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Theater of the Mind 
Exhibition Dates:  November 23, 2014 – March 29, 2015
ArtMembers’ Opening Reception:  Saturday, November 22, 2014


Anthony McCall. You and I, Horizontal (2005). Installation view at Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, France, 2006. Photograph by Blaise Adilon. © Anthony McCall. Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York.

Theater of the Mind sets its scene in the imagination with artworks that conjure time-based dramaturgies that play out in the mind and entice speculative thinking.  The term “theater of the mind” is used to describe a strategy of self-hypnosis in which one visualizes themself as an actor projected on a screen, thereby simultaneously becoming the protagonist and the audience.  Similarly, the artists and designers in the exhibition each have created works that are actualized in the viewer’s imagination and produce narratives that are not tangibly visible, yet lucid and vibrant.

The exhibition includes seminal artworks by Bruce Nauman, Roni Horn, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Anthony McCall, the British design collective Dunne & Raby/Michael Anastassiades, among others.  Theater of the Mind also features new work by Marcelline Delbecq, Marcos Luytens, and Adam Lee Miller, as well as an ambitious site-specific commission by Finnish artist Hans Rosenström, who will create an immersive sound installation based on personal and archival research at Cranbrook.

Theater of the Mind was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Laura Mott, Curator of Contemporary Art and Design.  Cranbrook Art Museum is supported, in part, by its membership organization, ArtMembers@Cranbrook; the Museum Committee of Cranbrook Art Museum; and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

The Cranbrook Hall of Wonders: Artworks, Objects, and Natural Curiosities
Exhibition Dates:  November 23, 2014 – March 29, 2015
ArtMembers’ Opening Reception:  Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bridget Riley, Ch'i-Yün, 1974; Leopardus pardalis (Ocelot), mid-twentieth century; Wharton Esherick, Spiral Three-Step Ladder, 1966; Coracias garrulus (European Roller), early twentieth century; Fluorite crystal; Confronted Najas (Cobras), early twentieth century. Photo by PD Rearick.

The Cranbrook Hall of Wonders draws its inspiration from the precursor to the modern museum: the “Cabinet of Curiosities” or “Wunderkammer,” a sixteenth-century collecting and display technique in which art, ornate functional objects, natural oddities, and anthropological discoveries co-existed together as a microcosm of knowledge. This contemporary interpretation is a floor-to-ceiling installation featuring Cranbrook Art Museum’s preeminent collection of artworks, design, and craft objects from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, exhibited alongside cultural properties from Cranbrook’s historic campus, and inspired selections from the vast holdings of Cranbrook Institute of Science. From the sculpture of Claes Oldenburg to antique navigational tools; from Arts and Crafts pottery to butterfly specimen cases, the Hall of Wonders combines seemingly disparate objects to explore new avenues of display and context, shaping compelling vignettes that—in the spirit of its Renaissance-era predecessors—seek to captivate, provoke, and amaze.

Throughout the duration of the show, invited artists and scholars will create performances or new exhibitions-within-the-exhibition in response to the installation. Items will be extracted and placed in unexpected new settings with outside objects of equal fascination, thereby welcoming continuous acts of reconsideration and curiosity. 

The Cranbrook Hall of Wonders: Artworks, Objects, and Natural Curiosities was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Laura Mott, Curator of Contemporary Art and Design, and Shelley Selim, 2013–2015 Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow. The exhibition was designed by Mark Baker, Head Preparator and Exhibition Designer.  Cranbrook Art Museum is supported, in part, by its membership organization, ArtMembers@Cranbrook; the Museum Committee of Cranbrook Art Museum; and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

 

Iris Eichenberg: Bend
Exhibition Dates:  November 23, 2014 – January 25, 2015
ArtMembers’ Opening Reception:  Saturday, November 22, 2014


Courtesy of the Artist

Bend is a solo exhibition by contemporary jewelry artist Iris Eichenberg, Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Metalsmithing Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art.  As a point of departure, Eichenberg revisited her artistic practice, which is renowned for its diverse collections and challenges to the definitions of craft and jewelry; the result is an unconventional retrospective of her twenty-five-year career told through a body of new work. Decades in the making, this exhibition is an introspective look at the alchemic process of creation and the artist’s life-long research into the behavior of materials. 

The exhibition’s title, Bend, speaks to the language of the body and the artist’s material choices—gold, brass, rusted steel, textile, and mirrored glass—as well as Eichenberg’s circuitous path as a jewelry artist.   Eichenberg has described her process as “drawing in materials” and for this exhibition she has sketched on a more monumental scale.  The exhibition features life-size enlargements of work the artist previously executed though the jewelry-making process, thereby becoming sculptural anomalies that enact the body and ornament at the same time.

Kinetic sensibilities and movement is integral to the work.  While some objects literally expand and collapse with the assistance of rotating motors, others simply anticipate action like a musical instrument without its sound.  Every object she creates denotes the action of a verb similar to the way the body is not understood until it moves: an elbow, for instance, is a thing but its ‘elbowness’ is dependent on its ability to bend.  Eichenberg’s years of experimentation with heat, gravity, malleability, and surface inform these character studies of materials and create portraits of both their potential and limits, while at the same time expanding our understanding of their relationship to the human form and temperament. 

