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Albrecht Dürer: The Age of Reformation and Renaissance
Through Feb 7, 2021
Upper-Level Galleries

The brilliant and versatile German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) lived in the prosperous city of Nuremberg and is renowned as one of the finest printmakers of all time. This exhibition of more than one hundred engravings, etchings, and woodcuts spans almost the entirety of Dürer’s prolific career, beginning with some of the earliest examples he made as a young master and ending with his treatise on human proportions, published by his wife, Agnes, shortly after his death. Works by Dürer’s predecessors and followers contextualize his career and show how he revolutionized Renaissance printmaking.

Dürer was an artist of extraordinary ambition. He trained initially as a goldsmith and then as a painter, but quickly recognized and seized upon the enormous potential of prints—still a new medium in Europe—to showcase his virtuosity and spread his fame. Starting in the fifteenth century, mass-produced pictures on paper were inexpensive and easy to acquire at markets and fairs, putting art within reach for more people than ever before. Dürer inscribed his prints with his initials—AD, stylized so that the D is nestled beneath the crossbar of the A—to proclaim his authorship and ingenuity. By 1500, while still in his twenties, he had become the most well-known artist in Europe. Throughout his career, Dürer traveled, most notably to Venice and Antwerp, and brought back the latest artistic ideas to Nuremberg. He was the first German artist to depict ancient mythological scenes in his prints. Dürer also befriended the circle of humanist scholars in Nuremberg who were deeply engaged in the study of ancient literature. Many of his prints were made with a sophisticated audience in mind. Dürer’s writings show that he was sympathetic to the religious reform movements of his time. He expressed interest in the ideas of Martin Luther (1483–1546), whose Ninety-Five Theses, posted in 1517, challenged the Roman Catholic Church. The artist knew Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466–1536), another religious reformer, who praised Dürer as the “Apelles of the Black Line.”

Highlights of our exhibition include woodcuts from the Apocalypse, the artist’s early masterpiece, which was celebrated for its dynamic and harrowing illustrations of the end of time; Adam and Eve, one of the most famous depictions of the first man and woman in the history of art; and all three of Dürer’s Master Engravings: Knight, Death, and the Devil; Melencolia I; and St. Jerome in His Study.

The exhibition is complemented by a video of three Nashville artists—Lesley Patterson-Marx, Ashley Seay, and Brandon Williams—explaining the most important printmaking techniques used by Dürer: engraving, etching, and woodcut. A seek-and-find activity encourages visitors of all ages to have fun looking closely at Dürer’s prints to discover a menagerie of animals within his scenes.

Organized by the Cincinnati Art Museum

Supporting Sponsor:
The Anne and Joe Russell Family

The Frist Art Museum gratefully acknowledges the generosity of our Picasso Circle members:

Ann and Frank Bumstead
Laura and John Chadwick
Rev. and Mrs. Fred Dettwiller
Sheryl and Steve Durham
Joel and Bernice Gordon
Mrs. Spencer Hays
Glenna and Sam Hazen
Martha R. Ingram
Nora and Kent Kirby
Dr. and Mrs. Howard S. Kirshner
Neil Krugman and Lee Pratt
Ben and Joan Rechter
Jan and Stephen Riven
Mrs. Virginia T. Severinghaus
Caroline and Danny Shaw
Mr. and Mrs. John M. Steele

This list is current as of August 10, 2020.

Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World
October 9–January 10, 2021
Ingram Gallery
  • " In Western art, to explore something you cannot identify with is a kind of dishonesty, because authenticity is a compass . . [but] authenticity does not exist for the diaspora".

    - Rina Banerjee

Rina Banerjee explores the idea that in the current social imaginary, characteristics of society that were once thought to anchor identity—languages, political and economic ideologies, nationality, race, and sexuality—limit the ways individuals can define themselves or be defined by others. While the resulting ambiguity may seem to be a sign of cultural disarray, works in this exhibition offer the tantalizing possibility of a more inclusive and open-ended future.

Banerjee is a voracious gatherer of objects. Reflecting the history and symbolism of items acquired from around the world, her constructions include things like cowrie shells, Chinese umbrellas, Pyrex tubes, glass beads, alligator heads, and epoxy buffalo horn replicas. Their strong colors, patterns, and frequent allusions to South Asian materials and images recall Banerjee’s Indian heritage while telling a larger story about the transmission, exploitation, and adaptation of cultures from colonial times to the global present.

