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.
View a live feed of Tristan Perich's Machine Drawing here.
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.
Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawings 790A and 790B: Irregular Alternating Color Bands
Exhibition Dates: Through March 2014
Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawings 790A and 790B: Irregular Alternating Color Bands (1995) fill the Hartmann Gallery with serpentine bands of bold color applied directly to the wall. A pioneer of Conceptual Art, LeWitt conceived his wall drawings as a medium through which he could explore the concept of serial permutation while mining the tension between art and architecture. Wall Drawings 790A and 790B, like most of LeWitt’s wall drawings, exist only for the duration of the exhibition before being destroyed, privileging the conception of the work over its physical manifestation and demonstrating the artist’s dictum that “The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.” Still, the physical form of the work retains an undeniable beauty: LeWitt’s sinuous line and fulsome color together serve as an arresting counterpoint to Eliel Saarinen’s airy interior space.