September 6, 2017

Fall exhibitions

Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University

Left to right: (1) Rodney McMillian, Untitled (flag IV) (detail), 2012. Burlap, thread, plaster, and latex, 80 x 169 inches. Courtesy of the artist, Maccarone Gallery, New York, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer. (2) Jamal Cyrus, Beneath The Obelisk (detail), 2016. Wax and ink on canvas, mounted on dyed canvas, 54 x 36 inches. Courtesy of the artist. (3) Nathaniel Donnett, Ritual (detail), 2014. Mixed media, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. 

looking at the overlooked:
Jamal Cyrus, Nathaniel Donnett, Rodney McMillian
September 9–December 10, 2017

Bringing together the work of Houston-based artists Jamal Cyrus and Nathaniel Donnett with Los Angeles-based artist Rodney McMillian, looking at the overlooked features the work of three individual artists who share similar, yet distinct, approaches to art making. Utilizing common and everyday materials, they construct works that move between the genres of painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, and performance.

Employing appropriation as a strategy of production, they incorporate prefabricated objects and imagery into their art, repositioning them in ways that expand our perceptions of history, representation, class, violence, resistance, and cultural practice. The works in this exhibition embody a particular ethos that celebrates the vernaculars of that which is frequently overlooked. Referencing text and other forms of printed matter, music, and historical and current events, the artists enact gestures of reclamation, articulating the narratives of the disempowered and disregarded through the use of materials which are usually held to be mundane. Within the context of Cyrus’, Donnett’s and McMillian’s respective practices, the content and subtext of their works take us through processes of inversion and transformation wherein what is prefaced as inconsequential becomes monumental.

Unmoored Geographies: Works from the Permanent Collection
Beren Gallery: September 9, 2017–March 25, 2018
Amsden Gallery: September 9–December 10, 2017

Exploring themes related to space and place, Unmoored Geographies showcases new acquisitions from the Ulrich Museum of Art’s permanent collection. While the individual works may differ in execution and concept, they all share a connection to the notion of movement and challenge the proposition of “place” as something that is fixed and final. Whether referencing geography, architecture, or time, each artist examines how our relationships to site, memory, and physical structures speak to where we, as viewers, stand in relation to them.

Given that the works within this installation reference topics that range from submerged histories and identities, to landscape, to the liminal positions that result from migration, to metaphysical states of being, to the site of the art museum, their movement through and around these issues suggests that our relationships to locations are always shifting. Highlighting works from emerging and established international artists based in countries that include the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Austria and the United Kingdom, the installation will feature works in video, sculpture, photography, and printmaking.

Exhibiting artists:
Laura Berman, Claudia Bernardi, Sonia Boyce/Ain Bailey, Julia Brown, Judy Chicago, Christo, Nathaniel Donnett, Gary Jo Gardenhire, Graciela Iturbide, Mokha Laget, Hew Locke, Vik Muniz, Lorraine O’Grady, Otabenga Jones and Associates, Nusra Qureshi, Faith Ringgold, David Row, Humberto Saenz, Hans Schabus, Tanja Softić, Daryl Vocat, Carrie Mae Weems, Emmi Whitehorse, Matika Wilbur, Zarina

Diedrick Brackens: a slow reckoning
September 9–December 10, 2017

In his textile-based practice, Los Angeles artist Diedrick Brackens explores issues of race, representation, sexuality, and engagement. His works, which take shape as wall hangings, sculptures, and installations, often make use of found items that collapse the distance between “high” and “low” culture. Operating outside of the realm of traditional weaving methodologies, the works reveal their origins as fabrications that are handmade on a loom. Through the incorporation of a diverse range of materials, Brackens creates dynamic and thoughtful works that provide layered reflections on intimacy and being.

Installed in the Grafly Gallery, a slow reckoning will feature ten new textile works by the artist. The weavings result from the revisitation of an earlier piece, he brings all parts of himself everywhere he goes(Seth), from 2013. Created in part as an homage to a friend who was steadfast in an ongoing celebration of his queer and racialized self, the work also speaks to the ways in which self-love is a critical component of resistance. The new works share this ethos. Bearing fragmented reflective surfaces that reference mirrors, they too touch on notions of self-care and revelry. However, they also address the notion of “the gaze,” the harm that can be caused by the act of looking, and how gestures of deflection are often necessary in the goal of self-preservation.

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