This exhibition includes sculptures, installations, and paintings produced over the past twenty years. Together, they show Banerjee’s ongoing desire to summarize the complexity, beauty, and sense of disequilibrium that can arise in a world undergoing constant fragmentation and renewal.

About the artist
Born in Kolkata, India, in 1963, Banerjee moved with her family to England in 1968 after her father, a civil engineer, was recruited to work there by a multinational company. The family moved again in 1970 when her father accepted a position in New York City. After starting her professional life as a polymer research chemist, Banerjee realized that her real passion was for art. Since receiving her MFA from Yale University in 1995, Banerjee has exhibited in museums, galleries, and biennials internationally. Her work is in the collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San José Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.

2020 Young Tennessee Artists: Selections from Advanced Studio Art Programs
Through February 7, 2021

The Frist Art Museum’s eighth biennial Young Tennessee Artists exhibition showcases some of the finest artwork by high school students across the state. Students in Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) studio art programs during the 2019–20 academic year were invited to submit their work to this exhibition. After reviewing more than three hundred entries from students in private and public schools, the jurors selected works by thirty-six students.

Upper-level studio art courses make it possible for highly motivated students to build and refine their portfolios through ongoing investigation, practice, and reflection. The dedicated teachers in AP and IB programs challenge their students’ artistic perceptions and encourage them to develop aesthetic methods, both conceptually and in execution. At the end of the school year, each student’s portfolio is reviewed by AP or IB examiners. Students may subsequently receive college course credit or other recognition of their accomplishments. This year, the end of the school year and the art submission deadline occurred in the midst of a global pandemic, adding extra challenges for the students.

This exhibition illuminates their skillful synthesis of form, technique, and content. The array and quality of work demonstrate the growing sophistication and diversity of experiences within the AP and IB studio art programs across Tennessee.

Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World

was co-organized by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and the San José Museum of Art, California.

Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World is made possible in part by major grants from the William Penn Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Exelon Foundation and PECO, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The artists whose work was selected for this exhibition
Tiana Aldroubi
Parker Bowling
Luke Boyer
Belinda Brooks
Walker Byrd
Grace Clement
Hayley Collins
Ike Cravens
Nadine Duessler
Rebekah Dumont
Madison Eddins
Caroline Frederiksen
Kayla Gore
John Graham
Amelia Hausmann
Madeline Kerr
Fletcher Lance
Mylan Le
Enzo Lederer-Morihisa
Ellie Meyers
Rachel Mikkola
Bella Orozco
William Payne
Maya Risch
Eden Sekwat
Madelyn Simcoe
Sarah Katherine Steen
Ashton Terrell
Anna Rose Thomas
Quinn Trabue
Austin Vaughan
Breanna Webb
Alyssa Williams
Clay Williams
Riyung Yun
Justin Zhu
Blood at the Root
Oct 1–Nov 1, 2020
Turner Courtyard

Blood at the Root is an immersive outdoor installation created by Nashville artists EXO:DUS (Elisheba Israel Mrozik and Aaron Mrozik) that explores how implicit bias can develop over time within families. The work will be on view in the Frist’s Turner Courtyard on Thursdays through Sundays, October 1 through November 1, 2020, and is free to the public.

Stemming from a conversation between the Mroziks—an interracial married couple—that was sparked by recent calls for racial justice, Blood at the Root offers an opportunity for visitors to consider how racial issues were addressed during their own upbringings.

The domestic tableau installed inside of a small camper trailer features furniture, everyday household items, audio recordings, and photographs meant to evoke a typical white middle-class home. Close looking reveals that several objects have racist undertones and that the eyes of many figures have been marked out by flame-like strokes of white paint, suggesting that the notion of white supremacy is subtly, sometimes even unknowingly, passed from one generation to the next.

EXO:DUS. Photo: D’Angela Alexander

EXO:DUS’s artist statement begins with the observation that paradigms and worldviews “are not built in a day” but “slowly, over time,” as “patient, small threads to a demanding anchor line. They hold us to our group and heritage, and in little ways inform our identity over time. White supremacy is no exception.”

