2013 Press & Events

December 16, 2013

The Body Metonymic: International Contemporary Sculpture, Opens January 11, 2014

The Body Metonymic
International Contemporary Sculpture
JANUARY 11 – MARCH 30, 2014
OPENING RECEPTION SATURDAY, JANUARY 11, 6-8PM

Oakland University Art Gallery is delighted to announce The Body Metonymic, an
exhibition of contemporary sculpture by twelve international artists: David Altmejd,
Folkert de Jong, Lonnie Holley, Chris Jones, Fabienne Lasserre, Martin McMurray,
Matthew Monahan, Martha Mysko, Michelle Segre, Shinique Smith, William Stone, and
Johannes VanDerBeek.

Contemporary sculpture has an unexpectedly raw integrity, fueled by an unabashed use
of non-tradition materials and an overt conceptuality. Asserting itself viscerally, in ways
that mediated art forms like painting cannot, each object’s signification is direct and
metonymic.

Never mere replicas of depicted subject matter, the works in this exhibition embody a
schema, a reformation, or a reconstruction of their subject. Distilled figures, structures
or physiques, they stand for the conceptual intent of using a compound number of
objects to create a whole, singular work.

The Body Metonymic personifies the idea of a short-cut equivalency, that is to say, the
presence of a more direct or rapid entry point to each work’s ideological position – this
in comparison, say, to mimetic realism. The “body” aspect is relational and refers to the
human scale of the work.

Elementally, these artists dissect the subtleties of mass and volume and stand
diametrically opposed to pomp and circumstance of epic monolithic sculpture. Their
powerful metonymic forms take us directly to the heart of each artist’s emotional and
intellectual intent, in works that are democratizing, unembellished, and universally
engaging.

Gallery hours are Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 5pm. For images or additional information,
please contact jaleow@oakland.edu, 248 370 3005.

Click here to view the press release from the event.

November 18, 2013

Performing Jerusalem: Renaissance Pilgrims, Terracotta Saints and the Virtual Holy Land at San Vivaldo in Tuscany

 

2013 Department of Art and Art History

Braun Lecture

Thursday, November 21 at 6:30PM

Oakland University Art Gallery

Performing Jerusalem: Renaissance Pilgrims, Terracotta Saints and the Virtual Holy Land at San Vivaldo in Tuscany

by Dr. Allie Terry-Fritsch

Associate Professor of Italian Renaissance Art History

Bowling Green State University

While avatars and virtual reality are common features of 21st century computing and gaming culture, they also were used over five hundred years ago in Renaissance Italy as a way to simulate pilgrimage to the holy sites of Jerusalem. Dr. Allie Terry-Fritsch investigates the art and architecture of the Franciscan site of San Vivaldo in Tuscany.

 Built in the forest of central Italy between 1499 and 1513, the holy campus presented a “New Jerusalem” to Christian pilgrims in the form of small-scale architectural buildings representing key devotional sites of the Holy Land. Pilgrims were invited to enter into the architectural environments and to touch, smell, taste and hear, in addition to view three-dimensional, polychrome terracotta reliefs located inside. Led by the Franciscans resident at the site, pilgrims were cultivated to experience heightened prosthetic memories of Christ’s, and his followers’, lived experiences in front of these images. Men and women would crawl into the “Holy Sepulchre” to embrace a life-size terracotta sculpture of the dead Christ, shed tears along a terracotta relief of Mary at the base of the cross at “Calvary,” and cry out for justice at “Pilate’s palace” while surrounded by terracotta friends and foes of Christ. Dr. Terry-Fritsch’s lecture will recreate the experience of a Renaissance pilgrim to San Vivaldo and will explain how the art and architecture of the site were created purposefully to foster a virtual encounter with the holy that was even better than the real thing. 

 

Click here to view the press release from the event.

