The Modern Art Notes Podcast

Episode No. 538 features curator Virginia Mecklenburg and artist Elizabeth Alexander.

Mecklenburg is the curator of "Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice," which is at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston through August 7.

The exhibition features a series of paintings Johnson made in the 1940s. It shows mostly Black activists, scientists, and educators, and spotlights their impacts on their communities and on the American nation. Johnson's subjects include Crispus Attucks, Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson, and John Brown. The series also the international heads of state who brought an end to World War II.

The exhibition was organized from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which holds over 1,000 Johnsons within its collection. Mecklenburg is a senior curator at SAAM. The exhibition will travel to SAAM in 2023-24; a significant national tour is in development.

Elizabeth Alexander is included in "Reckoning and Resilience: North Carolina Art Now" at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. The exhibition features over 100 works by 30 artists working across North Carolina. Alexander's sculptures and installation are often made from deconstructed domestic materials and address America's history, especially the construction and memory of white supremacy. She's been included in exhibitions at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; and the Museum of Art and Design, New York. Museums such as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Ark., and the Mint Museum, Charlotte hold her work in their collections.

Direct download: MANPodcastEpisodeFiveHundredThirtyEight.mp3
Category:visual art -- posted at: 5:26pm EDT

Episode No. 537 is a holiday weekend clips episode featuring curators Erin Christovale and Anne T. Woollett.

Christovale discusses the retrospective “Ulysses Jenkins: Without Your Interpretation,” which is at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles through May 15. Christovale co-curated the exhibition with Meg Onli. Jenkins is an influential video and performance artist whose work has examined how cultural iconography and history have informed representation. The exhibition catalogue was published by the hammer and the ICA Philadelphia, which debuted the show last year. Indiebound and Amazon offer it for about $40. The museums will also republish Jenkins’s memoir, “Doggerel Life: Stories of a Los Angeles Griot.” Amazon and Indiebound offer it for $15.

With Austėja Mackelaitė and John T. McQuillen, Woollett is a co-curator of “Hans Holbein: Capturing Character,” which is at the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, through May 15, 2022. The exhibition presents Hans Holbein the Younger as German but transnational, and situates his portraiture between not only influential court figures, but the leading intellectuals of contemporary Switzerland and England.

Remarkably, it is the first major Holbein exhibition in the US. Co-organized with the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, “Holbein” features over 50 objects including 33 Holbein paintings and drawings. The excellent exhibition catalogue was published by the Getty. Amazon offers it for about $50.

Direct download: MANPodcastEpisodeFiveHundredThirtySeven.mp3
Category:visual art -- posted at: 5:34pm EDT

Bloemink is the author of "Florine Stettheimer: A Biography," which was recently published by Hirmer Verlag. "Stettheimer" offers the early American modernist as a voracious consumer of European modernism, a networker who built impactful relationships with the New York avant garde, and as a major painter. Indiebound and Amazon offer it for $30-42.

Magid's work is on view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth as part of the museum's "Focus" series. The exhibition features work in which Magid juxtaposes the COVID pandemic with the nation's often economically motivated response to it. To date, nearly one million Americans have been confirmed as dying from COVID, provisional counts based on statistical modeling are significantly higher. The exhibition, which was curated by Alison Hearst, will be on view through March 20.

Magid's work typically examines systems through conceptual strategies that allow her to investigate those systems from within.

Direct download: MANPodcastEpisodeFiveHundredThirtySix.mp3
Category:visual art -- posted at: 4:53pm EDT

Episode No. 535 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features curator and historian Marin Sullivan and artist Olivia Block.

Along with Jed Morse, Sullivan is the co-curator of "Harry Bertoia: Sculpting Mid-Century Modern Life," the first American museum retrospective of Bertoia's work in over 50 years. The exhibition is at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas through April 24. The exhibition features over 100 works, including Bertoia's early jewelry and furniture designs, monotypes, sculptures, and commissions he fulfilled for architect-clients such as Gordon Bunshaft, Eero Saarinen and Minoru Yamasaki. The exhibition is accompanied by an excellent catalogue published by the museum in collaboration with Verlag Scheidegger & Spiess. Indiebound and Amazon offer it for $59.

The Nasher has commissioned Olivia Block to make a new sound installation from recordings of Bertoia’s so-called sonambient sculptures. Block's new composition, titled The Speed of Sound in Infinite Copper, will highlight the Bertoias' ability to create a palpable sonic space while allowing the audience to activate the sonic experience by moving about a gallery. The Speed of Sound in Infinite Copper will be presented at the museum through April 24.

Block's discography includes over 20 solo and collaborative recordings. She has performed and exhibited around the world including in Chicago's Millennium Park, and at venues such as the Institute of Contemporary Art, London and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid.

Direct download: MANPodcastEpisodeFiveHundredThirtyFive.mp3
Category:visual art -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT