Self, Symbol, Surrogate: Artist Portraits from GRAM’s Collection

Photograph of two people looking at their reflection in a mirrorJess T. Dugan (American, b. 1986). Self-Portrait with Mom, 2011. Pigment print. Grand Rapids Art Museum, Museum Purchase, 2016.1a-b. ©Jess T. Dugan

Self, Symbol, Surrogate: Artist Portraits from GRAM’s Collection

March 23, 2019 – August 11, 2019

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Self, Symbol, Surrogate: Artist Portraits from GRAM’s Collection explores the many way artists engage in the tradition of portraiture, one of art’s oldest genres. The exhibition brings together iconic works and lesser known examples in the Museum’s collection to illustrate various approaches to portraiture from the 17th Century to today. Within the exhibition, works in a wide array of media are organized thematically. The thematic groupings address some of the numerous ways in which portraits function; some portraits record an individual’s status and wealth, while others document a more objective or critical view of history. Many artists use their intimate circle of family and friends as subjects, while others attempt to capture the genius or celebrity of extraordinary individuals. Some artists explore issues of identity through their own self-portraits and challenge the notion that a portrait should feature a face or figure at all.

Portraits can connect us to people whose lives are much different from our own and can reveal a range of human experiences. Portraits brought together around the theme of documentation demonstrate how portraiture can bear witness to people and life circumstances. More than this, these images can foster our empathy and awareness for those with whom we have little contact or even knowledge. Nicholas Nixon’s portraits of Joey Brandon, from the series People with AIDS, show the subject in close-up looking directly into the camera in order to facilitate a connection between the viewer and the subject. Nixon began this series in 1987, when HIV/AIDS was severely stigmatized, as a way for viewers to engage with someone they may not be able to otherwise.

Portraits connect us with their depicted subjects as well as with the artists who created them. In self-portraiture, artist and subject are one in the same, giving the viewer insight into the artists’ own self-image. An etched self-portrait by Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-Portrait Drawing at a Window (1648), is included in a section dedicated to artist self-portraits. Rembrandt was an extremely prolific self-portraitist for his time, creating nearly 100 images of himself. His impulse for self-reflection and revelation continues today in the work of artists who make self-portraits in which they explore their feelings and psychological states. One example is Mee Kyung Shim, who depicts herself rising from the water for a breath of air–a metaphor for her experience acclimatizing to American culture after relocating from Korea.

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A Legacy of Love: Selections from The Mabel Perkins Collection

Black and white lithograph of resting tigerEugène Delacroix (French, 1798–1863) Tigre Royale, 1829. Lithograph on off-white laid paper, 12.8 x 18.25 inches. Grand Rapids Art Museum, Gift of Mabel H. Perkins, 1956.2.142.

A Legacy of Love: Selections from The Mabel Perkins Collection

January 26, 2019 – April 28, 2019

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During her lifetime, Mabel H. Perkins (1880-1974) was a renowned art collector and one of the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s greatest champions and supporters. Her love of art and an astute eye led her to assemble a remarkable collection of both artistic masters as well as excellent works by lesser known artists of her time. Perkins’ passion for art and for the people of Grand Rapids led her to donate more than 300 prints to the Museum over twenty-five years. This exhibition includes highlights from that gift, which are among some of the finest works in the museum’s collection. Among the artists on view are Albrecht Dürer, Édouard Manet, Mary Cassatt, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Yves Tanguy, and Jasper Johns.

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Maya Lin: Art and Environment

Installation by Maya Lin in a gallery of wood cut to look like wavesMaya Lin (American, b. 1959). Blue Lake Pass (detail), 2006. Duraflake particleboard, installation dimensions variable. Photograph by G.R. Christmas. © Maya Lin Studio, courtesy Pace Gallery.

Maya Lin: Art and Environment

May 18, 2019 – September 1, 2019

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GRAM is pleased to announce a summer of 2019 exhibition featuring the work of renowned artist, architect, and designer Maya Lin. Organized by GRAM in collaboration with Lin’s studio, the exhibition focuses on large-scale sculpture that demonstrates Lin’s fascination with water as a subject. Created in materials such as silver, carved and polished marble, steel, and building materials, Lin’s work is conceived through the meticulous use of charting, mapping, and scientific research in determining each sculpture’s ultimate design, layout, and structure.

