Art of the Americas
"Art of the Americas: Mesoamerican, Pre-Columbian Art from Mingei’s Permanent Collection" is the most comprehensive presentation to date of the Mingei International Museum’s significant holdings of objects made and used by people from the ancient cultures of Mexico and Central and South America. Objects featured in the exhibition straddle cultural boundaries, from the Olmec and Maya in Mexico to the Moche in Peru, as well as numerous localized ancient traditions and cultures, such as the indigenous Teuchitlán, Zoque, Huastec, and West Mexico societies. The works range from objects made for ritual and ceremonial use—figurines, vessels and sculptures depicting gods, shamans, animals, marine life, and floral motifs—to objects for domestic use, including jars, bowls, spindle whorls, ocarinas (wind instruments), roller stamps used for decorating cloth, and adornments such as beads and ear spools. A rare collection of Maya textile fragments and ancient beads will also be presented.
2016 is the centenary of the birth of Dada. This landmark avant-garde artistic movement characterised by calling into question all extant aesthetic, political, and social ideas. In pursuit of this, Dada artists— poets, actors, painters, musicians, etc.—turned to non-Western cultures, and to Africa in particular, for inspiration. Above and beyond the fact that it created a new and unique language, one consequence of Dada’s emphasis on the importance of Africa was that it validated a material culture that had, until the advent of the avant-garde, been seen in Europe solely as part of the realm of anthropology. Essential questions concerning the universal history of art will be taken up in what promises to be a significant and historic exhibition titled Dada Afrika. It will present works by major artists such as Hans Arp, Hannah Höch, and Tristan Tzara alongside sculptures from Africa and elsewhere. The event is being organized by the Rietberg Museum and the Berlinische Galerie. It will be on view in Paris at Musée de l'Orangerie until February 19th.
Collecting Art, Collecting Memories
Twenty-five compelling works recently added to the collection of the Asian Art Museum— including expressive indigenous carving, jewelry, textiles, Spanish colonial devotional statues, postwar genre and landscape paintings, and works of contemporary art—are among the artworks that have been brought together for a special exhibition that relates the fascinating and complex stories of the Philippines. "Philippine Art: Collecting Art, Collecting Memories" reveals the Philippines’ role as a center of artistic exchange and innovation, where artists with their own indigenous religions and traditions were exposed to new ideas from the trade between China and India. The expansion of Islam to the archipelago, and later the long periods of Spanish and American colonialism, have made the arts of the Philippines unlike those from anywhere else in the world. On view until March 11, 2018, this exhibition is the result of more than a decade of study and collecting by the museum’s curatorial team.
Gods in Leather, Heroes in Wood
As part of the 2017 Europalia festival, the Musée International du Carnaval et du Masque is exploring the cultural richness of the theater practices of the Indonesian archipelago. From the wayang kulit shadow theater to the wayang golek puppet theater and a variety of masked dances, the exhibition "Dieux de cuir, héros de bois" presents fascinating insight into the islands of Java and Bali, where the culture of theater is a mix of reinterpretations, adaptations, and creations intimately linked to the various Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and European influences that have marked the history of the region. It brings together some one hundred pieces, thirty of which come from the museum’s collection and the rest from the private collection of Claude Lavallé, who is passionate about Indonesian puppets and masks and worked for ten years at the National Museum of Jakarta. For more info, please visit: www.museedumasque.be
The Māori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer's New Zealand
This exhibition features for the first time in the United States over 30 Gottfried Lindauer’s portraits of the Māori. A key cultural figure in New Zealand, Lindauer was one of the country’s most pioneering and prolific painters. His historical portraits of Māori leaders, community elders, warriors and politicians painted between 1874 and 1903 capture the fascinating personal stories of his subjects as well as the complex intercultural exchanges occurring at the time of colonisation.
