Reimagining Captain Cook
The voyages of Oceanic explorer Captain James Cook, whose legacy is now seen by many as controversial, profoundly and durably marked vast areas of the Pacific. Even today, he remains a larger-than-life figure to whom responsibility for the course of history is assigned, and he retains an almost mythical status in the works of Pacifi c artists. The British Museum is honoring this pivotal figure with a show of artworks from the South Seas on view until August 4, 2019, that reveal how he has been represented. Artists Michel Tuffery, Lisa Reihana, and Steve Gibbs revisit the life and work of this famed captain, who departed the shores of England 250 years ago to sail into the great unknown.
Hearts of People: Native Women Artists
Women have long been the creative force behind Native American art. Presented in close cooperation with top Native women artists and scholars, Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, on view at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, will be the first major exhibition of artwork by Native women. It will celebrate the achievements of more than 115 artists from the United States and Canada spanning over 1,000 years. Their triumphs—from pottery, textiles, and painting, to photographic portraits, to a gleaming El Camino—reveal astonishing innovation and technical mastery. The show was curated by Jill Ahlberg Yohe and Teri Greeves working in consultation with a Native Exhibition Advisory Board, a panel of twenty-one Native artists and Native and non-Native scholars from across North America, who provided insights from a wide range of nations at every step in the curatorial process. It will be on view June 2–August 18, 2019, and is presented by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.
Grey is the new pink: moments of ageing
How do we deal with the political, social, and scientific problems that the world’s ever-increasing older population gives rise to? How can this inexorable aging process be approached from a multicultural perspective? And how can it be interpreted in an artistic and, most importantly, optimistic perspective? Artists all over the world are exploring the possibilities, each according to their own traditions, points of view, and the cultural baggage they carry. Every culture has its own conceptions of aging and of the stages of life. Will there eventually be a universal notion of “age” and in particular of advanced age? What can we learn from our neighbors about ways to manage our elderly population? These are questions that Grey is the New Pink: Moments of Aging, on view until September 1, 2019, at the Weltkulturen Museum addresses through the presentation of works by more than fifteen multinational artists. It invites reflection upon cultural contradictions and places the museum squarely in the realm of social discourse.
Kini ke Kua: Transformative Images
The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum is presenting Kini ke Kua: Transformative Images, an exhibit that explores relationships between ki'i (images) and people. From sculptures to photographs and contemporary renderings, the exhibition presents a multifaceted installation of such images from the Bishop’s collection and contemporary indigenous art and practice. It is on view until Sept. 2, 2019. Ki‘i are a cornerstone of Hawaiian spirituality and can take many forms. Fashioned from wood, stone, and other natural materials, ki‘i become embodiments of deity: representations of akua (gods) and aumākua (personal or family guardians). This exhibit explores some of the ways in which relationships between ki'i and people may change and how and why some of those changes have occurred. At the center of the exhibition is the kii long held in the Vérité Collection, recently gifted to the Bishop Museum by Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne.
Ex-Africa. Histories and Identities of a Universal Art.
After Africa. Capolavori da un continente (Africa: Masterpieces of a Continent) (2003) and Africa. Terra degli Spiriti (Africa: Land of the Spirits) (2015), Italy will once again host major works of Sub-Saharan African art this spring in what promises to be a very exciting exhibition called (Ex-Africa. Histories and Identities of a Universal Art), produced by CMS.Cultura and organized by Gigi Pezzoli and Ezio Bassani (to whose memory the event will be dedicated), with the assistance of a number of prestigious Italian and European specialists in the field. The show will offer the visitor a general overview that will lead to deeper understanding of African cultures through the exploration of nine thematic sections featuring some hitherto unseen material. This exhibition aims to highlight the history of art, identity, power, the sacred, meetings and dialogue. Among the main artworks, you will have the chance to see: "Afro-Portuguese ivories" made between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries by Sapi artist from Sierra leone, the Bini from ancient Benin, Kongo from the current RDC and a corpus of wood and terracotta works that date to the African Middle Ages and created by the Soninke and the Dogon. A beautiful exhibition on view until September 8, 2019 at the Municipal Museum of Archaeology of Bologna.