The timeliness of this exhibition is twofold. The focus on water and the environment is relevant now more than ever, and Lin’s compelling artworks will help raise environmental awareness and challenge visitors to ponder humanity’s relationship with the natural world. The exhibition also celebrates the approaching 20th anniversary of Maya Lin’s Ecliptic, which transformed downtown Grand Rapids’ Rosa Parks Circle into a central gathering space that has evolved into the heart of the city. Over 700,000 people visit this dramatic park and public work of art each year, enjoying ice-skating, concerts, festivals, and other community events. Inspired by the Grand River from which the city is named after, Ecliptic reflects Lin’s interpretation of the three forms of water —liquid, solid, and vapor—through the park’s ice rink and amphitheater, mist fountain, and tablet of flowing water.

“I’ve always been fixated on water,” says Lin. “Maybe it’s because it exists in multiple states, and you can never understand it in nature as a fixed moment in time.”

Maya Lin interprets the natural world through science, culture, history, and contemporary issues, and has created internationally renowned works of art and architecture over the past four decades. Lin designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as an undergraduate student at Yale, and later went on to design significant works including the Civil Rights Memorial in Alabama, the Women’s Table at Yale, and The Wave Field at the University of Michigan. Much of her body of work centers on the natural landscape and combines art and architecture. Lin’s work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions at museums worldwide, and is found in permanent collections of major institutions such as the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, among others.

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Art in Bloom

A floral arrangement inside of the art gallery 

Art in Bloom

March 22, 2019 – March 24, 2019

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Art in Bloom will return this spring for a bi-annual one-weekend-only exhibition that celebrates the combined beauty of art and floral design. Visitors will be invited to tour the galleries and enjoy extravagant floral sculptures inspired by works from the Museum’s permanent collection created by some of the region’s most talented floral designers. These floral sculptures emphasize, challenge and build upon elements and concepts within the original work of art, creating an extraordinary dialogue between two pieces.

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A Decade at the Center: Recent Gifts and Acquisitions

 

Dawoud Bey (American, b. 1953) Two Women at a Parade, 1978 (2011 print), gelatin silver photograph, 8 x 11 7/8 inches. Grand Rapids Art Museum, Museum Purchase, 2018.21. © Dawoud Bey, Courtesy of Stephen Daiter Gallery

 

Lilla Cabot Perry (American, 1848–1933) In the Studio, c. 1895. Oil on canvas, 25.75 x 32 inches. Grand Rapids Art Museum, Museum Purchase, James and Judy DeLapa, 2016.7

 

William E. Gundelfinger (1900–1976) KM 'Flatwork Ironer' Iron, Model no 444, 1939. Chromium-plated steel, Bakelite. Made by Knapp-Monarch Co., 5 x 7 3/8 x 7 3/4 inches. Photo by Shane Culpepper, Tulsa OK.

 

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (Iranian, b. 1924) Untitled, 1980, ink and pen on paper, 18 x 25 inches. Grand Rapids Art Museum, Gift of the Artist and Haines Gallery, 2018.12 ©Monir Farmanfarmaian

 

Janet Fish (American, b. 1938) Daffodils and Cereal, 1994, oil on canvas, 38 x 36 inches. Grand Rapids Art Museum, Gift of Miner S. and Mary Ann Keeler, 2017.1 © Janet Fish/VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

 

Salvador Jiménez-Flores (American, b. Mexico 1985) I Am Not Who You Think I Am/No soy quien crees que soy, 2014, ceramic and mixed media. Grand Rapids Art Museum, Museum Purchase, 2014.44-46 © Salvador Jiménez-Flores

 

Adonna Khare (American, b. 1980) Elephant Whirlpool, 2014, carbon pencil on paper, 96 x 72 inches. Grand Rapids Art Museum, Museum Purchase, with funds from Bill and Marilyn Crawford and the Artist, 2014.10 © Adonna Khare