Iris Eichenberg graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, where she later became head of the Jewelry Department.  Since 2007, she has been the Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Metalsmithing Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art.  Her work is represented in numerous national and international museum collections including the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the Schmuck Museum in Pforzheim, Germany; the Fondation National d’Art Contemporain in Paris; The Röhsska Museum in Gothenburg, Sweden; the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina; and the Rotasa Foundation in Mill Valley, California.

Iris Eichenberg: Bend was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Laura Mott, Curator of Contemporary Art and Design.  Cranbrook Art Museum is supported, in part, by its membership organization, ArtMembers@Cranbrook; the Museum Committee of Cranbrook Art Museum; and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. 


MR. MDWST – A REAL GOOD TIME by BEVERLY FRE$H
Exhibition Dates:  February 7 – March 22, 2015
Art Members’ Opening Reception:  Friday, February 6

MR. MDWST (a truncation of Mister Midwest) is a continuation of the adventures of Beverly Fre$h—a stylized autobiographical character that doubles as an artist persona and stage name for Zack Ostrowski.   Like a postmodern tale of the picaresque, Fre$h has traveled extensively over the last two years on a quest to understand, reconfigure, and interrupt the social constructs and cultural rituals of the rural Midwest.  He created impromptu, site-oriented performances alone and with strangers at carnivals, country fairs, front yards, and back roads, which were recorded for a documentary titled The Outskirts (2014).   This exhibition presents a series of new works inspired by his performative research in the region and features four character tropes he met during his travels: The Badass, The Innocent, The Professional, and The Seeker. 

Zack Ostrowski is a contemporary artist and musician raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently lives and work in Chicago, Illinois.  He has a BFA in Graphic Design/Interactive Media from the College for Creative Studies and an MFA from the 2D Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he was the 2009 recipient of the Daimler AG Emerging Artist Award.  He is an Assistant Professor and Area Head of Graphic Art at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. He has exhibited and performed throughout the United States and internationally, including China, Japan, Peru, Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, and Germany.

Mr. Mdwst – A Real Good Time by Beverly Fre$H was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Laura Mott, Curator of Contemporary Art and Design.  The exhibition is part of an ongoing series that presents the work of vibrant emerging and mid-career contemporary artists with a special focus on graduates of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Detroit-based artists.  Cranbrook Art Museum is supported, in part, by its membership organization, ArtMembers@Cranbrook; the Museum Committee of Cranbrook Art Museum; and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia
Exhibition Dates:  March 14 – October 11, 2015
Art Members’ Opening Reception:  Friday, March 13, 2015

Former Cranbrook Academy of Art student and metalsmithing instructor Harry Bertoia (1915–1978) has received international acclaim for his metal furniture and sculpture, but his exploration of the medium originated in jewelry design. Out of the hundreds of jewelry works attributed to Bertoia, the majority was produced during his years at Cranbrook, offering an early glimpse of a creative vision that would crystallize as his career matured.  The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia examines the artist’s experimentations with form, dimension, and fabrication on a concentrated and bankable scale—establishing Bertoia as a pioneer of the American Studio Jewelry movement and a master of elevating fashionable adornment to objet l’art.

The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Shelley Selim, the Art Museum’s 2013-2015 Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow.  Cranbrook Art Museum is supported, in part, by its membership organization, ArtMembers@Cranbrook; the Museum Committee of Cranbrook Art Museum; and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. 


2015 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art
Exhibition Dates: April 19 – May 10, 2015
Opening Reception:  Saturday, April 18, 2015, 6-8pm

 

Nick Cave: Here Hear
Exhibition Dates:  June 20 – October 11, 2015
Art Members’ Opening Reception:  Friday, June 19, 2015


Photo by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the Artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

African-American artist Nick Cave is famed for his embellished costumes titled Soundsuits staged in public spectacle. The artist conceives some as fragile sculptural totems, and others as wearable costumes designed for sound, mobility, and dance. Though influenced by a vibrant palette of African art, armor, found objects, fashion, and textile design, the origin of the Soundsuit is rooted in social critique.  Cave first created a suit in the aftermath of the Rodney King beating in 1991, envisioning an emotional shield that protected one’s race or gender while still expressing individuality.  As Cave’s artwork began to resonate with vast audiences, the artist saw the Soundsuits as powerful agents to capture the public imagination on a monumental scale. Cave’s artistic practice now advocates the vital importance of collective dreaming, which he actualizes through large-scale performance.

The vision for the exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum includes collections of sculptural Soundsuits and new artworks arranged in dynamic vignettes throughout the galleries.  The North Gallery will feature a new wall-based tapestry and nine Soundsuits created specifically for Here Hear.  In an additional gallery, a Map in Action room will display the wearable Soundsuits that will come and go for a performance series in locations throughout the city of Detroit.  Videos of the performances will be added to the room throughout the duration of the show, thereby becoming a living document of the entire project. 

Nick Cave: Here Hear was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Laura Mott, Curator of Contemporary Art and Design.  Cranbrook Art Museum is supported, in part, by its membership organization, ArtMembers@Cranbrook; the Museum Committee of Cranbrook Art Museum; and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

 

 

Future Exhibitions