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Ann Arbor, MI
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525 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1354
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The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene

New at UMMA: Oshima Tsumugi Kimono

Collection Ensemble

The Six Senses of Buddhism


Wang Qingsong/Detroit/Beijing

Cosmogonic Tattoos

Outdoor Sculpture


The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene
Apr. 27–July 28, 2019

A new exhibition at the U-M Museum of Art is inspired by the impact of climate change around the world.

Opening Apr. 27, The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene will feature a “collage of ecological issues” by forty-five international artists that work across a spectrum of media—including photography, video, and sculpture—to address broader themes of deluge, raw materials, consumption, extinction, symbiosis, justice, and imaginary futures.

The “Anthropocene” describes a new geological epoch in which human activity impacts the ecological balance of the planet and is the main driver of change, at a global scale.

The World to Come addresses a range of topics from disaster and environmental devastation and loss, to the emergence of new bonds and alliances between humans and non-humans. It tackles topics such as fast growing populations, waste and resource scarcity, inequality and protest, and the effects of technology. The artists featured also make a call for optimism with new ways of imagining a vibrant future for the world to come.

”When visitors come to the exhibition, what I mostly want them to do is to have a chance to pay attention, to really think and see deeply the beauty of our world and how important it is for us to keep it whole,” said Kerry Oliver-Smith, Harn Museum Curator of Contemporary Art. “Artists can change the status quo. They help us not only see the damage in the world, but they really do let us understand our strong bond with nature and how much we are the same.”

The exhibition brings together artists from across the world, demonstrating a shared international engagement around these global issues.

"The World to Come visualizes a world’s worth of perspectives on climate issues,” said Jennifer M. Friess, Assistant Curator of Photography at UMMA. “By bringing this exhibition to the University of Michigan, we hope to foreground the deep thinking artists are sharing as part of the critical conversations already happening in Ann Arbor and this region around issues of environmental research and sustainability.”

A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

The exhibition is on view Apr. 27–July 28 at the U-M Museum of Art, located at 525 S. State St. in Ann Arbor. UMMA is free and open to the public 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and noon–5 p.m. Sunday.

The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene is organized by the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida and curated by Kerry Oliver-Smith, Harn Museum of Art Curator of Contemporary Art. Support for the exhibition is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, UF Office of the Provost, National Endowment for the Arts, C. Frederick and Aase B. Thompson Foundation, Ken and Laura Berns, Daniel and Kathleen Hayman, Ken and Linda McGurn, Susan Milbrath, an anonymous foundation, UF Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere, UF Office of Research and Robert and Carolyn Thoburn, with additional support from a group of environmentally-minded supporters, the Robert C. and Nancy Magoon Contemporary Exhibition and Publication Endowment, Harn Program Endowment, and the Harn Annual Fund.

Lead support for the local presentation of this exhibition is provided by Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, the U-M Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, Tom Porter, and the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment.

New at UMMA: Oshima Tsumugi Kimono
April 20 - June 23, 2019
The Connector

Fashioned in the Amami islands of Japan, Oshima Tsumugi silk has long been admired for its understated beauty, incredible softness, and comfortable year-round lightness. The rich fabric is created through a remarkable and laborious process: from pattern design and cotton-thread binding, to over 100 rounds of plant and mud dyeing and weaving. This series of steps may take up to one year. Despite the high production values and complexities, Oshima Tsumugi kimono can be worn only for non-ceremonial occasions, since woven fabric is considered to be a less elevated technique than paint-dyed fabric.

This special installation introduces UMMA audiences to one of the ten exceptional Oshima Tsumugi kimono recently donated to the Museum by Kazuko Miyake. Thanks to Mrs. Miyake and her older sister, Shizuko Iwata, who previously gifted her kimono and other formal garment collection, UMMA holds more than 300 traditional Japanese ensembles.

This kimono was recently gifted to UMMA by Ms. Kazuko Miyake.

Collection Ensemble
April 2, 2019 ongoing
Museum Apse


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.

The Six Senses of Buddhism
March 23 - June 30, 2019
The Jan and David Brandon Family Bridge

Art museums generally give primacy to the sense of sight. Religious and ritual objects, on the other hand, stimulate an array of multi-sensory experiences. Focusing on works from UMMA’s collection associated with different types of Japanese Buddhism, we engage all of the six senses in this exhibition.

Six senses are integral to Buddhist devotion: sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, and mind (or the activity of thinking, including what is perceived via the other senses). The “Six Senses” gallery experience extends beyond vision to include: the sound of chanting and ritual implements; the fragrance of incense; the feel of bronze, ceramic, and silk; and the creation of mental images. Our goal for visitors is to gain a deeper understanding of the nature and histories of objects used in Buddhist practice.

Lead support for The Six Senses of Buddhism is provided by the Japan Business Society of Detroit Foundation and the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies.

March 16 through October 6, 2019.

Tillirnanngittuq, pronounced "tid-ee-nang-ee-took," means 'unexpected' in the Inuktitut language. Mame Jackson, curator for this exhibition explains: “Tillirnanngittuq refers to the astonishing outpouring of Inuit art since the 1950s—a truly amazing story! Neither the Inuit artists nor those who worked with them in the early years could have foreseen the worldwide acclaim Inuit art would achieve."

