David Wiesner & The Art of Wordless Storytelling

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David Wiesner (American, b. 1956). Fish Girl, 2016. Watercolor and ink line on paper, 9 x 13½ inches. Copyright ©2010 by David Wiesner.

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David Wiesner (American, b. 1956). Art & Max, 2010. Watercolor and acrylic on paper, 9½ x 12 inches. Copyright ©2010 by David Wiesner.

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David Wiesner (American, b. 1956). Art & Max, 2010. Watercolor, acrylic, and poster paint on paper, 13½ x 25¼ inches. Copyright ©2010 by David Wiesner.

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David Wiesner (American, b. 1956). Mr. Wuffles!, 2013. Watercolor and India ink on paper, 9 x 11 inches. Copyright ©2013 by David Wiesner.

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David Wiesner (American, b. 1956). Original design for National Poetry Week poster, 2001. Watercolor on paper, 21 x 14 inches.

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David Wiesner (American, b. 1956). The Three Pigs, 2001. Watercolor, India ink, gouache, and colored pencil on paper 9 x 22 inches. Copyright ©2001 by David Wiesner.

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David Wiesner (American, b. 1956). Tuesday, 1991. Watercolor on paper, 8½ x 20 inches. Copyright ©1991 by David Wiesner.

David Wiesner & The Art of Wordless Storytelling

October 26, 2019 – January 12, 2020

David Wiesner has enthralled readers for three decades, and his remarkable career is surveyed in this first-ever retrospective devoted to his art. The exhibition features 70 original watercolors from some of Wiesner’s most famous books, including three for which he won the prestigious Caldecott Medal: Tuesday (1992), The Three Pigs (2002), and Flotsam (2007). Also on view is work from Wiesner’s earliest artistic successes while still a student at the Rhode Island School of Design to his most recent book project—his first graphic novel, Fish Girl, published in 2017.

This exhibition has been organized by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Mirrors and Shadows: The Art of Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian and Anila Quayyum Agha

Anila Quayyum Agha (American, b. Pakistan 1965). Intersections, 2013. Laser-cut wood, 6.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 feet. Courtesy of the Artist.

Mirrors and Shadows: The Art of Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian and Anila Quayyum Agha

May 19, 2018 – August 26, 2018

This exhibition brings together, for the first time, the work of Anila Quayyum Agha (Pakistani-American) and Monir Farmanfarmaian (Iranian), both of whom create art that synthesize Islamic tradition and modern abstraction into objects of great beauty and depth. The two women have immersed themselves in the distinctive geometric forms and designs of traditional Islamic cultures, which are seen in architecture and ornamentation throughout the Islamic world. Farmanfarmaian and Agha are fluent, too, in the language of 20th century Western abstract art. With feet in two worlds, both deftly integrate their diverse modes and influences into uniquely personal art.

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian has an international reputation for sculpture and drawing that fuses traditional Persian patterns based in mathematics with the geometric abstract art she got to know while living in New York City in the 1960s. The artist’s primary materials¬–mirror and painted glass– were used extensively in traditional Persian architecture. Her work develops out of her interest in the serial progression of rectilinear forms, such as triangles, pentagons, and hexagons. Large sculptural reliefs with surfaces of cut mirror mosaic and reverse-glass painting form the core of the exhibition. Works in the Convertibles series are multipart reliefs comprised of nearly-identical, interlocking elements which can be exhibited in a variety of configurations, each designed by the artist. Based on an ancient dome design, the wing-like Untitled (Muqarnas) unfolds like symmetrical mirrored honeycombs. The exhibition also includes drawings featuring complex geometric motifs in jewel-tone colors.

Anila Quayyum Agha’s Intersections is an immersive gallery installation centered around a suspended cube. Each of the cube’s six sides are laser cut with the same delicate patterns, derived from decorative motifs found in Spain’s historic Alhambra, an international highlight of traditional Islamic architecture and design. A single light bulb within the cube casts shadows of interlacing patterns onto the room’s walls, ceiling and floor–and subsequently the people within the space. In contrast to the artist’s childhood experience of being excluded from mosques because she was female, with Intersections, Agha creates a public space open to all.