November 11, 2013

Celebrating Gilda Snowden, by Ro Scott, arthopper.com, November 10, 2013

The recent opening of Gilda Snowden — Album: A Retrospective 1977-2010 at the Oakland University Art Gallery drew a large crowd of artists, educators, collectors and on-lookers to celebrate the work of an artist who in many ways, represents the heart and soul of Detroit’s artistic community. The gallery director, Dick Goody, explains the importance of selecting Gilda Snowden for a retrospective exhibition in the catalog’s introduction, “It is a reflection on Gilda Snowden’s extensive career and community presence as an artist, activist, teacher, peacemaker, and doyenne of the visual arts in Detroit.”

Familiar with Snowden’s work, over the years I experienced her evolution first hand. Her early graduate school artwork, as depicted in Chair and Self-Portrait, produced fluid oil paintings that exercise both facility and observation. These early ochre and earth tone paintings give the audience some insight into the artist’s early understanding of light and form. During her early time at WSU, representational artwork dominated the teaching pedagogy. Snowden did not receive exposure to non-representational teaching, coupled with real world experience, until meeting visiting artist, Guy Goodwin, and her association with Associate Professor, John Egner. In the catalog interview with Dick Goody she explains, “I took Composition with him [John Egner]. It originally was listed as a design class, but instead he took us to every collection, gallery, and exhibition space, so we met collectors, dealers, artists, and got a real sense of the world outside the painting studio.”

Early oil paintings by Gilda Snowden

Left: Chair. Gilda Snowden. 1977. Oil on canvas, 23 x 25 inches. Photo courtesy of Oakland University Art Gallery. Right: Self-Portrait. Gilda Snowden. 1977. Oil on canvas, 20 x 26 inches, Collection of Dan Graschuck. Photo courtesy of Oakland University Art Gallery.

The 1980 exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA): Kick Out the Jams: Cass Corridor 1963-1977, best illustrates the real world context of Detroit then. Artists like Gordon Newton, Michael Luchs, Paul Schwartz, and James Chatleain, coined as Cass Corridor artists, produced a counter-culture, sometimes called the “Wagstaff Years” after DIA Curator of Contemporary Art, Samuel J. Wagstaff, Jr. (1968-1971). Young artists in a variety of artistic expressions revolted against the social conformity of the 1950s. Eva Hesse, Lucas Smaras, and Robert Rauschenberg seem to have influenced Snowden to some degree. While entrenched in the MFA program at WSU, potential influences, at the nearby Willis Gallery that championed the often new and unrefined aesthetic, surrounded her.

Over the years, Gilda Snowden’s work organized itself around themes, such as gardens, tornadoes, and chairs. During the 1980s, working in relief using wood construction, encaustic wax, photographs, and acrylic paint, Snowden’s work often reflected personal events in her life including marriage, the birth of a child, and the loss of her parents. She embedded family initials, dates and significant photographs into the work. These reliefs and objects on the wall symbolize and celebrate family, friends and experiences. Each intuitively personal work evokes a post-industrial type of energy that feels raw, rough and sensitive at the same time.

Oil on canvas painting by Gilda Snowden

Imaginary Landscape. Gilda Snowden. 2006, Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60 inches. Photo courtesy of Oakland University Art Gallery.

In recent years, and as illustrated in Imaginary Landscape, Gilda Snowden landed on a style commonly called non-representational abstraction where she worked on a new theme she describes as “Night Skies.” These abstract, expressionistic paintings rely on layers of shapes and acrylic color. In text displayed next to the painting the artist elaborates, “places that originally housed Tornadoes; they are now fertile gardens in an urban setting.” This strong sense of primary color and shape, with complex backgrounds matched up with an ambiguous foreground, reaches back to the influence of the Dutch-American painter Willem de Kooning.

Gilda Snowden grew up just blocks away from the heart of the 1967 Detroit Riots. Her work pulls on a life of energy from three distinct Detroit institutions She studied art at Cass Technical High School, completed her BFA and MFA degrees at Wayne State University and now teaches painting as a Full Professor at the Center for Creative Studies. Awarded a fellowship by the Kresge Foundation in 2009, her work will continue to influence artists of all ages throughout the Detroit metro area.

The exhibition runs through November 24, 2013.

Click here to read the full article.

