Jun Kaneko: Blurred Lines, and more at Akron Art Museum
Jun Kaneko: Blurred Lines
Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries
February 17–May 27
Undoubtedly one of the most acclaimed artists working in contemporary ceramics today, Jun Kaneko has spent decades pushing the boundaries of ceramics, sculpture, painting, the abstract and the figural, and has repeatedly blurred the lines that have traditionally separated the world of fine art and craft. Jun Kaneko: Blurred Lines, opening on February 17, presents an impressive array of the artist’s monumental works, while providing insight into his thinking and artistic process. Blurred Lines features Kaneko’s drawings, paintings, and his signature ceramic “dangos,” as well as several large-scale ceramic sculptural heads, and a site-specific installation of his 65-foot-long painting, Mirage.
Informed by early experiences in a Zen Garden at Ryōan-ji, Kaneko’s work contains ongoing references to rhythm and pattern, and to sound and silence. His artworks are often covered with stripes, simple geometric shapes, and spirals and dots, suggesting themes of light and darkness, mass and space, and present and past. Central to Kaneko’s artistic exploration is a sense of play and experimentation, which drives his restless creativity. His large-scale hand-built ceramic sculptures—both dangos and heads—often exceed seven feet in height, weigh thousands of pounds, and represent feats of innovative engineering. Blurred Lines presents Kaneko’s creation of limitless open space for the mind of the viewer to inhabit and experience art that is simultaneously simple and complex, finite yet ineffable.
Jun Kaneko: Blurred Lines is organized by the Akron Art Museum and supported by funds from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council. Media sponsorship by ideastream®.
Alchemy: Transformations in Gold
Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries
Through January 21
Timelessly glamorous and sought-after, gold embodies complicated politics and potent symbolism. The 16 international artists featured in Alchemy utilize this rare element in diverse ways in their artwork, ranging from exploring the intersection of art and science to personal narrative and social commentary. Dramatically spotlighted against black walls, the artworks in Alchemy shimmer as they offer both dark and light views of civilization’s obsession with this precious metal.
During the exhibition, Brooklyn-based artist Rachel Sussman will complete a site-specific project inspired by the Japanese tradition of kintsukuroi, in which broken ceramics are repaired with gold. Rather than disguise cracks and breakage, kintsukuroi honors the repair as part of an object’s history. During the first week of November, Sussman will “repair” several cracks in the museum’s concrete lobby floor with a mixture of tree sap-based resin, bronze dust and 23.5 carat gold. This artwork will remain part of the museum’s floor for years to come. Alchemy features 12 works from Sussman’s Sidewalk Kintsukuroi series, in which the artist hand-paints enamel and metallic dust on the surface of her photographs of cracks in roads, parking lots and sidewalks.
Alchemy: Transformations in Gold is organized by the Des Moines Art Center. Its presentation in Akron is supported by the Ohio Arts Council, Akron Community Foundation and the Hilton Garden Inn–Akron. Media sponsorship by ideastream®.
Micro/Macro: Views of Earth by Marilyn Bridges and Jeannette Klute
Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Gallery
Through March 11
The pairing of works by two technically masterful photographers, Micro/Macro calls attention to the role of perspective in our understanding of familiar subjects. Jeannette Klute used her large-format camera to capture the essence of intimate experiences of nature. Her vividly colored images translate patterns, textures and hues found in the micro-environments of New England tidepools and forest floors. Marilyn Bridges, by contrast, explores global historical sites from several hundred feet above the ground, photographing from the macro-level viewpoint of a small airplane. Her black and white images highlight traces left on the Earth by ancient and modern humans, from pyramids to ocean shores. Both artists aim to increase our awareness of human connections—to each other, our planet, and the history and future shared by all life on Earth. Micro/Macro draws out visual similarities between works by Klute and Bridges while contrasting their approaches to photographing the landscape.
Micro/Macro is organized by the Akron Art Museum and supported by funding from the Ohio Arts Council.
Ed Emberley: Better You Than Me
Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation Gallery
January 11–July 15
Using simple shapes and lines, beloved illustrator and picture book artist Ed Emberley has created enchanting worlds for generations of young people, while also giving them the tools to create worlds of their own. Ed Emberley: Better You Than Me opens on January 11, and includes an array of dazzling artwork from the artist’s personal archive of sketches, woodblock prints, mock-ups, and first-edition books.
Emberley’s drawing books empowered countless children to create by utilizing simple shapes and step-by-step techniques to make elaborate characters and scenes. In addition to his inventive drawing books, the artist is known for his Caldecott Medal-awarded 1967 picture book Drummer Hoff, and for his 1992 bestseller Go Away, Big Green Monster.
The exhibition will also feature a stylized reproduction of Emberley’s drawing and light table from his home studio, where visitors of all ages can try their hand at his diverse and playful art-making techniques.
Ed Emberley: Better You Than Me is organized by the Akron Art Museum and supported by a generous gift from the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation.
FIND A FACE | THROUGH DECEMBER 31 | The Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation Gallery
ALCHEMY: TRANSFORMATIONS IN GOLD | THROUGH JANUARY 21 | Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries
HEAVY METAL | THROUGH FEBRUARY 18 | Judith Bear Isroff Gallery
MICRO/MACRO | THROUGH MARCH 11 | Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Gallery
JUN KANEKO: BLURRED LINES | FEBRUARY 17 – MAY 27 | Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries
ED EMBERLEY: BETTER YOU THAN ME | JANUARY 11 – JULY 15 | Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation Gallery
Akron Art Museum
One South High Street
Akron, Ohio 44308
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