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian was born in Qazvin, Iran in 1924. She has studied and worked both in Iran and the United States. Her art has been included in numerous solo and group art exhibitions internationally, including a one-person exhibition in 2015 at New York’s Guggenheim Museum. Anila Quayyum Agha was born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1965. She holds a BFA from the National College of Art in Lahore, Pakistan and an MFA from the University of North Texas, Denton. She is an Associate Professor at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, Indiana. Intersections won multiple awards in ArtPrize 2014, when it was first exhibited at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present


Gerard Rancinan (French, born 1953). Laura Flessel, 2001. Chromogenic print, 311⁄2 x 39 6/8 in. (80 x 101 cm). Courtesy of the artist


Brian Finke (American, born 1976). Untitled (Cheerleading #81), 2001, printed 2003. Chromogenic print, 30 x 30 in. (76.2 x 76.2 cm). Courtesy of the artist


Ken Geiger (American, born 1957). Nigerian Relay Team, Olympics, Barcelona, 1992, printed 2016. Inkjet print, 17 7/16 x 19 5/8 in. (44.3 x 49.9 cm). Courtesy of Ken Geiger/The Dallas Morning News


Mark Leech (British, born 1956). World Cup, Netherlands vs. Brazil, July 2, 2010, printed 2016. Inkjet print, 9 5/16 x 14 in. (23.7 x 35.6cm). Courtesy of the artist and Offside Sports Photography


Tim Clayton (British, born 1960). Australian Swimmer Matthew Dunn, 1993, printed 2016. Inkjet print, 81⁄2 x 14 in. (21.7 x 35.6 cm). Courtesy of the artist


Georges Demeny (French, 1850–1917). Chronophotograph of an exercise on the horizontal bar, 1906. Black-and-white photograph. © INSEP Iconothèque

Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present

October 27, 2018 – January 13, 2019

Photography and sports have been entwined since the invention of photography in the 19th century. However, the artistry of shooting sports has been underappreciated in comparison to other genres within the medium. Sports are all about movement and motion, and this exhibition demonstrates how photographic technology enabled its practitioners to capture the human body in motion as it had never been seen before, all with astonishing technique and artistry.

Comprising over 200 images in color and black-and-white from the past 175 years, Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present presents an astonishing diversity of work by more than 150 photographers. The exhibition includes classic images of legendary athletes and historic action shots, as well as pictures taken behind-the-scenes and on the sidelines. Sports familiar and unfamiliar are represented, in photographs taken across six continents. Fans and spectators worldwide are portrayed, too, demonstrating an enthusiasm for sports that transcends national borders and socioeconomic levels.

Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and curated by Gail Buckland, Benjamin Menschel Distinguished Visiting Professor at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

Carl Wilson: Her Purse Smelled Like Juicy Fruit and Other Tales

Black and white linocut printCarl Wilson (American, b. 1956). Getting to the Bottom of It, 2014. Linocut print. Courtesy of the Artist.

Carl Wilson: Her Purse Smelled Like Juicy Fruit and Other Tales

November 3, 2017 – February 11, 2018

Working in prints, books, and even films, Carl Wilson is a storyteller who draws on his own life and the lives of others. “Everyone has a story to tell,” Wilson states, “I look at the people I have known, and others with whom I am familiar, and see compelling lives that need to be documented. I believe we all relate.” Her Purse Smelled Like Juicy Fruit is a series of linoleum prints with narrative text that tells the life story of the artist’s mother. Using traditional carving techniques, and influenced by expressionist printmakers of the past, Wilson reinterprets the graphic linocut style to create a striking visual chronicle of his memories and imagination.

Carl Wilson was born and raised in Detroit. A former auto worker, he left behind the assembly plant in 2005 to become a full-time artist and writer. Since that time, Wilson has been the recipient of a Kresge Foundation Artist Fellowship, has been an artist-in-residence at the historic Yaddo artist colony, and has taken part in numerous exhibitions. Carl Wilson: Her Purse Smelled Like Juicyfruit and Other Tales is his first solo museum exhibition.


Support for this exhibition is generously provided by:

Steelcase, Inc.

Beusse & Porter Family Foundation

The Jury Foundation

Clark Communications

Additional funding is provided by the GRAM Exhibition Society

Related Events

rolling ink and showing a print
Drop-in Studio: Carving Stories
Saturdays in January, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM

Get inspired by the narrative art of Carl Wilson. Then, carve a clay block and print an image that tells your story in GRAM Studio.

A Selection of Award Recipients from the 2017 Festival of the Arts Regional Arts Competition

Megan Klco (American, b. 1988). Noise, 2017. Oil on canvas. 44 x 67 inches. Courtesy of the Artist.