October 31, 2013

Gilda Snowden: Artist’s Lecture

 

Department of Art and Art History

Gilda Snowden

Artist’s Lecture

Thursday, November 7 at 5PM

Oakland University Art Gallery

In conjunction with

Gilda Snowden – Album: A Retrospective 1977-2010

 

Gilda Snowden – Album: A Retrospective, 1977-2010, looks back at a varied and impressive oeuvre, almost forty years in the making.  It is also a reflection on Gilda Snowden’s extensive career and community presence as an artist, activist, teacher, peacemaker and doyenne of the visual arts in Detroit. 

Thirty-three works (paintings, drawings, reliefs, sculpture, encaustics and embedded photographs) create a compelling narrative from Snowden’s student days in the mid-seventies up to 2010, where she looks far back to her ancestral roots, bringing her work up to date with her present family. The artist states: The definition of painting is expanding and continually flexing its muscles.  When I was in school I never thought that I would be using the media that I use now.  It seems that the older I get, the more radical I am in my own visual practices.  This is an outgrowth of my early experiences as a young artist in school, observations and immersion in the Cass Corridor community, and a constant study of art history.  To be radical is required for forward progression.

Click here to view the press release from the event.

October 2, 2013

Lalla Essaydi Curator’s Talk, Saturday, October 12 at 2PM

Please join us for a curator talk in conjunction with Lalla Essaydi: Writing Femininity, Writing Pleasure by Dr. John J. Corso at the gallery on Saturday, October 12 at 2:00PM.

October 1, 2013

Announcing Gilda Snowden's Exhibition – Album: A Retrospective 1977-2010 Opening on Saturday, October 26

Gilda Snowden

Album: A Retrospective, 1977-2010

 

OCTOBER 26 – NOVEMBER 24, 2013

OPENING RECEPTION SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26, 6-8PM

 

Oakland University Art Gallery is delighted to announce the opening of Gilda Snowden – Album: A Retrospective, 1977-2010.  This exhibition, with its archivist-inflected title, Album, is a look back at a varied and impressive oeuvre, almost forty years in the making.  It is also a reflection on Gilda Snowden’s extensive career and community presence as an artist, activist, teacher, peacemaker and doyenne of the visual arts in Detroit.  Thirty-three works (paintings, drawings, reliefs, sculpture, encaustics and embedded photographs) create a compelling narrative from Snowden’s student days in the mid-seventies up to 2010, where she looks far back to her ancestral roots, bringing her work up to date with her present family.

 

The artist states:

 

The definition of painting is expanding and continually flexing its muscles.  When I was in school I never thought that I would be using the media that I use now.  It seems that the older I get, the more radical I am in my own visual practices.  This is an outgrowth of my early experiences as a young artist in school, observations and immersion in the Cass Corridor community, and a constant study of art history.  To be radical is required for forward progression. 

 

A full-color catalogue accompanies this retrospective.  Included in it is an interview with the artist and a timeline of the thirty-six years covered by this survey; all works on view are reproduced in the fifty-page publication.

 

Gilda Snowden will give an artist’s talk at the gallery on Thursday, November 7 at 5PM.

 

Gallery hours are Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 5pm. For images or additional infor­mation, please contact jaleow@oakland.edu, 248 370 3005.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

zp8497586rq

September 24, 2013

Lighting Talks

September 7, 2013

Detroit Free Press: Best of the rest: Block party, book festival, art exhibit, by Mary Lendzion, Detroit Free Press staff writer

Lalla Essaydi art exhibit

Twenty large-scale photographic works created between 2003 and 2012 will be featured in the “Lalla Essaydi — Writing Femininity, Writing Pleasure” exhibit, curated by John Corso at the Oakland University Art Gallery.

The Moroccan-born artist has worked in various media, including painting, video, film, installation and analog photography. Through the use of hand-applied Arabic calligraphy and the re-appropriation of poses inspired by Orientalist paintings, she explores the role of Muslim women in society.

