1) Tom Joyce: Everything At Hand | Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe Award-winning iron maker Tom Joyce showcases his decades long investigation of the metal at CCA Santa Fe this summer. Throughout his career, Joyce has utilized scrap and byproduct metal to create his monumental works, which also happens to be a critical factor of his work. The concept that the material is an "offspring" of something that came before and could potentially be used for something after gives the piece a place in time and history. His use of iron in creating his structures expresses the natural and industrial aspects of the medium, as well as its political and historical impacts. As each work is a highly conceptual piece, with an overwhelming amount of detail and thought, Joyce has spent his career mining the earth and his studio for materials, tools, and inspirations. As a local icon, Joyce brings a local and global perspective back home to Santa Fe in this comprehensive survey.
Tom Joyce, Stack IV. Image courtesy of Tom Joyce Studio.
Katsushika Hokusai, The Great Wave Off Kanagawe, 1832. Image courtesy of The British Museum.
2) Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave | The British Museum As one of the most plagiarized images in history, Katsushika Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawe (1832) takes precedence over the majority of Hokusai's career. However, in this exhibit the last 30 years of the artist's life is examined through prints, paintings, and documentation, as well as the original great woodblock print itself. By showcasing Hokusai's stylistic motifs, inspirations, and artistic beliefs, the exhibit successfully explores the vibrant and inventive mind of Hokusai, and the talent that went "beyond the great wave". In a rare opportunity to see all of these works together, the show is actually Sold Out, the only way to gain access is become a member of The British Museum, but is that really such a sacrifice?
3) On The Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection | Pérez Art Museum Miami Through the recent acquisition of 170 Cuban contemporary works by Jorge M. Pérez, PAM is showcasing these works in three "chapters", with a new chapter opening every three months. The work spans all mediums including video, multi-media, painting, sculpture, and installation, and focuses on a central framework; the horizon line. The selection explores the many meanings that are placed on the horizon line. Ideas of hope and desire, of something that maybe feels unattainable. These concepts can be seen throughout the exhibit in a versatile way through individual perspectives. The group show offers effort to generate a conversation about Cuba's current political and social environment from an local and international viewpoint.
Juan Carlos Alom, Nacidos para ser libres (Born to be Free), 2012. (detail shot) Courtesy of PAM.
Betye Saar, Extreme Times Call for Extreme Heroines, 2017. Image courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.
4) Betye Saar: Keepin' It Clean | Craft and Folk Art Museum As a prolific member of the Black Arts Movement in the 1970s, Betye Saar, now 91, is no stranger to the appropriated image and the power of reference. In this solo exhibition, Saar displays two dozen of her "washboard assemblages" that she has been producing since the late 1990s. The sculptures address the image of Black women historically, but also currently, through a readily seen item; the washboard. By using it as the backdrop for each piece, Saar creates different versions of the "mammy", a derogatory image akin to Aunt Jemima, recontextualizing her in a militant light. In these heavily contextualized works, that provide a multi-dimensional view of our historical past, Saar's assemblages showcase the blatant reference to our current socio-political environment. Deeply personal and affecting, each work provides a candid discussion that cannot and should not be ignored.
5) Katharina Fritsch: Multiples | Walker Art Center With a playful mindset, Katharina Fritsch has utilized scale and color to portray her content in a unique and boundary breaking way. Known as one of the most innovative sculptors of the 21st century, Fritsch has consistently created sculptures that incorporate her German heritage including myths and fairy tales, as well as her own thoughts and dreams. In doing so, Fritsch is known to call awareness to human perception and sight, harnessing our sense of wonder and curiosity. She uses various elements and subject matter only to alter them through scale, color, and with unorthodox materials to fully visualize her ideas. In conjunction with a recent installed piece at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, a monumental 20-foot tall blue rooster, entitled Hahn/Cock, this survey of her work creates a comprehensive perspective.
Katharina Fritsch, Fliege (Fly), 2000. Image courtesy of Walker Art Center.