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Exhibitions

Rudin Prize for Emerging Photographers
February 28 – May 31, 2020

The Rudin Prize was inaugurated in 2012 through the collaboration of collector and Norton supporter Beth Rudin DeWoody and the Norton’s William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography. Every other year, a panel of internationally renowned artists nominate emerging photographers whose work is on the leading edge of contemporary photo-based art. Their work is shown in an exhibition at the Norton, and one is awarded the Rudin Prize, which includes an honorarium of $20,000 sponsored by the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation.

The Nominators for the 2020 Rudin Prize are Cindy Sherman, Dawoud Bey, Trine Søndergaard, and Ori Gersht. Previous nominators have included: John Baldessari, Yinke Shonibare, Susan Meiselas, Michal Rovner, Graciela Iturbide, Deborah Willis, Luis González Palma, Thomas Demand, Adi Nes, Rineke Dijkstra, Michael Kenna, Arno Minkkinen, and Shirin Neshat.


Lina Hashim
Nominated by Trine Søndergaard

Lina Hashim (Danish, born Kuwait, 1981) is a photography-based visual artist, born in Kuwait City, who moved to Copenhagen in 1992 with her Iraqi-refugee parents. She graduated from Fatamorgana, The Danish School of Art Photography in 2012, and The Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 2015. She broadly describes her work as an attempt to explain and integrate the teachings of the Koran into her life in contemporary Copenhagen. More pointedly, Hashim’s work centers around her reconciliations and integrations of the cultural conflicts and anomalies inherent in her identity as a Muslim woman living in the liberal environment of Denmark. Hashim has explored issues ranging from the wearing of the traditional hijab to premarital sex among Muslim teens, with the sensibility of an anthropologist.


Jess T. Dugan
Nominated by Dawoud Bey

Jess T. Dugan (American, born 1986) received her BFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (2007), and a Masters in Liberal Arts in Museum Studies from Harvard University (2010). She is also an MFA graduate of Columbia College (2017), having studied with Dawoud Bey. Dugan’s work deals with identity, gender, sexuality, and community through portraits and landscapes. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions at venues including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery; the Aperture Foundation; the Museum of Contemporary Photography; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the San Diego Museum of Art; the Transformer Station; and at many colleges and universities throughout the United States.


Kristin-Lee Moolman
Nominated by Cindy Sherman

Kristin-Lee Moolman (South African, born 1984) is a South African-born photographer and filmmaker who, until her recent relocation to Thailand, lived and worked in Johannesburg. She grew up during the political transition between apartheid South Africa and a new African National Congress-led South Africa. This has had a profound and lasting impact on the narrative of her work and fuels the bifurcated visual language that drives her imagery. Moolman’s work challenges the stereotypes of African life by representing everyday life in South Africa through themes such as sexuality, violence, and black magic. She gives voice to young, black, queer lives in the current sociopolitical sphere. Moolman’s work has been shown in Africa, Asia, and the US, and has been included in magazines such as Vogue Australia, Dazed & Confused, Vice, GQ, and Grazia UK. She has also shot campaigns for American Apparel, Samsung, Triumph, and most recently shot the 2016 lookbook for Edun (founded by Bono).


David Spero
Nominated by Ori Gersht

David Spero (British, born 1963) graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1993 and has produced a range of idiosyncratic bodies of work that place him comfortably both within the traditional practice of the great documentary photographers, as well as among those photographers of the 1960s and ‘70s who explored the conceptual ramifications and visual implication of the media. His best-known series, “Settlements,” was created between 2004 and 2018 and recorded the dwellings and lives of ecologically sustainable communities that have “returned to the land.”


Organized by the Norton Museum of Art.

The Rudin Prize was made possible by the generosity of the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc. and the Photography Committee of the Norton Museum of Art.

Divine Beings
February 20 – June 30, 2020

Featuring works by Asian artists in response to spiritual concepts, Divine Beings spotlights six exceptional works, five of which are loans that include one Hindu sculpture from eastern India or Bangladesh and four Buddhist paintings from China, Korea, and Japan that are linked with Buddhism. Visitors are invited to explore the relationships between these and more than 30 selected works from the Norton’s collection on view within the five Chinese galleries. Some representations of Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist gods and demi-gods take the form of humans, such as the Three Taoist Star Lords. Other works depict real or imaginary animals, such as the owl, ox, tiger, horse, crane, dragon, and phoenix, which are believed to possess supernatural ability, acting as guardians or transportation for deities or souls. Within the structure of time-honored artistic and philosophical conventions, each artist has thoughtfully given form to their beliefs about the fundamental nature of existence.

