Cranbrook Art Museum receives funding from the Michigan Council for Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America
Exhibition Dates: June 14, 2013 - October 13, 2013
In Michigan, industry and design intertwined creating an epicenter of modern design. Michigan’s visionaries touched nearly every aspect of American life. Detroit’s automobile manufacturers didn’t just produce automobiles; they styled them to become synonymous with the American dream. The state’s furniture manufacturers didn’t just manufacture furniture; they revolutionized the look of the American office and home. Michigan architects Albert Kahn, Eero Saarinen, and Minoru Yamasaki didn’t just design buildings; they defined an era.
Michigan’s industry, prosperity, and educational institutions created a synergy that attracted the design talent that formed the foundation for modern American design. This exhibition celebrates Michigan’s outstanding contributions to Modern design and the stories of the people who made it happen. For more information about the Michigan Modern project, click here.
Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America is organized by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office in association with Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by MPdL Studio. A symposium celebrating Michigan Modern will be held at Cranbrook, June 13-16, 2013.
Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America is supported by the State Historic Preservation Office, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the Kresge Foundation, Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, DeRoy Testamentary Foundation, Alden B. Dow Home and Studio, the McGregor Fund, Herman Miller, Eleanor & Edsel Ford House, Knoll, Robert W. Daverman, AIA, the Detroit Art Deco Society, the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, and the Michigan History Foundation.
From the Archives: Teaching and Exhibiting Painting at Cranbrook, 1930-1970
Exhibition Dates: Friday, June 14, through Sunday, September 29, 2013
The Cranbrook Academy of Art painting department was instrumental in shaping the artistic lives of hundreds of students through graduate student studio work, public exhibitions, and youth programs. Drawing entirely from the collections of the Cranbrook Archives, this exhibition is comprised of selections of historic photographs, exhibition announcements and catalogs, press releases, and artists’ correspondence. Highlights include the role Cranbrook painters played in the New Deal arts programs in the 1930s and 1940s, creating numerous murals for public buildings throughout Michigan.
Teaching and Exhibiting Painting at Cranbrook was organized by the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and curated by Head Archivist Leslie S. Edwards. The Center, which includes Cranbrook Archives, is supported, in part, by its Charter Patrons, the Towbes Foundation of Santa Barbara, California, and the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation.
"2013 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art"
(Upper , Lower Galleries and Cranbrook Art Museum Ground)
Exhibition Dates: Through Sunday, May 12, 2013
What happens when emerging architects, artists, and designers get together and throw themselves a party? Find out at the “2013 Graduate Degree Exhibition,” one of the largest and most exciting exhibitions of art and design in the country, opening on April 21 at Cranbrook Art Museum.
The annual Degree Show of Cranbrook Academy of Art is the culmination of two years of studio work at the nation’s top-ranked independent graduate school of architecture, art and design. This is the same show that launched the careers of Florence Knoll, Harry Bertoia, Massamichi Udagawa, Anne Wilson, Hani Rashid, Nick Cave, Tony Matelli, Ed Fella, Lorraine Wild, Martin Venezky, Beth Katleman, Sonya Clark, and many more.
The exhibition takes place in almost 15,000 square feet of galleries at Cranbrook’s historic Eliel Saarinen designed Art Museum. The Museum has recently undergone a $22 million renovation and expansion that is creating one of the most significant exhibition and research facilities in the United States.
"From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America"
Through Saturday, March 30, 2013
Within the wanderlust embodied in Alec Soth’s photographs is an impulse to uncover narratives that comprise the American experience. "From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America," organized by the Minneapolis-based Walker Art Center, will open at Cranbrook Art Museum November 17, 2012, and run through March 30, 2013. It is the first major U.S. survey to explore the past 15 years of work by one of the most compelling voices in contemporary photography. While Soth’s practice has taken him throughout the world, the Cranbrook exhibition focuses specifically on his pictures made in the United States.
Featuring over 100 photographs, the presentation includes early black-and-white images of Minneapolis working-class taverns, as well as examples from his well-known series Sleeping by the Mississippi, NIAGARA, Fashion Magazine, The Last Days of W, Soth’s major new series, Broken Manual, as well as other bodies of work not exhibited until now. Soth will also debut a new body of work at Cranbrook that will be the result of a “road trip” the artist will be taking across Michigan in the weeks leading up to the presidential election in November.
Soth’s distinct perspective is one in which the act of wandering, the method of embracing serendipity when seeking out his subjects, and the process of telling are as resonant as the photographic record of his remarkable encounters. When considered together, these pictures probe the idiosyncrasies of people, objects and places he discovers on his journeys, and form an offbeat and absorbing portrait of the American experience.
"From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America" is organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and made possible by generous support from Carol and Judson Bemis, Jr., Marilyn and Larry Fields, Linda and Lawrence Perlman, and Geri and Dar Reedy.
"Soo Sunny Park: Vapor Slide"
Through Sunday, March 17, 2013
Also opening on November 17, 2012 and running through Sunday, March 17, 2013 is sculptor Soo Sunny Park’s large-scale installation SSVT (South Stafford, Vermont) Vapor Slide (2007). The exhibit combines quotidian materials – chain link fence, plastic cups, paper clips, river rocks – in imaginative ways, crafting a dazzling environment of ethereal light and space.
