Department of Art and Art History News

Manifesta 11 European Biennial of Contemporary Art Features Michael Smith

Tue. May 31, 2016

black text on white background logo reads "Manifesta 11"

'What do you want to be when you grow up?' From early childhood on, work is thought of as something of essential importance for personal desires. The profession we select plays a central role in the development of our identity, in how we speak, behave and relate to other people. The question: 'What do you do for money?' is the starting point for the curatorial concept of Manifesta 11.

Next to the Joint Ventures, the new artistic productions, the curated section of Manifesta 11 brings together artistic positions from the past and the present to examine how work can be subject of artistic reflection. At the same time, the selected works illuminate the concrete working conditions under which art is produced.

The Historical Exhibition: Sites Under Construction gathers artworks and non-art-specific materials from the past fifty years. The show, curated by Christian Jankowski and Francesca Gavin, is divided into eleven chambers. These are inspired by the intersections between private and public, the personal and the professional, and examine how and why artists portray the working process and relations that they face and engage in. 

The exhibition will be on view from June 11- September 18, 2016.

Michael Smith Featured in Double Act: Art and Comedy Exhibition

Tue. May 31, 2016


art gallery with sculptures and videos screened on televisions
"Double Act: Art and Comedy" at The MAC Theatre Belfast

This major exhibition explores how comedy is important in shaping meaning, and how it can help us negotiate the complexities of everyday life.

What we find funny can be cruel and hateful, it can establish symbolic boundaries that divide people into distinct groups, setting those with power against those without and vice-versa. But it is also a way of binding people together; providing consolation, a sense of shared experience and a powerful weapon of resistance.

Double Act presents the multiple forms of the comedic as it is manifest through the experience of contemporary art. Drawing together artists from diverse cultural and political contexts, each of whom share an interest in humour as a resource with which to animate their art practice and connect with an audience, both local and international, this exhibition will explore questions of cultural distinctiveness in an increasingly globalised world.

This project is staged across both the MAC’s galleries, and the galleries at the Bluecoat in Liverpool, with each venue presenting a different line up of artists simultaneously.

The exhibition will be on view until July 31, 2016. 

"Ghost" by Jason Urban/ Printeresting Published in St. Louis Magazine

Fri. May 27, 2016

red book with gold print
Katherine Miller, "The Red Book," 2015, handbound book with monotype and gold leaf
Ghost, a one-night pop-up exhibit curated by artist Sage Dawson, explores the spectrum of meaning within that word, both in the execution of the show and with the work itself, with artists responding in myriad and complex ways. Kate McQuillen's Night House (above) will be represented by a fragment of Styrene, printed with glow-in-the-dark stars and galaxies, that McQuillen affixed to the facade of an Oak Park house for Chicago's 2015 Terrain Biennial. Like Night House, other works in the show are "a fragment of some other project," Dawson says. "Other pieces are in the show because they thematically speak to death or loss. There are a lot of objects in the show that are like artifacts, or they are artifacts; or they’re fragments or traces of something of a project previously done."

Jamie Panzer presents solo exhibition at Big Medium

Fri. May 20, 2016

image of dentures with writing on teeth
Image courtesy of the artist.

Jamie Panzer (M.F.A. Studio Art, 1993) present a solo exhibition at Big Medium. The exhibition, If Love is The Answer, What Is The Question?: A Science Fair, will be on view April 22 – May 20, 2016.

Visual Arts Center to Receive Grant from National Endowment for the Arts to Support Exhibition

Tue. May 17, 2016

abstract image
"Crystal 4" by Victor Pérez-Rul

The Visual Arts Center (VAC) at The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded a $45,000 grant to support a multi-part exhibition by Mexico City-based artist Victor Pérez-Rul curated by Leslie Moody Castro (M.A., Art Education, 2010). This grant is part of more than $82 million approved by NEA Chairman Jane Chu to fund local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016.

“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from the Visual Arts Center at The University of Texas at Austin offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

The VAC has partnered with UT’s Center for Latin American Visual Studies (CLAVIS) and Energy Institute, as well as the Mexican American Cultural Center for a project that will explore the human consciousness of energy systems. Between Aug. 12 and Sept. 22, Pérez-Rul will collaborate with participants in art, physics, engineering, architecture and design to create an installation that recycles solar power into kinetic and sonic energy to power an immersive and interactive environment within the VAC. In addition to the installation at the VAC, maquettes of the artist's related work with solar-powered pods that emit sound and light at night will be exhibited on the outdoor plaza of the Mexican American Cultural Center. Both installations will be on view from Sept. 23 through Dec. 10. Moody Castro will document the exhibition's open lab and inventions with a catalog and a website.

“With the gracious support from the NEA, the Visual Arts Center will provide a unique learning platform for both collaborators and audiences that is tightly linked to our mission to educate through process,” said VAC Director Jade Walker. “Having an artist and curator in residence for such a long period of time allows for important relations to be built and true experimentation to happen throughout the course of the project.”