A Selection of Award Recipients from the 2017 Festival of the Arts Regional Arts Competition

July 18, 2017 – August 27, 2017

GRAM is proud to partner with Festival of the Arts to bring a selection of the 2017 Regional Art Competition winners to the museum this summer. The regional artists featured are: Candice Chovanec, Richard Deming Jr., Henry Droski, Susan Ellison, Jeff Grill, David Huang, Megan Klco, Colleen O’Rourke, and Kelly Walkotten.

ArtPrize Nine at GRAM

Scroll Left and Right to Activate Slideshow

Scroll Left and Right to Activate Slideshow

Tim Bruce

Tim Bruce

Assemblages
Category: 3-D
Vote code: 65615

Katherine Corpe

Katherine Corpe

Magna
Category: 2-D
Vote code: 65924

Leroi DeRubertis

Leroi DeRubertis

Enmesh
Category: Installation
Vote code: 65805

Jordyn Fishman

Jordyn Fishman

Income Inequality, Imagine
Category: 2-D
Vote code: 65746

Amy Helminiak

Amy Helminiak

Digital Landscape
Category: 2-D
Vote code: 65846

Letitia Huckaby

Letitia Huckaby

Flour
Category: 2-D
Vote code: 64887

Jeana Eve Klein

Jeana Eve Klein

Past Perfect
Category: 2-D
Vote code: 65075

Emily Mayo

Emily Mayo

Kaphar
Category: 3-D
Vote code: 64766

Hwa-Jeen Na

Hwa-Jeen Na

As Much Heaven as Earth
Category: 2-D
Vote code: 65913

Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz

Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz

Arctic Abrasions
Category: 2-D
Vote code: 66552

Edouard Steinhauer

Edouard Steinhauer

Rainbow Generator
Category: 3-D
Vote code: 65403

Bradley Tucker

Bradley Tucker

Confronting Conformity
Category: 3-D
Vote code: 65097

Mel Watkin

Mel Watkin

Mighty Chrysanthemum Tree
Category: 2-D
Vote code: 64747

Jessica Wildman

Jessica Wildman

Bushcraft: Radical Stimulus
Category: Installation
Vote code: 65306

Yuge Zhou

Yuge Zhou

Midtown Flutter
Category: Time-based
Vote code: 65577

ArtPrize Nine at GRAM

September 13, 2017 – October 8, 2017

Sixteen artists will participate in ArtPrize Nine at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. The exhibition will feature works of art from regional, national, and international artists in mediums including painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography, drawing, and performance.

New this year is the Museum’s participation in Pitch Night, an ArtPrize program through which participants in select cities compete for funding and the opportunity to exhibit their art at a high profile venue. Chris Vitiello, winner of Pitch Night Durham, will transform one of GRAM’s galleries into a surreal, interactive environment with his time-based performance The Language is Asleep. Vitiello will be on-site for the duration of ArtPrize, writing and handing out one-line poems and occasionally transforming into the Poetry Fox, a giant fox who turns out custom, on-demand poems on his vintage typewriter.

The exhibition includes a diverse group of artists, who hail from six different U.S. states and Germany, and are competing within every ArtPrize category–2D, 3D, Time-Based, and Installation. Many thematic links can be found between the works on display: GRAM’s ArtPrize artists may explore humankind’s relationship to our ever-changing environment, the obstacles to communication, approaches to representing personal identity, and the ability of art to convey meaning.

GRAM is proud to host 3 of the 25 artists who have been awarded Artist Seed Grants to help fund their ArtPrize 9 projects. Leroi DeRubertis of Durham, North Carolina, Emily Mayo of Grand Rapids, and Jessica Wildman of Highland Park, Michigan will each receive a $2,000 grant presented by the Frey Foundation.

Off-Shore and On the Beach

Left: William Adolphe Bouguereau (French, 1825–1905). Sisters on the Shore, 1896. Oil on Canvas. 56 x 36 inches. Gift of Charles Willis Ward. Right: Èdouard Manet (French, 1832–1883). On the Beach, c. 1868. Oil on canvas. 15 3/4 x 19 inches. Bequest of Robert H. Tannahill.

Off-Shore and On the Beach

July 7, 2017 – August 27, 2017

This year’s statewide exhibition, organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts, juxtaposes two 19th century seaside scenes by French painters Èdouard Manet and William Adolphe Bouguereau from the DIA’s world-renowned collection. The subject of figures by the seashore was of great interest to many 19th century painters, though approaches to the theme were quite varied. This exhibition provides the opportunity to compare a sketchy, impressionistic painting by Manet alongside the meticulously realistic canvas by Bouguereau, as well as the chance to view a number of paintings and works on paper from GRAM’s own collection featuring the same shore-side theme.

