Colby College Art Museum plans exhibitions for spring and summer

WATERVILLE – Life and death, the nature of public identity, and acts of seeing and expressing are among the themes explored in exhibitions to be presented at the Colby College Museum of Art this spring and summer at 5600 Mayflower Hill. .

The breadth of work featured in the museum’s upcoming exhibitions advances its mission to inspire connections between art and people and to champion the value of art and artists by addressing the most vital questions of today.

“Our spring exhibitions are inspired by the vision of the artists and our collection. Each operates on a different register of emotion. Each asks us to reflect on the power of art to help us see ourselves in relation to our world, and to physically experience, to feel, as a means of understanding,” museum director Jacqueline Terrassa said in a statement. Press. of the museum.

An excerpt from Lorna Simpson’s “Cloudscape” video. Photo submitted

Lorna Simpson’s 7-minute video “Cloudscape” is the centerpiece of The Poetics of Atmosphere: Cloudscape by Lorna Simpson and other works from the collection on view from February 3 to April 17.

Artists have long been preoccupied with the sky, evoking the play of corporeality and transcendence through depictions of the atmosphere. In this tradition, Simpson’s work examines the ways in which identity, particularly black identity, is formed, perceived and experienced.

“Cloudscape” features artist Terry Adkins, whistling as he is slowly engulfed in clouds. Its apparent ability to fade evokes how race and gender inform a person’s ability, or lack thereof, to determine their desired level of public visibility.

“Untitled”, Ralph Eugene Meatyard. Photo submitted

Act of sight: the collection of photographs of the Tsiaras familyfrom February 10 to August 14, will present more than 150 works by 100 photographers, revealing the breadth and depth of the Tsiaras family photography collection, a donation of 500 photographs from Dr. William Tsiaras and Nancy Meyer Tsiaras, former students of Colby from the class of 1968.

The photographs in the collection capture moments of human experience and people’s relationship to the social environment and the natural world. The works in the exhibition date from the 1880s to the present day. Aspects of the installation will highlight the collection’s particular strengths in 20th-century American photography as well as the connections between the images, examining formal, conceptual, and thematic relationships across the many histories of photography.

Works by primarily American photographers Ansel Adams, Clarence White, Edward Steichen, Roy DeCarava, Berenice Abbott, and Edward Weston complement the powerful documentary images of nearly all Depression-era Farm Security Administration photographers, including Dorothea Lange. , Margaret Bourke-White and Arthur Rothstein as well as personalities from the Photo League and Magnum, important photographic collaborations.

Other areas of interest include portraiture, photographic abstraction, scientific imagery and street photography, as well as a dedicated section for photographers who imagine human-modified landscapes.

The exhibition will also pay particular attention to the photographs of Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, who were patients and friends of Dr. Tsiaras, and will feature works by Dr. Tsiaras’ brothers, Alexander and Phillip Tsiaras, shedding light on this and other aspects of ‘a collection. who was informed by an artistic family and close friendships.

“Enter the Center”, Sarah Cain. Photo submitted

Sarah Cain: hand in hand, March 31-December 11, will feature a major new painting created on location covering the furniture and full floor expanse of the Colby Museum’s William D. Adams Gallery; an additional group of works by the Los Angeles-based artist will also be featured as part of the installation.

Cain frequently composes on the scale of architecture and seeks new territories for abstract art. With wit, irreverence and a vibrant palette lit by the Californian sun, she works against the tide of a medium tied to tradition and history to imagine what a painting can be and how it can be encountered. In a space that functions as the gateway to the galleries of the Colby Museum, Cain’s exhibition will be immersive and reorienting, manifesting the synergy of unity – a whole greater than the sum of its parts – through diverse imagery. but unified.

Andrew Wyeth, “The Funeral of John Olson.” Photo submitted

Andrew Wyeth: Life and Death, from June 2 to October 16, offers the first public presentation of a recently rediscovered series of drawings in which the artist imagines his own funeral. The exhibition connects these sketches, now known as the Funeral Group, to Wyeth’s decades-long engagement with death as an artistic subject, his personal relationships with the sitters depicted, and his expressive and exploratory use of design.

Wyeth made the burial group designs in the early 1990s, depicting his friends, neighbors and wife Betsy, surrounding a coffin at the foot of Kuerner’s Hill in Chadds Ford, Penn., a site the artist has long associated with the death. In addition to showcasing these previously unseen works, the exhibition also places Wyeth in a rare conversation with other artists who have also used self-portraiture to confront mortality, including the artist’s contemporaries Andy Warhol and George Tooker, as well than the later generation the artists David Wojnarowicz, Janaina Tschäpe and Mario Moore.

For museum opening hours and more information, visit or email [email protected].

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Julia P. Cluff