Frist Art Museum curator Katie Delmez said, “For some viewers, especially those who relate to the items they see, the environment may elicit feelings of discomfort or defensiveness. It is important to note, however, that Blood at the Root is offered in a spirit of empathy and reconciliation, and that at least one of the artists will always be on-site to engage with visitors in meaningful dialogue about racism, arguably our nation’s most persistent and deep-seated ailment.”

While developing the concept for this project shortly after the killing of George Floyd and ensuing protests, Elisheba Mrozik, whose work Unmask ’Em was included in the Frist’s 2019 exhibition Murals of North Nashville Now, wrote, “I want to try to reach those who genuinely think they aren’t racist or have implicit bias without them always feeling attacked with rhetoric. So, I sat down with my husband and we talked and had a conversation that we’ve never had before. Out of that conversation this installation idea came to life.”

Blood at the Root was first displayed in July at the Mroziks’ North Nashville studio, One Drop Ink Tattoo Parlour and Gallery, during the Jefferson Street Art Crawl. “The Frist is hosting Blood at the Root on its campus because the initiative shares the museum’s longtime mission of inspiring people through art to look at their world in new ways,” said Delmez. “Current events have deepened the Frist’s commitment to our community and prompted efforts to respond in real time to the shifts taking place.”

The installation is intended to be experienced alone or with one other person in a visitor group to maintain proper physical distancing protocols. An introductory video will be presented outside for the guests to view before they enter, and a QR code at the exit will connect them with further anti-racist resources.

This presentation of Blood at the Root was organized by the Frist Art Museum in partnership with EXO:DUS.

We Count: First-Time Voters
May 1–December 31, 2020
Online exhibition

On August 18, 1920, the Tennessee state legislature voted to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees and protects women’s right to vote. As the 36th state to approve the amendment, Tennessee completed the three-quarters majority needed to make it the law of the land. One hundred years later, this country holds elections with significantly fewer legal restrictions on who is allowed to vote. In attempting to count every person currently living in the United States, including individuals experiencing homelessness, the 2020 U.S. census has collected data that will determine the allocation of resources and funding, the boundaries of legislative and congressional districts, and the number of seats representing each state in the U.S. House of Representatives.

We Count: First-Time Voters honors the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and the importance of civic engagement by highlighting the history of voting in the United States and the first voting experiences of a diverse group of Nashvillians. Five local artists created visual representations of these voting experiences in a variety of mediums.

All artworks appear courtesy of the artists, who retain the copyright to their work. All artwork photography: John Schweikert. Artist headshots: Aisha S. Kaikai (@ishpicturesque)


Click each artist’s name to visit their section of the exhibition.

Beizar Aradini

M Kelley

Jerry Bedor Phillips

Thaxton Waters

Donna Woodley

Terry Adkins: Our Sons and Daughters Ever on the Altar
February 20–May 31, 2020
Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery at the Frist Art Museum and the Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery at Fisk University

The Frist Art Museum and Fisk University Galleries present Terry Adkins: Our Sons and Daughters Ever on the Altar, concurrent presentations of sculptures, prints, installations, and video by the multidisciplinary and multimedia artist and musician, on view in the Frist’s Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery from February 20 through May 31, and the Carl Van Vechten Gallery at Fisk from February 20 through September 12. Presented forty-five years after Adkins’s graduation from Fisk, the exhibition pays special attention to the influence that his time in Nashville had on the late internationally acclaimed artist.

“This is the first exhibition of Terry Adkins’s work in Middle Tennessee, and we are excited to partner with the Frist Art Museum to co-present it,” says Director and Curator of Fisk University Galleries Jamaal Sheats. “A Fisk University alum, Adkins was a member of the jazz orchestra and a disc jockey for WFSK Jazzy 88 radio station. However, the Fisk Art Department was his home. He studied under the then chairman of the art department and director of galleries, historian, and artist David Driskell. Adkins has credited Aaron Douglas, who founded the art department 75 years ago, as igniting his interest in art. Today, I see Adkins’s work and career as a beacon for the arts tradition at Fisk.”

Fisk and the Frist will collaborate with the soon-to-open National Museum of African American Music to produce a multidisciplinary performance, featuring local talent inspired by Terry Adkins and his performance collective, the Lone Wolf Recital Corps.