This exhibition also explores how a Czech painter, trained in the European style of 19th century portraiture became the most celebrated portraitist of Māori in New Zealand. The Māori see these paintings as ‘living connections to the past’. The remarkable life stories of their ancestors are remembered and shared by their descendants today through these paintings.
Photo: Gottfried Lindauer, "Pare Watene," 1878. Oil on canvas. Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915
Peru Before the Incas
This exhibition features nearly 293 archaeological objects, most of which were unearthed in the course of the important excavation projects that have taken place on the northern coast of Peru since 1987 until today. It spans the time from the 8th century BC to approximately AD 1470, the time of the arrival of the Inca on the northern coast of Peru and of the conquest of the kingdom of Chimor. This time span of more than 2,000 years saw the rise of many civilizations, including the Cupisnique, Salinar and Virú, Moche, Lambayeque, and Chimú. The exhibition focuses primarily on the ways in which the complex societies of the north coast were formed, an examination that is framed as a reflection upon power. This approach casts light on how the Inca were the product of the social development prior to Spanish colonization. The installation is divided into five sections: 1) the role played by geography; 2) celestial power; 3) power expressed through architecture; 4) terrestrial power; and 5) high-ranking and powerful women in coastal societies over the course of more than a millennium.
This exhibition titled "Swish: Carved Belts & Fibre Skirts of Papua New Guinea" focuses in part on the sculpted belts and fiber skirts of the inhabitants of the southeastern coast of Papua New Guinea. Traditionally worn by men and boys, these belts are no longer part of everyday life. They are made of bark, and the decorations that were often incised in them indicated the social status of the wearer. Conversely, skirts were reserved for use by women and girls. Unlike the male belts, they are still worn for dancing at ceremonies, which mark special occasions such as the arrival of an important person, the reception of a dignitary in the country, or even an important international sporting event. The manner in which they are manufactured has changed over time. For example, plastic has replaced palm and pandanus leaves. The exhibition demonstrates how these new ways are not a loss of authenticity, but rather are an evolution in the continuation of an ancestral tradition.
Living with gods
"Living with Gods: Peoples, Places, and Worlds Beyond" explores religious practice and expression in the lives of individuals and communities through time and space. The installation examines the risks and benefits of these behaviors in terms of coexistence and conflicts within and between societies, placing special emphasis on the cases of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Japan, China and the Soviet Union, and modern Europe. It analyzes the mystical and sociological aspects of religious beliefs as well as the neurological and psychological implications they may have. Objects that illustrate a panoply of spiritual practices are displayed, ranging from a Pende mask from the Congo used to keep women and the curious away from young men’s initiation ceremonies to a memento mori pendant from the end of the late Middle Ages intended to remind men of character of the ephemeral nature of material riches.
Beads: A Universe of Meaning
The exhibition traces the history of imported glass beads as a medium of exchange, artistic expression, and identity for indigenous peoples throughout North America. It features garments, articles of adornment, and works of art dating from circa 1850 to the present, and it examines the ways in which makers of beadwork have simultaneously sustained tradition, engaged with popular culture, and developed a uniquely native art form.
Creatures of the Earth, Sea, and Sky
Here is a rare opportunity to see a selection of extraordinary painted ceramics from the LACMA’s permanent collection, supported with loans from Drs. Alan Grinnell and Feelie Lee! "Creatures of the Earth, Sea, and Sky: Painting the Panamanian Cosmos" focuses on depictions of animals, real and mythical, which inhabit the different levels of the cosmos—the sea, earth, and sky. Artists disassembled legible images and merged them into hybrid combinations that are so abstract that identification is frequently impossible—and probably unnecessary. The Panamanian aesthetic deemed naturalism as being far less important than the significance of unifying diverse cosmological beings into a multilayered image that captured a snapshot of the cosmos as experienced in shamanic vision quests. The dizzying slip painting that covers every inch of these ceramic vessels with swirling patterns in strong and distinctive colors is unique to ancient Panama.