This exhibition has been organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Andy Warhol’s American Icons

Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987). Marilyn Monore (Marilyn), 1967. Screenprint on paper, 40 x 40 in. Private Collection. © 2017 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Marilyn Monroe™; Rights of Publicity and Persona Rights: The Estate of Marilyn Monroe LLC. marilynmonroe.com

Andy Warhol’s American Icons

October 28, 2017 – February 11, 2018

Provocative during his lifetime, Andy Warhol (1928-1987) has since assumed iconic status as one of the most beloved and influential artists of the 20th century. Warhol mined mass culture for his subjects and images, tapping into America’s moods, values, and obsessions–in effect turning a mirror on our popular culture. Warhol’s images of Campbell’s soup cans, Coca-Cola bottles, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor have themselves become defining images of American culture. From his early days as a commercial illustrator, Warhol adopted the look, language, and techniques of advertisements for his art, fusing his personal artistic expression with images from popular culture and mechanical processes.

Organized by GRAM, this unique exhibition showcases Warhol’s vision and celebration of America by bringing together paintings, prints, photographs, and films that create a handbook of American cultural icons. One of Warhol’s most important early paintings, Green Coca-Cola Bottles, is featured on loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art. Created in 1962, the painting is composed of neat rows of the company’s iconic glass bottles, reminiscent of a supermarket display, save for the irregularity of the individually hand-stamped bottles. The exhibition also includes paintings and prints which utilize the silkscreen technique that Warhol adopted a year later, in 1963, and with which he is most associated. Subjects include Muhammad Ali, Sitting Bull, dollar signs (what could be more American?), and one of the most iconic of Michiganders, Gerald Ford.

Rounding out the exhibition are photographs and early films, from a time when Warhol was experimenting with the medium. Empire, an eight-hour long “portrait” of the famed Empire State Building as filmed from a static position in an adjacent building, will be on view, along with several of the artist’s Screen Tests. The Screen Tests are 3-minute filmed portraits of Warhol Factory regulars and visitors, in which the subjects stared back at or enjoyed the attention of the stationary camera, constructing their own personas before our eyes.

Included in the exhibition are loans of artwork from the following collections:
• The Andy Warhol Museum
• Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
• Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University
• Steelcase, Inc. Art Collection
• Weatherspoon Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
• Whitney Museum of American Art
• Collection of Carol Sarosik and Shelley Padnos
• Collection of Sam and Janene Cummings

Related Events

Hands pulling ink across a screen.
Drop-in Studio: Pop Art Screenprints
Saturdays in November, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM

Get inspired by Andy Warhol and learn about Pop Art. Then, pull a screenprint down in GRAM Studio.

painting a pop-art portrait
Parent & Child Workshop: Pop-Art Portraits
December 2, 2017, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM

What better way to remember your time together than with a portrait you painted? Tour Andy Warhol’s American Icons to get inspiration. Then, head down to the studio to transform a picture of your choice into a pop-art painting.

Little girls
Second Saturday Sketching Tour
January 13, 2018, 12:00 PM-1:00 PM

Come on a free-with-admission sketching tour in GRAM's galleries.

baby and me tour
Baby and Me Tour
January 23, 2018, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Moms, dads, caregivers, and grandparents are invited to join us for an interactive tour and discussion, this month inspired by the exhibition, Andy Warhol’s American Icons.

Marilyn Monroe Print
Andy Warhol's American Icons Drop-In Tour
January 27, 2018, 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

Join us on a free drop-in tour of our newest exhibition!

Christian Marclay: Video Quartet

Image of four projected screens featuring musical instruments and singersChristian Marclay (b. 1955). Video Quartet, 2002. Four‑channel video projection, color, sound, 17 min. 96 × 480 in. (243.8 × 1219.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee 2005.171. © Christian Marclay. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

Christian Marclay: Video Quartet

October 28, 2017 – January 14, 2018

Since the 1980s, Swiss-American artist Christian Marclay has sampled, improvised, and remixed sound, video, and performance into astonishing works that defy categorization. Marclay’s seventeen-minute installation, Video Quartet, consists of four synchronized videos shown on adjoining screens, each with its own soundtrack. Video Quartet is made up of more than 700 individual fragments of film and sound from popular movies in which characters play instruments, sing, or make noise in one way or another. Marclay reorganized the clips on a home computer into a new unified composition in which the performers seem to improvise together free of their original context. The clips included in Video Quartet are primarily taken from Hollywood feature films dating from the 1920s to the early twenty-first century. The work opens with scenes of an orchestra tuning up, followed by clips in which characters play instruments or sing, interspersed with scenes featuring shouts, screams, and close-ups of various noise-making objects.

