Baltimore Exhibits Worth Seeing over the Holidays by Cara Ober

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Whether you’re attempting quality time with your significant other, your kids, your husband’s relatives, or your self over the holidays, get out of your house! Get off of your computer! Go to a local museum or gallery. Seriously. Nothing is more invigorating than a visit to a local museum or exhibit. You don’t need to travel to DC to see top-notch museum shows and you don’t have to truck up to New York to be tempted – either intellectually or financially – by works by contemporary artists. Here is a short list of exhibits that everyone you are sharing time with will enjoy, even your grumpy art-hating Uncle Larry.

The Baltimore Museum of Art: Matisse’s Dancers
November 14, 2012 – February 24, 2013

This intimate exhibition of more than 30 dance-themed prints, drawings, and sculptures by the great French artist Henri Matisse spans three decades of the artist’s career—from sculptures created in 1909-11 to delicate drawings of dancers sketched in 1949

The centerpiece of the exhibition is a rarely shown series of 11 transfer lithographs of a dancer/acrobat moving through various positions that evolve into an abstraction of reality, movement, and shape. These prints, drawn as lithographs in 1931-32, but published after Matisse’s death, are among the most eloquent examples of the artist’s way of seeing.

The exhibition also includes an earlier series of prints of dancers by Matisse from 1926-27, two of his later series of drawings from 1949, and two sculptures by artists who were equally fascinated with dancers, Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas.


BMA Front Room: Zwelethu Mthethwa
November 18, 2012 – February 10, 2013

The BMA’s celebrated Front Room series returns with eight stunning color portrait photographs by the acclaimed South African artist Zwelethu Mthethwa (pronounced zweh-LEH-too mm-TATE-twa). Selections from three of his most compelling series include large-scale images of South African youth in elaborate church uniforms, interior portraits of South Africans that show aspects of their domestic life, and laborers amidst the stark landscape of the sugar cane industry. Mthethwa (South African, born 1960) has had over 35 solo exhibitions in venues around the world, including the 2005 Venice Biennale.

The Front Room series’ smart, lively, and engaging exhibitions change every four months throughout the year. Look for a range of solo artist shows and thematic exhibitions with an international and multidisciplinary perspective that showcase some of the most innovative artists and ideas of our time.


The Walters Art Museum: Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe
Sunday, October 14, 2012–Monday, January 21, 2013
Open 10:00 AM–05:00 PM
This groundbreaking exhibition will explore the wealth of European art to reveal the hidden presence of Africans in Renaissance society and the many roles they played. The portraits at the core of this show provide a window on an unsuspected facet of a society deeply impacted by the expanding worldview of the Age of Exploration. More info:


Goya Contemporary: Philosophy of Figure
November 20, 2012 – January 18, 2013

Artists: John Baldessari, Richard Bosman, Marie Bower, Peter Doig, Aino Kannisto, Jaume Planes, Liliana Porter, Joyce J. Scott, Jo Smail, Evelyn Hofer, Kara Walker

More info:


American Visionary Art Museum: THE ART OF STORYTELLING

October 6, 2012 – September 1, 2013

From scripture to fairy tale, cartoons to cyberbullying, the raw power of stories to inspire and enchant, spread lies or to inform, simply has no equal. THE ART OF STORYTELLING: Lies, Enchantment, Humor & Truth is the American Visionary Art Museum’s brand-new, supremely original exhibition featuring embroidery, diorama, sculpture, film, graffiti, and PostSecret confession—promoting all manner of acute ‘visual listening’ and delight for the whole family.




Guest Spot at the Reinstitute

December 15, 2012 – January 26, 2013
Curated by: Rod Malin
Opening Reception: Saturday December 15, 2012 7-10pm
Artist Talk: Saturday February 26, 2013 2-4pm
Hours: Saturdays 1-5pm & Wednesdays 5-7pm or by appointment

Guest Spot is proud to announce a dual exhibition entitled Toward a New Form Order featuring artists Lisa Dillin (Baltimore) and Matthew Northridge (New York City). Opening Saturday December 15, 2012, the works will be on view through January 26, 2013.

Recursive systems generally create the impression that the sum of parts dictate the form of the whole. Fractals, as self-similar patterns, are understood to be the same from near as from far. In the realm of social and political satire, when presented as a form of critique, a certain alchemy can occur and elevate familiar patterns beyond trivial self-similarity.
The tendency to dissect a punch line and disaggregate a joke into its parts truncates one’s ability to see the particular humor within. The somber order, sense of solitude, and dry wit contextually linked to minimal art is merely a backdrop against which these artists embellish their political will. Both Dillin and Northridge’s approaches are in some ways substantially similar; although both borrow from a minimal aesthetic, they also possess the ability to obsessively examine minutely, while maintaining a transcendent outlook. The result is a humorous-like paradox, as if they are saying “I am serious, so I am laughing.”



