Art of Suriname in Zurich
Heinrich Harrer is mainly known for his mountain-climbing skills, but he was passionate about travel in general and visited New Guinea, Brazil, Suriname, and Asia. He was a collector as well as an explorer, and he amassed nearly 1,500 diverse objects that are lively testimonies to the lifeways of the people as well as to the life of the man who acquired them. Harrer was meticulous and each of his pieces was documented, photographed, recorded in a journal, and sometimes even appeared in a short fi lm. The Völkerkundemuseum of the Universität Zürich, which now holds Harrer’s collection, is showing works from Suriname that he acquired in 1966 in Saamaka, then an isolated and remote part of country. They cast light on the daily lives of the people that created them as well as on the fascinating history of the region.
Super/Natural: Textiles of the Andes
Over the course of millennia, textiles were the primary form of aesthetic expression and communication for the diverse cultures that developed throughout the desert coasts and mountains of the Andean region. Worn as garments, suspended on walls of temples and homes, and used in ritual settings, textiles functioned in multiple contexts, yet, within each culture, the techniques, motifs, and messages remained consistent. Super/Natural: Textiles of the Andes, on view at the Art Institute of Chicago until June 23, 2019, features more than sixty textiles along with a selection of ceramics from the museum’s collection that together explore the ways select Andean cultures developed distinct textile technologies and approaches to design. While emphasizing the unique aspects of each culture and highlighting Andean artistic diversity, the exhibition also invites comparisons across cultures and time periods. These objects speak to shared ideas concerning everyday life, the natural world, the supernatural realm, and the afterlife, demonstrating a unified visual language that spans the Andes region from its ancient past to modern communities. If you are visiting the Museum, don't miss the Gallery of African Art. The new installation features new acquisitions as well as several exceptional loans from the Field Museum.
The Southern Athabaskans
The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe is exhibiting more than 100 cultural objects dating from the late 1880s to the present and representing the lifeways of the different Apachean groups in New Mexico and Arizona. "Lifeways of the Southern Athabaskans" features basketry, beaded clothing, and hunting and horse gear from the Jicarilla Apache, Mescalero Apache, Fort Sill Apache (Chiricahua), San Carlos Apache, and White Mountain Apache—distinct cultural groups that are connected by a common language. This show provides a rare glimpse into the cosmology and daily lives of diverse Apache groups, detailing not only how these items were used in everyday life but also the belief systems and cosmology symbolized in their construction.
OCEANIA exhibition now in Paris
PARIS—Following its historic opening at London’s Royal Academy of Arts last year, the exhibition Oceania will be making some voyages of its own. Its first port of call will be the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, where it will be on view in the Galerie Jardin March 12–July 7, 2019. Contemporary and antique artworks will mingle and mix in this installation just as they did at its British venue. The exhibition places emphasis on the exchanges, encounters, and hybrid phenomena that long characterized this vast region of 25,000 islands. These occurred through native interisland contact as well as that of colonial invaders. This focus forms the common thread through which the diversity of the vast region’s art is presented. Quai Branly will also host an exhibition titled Anting-Anting, on view March 12–May 26, 2019, which explores the meanings of the eponymous amulets of the Philippines.
Masks of the World
The mask is perhaps the most coveted of all non-Western art objects. It exists in myriad forms among nearly all of the peoples and cultures of Africa, South America, Oceania, and Asia. They may be relatively naturalistic, sometimes zoomorphic, others geometric or abstract, and they come in all shapes and sizes. They may be used in rites of passage, as ritual tools, emblems of power, or catalysts for transformation. One conceals oneself or sometimes discovers oneself with masks. All of them, from the wooden African masks of the Songye, Kota, and Punu to the stone examples of Teotihuacan, have fascinated aficionados and collectors for many decades, and it can even be said that many types of African masks have become the prime representatives of the cultures they come from. From March 23–July 20, 2019, the Cité Miroir in Liège will be presenting the exhibition titled Masks, which has already been seen in Beijing and Tokyo and is made up of some eighty examples on loan from the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.
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.
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.