An opening reception will be 6-8 p.m. Saturday. In addition, there will be a panel discussion with Essaydi, Corso and Allan Doyle, author of the exhibit’s catalog, at 5 p.m. Saturday; a keynote address with Lalla Essaydi at 2 p.m. Sunday and a curator’s talk at 2 p.m. Oct. 12.

zp8497586rq

Click here to read the full article.

Lalla Essaydi Weekend Special Events

WEEKEND SPECIAL EVENTS

  

Preview Panel Discussion with Lalla Essaydi, Allan Doyle, and John Corso Saturday, September 7, 5PM 

in Wilson Hall Room 124 (located downstairs on the floor below the gallery) 

·     

Opening Reception, Saturday, September 7, 6-8PM in the OU Art Gallery

·     

Keynote Address, Lalla Essaydi, Sunday, September 8, 2PM in the OU Art Gallery

zp8497586rq

July 19, 2013

LALLA ESSAYDI: WRITING FEMININITY, WRITING PLEASURE opens on September 7, 2013

This exhibition brings together 20 large-scale photographic works, made from 2003 to 2012 and spanning five major bodies of work. In the earliest body of work, Converging Territories Essaydi establishes the primary conditions of her aesthetic investigations: she photographs women elaborately adorned in henna script within exquisitely ornamented interiors. These works highlight the importance of writing in the creation of the self and of femininity. In her later series Harem and Harem Revisited, Essaydi examines the relationship of women, writing, and the fantastic architecture of the harem. Finally, in Bullets and Bullets Revisited, Essaydi crafts heavenly interiors from shining gold bullet cartridges. The women in these interiors sparkle, occasionally they wear bullets themselves, and they appear larger than life and otherworldly. In all of these series, Essaydi deftly pursues the relationship of writing to beauty and pleasure, and its role in the creation and expression of femininity. 

Born in Morocco, Lalla Essaydi works to examine the role of the Muslim woman in today’s society. Through the use of hand-applied Arabic calligraphy and the re-appropriation of poses inspired by Orientalist paintings, Essaydi explores the relationship between the themes of writing, femininity, and pleasure.  Writing upon the faces and skin of her models with henna, Essaydi actively defies the traditional use of calligraphy, an art form customarily reserved for men.

Lalla Essaydi lives in New York and Morocco, her country of origin and the setting for her fantastic interior tableaux of Moroccan women. She is well aware that Western art history has crafted its own fantasy of the East, and especially of Islamic women. Today we recognize that those fantasies, which we describe as “Orientalist,” are problematic. Artists like Ingres, Delacroix, and others focused on exotic, often fictionalized subjects, as a way to subordinate the “wild” cultures of the East while promoting the “civilization” of the West. Essaydi understands this tradition; she was schooled in Paris and Boston, and is exceedingly familiar with the Romantic Masters. But she stages her critique in subtle, multivalent ways. Essaydi knows that these traditions have produced beautiful if prejudiced masterpieces. Moreover, she knows that the relationship between beauty and subjugation is itself a multifaceted one, a connection that involves power, knowledge of the other, and desire. Essaydi doesn't shy away from these difficult conversations on the nature of beauty and desire, but rather she brings all of its intricacy into her performative photographs of women.  

This exhibition brings together 20 large-scale photographic works, made from 2003 to 2012 and spanning five major bodies of work. In the earliest body of work, Converging Territories Essaydi establishes the primary conditions of her aesthetic investigations: she photographs women elaborately adorned in henna script within exquisitely ornamented interiors. These works highlight the importance of writing in the creation of the self and of femininity. In her later series Harem and Harem Revisited, Essaydi examines the relationship of women, writing, and the fantastic architecture of the harem. Finally, in Bullets and Bullets Revisited, Essaydi crafts heavenly interiors from shining gold bullet cartridges. The women in these interiors sparkle, occasionally they wear bullets themselves, and they appear larger than life and otherworldly. In all of these series, Essaydi deftly pursues the relationship of writing to beauty and pleasure, and its role in the creation and expression of femininity. 

zp8497586rq

Click here to view the press release from the event.

Oakland University Art Gallery | 208 Wilson Hall | Rochester, MI 48309 | copyright 2017