The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection
This autumn, two exhibitions of traditional arts from opposite sides of the world will open at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The first is Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection, a landmark exhibition that will be installed in the museum’s American Wing showcasing 116 masterworks representing the achievements of artists from more than fifty cultures across North America. Ranging in date from the second to the early twentieth centuries, the diverse works are promised gifts, donations, and loans to the Met from the pioneering collectors Charles and Valerie Diker. Long considered to be the most significant holdings of historical Native American art in private hands, the Diker Collection has particular strengths in sculpture from British Columbia and Alaska, California baskets, pottery from Southwest pueblos, Plains drawings and regalia, and rare accessories from the eastern Woodlands.
Good as gold
In the cities of the West African nation of Senegal, stylish women have often used jewelry as part of an overall strategy of exhibiting their elegance and prestige. Rooted in the Wolof concept of sanse (dressing up, looking and feeling good), a new long-term exhibition, Good as Gold:Fashioning Senegalese Women, opening October 24, 2018, examines the production, display, and circulation of gold in Senegal. It explores golden adornment as part of a larger dialogic constellation of identity, nationhood, politics, wealth, and individual taste that is largely driven by women. It also celebrates a significant gift of gold jewelry to the National Museum of African Art’s collection. It is guest curated by Amanda M. Maples, curator of African Art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, and its opening will be followed by a full-length publication in spring 2019.
In the MET AOA galleries, Atea: Nature and Divinity in Polynesia will open November 19, 2018. Atea is a Polynesian cosmological term that refers to the moment when it was believed that light first sparked forth, resulting in the birth of the first generation of gods. This exhibition will celebrate the creative ingenuity of Polynesian artists who drew from the natural world to give material expression to their understanding of the divine. Featuring objects from American collections and the Met’s own holdings, the exhibition will showcase some thirty artworks—figural sculpture, painted barkcloth, rare featherwork, and more—dating from the late eighteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The presentation will provide an opportunity to understand a core principle of Pacific art: The divine is not abstract but very much alive in nature. It will be the subject of a Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin.
The Last of the Kalash at the Musée des Confluences
Fêtes himalayennes, les derniers Kalash (Himalayan Festivals: The Last of the Kalash), on view at the Musée des Confluences through December 1, 2019, lifts the veil on some of the least-known people of Pakistan with a fi rst-of-its-kind exhibition in a French museum. Thanks to the work done in the second half of the twentieth century by two researchers and photographers from Lyon, the exhibition presents the beliefs and customs of the Kalash, a community of 3,000 people who inhabit an isolated mountainous region and who live and function in ways that are opposite to those we know in our consumerist society. It relates the story of these researchers as they explored an intersection of worlds and religions and discovered religious practices previously unknown to the outside world: a world populated by beneficent fairies called suchi and characterized by ritual ceremonies honoring the gods and celebrating the generosity of the Great Men. This universe gives rise to an art that is replete with symbolism, such as a two-headed equestrian figure, who rewards the most generous men, and a rich textile tradition maintained by women. The non-material culture is also vast: The language is unique, ancestral rites are highly codified and dictated by the deities, and shamans are ubiquitous and omnipresent. Kalash life is filled with spirituality, reflecting their struggle to survive in a harsh and restrictive climate. This exhibition demonstrates once again the extent to which museums are the repositories for human memory, both material and immaterial. It shows how a reclusive society gradually adapted to the outside world, how its rites altered due to pressures from external religions such as Islam, and how a people maintains its identity as it strives to conform to the established codes of modern life.
The Impermanence of Things
After many months of renovation, the Musée d’Ethnographie de Neuchâtel has entirely revamped its space and is reconsidering its holdings in terms of their wealth and variety, without confining them to purely ethnographic, geographic, ethnic, or functional considerations. It has asked and is endeavoring to answer the questions that twenty-first-century ethnographic collections must pose in order to remain relevant. As a start to this process, the museum has opened a major new exhibition at Villa de Pury titled "L’impermanence des choses" ("The Impermanence of Things"). This show is made up of nine modular spaces in which the museum’s holdings are used to put contemporary questions into perspective. In the “Poids” (Weight) section, Asante goldweights refer to the moral burden of the connection between the history of colonization and ethnographic collections, as well as the power relationships between peoples and the weight of the obsessive hoarding of objects, knowledge, and archives. In the “Plumes” (Feathers) section, headdresses from Papua New Guinea are presented within the décor of a Parisian cabaret, since such items are equated with spectacle and show. “Acteurs, Ambassades, Bazars, Artistes” (Actors, Embassies, Bazaar, Artists) and “Regards” (Views) both emphasize that human beings and material possessions are always changing, as are the ways in which they are perceived.