 

Charles Garabedian (American, 1923–2016) Apotheosis, 1995-96, acrylic on canvas, 96 x 84 inches. Grand Rapids Art Museum, Gift of Lucille and Ron Neeley, 2018.16 ©Charles Garabedian

A Decade at the Center: Recent Gifts and Acquisitions

January 26, 2019 – April 28, 2019

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The Grand Rapids Art Museum closes out a yearlong celebration of the Museum’s first decade at 101 Monroe Center with an exhibition featuring gifts and acquisitions to the permanent collection from the last five years. The exhibition spans all areas in which GRAM collects, from 19th century paintings to contemporary art, mid-century modern furniture to vintage photography, and rare Renaissance engravings to historical design objects. The exhibition represents a broad spectrum of human creativity and innovation sure to spark the imagination. Nearly half of the works in the exhibition are on public view for the first time.

The exhibition comprises recent museum purchases, as well as gifts and promised gifts from numerous generous individuals and institutions. In some cases, these acquisitions expand the museum’s holding of works by particular artists, such as Mathis J. Alten, Andy Warhol, Richard Diebenkorn, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, and Alex Katz, or, introduce important artists new to the collection, including Oswaldo Vigas, Dawoud Bey, and Carrie Mae Weems. A pair of 15th century engravings by Martin Schongauer are the oldest works in the exhibition, promised gifts of Cate and Sid Jansma Jr., founders of GRAM’s extraordinary Jansma Print Collection. Notable new contemporary works will be on view as well, including a print by American artist Kara Walker in her recognizable silhouette-style, a promised gift from Martin and Enid Packard, important long-time supporters of GRAM.

GRAM’s commitment to exhibiting and collecting design and craft is illustrated by the inclusion of important works of furniture, ceramics, glass, and industrial design. This section of the exhibition features highlights from GRAM’s design collection dating from the early 19th century to the present. From chairs and lamps to tableware and electronics, these objects marry function and beauty and show the power design has to enhance our daily lives. On view for the first time are several pieces from a major new gift of over 100 design objects from one of the premier American collectors. This generous gift will greatly expand the museum’s design holdings and better tell the story of West Michigan’s rich history as a leading center of design and manufacturing.

With this exhibition, GRAM celebrates the crucial role of gifts in our ongoing effort to build one of the most notable collections in the American Midwest. Since the Museum’s inception in 1910, the generosity of our patrons has been crucial to building our permanent collection of over 6,000 objects.

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by:
Wege Foundation
James and Mary Nelson
Cate and Sid Jansma, Jr.
Dirk and June Hoffius
Greg and Meg Willit
Kurt and Madelon Hassberger
Haworth, Inc.

Additional funding is provided by the GRAM Exhibition Society.

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Adult Workshop: Introduction to Cyanotype

Hands developing a bright blue cyanotype in a water bath 

Adult Workshop: Introduction to Cyanotype

November 4, 2018, 12:30 PM-3:30 PM

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Bridging the world of photography and printmaking, the cyanotype is one of the earliest photographic methods. Join us on a tour of GRAM’s collection to discuss the relationship between photography and print. Then, you will explore the cyanotype process from start to finish. Beginning with how to mix and coat material with emulsion, you will finish by exposing various objects and materials to create a one-of-a-kind set of prints in the dark room.

Open to ages 18+. Registration is required. Space is limited to 30 participants, so reserve your spot today. For more information, contact GRAM Studio at 616.831.2927 or gramstudio@artmuseumgr.org.

New quantity discounts! If you register multiple people or for multiple workshops, you can receive quantity discounts. Receive $3 off each ticket when purchasing three tickets and $4 off each ticket when purchasing four or more.

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Dylan Miner: Water is Sacred // Trees are Relatives

Cyanotype photograph of cloudsDylan Miner (Métis, b. 1976). Cyanotype sample on fabric. Image courtesy of the Artist.

