SUArt Galleries presents inaugural exhibitions
SUArt Galleries presents inaugural exhibitionsSeptember 18, 2006David L. Princedlprince@syr.edu
The SUArt Galleries is the newest campus venue for the visual arts. Accessible through the Shaffer Art Building, the galleries combine the Joe and Emily Lowe Art Gallery and the University Art Collection into one entity and contains nearly 10,000 square feet of exhibition space. The galleries will host a variety of temporary, traveling and permanent exhibitions throughout the academic year.
Domenic Iacono has been named director of the SUArt Galleries, with David Prince as associate director. The SUArt Galleries is a member of Syracuse University’s recently formed Coalition of Museum and Art Centers (CMAC), whose mission is to celebrate and explore visual and electronic arts by bringing together programs, services and projects of its member organizations in a collaborative effort.
“The SUArt Galleries seeks to enhance the cultural environment of the University and the Syracuse area through meaningful educational experiences and encounters with the University’s permanent collection of diverse art works and visiting exhibitions,” says Iacono.
Four inaugural exhibitions are currently on display in the renovated space. They examine portrait photography, the history of midwifery in the South, art nouveau glass and pottery, and 19th-century European academic paintings from the University’s permanent collection. An opening reception for the exhibitions will take place Thursday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in the Comstock Avenue lot.
“Reclaiming Midwives: Stills from All My Babies”Through Oct. 12
The life and work of Mary Coley, an African American midwife who worked in Georgia for more than 30 years, is documented in photographs that portray the impact “Miss Mary” had on the lives of the women in her county who relied on her for prenatal care and overseeing childbirth. Coley and her colleagues were often the only medical care available to southern African American women, and their success spawned the popular southern saying “Midwives got us here.”
“The Elegant Salon: European Academic Paintings in the University Art Collection”Through Oct. 12
The modern period of University collecting activity began in 1949, when trustee George Arents donated a collection of his mother’s paintings to SU. The exhibition examines the Annie Walters Arents collection and reveals a keen eye for acquiring many of the 19th-century masters. Included are paintings by William Adolphe Bouguereau, Jean Leon Gerome, Rudolph Ernst and Max Gaisser. Among the favored subjects were landscapes and genre scenes, figure paintings and scenes from the Middle East and North Africa.
“Art Nouveau Glass and Pottery in the University Art Collection”Through Oct. 12
The decorative arts were a principal component of the Art Nouveau movement that flourished in the latter half of the 19th century. Decorative arts gave artists an opportunity to combine functional forms with flowing botanical designs. The inherently plastic nature of glass and clay allowed them to be more easily worked into the sinuous natural forms that were the style’s hallmark. The style originated in Europe and later moved to America, where artists including Louis Comfort Tiffany raised the level of craftsmanship and design to new heights. The exhibition has several of Tiffany’s original works, including examples of his trademark favrile glass.
“Insightful and Incidental: Portraits from the collection of Robert M. Infarinato”Through Oct. 15
This exhibition is of portrait photographs from the private collection of alumnus Robert M. Infarinato ’67. Included are examples of posed (insightful) and spontaneous (incidental) portraits by many of the 20th-century’s master photographers. Images by Ansel Adams, Ruth Bernhardt and Henri Cartier-Bresson are among the show’s highlights. An illustrated catalog is available.
“The Artist Revealed: Artist Portraits and Self Portraits”Through Dec. 22
An artist’s portrait offers the viewer more than physical features. One sees the characteristics of the sitter that make that person a unique individual. All artists are involved with, or have a heightened interest in, creative pursuits, which makes them interesting candidates for portrait subjects. On the other hand, a self-portrait is an artist’s opportunity to make a statement. Traditional portraits, especially commissioned ones, often came with expectations that the image be a favorable likeness of the sitter. Self-portraiture removed those restrictions, enabling artists to be more experimental. The exhibition brings together 50 works in a variety of media that examine self-portraits and portraits of other artists. Included are works by Milton Avery, Chuck Close, Leonard Baskin, Edward Steichen, Norman Rockwell and Anders Zorn. Sitters include James McNeill Whistler, Thomas Eakins, Charlie Chaplin, C.S. Lewis and Pablo Casals.
“European and American Landscapes From the University Art Collection”Ongoing
European and American artists had vastly different concepts about their indigenous surroundings and how to portray them. Europe had been settled for more than a millennium and, with a few exceptions, its terrain had been deforested, tilled, mined and built upon to better serve the inhabitants. As such, the continent was often pictured as a cultivated, picturesque landscape in which men and women might be seen working or enjoying leisure time.
America, a far younger continent in terms of Western civilization, offered Europeans a true wilderness and provided a perfect illustration for the 19th-century philosophy of the sublime that stated one could best envision the hand of God in an uncorrupted natural setting. This helped establish the Hudson River School, America’s first native art movement, and brought international recognition to several of its members.
The technological innovations of the late 19th and 20th centuries enabled Americans to change this continent in much the same way as Europe. This, coupled with changing aesthetics, caused artists to reconsider the definition of what a landscape image could be and resulted in new interpretations that challenged viewers’ preconceived ideas. The subject was broadened to include abstraction and emotional contexts. This intermingling of landscape with intellectual milieus has helped keep the theme vital in today’s continually changing art scene.
The SUArt Galleries also manages the Palitz Gallery exhibition program at SU’s Joseph I. Lubin House in New York City, which often includes shows from other CMAC members.
The SUArt Galleries is located in the Shaffer Art Building and is universally accessible. Exhibitions are free and open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday through Sunday from 11a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Thursday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The gallery space is closed on Monday and during major religious and national holidays. For more information, call 443-4097 or visit http://suart.syr.edu. A new website will be launched in October.