Terry Adkins (1953–2014) was principally interested in the intersection of visual art, music, and African American history. First trained as a musician on guitar, saxophone, and other woodwinds, he approached his visual art practice from the perspective of a composer, often arranging series of works to create what he called “recitals,” many of which feature modified musical instruments or other salvaged materials. “One of his primary aims was to forge a link between music and art, reversing each discipline in order to make sculpture more ethereal and music more concrete,” says Frist Art Museum Curator Katie Delmez.

Throughout his career, Adkins also questioned the processes by which historical figures’ pasts become or do not become a part of the historical canon. “He mined African and African American histories for marginalized narratives and organized series of works devoted to either underrecognized figures or highlighted underrepresented aspects of well-known figures’ lives,” says Delmez. The works in Our Sons and Daughters Ever on the Altar pay tribute to the legacies of several influential and enigmatic figures, such as Jimi Hendrix, Bessie Smith, Dr. George Washington Carver, and Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois.

On view at the Frist Art Museum
The “recital” Principalities is dedicated to Jimi Hendrix and his service as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army at nearby Fort Campbell, Kentucky. A centerpiece of the series, Cloud, is a work comprising a white parachute hung above a rack of kimonos. Referencing the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, it underscores the tragic history of war. Flumen Orationis, a video pairing Hendrix’s 1970 anti-war protest song “Machine Gun” with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 speech “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam,” will also be featured.

Another “recital” on view at the Frist titled Belted Bronze will be devoted to legendary blues singer Bessie Smith, who was born in Chattanooga. Though successful during her lifetime, Adkins felt her accomplishments lacked sufficient public acknowledgment after her untimely death at the age of forty-three. The installation features multiple components meant to channel Smith’s opulence, strength, and majesty. Columbia, a large record-shaped sculpture, refers to both the label Smith was signed to in 1923 and the type of record (Columbia 78s) on which her music was recorded and played.

On view at Fisk University Galleries
The presentation at the Carl Van Vechten Gallery will relay the significant impact that Fisk had on Adkins. His father was a graduate of the university, and his uncle was a former president. “As a student, Adkins studied with Stephanie Pogue and had seminars with Robert Blackburn and Fred Bond before graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in art with a concentration in printmaking,” says Sheats. “The presentation at Fisk explores Adkins’s works on paper, the medium in which he revisits and shifts the perspective of the lives and works of iconic figures in American history.” Adkins demonstrates this ability through bodies of works derived from scientist and inventor George Washington Carver and sociologist, historian, and civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois, in works the Progressive Nature Studies and The Philadelphia Negro Reconsidered, respectively.

Another highlight at Fisk will be Darkwater Record, which features a porcelain bust of Mao Zedong sitting on five recorders playing excerpts of W.E.B. Du Bois’s “Socialism and the American Negro” speech. Du Bois is an 1888 graduate of Fisk University and met Chairman Mao in China in 1959.

Adkins continued to be inspired by people and artwork he was exposed to at Fisk throughout his career, including explorer Matthew Henson, whose portrait by Winold Reiss still hangs in the John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library on campus. Also on view at Fisk will be prints of x-rayed memory jugs—African American funerary objects often created by Southern sharecroppers as headstones. They were made of clay and included objects from the person’s life. Adkins collected over 120 of these and worked with colleagues in the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania (where Adkins taught for many years) to make these photographs by x-raying them.

Adkins often claimed that the foundation of his career began in Nashville, where his interest for the visual arts was nourished at Fisk. There he studied under artists Martin Puryear, Stephanie Pogue, Carlton Moss, and Earl Hooks, and he was mentored by Aaron Douglas, an influential artist during the Harlem Renaissance. Born into a segregated America, Adkins felt a call to take up the torch that Douglas and others passed on to him, and he strove to create art that reflected the tenor of the times and served as instruments of change.

Organized by Fisk University Galleries and the Frist Art Museum


The Frist Art Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of

Clay Blevins
John and Melinda Buntin
Susan H. Edwards
Jennifer and Billy Frist
Bob and Julie Gordon
Frank and Gwen Gordon
Gail Gordon Jacobs
Louise and Neil Kohler
Neil Krugman and Lee Pratt
Kent Rollins and Belinda Butler

(List current as of December 31, 2019)

This exhibition is supported in part by an Art Works grant from the National Endowment of the Arts.

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