Robert Rauschenberg: Five Decades from the Whitney’s Collection
February 21 – June 28, 2020

Presenting a concise survey of the radical work of Robert Rauschenberg, this exhibition traces the arc of the artist’s career, from the 1950s to the 1990s, through his pioneering use of media and imagery from popular culture. Rauschenberg manipulated everyday objects in his Combines and subsequently created hybrid works that combined painting, sculpture, collage, photography, and printmaking. The Norton is pleased to present key examples from five decades of his career, exemplifying his unconventional approach to materials and the creative process, one that has profoundly influenced younger generations of artists. The exhibition is organized around the transformative acquisitions the Whitney has made as a result of the vision and generosity of Leonard A. Lauder, as well as works that have been given to the Museum by Emily Fisher Landau and Barbara and Richard S. Lane.

American Art Posters from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection
February 21 – May 17, 2020

Leonard A. Lauder is recognized as one of the great collectors of Cubism. Yet his connoisseurship extends to ephemera and the graphic arts, including his extraordinary collection of postcards (now a promised gift to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston), which he began while just a boy while on vacation in Florida. Over the decades he has also acquired posters in depth, including a definitive collection of 1890s American Literary Posters, which he gave to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1987. This exhibition showcases highlights from this gift, on loan from the Met to the Norton, including the finest examples of American Art Nouveau poster art.

WHERE? A Brief History of Photography through Landscape
Now – June 21, 2020

This is the second in the series of permanent collection installations outlining the histories of photography from six perspectives: who, what, where, when, why, and how.

From the beginnings of the medium in the 19th century, photography has been used to document, describe, and claim the planet. Photographers were a vital part of any expeditionary force and the visual strategies they employed remain relevant today – though the reasons for their use have greatly changed. WHERE? includes images by 19th century American William Henry Jackson, famed MoMA curator Edward Steichen, modernist Brett Weston, earthworks artist Robert Smithson, and Californian John Divola, among many others, and will provide a concise visual history of photography’s role in defining the many environments we call home.

The Priscilla and John Richman Gift of American Impressionism and Realism
December 12 – March 15, 2020

Rockwell Kent (American, 1882–1971) Holsteinberg, Greenland, 1933(detail) Gift of Priscilla and John Richman, 2019.20 Rights courtesy of Plattsburgh State Art Museum, State University of New York, USA, Rockwell Kent Collection, Bequest of Sally Kent Gort
See Gallery

This exhibition celebrates six new gifts to the Norton from long-time Museum supporters Priscilla Richman and the late John Richman. The Richmans’ collecting focuses on American art from the first decades of the 20th century. Although this was the era when Americans began experimenting with abstraction, the Richmans acquire work by painters such as Thomas Hart Benton, Robert Henri, and Rockwell Kent, all of whom concluded that a connection to the visible world was necessary in their art. The eleven Impressionist and Realist paintings the Richmans have now given the Norton illustrate the breadth of work created by these artists, ranging from scenes of harmonious nature to representations of subjects from American history to works addressing the radical changes taking place in the modern world.

The Body Says, I Am a Fiesta: The Figure in Latin American Art
October 4 – March 1, 2020

Largely drawn from the Norton’s permanent collection, this exhibition addresses ideas about the body and its symbolic and societal implications in modern Latin American cultures. The Body Says, I Am a Fiesta presents paintings, photography, sculpture, and works on paper by artists active in Latin America and the United States between the 1930s and 2010s such as Diego Rivera, Ana Mendieta, Rufino Tamayo, and María Magdalena Campos-Pons. Collectively, the artworks explore differing approaches to figural representation to exemplify the universal elements of the body as well as the external forces acting upon it.

The exhibition’s title also recognizes these external factors and originates from a book of short stories and folklore by Uruguayan journalist, writer, and novelist Eduardo Galeano (1940-2015). The book, Walking Words, includes a recurrent sequence of maxims Galeano called “Windows” and his “Window on the Body” illustrates the conflicting ways institutions regard, study, exploit, and extol the human body:

“The church says: The body is a sin.
Science says: The body is a machine.
Advertising says: The body is a business.
The body says: I am a fiesta.”

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