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 
Exhibition Dates:  November 23, 2014 – March 29, 2015

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 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. 


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: Artworks, Objects, and Natural Curiosities
Exhibition Dates:  November 23, 2014 – March 22, 2015

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 to Arts and Crafts pottery, 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. As part of the series, new contexts will be created with the addition of contemporary artworks of equal fascination, thereby welcoming continuous acts of reconsideration and curiosity within the exhibition. The schedule includes:

Sunday, December 14, 2014, 4pm:  Exhibition by artist Marie T. Hermann (Detroit) and mass-hypnotism performed by artist Marcos Lutyens (Los Angeles)

As part of the "Acts of Curiosity," ceramicist Marie T. Hermann presents a new installation in response to The Cranbrook Hall of Wonders. Her stunning display consists of plaster cast shadows of every object in the exhibition based on a ratio found in Joseph Alber’s Homage to the Square (1967). Her exhibition will remain on display through March 22.

Marie T. Hermann is originally from Copenhagen, Denmark and now works in Detroit. She received an MFA from the Royal College of Art in London. She has exhibited internationally, and her work is represented in numerous collections including the Sèvres Museum in France and the Jingdezhen Ceramics Museum in China.

Artist Marcos Lutyens will conduct a mass hypnotism revolving around The Cranbrook Hall of Wonders exhibition. The performance will turn the viewer into a kind of living collection that undergoes the stages of search and acquisition.

Marcos Lutyens is based in Los Angeles and in Europe. Lutyens has exhibited internationally, including 340 performances at dOCUMENTA(13) as well as with many other institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Royal Academy, the National Art Museum of China, and PS1, New York. Currently he is undertaking a creative role as part of the curatorial team for the 14th Istanbul Biennial.

Thursday, January 29, 2015, 6pm:  Exhibition by designer Jack Craig (Detroit) and lecture on the history of the Wunderkammer by Jennifer Nelson (Ann Arbor), Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Michigan

Friday, February 6, 2015, 6-8pm: Exhibition by sculptor Patrick Hill (Detroit)

Friday, March 6, 2015, 7pm: Performance by dancer Biba Bell (Detroit) with musician Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (New York)

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. 

Warhol On Vinyl: The Record Covers, 1949-1987+
Public Exhibition Dates: June 21, 2014 – March 15, 2015

Andy Warhol envisioned the record cover as a means to popularize his name as an artist and, once he reached iconic status in the 1960s, used it to directly impact popular culture. Designed to be collected by the masses, the records—numbering more than fifty— reinforce his maxim “repetition adds up to reputation.” While only a fortunate few own a Warhol painting, millions own his design for Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers.

The exhibition is drawn from the Cranbrook Art Museum’s preeminent collection of record covers by Andy Warhol, a recent gift by Frank M. Edwards and Ann M. Williams, and premieres three recently discovered covers that have never before been exhibited, including a cover recently discovered last year. Cranbrook has also been loaned a copy of the one-of-a-kind "Night Beat" album cover, making this the most comprehensive exhibition of authenticated record covers to date.  The album covers range from the extremely rare to the widely recognizable; together they offer a unique lens to survey the artist’s career from a young graphic designer to a cultural phenomenon. At the same time, the exhibition documents the history of the mass-produced vinyl record and the zeitgeist of these eras through the inclusion of music, video and artworks from the Art Museum’s extensive Andy Warhol collection.  Listening booths in the gallery will allow viewers to play select albums, thereby producing an experience between the cover art and the music—rock, classical, opera, jazz, soul, experimental—the way Warhol intended.  The exhibition also includes album covers by other musicians that have controversially appropriated Warhol’s imagery and testify to his influence on subsequent generations.

The world-premiere presentation of Warhol on Vinyl: The Record Covers, 1949 – 1987+ was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Curator of Contemporary Art and Design Laura Mott.  The exhibition is sponsored by the Jeanne and Ralph Graham Exhibition Fund and the Clannad Foundation.


Cranbrook Goes to the Movies: Films and Their Objects, 1925-1975
Public Exhibition Dates: June 21, 2014 – February 22, 2015

Cranbrook and the camera grew up together. In the 1920s, as George and Ellen Booth were realizing their dream of a community dedicated to art, science, and education, amateur filmmaking flourished as a newly affordable hobby. These two historical trajectories—that of an educational community and of a medium that has shaped the cultural experience of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries—intersect in Cranbrook Goes to the Movies.

The vintage films featured in this exhibition bring the diverse history of Cranbrook’s campus alive in a way never before experienced; through the actual people and objects that populated it. Archival film can feel distant, a relic of days past, and historic objects are too often divorced from their time period and their context. Cranbrook Goes to the Movies reunites the material with the ephemeral, giving physical presence to the vintage films that document life at Cranbrook and placing some of Cranbrook’s treasures in their historic context. An immersive experience, Cranbrook Goes to the Movies provides an avenue into Cranbrook’s past built not on dry text and static images but on the vitality and movements of the people who lived it.

Cranbrook Goes to the Movies: Films and Their Objects, 1925-1975 is 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.


Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawings 790A and 790B: Irregular Alternating Color Bands
Exhibition Dates: Ongoing
Hartmann Gallery

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.


Current Exhibitions