The Modern Art Notes Podcast

Episode No. 486 features artists Baseera Khan and Amy Franceschini of Futurefarmers.

Kahn and Futurefarmers are among the artists included in "Climate Changing: On Artists, Institutions, and the Social Environment" at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio through May 9. The exhibition looks at how artists engage with social issues and how they may shape institutions at a time when both racism and a global pandemic have caused many institutions to re-consider their construction and practices. The exhibition was curated by Lucy I. Zimmerman. "Climate Changing" features nine artworks commissioned by the Wexner, including work Torkwase Dyson discussed on the program last September.

Baseera Khan addresses colonial histories, exile, place and displacement, and belonging within the context of capitalism and its impacts. Their work takes many forms, including performance, sculpture and, soon, a TV pilot produced during a recent residency at The Kitchen in New York City. Later this year they will have their first museum solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum.

Futurefarmers is an ever-changing design studio and collective that supports art projects and research interests. Founded in 1995 by Amy Franceschini, the group has focused on using projects to propose alternatives to present social, political and environmental constructs. Futurefarmers' project "Seed Journey" is included in "Climate Changing." Initiated in 2016, "Seed Journey" is a collaboration between Futurefarmers and local farmers and scholars to return heirloom grain seeds to their native lands. It began with a voyage from Oslo, Norway to Belgium, and expanded in subsequent years to include other seeds, nations and continents. 

Direct download: MANPodcastEpisodeFourHundredEightySix.mp3
Category:visual art -- posted at: 6:02pm EDT

Episode No. 485 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast is a holiday week clips episode featuring former curator and historian Kelli Morgan.

Earlier this week, Charles Venable, the director of Newfields, the institution formerly and best known as the Indianapolis Museum of Art, resigned in the wake of the museum's publishing a series of racist job postings via the executive search firm m/Oppenheim. Once its racism became a national news story and after Venable resigned, Newfields released an institutional apology that said, "We are sorry. We have made mistakes. We have let you down. We are ashamed of Newfields' leadership and of ourselves. We have ignored, excluded, and disappointed members of our community and staff."

The final event that instigated change in Indianapolis was a letter that called for Venable's resignation and major board reforms that was signed by 85 Newfields staffers. The instigating event of the public crisis at Newfields was the resignation of curator Kelli Morgan last summer. Morgan departed the museum via a much-circulated letter that specifically addressed the museum's racism and dedication to whiteness. Just before resigning, Moran she published an assessment of the art museum field titled "To Bear Witness: Real Talk about White Supremacy in Art Museums Today" in multiple venues, including in Burnaway and the Indianapolis Recorder. 

Just before Morgan left Indianapolis, she joined host Tyler Green to discuss the challenges and opportunities within presenting permanent collection galleries of nineteenth-century American art when most American art museums’ collections of the period consist of primarily white artists. This week's episode is a re-airing of that conversation.

Direct download: MANPodcastEpisodeFourHundredEightyFive.mp3
Category:visual art -- posted at: 2:43pm EDT

Episode No. 484 features historian Deborah Willis and artist Leidy Churchman.

Willis is the author of "The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship," which was just published by New York University Press. The book joins 99 photographs of Black Civil War soldiers and Black men and women who served within military regiments with primary source materials such as letters in an effort to provide a fuller picture of how Black men and women fought the war. Indiebound and Amazon offer the book for about $35.

Willis is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts and Department of Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University. She has written or contributed to at least 28 books, has won two NAACP Image Awards and a MacArthur 'genius' fellowship. Just this week the College Art Association awarded her its 2021 Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art. 

On the second segment, Leidy Churchman discusses their work on the occasion of "FOCUS: Leidy Churchman" at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The show was curated by Alison Hearst and will be on view through March 21.

Churchman's paintings address a seemingly endless array of subjects, and in so doing take on the infinite abundance of images in modern society. The Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College has hosted a survey of Churchman's work; they have been included in group shows at museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the New Museum and MoMA PS1 in New York.

Direct download: MANPodcastEpisodeFourHundredEightyFour.mp3
Category:visual art -- posted at: 3:27pm EDT

Episode No. 483 features artists Alison Saar and Maria Antelman.

The Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. and the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, Calif. are presenting "Alison Saar: Of Aether and Earthe" through May 16. The exhibition, which was curated by Rebecca McGrew and Irene Tsatsos, surveys Saar's work related to myths and hidden histories and archetypes. Neither institution is presently open due to the pandemic; the shows are currently scheduled to remain installed through May 16. The catalogue for the exhibition was published by the Benton. Indiebound and Amazon offer it for about $45.

The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento is also presenting Saar's work in "Legends from Los Angeles." The exhibition spotlights the work of Betye, Lezley and Alison Saar. The Crocker is presently closed due to the pandemic; "Legends" is scheduled to be on view through August 15.

On the second segment, Maria Antelman discusses her work on the occasion of "Soft Interface" at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha. The exhibition was curated by Rachel Adams and will remain on view through April 24. Antelman was also selected for the Museum of Modern Art's New Photography 2020, which was (and is) presented digitally due to the pandemic. Antelman's pictures, sculptures and video installations explore the relationship between the body and stone, flesh and mineral, past and present and geologic time and human temporality. Antelman has been the subject of a solo exhibition at the Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas, Austin, and she's been in many group shows in Greece, Chile, the United States, and in Germany.

Direct download: MANPodcastFourHundredEightyThree.mp3
Category:visual art -- posted at: 10:47am EDT