Dylan Miner: Water is Sacred // Trees are Relatives

October 27, 2018 – March 3, 2019

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East Lansing-based artist and activist Dylan Miner will debut new work created for his Michigan Artist Series exhibition at GRAM that will focus on the natural environment of West Michigan and its history. Miner is a Michigan native of Wiisaakodewinini (Métis) descent. In his current work about the history and culture of Anishnaabewaki, the Indigenous Great Lakes region, Miner explores the degradation of regional resources, capitalism, and colonialism as a way to shape awareness and create dialogue around these complex, intertwining issues. Miner imagines his artistic practice as creating new forms of contemporary Great Lakes regionalism, by focusing on the natural elements that make Michigan so unique and important.

In Water is Sacred // Trees are Relatives, Miner investigates the important historical and current issues around three primary natural elements: wood, water, and sky, and the traditional knowledge and beliefs around them within Great Lakes Indigenous cultures. For the exhibition, Miner will produce a series of large-scale cyanotype photographs on fabric that portray images of cloudy skies and water surfaces. For Miner, the blue color of the cyanotype process evokes water and sky, and also has symbolic correspondence to Michigan’s history around Indigenous issues of sovereignty. (The cyanotype process was first used in 1842, the year that the Treaty of LaPointe was signed, the last of the eight major treaties ceding land that is now Michigan.) Miner will also create site-specific sculptural elements for the exhibition from old growth timber and other arboreal materials.

The project also includes a series of workshops Miner has devised in collaboration with two younger Indigenous artists based in Grand Rapids, who will lead cyanotype-making workshops with West Michigan Indigenous youth at selected regional locales. These works produced by these youth, as well as Miner’s work in the exhibition, will be compiled in an accompanying artist’s book to be published by Issue Press of Grand Rapids. Both the youth workshops and upcoming publication are generously supported by Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

Miner has exhibited his work internationally in solo and group exhibitions and been artist-in-residence or visiting artist at institutions such as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, École supérieure des beaux-arts in Nantes, France, Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Rabbit Island, Santa Fe Art Institute, and numerous universities, art schools, and low-residency MFA programs. Miner is Director of American Indian and Indigenous Studies and Associate Professor in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University. He holds a PhD from The University of New Mexico and regularly publishes articles, book chapters, critical essays, and encyclopedia entries. In 2010, he was awarded an Artist Leadership Fellowship through the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution).

Lead support for this exhibition is generously provided by:

Barnes & Thornburg LLP

With additional support from:
Beusse & Porter Family Foundation
The Jury Foundation
Steelcase Inc.

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American Spectacle: Paintings from the Manoogian Collection

Thomas Moran (American, 1837–1926). The Great Cave, Pictured Rocks, Lake Superior, Michigan, 1873. Oil on canvas, 20 x 30 inches. Manoogian Collection.

American Spectacle: Paintings from the Manoogian Collection

June 8, 2018 – August 5, 2018

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From sweeping landscapes to still life paintings, the eleven works on view in this exhibition reveal a variety of ways artists struggled to define the nation. Painted between 1855 and 1936, these works depict images of American spectacle–dramatic moments, places, and events in U.S. history. The turn of the century was a time of immense change, which prompted artists to explore issues of American culture and identity, national memory, and the meaning of history and progress.

This exhibition has been organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts and made possible by the Richard and Jane Manoogian Collection. This exhibition and museum collaboration is made possible by Terra-Art Bridges, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art and Art Bridges, Inc. Generous support has been provided by the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation.

ArtPrize 10 at GRAM

 

 

Conrad Egyir

Conrad Egyir

The Labor of Love, 2018. Oil, and mounted plexiglass and wood on canvas. Triptych, each 102 x 84 inches. Courtesy of the Artist.

Vote Code: 68461

Sarah FitzSimons

Sarah FitzSimons

Pacific Quilt, 2018. Cotton fabrics, batting, and thread, 21 x 23 feet. Courtesy of the Artist.

Vote code: 67108

Scott Froschauer

Scott Froschauer

(American, b. 1969). How Far to NOW? from the series, The Word on the Street, 2018. Department of Transportation Specification Street Sign, 104 x 12 inches. Courtesy of the Artist.