Park, a 2000 alumna of Cranbrook Academy of Art's Sculpture Department, created the work in response to the undulating, snowy hills of South Strafford, Vermont. The installation uses chain link fence, a conventional boundary demarcation, to fashion a space through which viewers move rather than as a method of impeding access. In doing so, SSVT (South Strafford, Vermont) Vapor Slide becomes a spellbinding meditation on the interstitial spaces we encounter every day and the myriad possibilities hidden within.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Soo Sunny Park moved to the United States of the age of eleven and grew up in Georgia and Florida. Before studying at Cranbrook, she received her BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio. She currently is a Professor of Studio Art at Dartmouth College and is preparing for a retrospective that will open at Rice University in Texas in April 2013, immediately after her installation closes at Cranbrook.
"Vision and Interpretation: Building Cranbrook, 1904–2012"
Exhibition Dates: Through, Sunday, March 24, 2013
"Vision and Interpretation: Building Cranbrook, 1904-2012" presents the architectural legacy of Cranbrook as an artistic narrative emerging from the visionary ideas of George Gough Booth. During the early 1900s, Booth’s vision was realized through collaborations with renowned architects and craftsmen, including Albert Kahn and Eliel Saarinen. More recently, the campus has been interpreted by contemporary designers offering contrasting and complementary projects on the National Historic Landmark site. "Vision and Interpretation" is a collaboration between Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Archives.
Architect | Writer | Designer | Teacher
Saturday, June 16 Through Sunday, October 14, 2012
George Nelson is considered one of the most influential figures in American design during the second half of the twentieth century. Operating from the western side of Michigan as Design Director at the Zeeland-based furniture manufacturer Herman Miller for more than twenty years, Nelson had his sights firmly focused on Cranbrook, which was also playing a defining role in the development of Modernism.
Organized by the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, George Nelson: Architect/ Writer/ Designer Teacher is the first comprehensive retrospective of Nelson’s work. It has been touring in Europe and most recently in the United States at the Bellevue Art Museum in Seattle. Cranbrook is the final stop in the US tour and the last opportunity to see this major exhibition before the work returns to Germany.
More than 120 three-dimensional objects including examples of chairs, benches, desks, cabinets, lamps, and clocks, as well as over 50 historical documents, such as drawings, photographs, architectural models, and films, form the core of the exhibition. Nelson was responsible for the production of numerous furnishings and interior designs that became modern classics, including the Coconut Chair (1956), the Marshmallow Sofa (1956), the Ball Clock (1947), the Bubble Lamps (1952 onwards).
George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher is an exhibition of the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany. The American tour of the exhibition has been generously sponsored by Herman Miller. Herman Miller also is the presenting sponsor of the exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum. Additional support for the exhibition at Cranbrook is provided by the Alden B. Dow Home & Studio. Promotion of the exhibition is supported by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.
2012 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art
Saturday April 21 Through Sunday, May 13, 2012
Cranbrook Academy of Art is delighted to present its annual exhibition of work by the 2012 class of Masters of Fine Arts and Masters of Architecture students in the newly renovated galleries of Cranbrook Art Museum. The Academy’s program is interdisciplinary in orientation, representing the crossing and merging of mediums as well as the investigation and use of content from diverse areas of thought. The exhibition of these 79 emerging artists reflects the culmination of their time spent at the Academy and ranges from painting and sculpture to video, photography and installation.
No Object is an Island: New Dialogues with the Cranbrook Collection
November 11, 2011 - March 25, 2012
No Object is an Island: New Dialogues with the Cranbrook Collection is the provocative exhibition that will reopen the expanded and renovated Cranbrook Art Museum at Cranbrook Academy of Art on November 11, 2011. Inside and around the landmark building, designed by renowned Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, the exhibition will pair the work of 50 leading contemporary artists and designers with an equal number of objects from Cranbrook's outstanding permanent collection of 20th- and 21st-century art and design. Visitors will discover a Nick Cave Soundsuit side-by-side with a tapestry by Arts and Crafts master May Morris. A conceptual partnership that Maarten Baas projects between himself and Marc Newson meets a very real early collaboration of Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames. And Whitney Biennalist Tony Mattelli's hyperrealist sculpture, The Hunter, faces off with one of fellow sculptor Kate Clark's ravishing taxidermy beasts with a human face. For the full release please click here.
Cranbrook for Alessi
March 3 - 25, 2012
Archives Reading Room (lower level gallery of Cranbrook Art Museum)
The exhibition "Cranbrook for Alessi," features prototypes created in a collaborative workshop initiated by the Italian design factory Alessi at Cranbrook Academy of Art. The 2009 workshop brought together artists and designers from the Academy’s Metalsmithing and 3D Design departments for a week of open-ended explorations of metal forms and techniques. The resulting prototypes are a mix of material studies, product proposals, and pre-production samples that demonstrate both the hands-on craft and cutting-edge design work. Alessi has approved four designs for the consumer market which will be launched in the latter half of 2012.
Workshop Leaders: Iris Eichenberg, Artist-in-Residence, Metalsmithing Department and Scott Klinker, Designer-in-Residence, 3D Design Department
Workshop Participants: Suzanne Beautyman, Richard Elaver, Patrick Gavin, Katie MacDonald, Jonathan Muecke, Seth Papac, Maria Phillips, David Schafer, Adam Shirley, and John Truex.
Special thanks to Alberto Alessi, Gloria Barcellini, and the entire Alessi team, as well as Quality Metal Craft of Livonia, Michigan for supporting this exhibition and workshop.