1) Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern | Brooklyn Museum As part of their "A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism", Brooklyn Museum and The Sackler Center for Feminist Art will feature exhibitions in celebration of a decade of their mission to introduce a Feminist perspective. In the tradition of the Sackler Center, this exhibition looks at Georgia O'Keeffe from a different viewpoint. Alongside her paintings, photographs of O'Keeffe are featured. From this perspective, the exhibition focuses on the aura that O'Keeffe wished to portray about herself. Through her fashion and stances, the photographs introduce the idea of her intention to create the visage she wished the world to see of her. Questions emerge of identity and the artistic quality of being a woman artist. These photographs, famous within themselves, were shot by her friends and contemporaries including Andy Warhol, Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, and Annie Leibovitz. In a comparative structure, the exhibit displays photographs of O'Keeffe alongside selected paintings, as well as items of her clothing, to create a more comprehensive view of O'Keeffe as an artist, an icon, and a woman.
Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1920-22. Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.
Mark Newport, Mend IX, embroidery on muslin. Courtesy of Artsy.
2) Mark Newport: Mending | Form & Concept Michigan based artist, Mark Newport, is a textile artist focusing on emotional topics discussed through embroidery on muslin. Newport's previous work consisted of hand-knit superhero costumes, which embodied masculinity, armor, and human body. His current work, seen at the solo exhibition happening at form & concept, consists of torn muslin cloths that are embroidered with patches of color. These patches are made up on millions of stitches overlapping, in contrast and collaboration with each other. Through his stitch work and use of color, Newport's patches take on the appearance of a bruise or scar on the white muslin. Again, Newport's elements discuss the human body, but in complete contrast to his previous work. These sewn works emulate vulnerability, mortality, and the literal patching up of old wounds both on the body and within the mind. All are beautifully constructed with a level of tedious practice and methodology, Newport efficiently explores textile design. These abstractions convey an emotional quality usually seen with painting, but not as readily seen, and not so effectively, with textiles.
3) Queer British Art: 1861 - 1967 | Tate Britain Marking the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of male homosexuality in England, this exhibit focuses on queer-themed British art during this tumultuous time. Beginning in 1861, the year the death penalty for sodomy was abolished, and continuing through to 1967, the exhibit looks at how these artists were expressing themselves during a time when sexual identities were being questioned, defined, and changed. In the first presentation of all queer British art, Tate Britain has collected and curated an exhibit made of paintings, drawings, photographs, and film that showcase the emotional and personal journey of these artists. Revealing stories and various identities, the exhibit highlights the variety of the creators and their aimed audience. In a world where sexual identity terms such as 'gay', 'lesbian', and 'trans' did not exist, these pieces created a community in a wider sense. Some erotic while others are political, but all aided in defining and revolutionizing ideas and concepts about gender within England.
Simeon Soloman, Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene, 1864. Courtesy of Tate.
Gisele Freund, Walter Benjamin at the Bibliotheque in Paris, 1937. Courtesy of The Jewish Museum.
4) The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin | The Jewish Museum Famous philosopher and social critic, Walter Benjamin, began a written study in 1920's Paris entitled The Arcades Project., which consisted of his interest in the vaulted passages of Paris shopping metropolises. By examining the architecture of these arenas, Benjamin began his manuscript discussing early capitalism within Parisian culture. Looking at history, art, and these modern developments, Benjamin created comprehensive essays with 36 chapters, each delving into a different aspect of 19th-century life. This exhibition sectioned these chapters out, pairing each up with a contemporary artist including Cindy Sherman, Chris Burden, Mike Kelley, and Taryn Simon to showcase the historical information, but also its continuing relevance. Through photographs, documents, and visual art, the exhibit creates a look back in time at the origins of capitalism's transformative powers on society and consumption. A comprehensive review of this little known study done by Benjamin only allows the viewer to see the modern day trends of our own culture.
5) Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series | Seattle Art Museum Renowned artist Jacob Lawrence experienced a long, successful career during a time when minority artists were not receiving much representation. More and more artists are popping up who did prolific work, but were not noticed during the 1950's, 60's etc.. Jacob Lawrence is not one of these. As one of the first African American artists to receive representation by a commercial gallery as well as continued support well past the 1940's, Lawrence has been a prolific figure for decades. His Migration Series, frequently recognized as his masterwork depicts the exodus of African Americans from the South to the North in the years following World War I. This reflects on a similar path his parents once took while migrating during the Great War. These sixty singular panels that make up the series are being borrowed from the Museum of Modern Art New York and The Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., returning to the West Coast after two decades. A long time resident and teacher in Seattle, Lawrence is a celebrated figure within Seattle's artistic community as seen with this exhibit marking the 100th year anniversary of Lawrence's birth.
Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, Panel 18: the migration gained in momentum, 1940-41. Courtesy of Seattle Art Museum.