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Ann Arbor, MI
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The University of Michigan Museum of Art
525 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1354
telephone: 734.764.0395
fax: 734.764.3731
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www.umma.umich.edu

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Exhibitions:

Reflections: An Ordinary Day

Mari Katayama

New at UMMA: Walter Oltmann

Take Your Pick: Collecting Found Photographs

Pan-African Pulp: A Commission by Meleko Mokgosi

Copies and Invention in East Asia

Abstraction, Color, and Politics: The 1960s and 1970

Collection Ensemble

Outdoor Sculpture


Events

Reflections: An Ordinary Day
November 16, 2019 - May 10, 2020
Special Exhibitions Gallery

UMMA’s second exhibition of Inuit art derived from the Power Family’s generous promised gift to the Museum in 2018 explores the relationship between the artist and the representation of everyday experiences. Through a selection of mid-century to contemporary Inuit prints, drawings, and sculptures that portray seemingly ordinary reflections of daily life along with daydreaming meditations, the exhibition bridges the mundane and the fantastic. Together, these artworks present a distinct imagery and a visual poetry culled from the day-to-day reality of life in the far polar north. The perspectives range from soaring gazes at the horizon to glimpses of commonplace social interactions. These contemplations reveal intimate connections among the artists, their communities, and their locale—a specific place and time composed of icy regions and vast seas and tundras. Reflections: An Ordinary Day takes visitors on a lyrical journey of the myriad spaces and routines within an Arctic landscape.

This exhibition is made possible by the Power Family Program for Inuit Art, established in 2018 through the generosity of Philip and Kathy Power.

Mari Katayama
October 12, 2019 - January 26, 2020
Irving Stenn, Jr. Family Gallery

Japanese artist Mari Katayama (born 1987) features her own body in a provocative series of works combining photography, sculpture, and textile. Born with a developmental condition, the artist had both her legs amputated at the age of nine and has worn prosthetics ever since. In order to fill a deep gap between her own understanding of self and physicality, and contemporary society’s simplistic categorizations, Katayama began to explore her identity by objectifying her body in her art. In photographs she assumes different personas, dressed in revealing lingerie in private, domestic spaces or in dramatic waterscapes. The unflinching display of the vulnerabilities and limits of Katayama’s body opens up a broader conversation about anxieties and wounds for all of us—disabled or nondisabled—living in an age obsessed with body image. UMMA’s installation will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in the U.S.

Lead support for this exhibition is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Center for Japanese Studies, the Japan Business Society of Detroit Foundation, the Japan Cultural Development, and Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment. Additional generous support is provided by the Susan and Richard Gutow Endowed Fund, the University of Michigan CEW+ Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, and Women's Studies Department.

New at UMMA: Walter Oltmann
September 21 - November 17, 2019
The Connector

Infant Skull II, a woven “tapestry” made out of very fine aluminum wire, only reveals its shape when seen from afar. Drawing inspiration from his country’s basketry traditions, the South African artist Walter Oltmann (b. 1960) alternates densely layered sections with open spaces, allowing the underlying surface of the work to show through. The skull that emerges is, in a South African context, evocative of the Cradle of Humankind—a series of caves outside Johannesburg, where some of the oldest hominin fossils in the world have been found.

The work complements UMMA’s renowned and growing collection of historical and contemporary African art and reminds us of the central role of Africa in the history of humankind. The purchase was made possible thanks to the generosity of UMMA Director's Acquisition Committee.

This acquisition was made possible by the generosity of the UMMA Director's Acquisition Committee, 2016.

Take Your Pick: Collecting Found Photographs
September 21, 2019 - February 23, 2020

Come help build our collection of “ordinary” American 20th-century photographs.

Take Your Pick invites you—the Museum’s visitors—to select photographs for our permanent collection. What belongs in a permanent collection, and why? Who and what should be represented, and how should we decide? This exhibition considers these questions in regard to 1,000 amateur photographs on loan from the private collection of Peter J. Cohen, who has gathered more than 60,000 snapshots while exploring flea markets in the United States and Europe over two decades. The images he has collected depict all aspects of daily life and reveal the dynamic histories of amateur photography. Such pictures have particular significance in the current digital age, when it is much less common to make physical copies of personal photographs. They constitute important artifacts of twentieth-century visual culture and precedents for the photographs we still make today. You are invited to make your voice heard in the selection process by voting for the photographs that resonate most with you!

Pan-African Pulp: A Commission by Meleko Mokgosi
August 26, 2019 through fall 2021
Vertical Gallery

In Pan-African Pulp, Botswana-born artist Meleko Mokgosi explores the history of Pan-Africanism, the global movement to unite ethnic groups of sub-Saharan African descent. His Vertical Gallery installation, which inaugurates a new biennial commission program at UMMA, features large-scale panels inspired by African photo novels of the 1960s and ’70s, a mural examining the complexity of blackness, posters from Pan-African movements from around the world, including those founded in Detroit and Africa in the 1960s, and stories from Setswana literature. Pan-African Pulp vividly connects to Detroit’s deep history of activism, where organizations such as Black Nation of Islam, The Republic of New Afrika, Shrine of the Black Madonna (Black Christian Nationalism), Pan-African Congress, and United Negro Improvement Association were founded. The renewed urgency for diversity and civil rights in Detroit, and the country as a whole, heightens the relevance of Mokgosi’s project and reveals the deep connections between these historical movements and those developing today.