This exhibition is organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by:

Related Events

musical performance
Mix Like Marclay
November 30, 2017, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Join GRAM and The Chance Operations Collective of Kalamazoo for an interactive performance of John Cage’s 33 1/3, a composition which heavily influenced artist Christian Marclay’s work.

Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle

Panoramic painting by Alexis RockmanAlexis Rockman (American, b. 1962). Cascade, 2015. Oil and alkyd on wood panel. 72 x 144 inches. Commissioned by Grand Rapids Art Museum with funds provided by Peter Wege, Jim and Mary Nelson, John and Muriel Halick, Mary B. Loupee, and Karl and Patricia Betz. Grand Rapids Art Museum, 2015.19

Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle

January 27, 2018 – April 29, 2018

Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle explores the past, present, and future of North America’s Great Lakes–one of the world’s most emblematic and ecologically significant ecosystems.

This multifaceted project was initiated in 2013 when artist Alexis Rockman embarked on a research tour of the Great Lakes region. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a suite of five mural-sized paintings which explore separate themes that emerged during Rockman’s travels. These are accompanied by several large-scale watercolors and field drawings–monochromatic animal and plant studies made from site-sourced organic material such as mud, sand, coal, and leaves.

One of the world’s great natural treasures, the Great Lakes—Erie, Huron, Ontario, Michigan, and Superior—form an interconnected system that is among the most beautiful, economically significant, and ecologically complex regions on the planet. The Great Lakes, which hold over 20% of the world’s fresh water, contain some of the most precious resources for the future of humankind and life on earth. Rockman’s series celebrates the natural majesty and global importance of the Great Lakes while exploring how they are threatened by factors including climate change, globalization, invasive species, mass agriculture and urban sprawl. While there has been some success in reversing these trends, the exhibition of these dramatic works will serve to inspire wider understanding and draw greater attention to the urgency of these issues.

About the Artist

Born in 1962 and raised in New York City, Rockman has been the subject of many international solo and group exhibitions, including a major retrospective organized at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. His work is also included in public and private collections around the world, and he has held a number of teaching posts at prestigious institutions, such as Columbia and Harvard.

Rockman synthesizes human history, natural science, and landscape painting to create visual vistas that reveal unexpected relationships across time and space. Since the mid-1980s, he has created a dramatic and distinct body of epic-scale paintings and works on paper that draw from his deft artistic skills, rich visual inventiveness, deep scientific awareness, broad art historical knowledge, and a passionate concern about the Earth’s ecological future.

The son of an Australian jazz musician and American urban archeologist, Rockman spent his childhood exploring Central Park, studying natural history guide books, watching nature documentary films, frequenting the Museum of Natural History dioramas and creating his own vivariums, all experiences that have shaped The Great Lakes Cycle.


Exhibition Touring Schedule

Following its debut in Grand Rapids, Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle will travel to the following venues:

Chicago Cultural Center – June 2 through October 1, 2018

Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland – October 19, 2018 through January 27, 2019

Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis – October 5, 2019 through January 5, 2020

Related Events

Member Exhibition Opening
January 26, 2018, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM

Join us for the exclusive members opening of Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle. 

painting with natural pigments
Adult Workshop: Painting with Natural Pigments
January 27, 2018, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Ever wonder how to make your own paint? Tour Alexis Rockman’s “Field Drawings,” which the artist painted using earth, sand, and coal mixed with a binder. Then, learn how to make your own paint from plants, minerals, and spices down in the studio.

painting a fish with mud
Drop-in Studio: Field Drawings
Saturdays in February, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM

Can you paint with mud? How about sand? In his series of “Field Drawings,” artist Alexis Rockman made plant and animal studies using dirt, sand, mud, coal, and leaves he collected from different locations around the Great Lakes. Explore Rockman’s “Field Drawings,” then come down to the studio to make one of your own.

Headshot of middle-aged man wearing glasses
The Great Lakes in the 21st Century: Unprecedented Change, Uncertain Future
February 22, 2018, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM

Learn about the profound ecological changes that have unfolded in the Great Lakes since 2000, with Jeff Alexander, an award-winning author and former environmental journalist who spent two decades covering Great Lakes issues.

Baby and Me Tour
Baby and Me Tour
March 27, 2018, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Moms, dads, caregivers, and grandparents are invited to join us for an interactive tour and discussion inspired by our latest exhibition, Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle.