Akron Art Museum: Alchemy, and more


Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries

October 7, 2017 – January 21, 2018

Alchemy brings together a group of international artists whose work incorporates gold (or another metal disguised as gold). In each case, this precious material not only brings a sense of luxury to the work, but also ushers in connotations of the historic and cultural value various societies have placed on this rare element. As glamorous and sought-after as gold may be, it’s capable of suggesting complicated politics and potent symbolism. The works in Alchemy embrace both dark and light readings of this glittering metal.

Artists for Alchemy are at the forefront of contemporary practice. Teresa Margolles’ gilded fragment of a building destroyed in a catastrophic earthquake comments on commemoration and monuments of grief. Zarina constructs minimalist shapes in gold leaf, referencing architecture and contemplative spirituality. Danh Vo gilds cardboard refuse, reimagining a simple box as wall sculpture, with marks of use as well as golden reminders of Mexican history. Luis Gispert combines gold chains and glittering stone into sparkling abstractions, referencing the decadence of rock n roll culture as well as post-war abstract painting. Lalla Essaydi uses glittering bullet casings to create garments and backdrops that refer to Islamic visual culture, which she then works into large-scale staged photographs. Rachel Sussman will create a site-specific work for Alchemy, filling a crack in the floor with gold resin in homage to the Japanese tradition of Kintsukuroi, in which ceramics are repaired with gold. Related photographs by Sussman will also be in the exhibition.

Alchemy is organized by the Des Moines Art Center. Its presentation in Akron is supported by funding from the Ohio Arts Council.



Heavy Metal

Judith Bear Isroff Gallery

Through February 10, 2018

Metal is ubiquitous. We wear it, dwell inside structures built of it, and cook and eat with it. The development of civilization itself depended on our ancestors’ ability to craft metal tools and weapons, paving the way for advancements in agriculture, warfare, transportation and architecture. This substance, whether in pure element, alloy or compound form, has served as a mother lode of ideas and materials for artists for centuries.

Heavy Metal features artworks made of metal or materials disguised to resemble metal, as well as images of or about lustrous chemical elements. Exhibition artists exploit the key properties of their metal or metal-like materials, such as strength, ductility and plasticity, to develop innovative forms and imagery. Keenly aware of the connotations of their chosen medium, these artists address topics including race and gender equality, commerce, personal narrative and the proliferation of warfare, among others. Sometimes weighty, other times lighthearted, the themes expressed in Heavy Metal are articulated both through abstraction and realistic representation.

Heavy Metal is organized by the Akron Art Museum and supported by funding from the Ohio Arts Council.



Micro/Macro: Views of Earth by Marilyn Bridges and Jeannette Klute

Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Gallery

September 2, 2017 – March 11, 2018

Micro/Macro: Views of Earth by Marilyn Bridges and Jeannette Klute brings together the work of two photographers who chose Earth’s terrain as their subject matter. In juxtaposing intimate views of marine and woodland habitats with aerial views of sprawling landscapes, the exhibition highlights the relative nature of scale, its effect on our perception of familiar places, and the power of photography to shape our understanding of the world.

Color photographs by Jeannette Klute (1918–2009) comprise the micro aspect of this exhibition. Her close-up studies of forest vegetation, tide pools and small animals portray these subjects delicately and with detailed attention to light and texture. Using dye transfer printing process, her photographs flatten these micro-environments into watery, abstracted color compositions. Though not literally microscopic, her subjects appear as though under scientific observation.

Aerial photographs by Marilyn Bridges (b. 1948) provide a macro focus. In black and white landscape views captured from airplanes, Bridges emphasizes the tonality and overall form of familiar topographies. Her images provide an overhead perspective of large-scale natural and human-made features in and outside the United States.

Micro/Macro: Views of Earth by Marilyn Bridges and Jeannette Klute is organized by the Akron Art Museum and supported by funding from the Ohio Arts Council.

Find a Face

Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation Gallery

July 27 – December 31

Do you ever feel like your tea pot is staring at you? Does your bathroom faucet look like a nose? Maybe that electrical outlook is winking at you. There are faces to be found in the most unexpected places. In Find a Face, the museum invites visitors to find friendly faces in photographs, drawings, prints, and paintings from the collection. There are window eyes peeking out from the side of a house, a snow-covered nose on the hood of a car, and a toothy grin from an autumn pumpkin hidden in the artworks on view. You can also try your hand at making your own found-object face on a giant magnetic head using supplies like teaspoons, tools, and toys. Finally, you can cozy up with your friends and family while you flip through books featuring hidden faces captured by writers and artists. You’ll leave with a new eye for noticing the unseen expressions on the objects and images you see every day.

Find a Face 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 | Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation Gallery

ALCHEMY | OCTOBER 7 – JANUARY 21 | Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries

Reception Friday, October 6 | Members Preview 6:30pm | Open to All 7:30 – 9pm

HEAVY METAL | THROUGH FEBRUARY 18 | Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation Gallery

MICRO/MACRO | THROUGH MARCH 11 | Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Gallery

Events listings

October 6

Alchemy Opening Reception

Members Preview 6:30pm • Open to All 7:30 – 9pm


Akron Art Museum

One South High Street

Akron, Ohio 44308