For more than 65 years, the Power family has been instrumental in this story and in building awareness and appreciation for Inuit art in the United States.

The Power Family Program for Inuit Art: Tillirnanngittuq exhibition showcases 58 works of art from the collection of Philip and Kathy Power. Most of these works are from the 1950s and 60s—the earliest years in the development of carvings and prints by the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic. The entire Power Collection of Inuit Art, gifted to UMMA in 2018, includes more than 200 sculptures and prints.

Visitors will discover innovative stonecut and stencil prints, and exquisite stone, bone, and ivory sculptures of arctic animals based on the artists’ life experience as traditional hunters, attentive in their observation and understanding of the animals in their environment. Slightly abstracted, this art possesses great character and vitality, elegance of line and form. The artists illustrate not only reality from nature such as how polar animals move, but also inventive design choices as they multiply, overlap, and interweave natural forms.

Among the renowned Inuit artists featured in this historic survey are Kenojuak Ashevak, Lucy Qinnuayuak, Niviaksiak, Osuitok Ipeelee, Kananginak Pootoogook, and Johnny Inukpuk.

This exhibition was curated by Marion (Mame) Jackson in collaboration with Canadian Inuit art specialist, Pat Feheley. Jackson (PhD, UMich,1985) is an art historian and professor emerita, Wayne State University and The University of Michigan. Pat Feheley is Director of Feheley Fine Arts in Toronto, a world-renowned gallery devoted exclusively to traditional and contemporary art from the Canadian Arctic.

Saturday, March 16, Philip Power, Mame Jackson and Patricia Feheley will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Vera Grant, UMMA Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art (4–5:30 p.m., Helmut Stern Auditorium). Other events will also take place that day (film screening, family art studio, storytelling, and tours of Tillirnanngittuq).

The Power Family Program for Inuit Art is dedicated to fostering the study and appreciation of Inuit Art. Christina Olsen, UMMA Director, describes the Program’s importance: “Tillirnanngittuq is the first in many exhibitions, programs, and research efforts that will explore Inuit and Canadian Arctic art’s historic impact and contemporary concerns. This Program is an exciting new direction for UMMA. It positions the Museum as a national leader in the curation, exhibition, research, and appreciation of Inuit art.” Pat Feheley explains how the Power family collection can contribute to the field of research: “The Powers’ collection, because of the records that were kept, is well documented. It can therefore provide a base for study of other collections of similar work.”

The Power Family Program for Inuit Art was established in 2018 by Philip and Kathy Power through the promised gift of their extraordinary Inuit art collection and a $2 million endowment. For more information, please contact: UMMA-Power-Program@umich.edu.

The University of Michigan Museum of Art seeks to transform individual and civic life by promoting the discovery, contemplation, and enjoyment of the art of our world. We do that by making dynamic exhibitions and programs about our encyclopedic collection, and by inviting artists, scholars, students and others to collaborate with us. The Museum and its events are always free, and all are welcome.

Wang Qingsong/Detroit/Beijing
February 2 - May 26, 2019
Irving Stenn, Jr. Family Gallery


In The Bloodstained Shirt (2018), Chinese artist Wang Qingsong restages in Highland Park, Michigan, an iconic 1959 drawing by Wang Shikuo of peasants rising up against a cruel landlord and triumphantly reclaiming their right to the land. Wang’s projects are usually located in China, but while visiting southeast Michigan he was struck by the similarities between the effects of inequitable real estate development on local communities in Detroit, Highland Park, and his native Beijing. His large-scale photograph, set in an abandoned factory building in Highland Park and featuring more than seventy volunteers, collapses two moments in history to present a vivid reminder of the human consequences of the ruthless pursuit of profit and the power of collective action. The exhibition includes works created in collaboration with area residents that give voice to their concerns and their hopes for transformation and renewal.

This project, which bridges between Detroit, Michigan, and Beijing, China, resonates with UMMA's mission to engage in conversation about local and global issues. UMMA is pleased to present this art project in which the participation of UM faculty members, students, and Detroit's community members has been critical.

Artist's biography

Artist's website

Lead support for Wang Qingsong/Detroit/Beijing is provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan, the University of Michigan Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, and the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment.

Cosmogonic Tattoos
Through June 2, 2019

In celebration of the University of Michigan’s Bicentennial in 2017, artist and distinguished U­–M art professor Jim Cogswell has been invited to create a series of public window installations in response to the holdings of the University of Michigan Museum of Art and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. For this visionary project, the artist will adhere a procession of vivid images to the glass walls of the museums in a rhythmically evocative narrative, based on reassembled fragments from a diverse range of artworks in both museums' permanent collections. The juxtaposed images will address our shared histories and experiences while connecting the viewer to the origins and meaning of objects and their power to shape knowledge, memory, and identity. By leveraging the buildings’ unique architecture, the artist expands our understanding of a museum as a cultural repository and highlights the significant role of these institutions in the life of the campus community.

Cosmogonic Tattoos is on view at UMMA \ through June 2, 2018 and at
the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology from June 2 through December 17, 2017.

Lead support for Cosmogonic Tattoos is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost. Additional support for the artist's project is provided by the University of Michigan Bicentennial Office and the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.

Outdoor Sculpture (locations map)

1. Mark di Suvero
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
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
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 is one of a series of works Ginnever created during the mid-1970s with titles drawn from classical mythology.

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