Joyce J. Scott: A Solo Exhibition at Creative Alliance

 Fri Dec 7 through Jan 4

In collaboration with Goya Contemporary, the Creative Alliance presents an anthology of works on paper by Joyce J. Scott, one of Baltimore’s most important and influential artists. Scott’s artwork critically engages the viewer through sharp cultural and political satire. Fearlessly addressing life’s despondency with humor and grace, she draws inspiration from history, pop-culture, and her own rich personal biography.

The exhibition will explore dominant themes throughout Scott’s career, including race; sex and violence; tradition and spirituality. Her artwork is in the permanent collections at the Baltimore Museum of Art; The Reginald Lewis Museum of African American Culture; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Art and Design; the National Museum of American Art; and the Smithsonian Institution, among others. Scott received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and a Master of Fine Arts from the Instituto Allende. She is represented by Goya Contemporary. scott-solo-exhibition


Lenore Tawney: Wholly Unlooked For at MICA

From Friday, Dec. 7 to Sunday, March 17, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) will honor Lenore Tawney H’92 (1907-2007), a leading figure in the contemporary fiber arts movement, in the multi-venue exhibition, Lenore Tawney: Wholly Unlooked For. Coordinated in conjunction with the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, two art and design colleges will display complementary aspects of Tawney’s work this winter: MICA will present her line-based objects while University of the Arts in Philadelphia will highlight her paper-focused pieces.

The MICA exhibition, co-curated by fiber chair Piper Shepard and faculty member Susie Brandt, will feature approximately 30 drawings, weavings, sculptures and installations produced throughout Tawney’s career, while the University of the Arts exhibition will highlight Tawney’s collages, drawings, books and postcards. “By presenting parallel exhibitions at MICA and the University of the Arts, each with an emphasis on different aspects of Lenore Tawney’s work, we can focus on her expansive practice,” Shepard said.

MICA will exemplify the range of Tawney’s loom explorations through nine weavings. The earliest example, from the 1950s, followed traditional tapestry techniques. However, two weavings on display from later that decade reveal how her work shifted from densely woven works to light gossamer constructions, in which she began “drawing” with threads on the loom and moved away from figurative imagery to abstraction. In the 1960s, she began a groundbreaking body of work she called “woven forms,” which involved manipulating the loom as never seen before in the modern era and established her as a pioneer in exploring new approaches to fiber art.

Making its first public showing in more than 20 years, another exhibition highlight will be Tawney’s Scripture in Stone, installed in Brown Center’s Leidy Atrium. The use of black canvas and linen threads sets this 14-foot square piece apart from other works in Tawney’s Cloud Sculpture series of hanging works, each comprising thousands of individually knotted threads. With Scripture in Stone, Tawney plays on her favorite “circle in the square” theme, seen throughout the exhibition, on an architectural scale.

Tawney made discoveries through her work by engaging in immersive processes, such as weaving, writing, knotting and collaging. Her life and work involved acts of gathering, sorting, building up and paring down of materials. Lenore Tawney: Wholly Unlooked For will provide the first public showing of studio materials and personal belongings inspiring the artist. Both exhibition locations will offer a glimpse into the artist’s daily life and work by showcasing items, such as studio collections, handmade garments and photographs.

“To be an artist, you must be brave,” Tawney said at MICA’s 1992 Commencement ceremony during which she received an honorary degree. “You can’t let yourself be scared by a blank sheet of drawing paper or a white canvas. But what you put on that paper or canvas must come from your deepest self, from a place you do not even know.”

MICA’s long relationship with Tawney began when she received the honorary degree and presented a solo exhibition at the College, both in 1992. “During this relationship, we developed a great appreciation for her art, her spirit and her approach to artmaking,” MICA President Fred Lazarus IV said. “After her death, we have been delighted to continue working with the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation to not only carry on her legacy, but to inspire young fiber artists with her processes and perspectives as an artist. This exhibition is a key component of that partnership.” The Lenore G. Tawney Foundation created a scholarship for MICA fiber students in 2006.–2007)_This_Winter_.html


Behind Walls

November 28, 2012 – January 19, 2013


The C.Grimaldis Gallery is pleased to present “Behind Walls”, an exhibition of photographs by Alfredo
Jaar, Dimitra Lazaridou, Neil Meyerhoff, Bernd Radtke, Leland Rice, and Wim Wenders. The common thread that guides the artists in “Behind Walls” is the subject matter of walls themselves. Walls are explored here through their objecthood as literal dividers between spaces of different ideologies (for instance, west versus east Germany, as seen in Leland Rice’s and Bernd Radtke’s photographs, respectively), through their multi-layered, deco- rated, and destroyed surfaces (Lazaridou and Meyerhoff), and through the activities that they both shield and allude to through their planned and unexpected openings (Jaar and Wenders).

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