Lead support is provided by Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan African Studies Center.

Copies and Invention in East Asia
August 17, 2019 - January 5, 2020
A. Alfred Taubman Gallery I

Far from being frowned upon as uncreative, in China, Korea, and Japan, copying has long been considered a valuable practice. Through works of art spanning ancient to contemporary times, Copies and Invention in East Asia challenges our understanding of originality, and presents copying as an act of imaginative interpretation. The exhibition includes burial goods that conjure a world for the deceased; Buddhist sculptures produced in multiples to amplify religious experience and meaning; paintings in which a master’s brushstrokes are faithfully duplicated as a way of shaping the self; and contemporary works that address multiplicity and duplication in the modern world.

Lead support is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, Center for Japanese Studies, Nam Center for Korean Studies, School of Information, and College of Engineering. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan Fabrication Studio at the Duderstadt Center, the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, and SeeMeCNC 3D Printers.

Abstraction, Color, and Politics: The 1960s and 1970s
June 8, 2019 - February 9, 2020
A. Alfred Taubman Gallery II

In the midst of the political and cultural upheavals of the 60s and 70s, artists, critics, and the public grappled with the relationship between art, politics, race, and feminism. During these decades, the notion that abstraction was a purely formal and American art form, concerned only with timeless themes disconnected from the present, was met with increased skepticism. Women artists and artists of color began to actively and assertively explore abstraction’s possibilities. The artworks in Abstraction, Color, and Politics: The 1960s and 1970s demonstrate both radical and disarming changes in how artists worked and what they thought their art was about. Their new formal and intellectual strategies—seen here across large-scale and miniature work—dramatically transformed the practice of abstraction in the 1960s and 1970s in a politically shifting American landscape.

UMMA gratefully acknowledges the following donors for their generous support:

Lead Exhibition Sponsors: University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, and College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Exhibition Endowment Donors: Richard and Rosann Noel Endowment Fund, Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment, and Robert and Janet Miller Fund

University of Michigan Funding Partners: Institute for Research on Women and Gender, School of Social Work, Department of Political Science, and Department of Women's Studies

Collection Ensemble
April 2, 2019 ongoing
Museum Apse

FORTY-ONE ARTISTS, FORTY-ONE WORKS OF ART, PUT IN DIALOG FOR YOU TO DISCOVER

Collection Ensemble presents the first major reinstallation of UMMA's iconic entry space in over a decade. It exchanges Alumni Memorial Hall's previous focus on European and American painting for a broad mix of American, European, African, and Asian art from across media sampling the Museum's remarkable, disparate holdings. The installation is organized into thematic and formal vignettes that respond to the concepts and ideas resonating from an extraordinary large-scale photograph of a vacant cathedral by contemporary German artist Candida Höfer. Featuring works of art by forty-one famous and not-so-famous artists, many of them artists of color and women—including Charles Alston, Khaled al-Saa'i, Norio Azuma, Christo, Theaster Gates, Jenny Holzer, Roni Horn, Dinh Q. Lê, Kara Walker, and others, Collection Ensemble reimagines the collection not as a fixed entity with one set of meanings to be unearthed, but instead as an active, creative, sometimes startling source of material and ideas, open for debate and interpretation.

Outdoor Sculpture (locations map)

1. Mark di Suvero
Shang
Born in Shanghai, China, to parents of Italian heritage, Mark di Suvero moved to the United States in 1941 and began creating large-scale sculptures in the early 1960s. >>

2. Mark di Suvero
Orion
Mark di Suvero, who once described his work as “painting in three dimensions,” draws inspiration from many sources, including mathematics, physics, music, and astronomy, to create large-scale sculptures with a sense of geometry and structure. >>

3. Beverly Pepper
Ternary Marker
In the late 1950’s Beverly Pepper, who had trained as a painter, began to experiment with sculpture. >>

4. Lucas Samaras
Stiff Box No. 12
Lucas Samaras’s diverse oeuvre includes painting, sculpture, photography, and performance. >>

5. Erwin Binder
Requiem
A veteran of the United States Air Force, Erwin Binder learned to cast metal and work with stone as an employee at his family's jewelry business.

6. Michele Oka Doner
Angry Neptune, Salacia, and Strider
In her recent sculptural work, the artist (and University of Michigan alumna) Michele Oka Doner has returned to making monumental, figural sculptures.

7. Charles Ginnever
Daedalus
Daedalus is one of a series of works Ginnever created during the mid-1970s with titles drawn from classical mythology.

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