Vote code: 68065

John Gutoskey

John Gutoskey

(American, b. 1962). PULSE Nightclub: 49 Elegies, 2016. 49 Monoprints, 28 x 20 inches each. Courtesy of the Artist.

Vote code: 68075

Saskia Jorda

Saskia Jorda

(American, b. Venezuela 1978). Cacerolazo, 2017. Pots, pans, kitchen implements, and yarn. Courtesy of the Artist.

Vote code: 68347

Nathaniel Lewis

Nathaniel Lewis

(American, b. 1981). Re:VOLVER, 2018 Aluminum and plastic, 13 x 13 x 3 feet. Courtesy of the Artist.

Vote code: 68343

William R. Mayer

William R. Mayer

(American, 1953-2017). Wall of Sound, 2015-2017. Mixed Media, 10 x 10 feet. Courtesy of the Estate of William R. Mayer.

Mark Newport

Mark Newport

(American, b. 1964). Redress 4, 2017. Embroidery on cotton, 36 x 33 inches. Courtesy of the Simone DeSousa Gallery, Detroit. Photo by Tim Thayer.

Vote Code: 68077

Mark Niskanen and Jani-Matti Salo

Mark Niskanen and Jani-Matti Salo

Mark Niskanen (Finnish, b. 1991) and Jani-Matti Solo (Finnish, b. 1984). No Names, 2016. Performance and installation. Image courtesy of the Artists.

Vote code: 67125

Lauren Strohacker and Kendra Sollars

Lauren Strohacker and Kendra Sollars

Lauren Strohacker (American, b. 1983) and Kendra Sollars (American, b. 1987). Animal Land, 2018. Digital Video Production. Courtesy of the Artists.

Vote code: 68404

ArtPrize 10 at GRAM

September 12, 2018 – October 14, 2018

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ArtPrize returns to GRAM this year with a diverse array of contemporary art in a broad spectrum of media. The Museum will exhibit the work of ten artists or artist pairs, hailing from Finland, Ghana, Venezuela, and the United States–including five based in Michigan. The exhibition will include work that takes advantage of GRAM’s dynamic architecture, beyond the gallery spaces alone, including large-scale nighttime projections on the building’s exterior. The exhibition also contains sculpture, painting, and interactive performance and installation works. The works on view tackle the subjects of public and private discourse, community engagement, and urgent social issues including hate crimes and environmental awareness.

GRAM is proud to host three projects which have been awarded ArtPrize Artist Seed Grants. Mark Niskanen and Jani-Matti Salo’s No Names, Lauren Strohacker and Kendra Sollars’ Animal Land, and Saskia Jorda’s Cacerolazo were awarded $2,000 in grants presented by the Frey Foundation.

More information about GRAM’s exhibition and participating artists can be found on the ArtPrize website.

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by:
Wege Foundation
Applause Catering + Events
Bank of America
Merrill Lynch
Eenhoorn, LLC.
James and Mary Nelson
Dirk and June Hoffius
Greg and Meg Willit
Boxed Water is Better
Robert Daverman, AIA / Grand Rapids Community Foundation
Gill
Jeff Gurney and Xuesi Li Gurney
Haworth, Inc.
Rothbury Farms
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market

In Kind
Holland Litho Printing Service
MADCAP Coffee Company

Show and Tell: GRAM Staff Selections from the Permanent Collection

A GRAM Staff member viewing a piece of furniture from the collection. 

Show and Tell: GRAM Staff Selections from the Permanent Collection

May 19, 2018 – September 12, 2018

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The Grand Rapids Art Museum employs over 60 individuals who work in a wide range of departments, from security and visitor services to education and facility management. Each staff member brings a different point of view to our organization and has a unique perspective on the artwork we display. For this exhibition, GRAM’s curatorial department asked staff members from across the museum to select works from the permanent collection that they felt a personal connection with. Selections might be by a staff member’s favorite artist, have a connection to a special memory, or be a tie to their cultural or ethnic background. Works on view will be accompanied by a label with information about each staff member and the reasons for their selection.