Akron Art Museum presents Specter, Choice, and Extended Moments
Charles Beneke: Specter
Specter is an installation that envelops visitors in a swirl of handprinted wallpaper, relief and monoprint prints. The work by Charles Beneke, Professor and Printmaking Area Coordinator at the University of Akron’s Mary Schiller Myers School of Art, offers pleasure in its lush surface decoration and a stark reminder of our penchant for excess and its impact.
In Specter, representational patterns of vegetation drawn from Dürer prints and the artist’s garden morph into abstract patterns which fan out over wall surfaces and into space. As they project from the wall, the elements amass in a figurative parallel of the human-made accumulation of carbon and greenhouse gas that endangers our planet. Irregularity yields to an ordered repetition that references both the direction of the prevailing winds in Northeast Ohio and diagrams charting rising levels of atmospheric carbon. As the form reaches a visual crescendo, it spirals onto itself with cyclonic, vortex-like force, snaking across the gallery. This sinister structure culminates in a dark void, spilling black paper carbon atoms across the floor.
Visitors to Specter are also encouraged to consider modifying their consumption patterns with Trade Your Carbon for Art, Beneke’s offer to take away a print in exchange for a promise to reduce their personal carbon footprint. In the Judith Bear Isroff Gallery August 1, 2015- January 3, 2016
Choice: Contemporary Art from the Akron Art Museum
Groundbreaking exhibitions for artists such as Julian Stanczak, and prescient purchases, including El Anatsui’s Dzesi II in 2006, have been instrumental in creating the Akron Art Museum’s outstanding contemporary art collection. This fall, a number of highlights from the collection, including works by Lee Bontecou, Al Held, and Christian Marclay as well as Julian Stanczak, Mathew Kolodziej, David Salle and El Anatsui, will travel to the Transformer Station.
The selection documents the museum’s sagacious purchases and collecting strategy that includes showcasing acquisitions by internationally recognized artists alongside important work by Northeast Ohio artists. The museum’s outstanding photography collection is represented by signature works by Sophie Calle, John Coplans, Lorna Simpson and Hiroshi Sugimoto. Choice is part of an expansive outreach initiative to share the Akron Art Museum collection with the Northeast Ohio community, while inviting Ohioans to enjoy modern and contemporary art in Akron’s masterpiece art museum building, engage in activities in its new public garden and explore meaningful art experiences in the community. At the Transformer Station, September 11 through December 6, 2015
Andrea Modica: Extended Moments
Extended Moments celebrates the work of Andrea Modica, a photographer noted for her meticulous craftsmanship and evocative narratives. Modica, who is the recipient of the Akron Art Museum’s 2015 Knight Purchase Award, teaches at Drexel University in Philadelphia and has received many honors for her work. The artist is noted for her use of traditional processes—an 8 x 10 inch view camera and platinum palladium contact printingto achieve lush tones and rich visual statements. Modica speaks about the physicality of the view camera and the set-up time required to operate it as necessitating her sustained attention, amplifying her understanding of her subjects. This quality is augmented by Modica’s practice of working in series, which have included explorations of skulls from a psychiatric hospital grounds, teenage best friends and Philadelphia Mummers.
Extended Moments focuses on photographs Modica has taken in Italy, where she has spent significant time. Images the artist has taken on repeated visits to that country represent a range of her interests—women and girls, youth friendships, landscape, still life and—more recently—horse hospitals. Modica’s photographs of Italy in Extended Moments are framed by images from series she has undertaken exploring the lives of families in upstate New York, owners of a slaughterhouse in Colorado, and Philadelphia Mummers. In the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Gallery October 10, 2015-February 21, 2016
Inside|Out is a community activated art project that brings thirty high quality reproductions of artwork from the Akron Art Museum’s collection into the neighborhoods and outdoor spaces around Akron. The framed images are placed in individual communities, often clustered within bicycling or walking distance, to enable residents to discover art in unexpected places. Working with community partners throughout the city, the art museum seeks to spark conversations about the art, provide opportunities for site-specific programming—such as bike tours, street festivals, and photo contests—and stimulate ideas and creativity through art. Inside|Out is modeled on a program that was originally implemented by the Detroit Institute of Arts and is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Inside|Out exhibition period for fall 2015 is August through October and includes the West Hill & Highland Square neighborhood, Cuyahoga Falls and The University of Akron & University Park. More information about Inside|Out can be found at AkronArtMuseum.org.
Exhibitions on view:
Staged: Through September 27
Proof: Photographs from the Collection: Through October 25
Charles Beneke: Specter: Through January 3, 2016
Wizards of Pop Pop Up Books: Opens September 24, 2015
NEO Geo: Opens November 21, 2015
Akron Art Museum
One South High Street
Akron, Ohio 44308