The Venice Biennale in Ann Arbor

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Well, only a small piece... but so exciting!!!

Works of contemporary Japanese photographer Miyako Ishiuchi exhibited at the 2005 Venice Biennale are on view in the current exhibition Out of the Ordinary/Extraordinary: Japanese Contemporary Photography at the University of Michigan Museum of Art/OffSite.

These elegant and large-format photographs are part of the series called Mother’s, a tribute to her mother whose death in 2000 deeply affected her. By photographing her mother’s possessions, she hoped to come to a better understanding of this extraordinary woman whom she never really got along with.

Apart from Miyako Ishiuchi's, this UMMA exhibition presents works of 10 other young photographers, most of whom are unknown to North American audiences and “challenges conventional Western assumptions about Japanese aesthetics and culture.”

1st Annual Kid’s Art Fair

Youth in grades Kindergarten through 12th from Washtenaw County are invited to submit their artwork to be juried for the very first Kid’s Art Fair at the Townie Street Party on July 16.

Interested young artists should bring samples of their artwork to the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room on Saturday, June 16 between noon and 1 PM. Art jurors will score the work between 1 PM and 3 PM. Everyone is invited to watch the process.

Jurors will announce the young artists invited to exhibit their work at 4 PM. These artists will be allowed to sell their work at a booth at the Townie Street Party!

Check out the library's great art book collection to get some ideas!

Paul Gauguin

French Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin was born on June 7, 1848 in Paris, France. Originally a stockbroker, Gauguin renounced his profession in middle age to become an artist and moved to Tahiti a few years later. Gauguin was also known as a mentor and companion of Vincent Van Gogh although their relationship was also stormy and often destructive. Best known for his earthy palette and broad strokes in depicting Tahitian women, Gauguin was known as one of the prime artists of French Impressionism.

Museum Design

UMMAUMMA

Curious about the big hole at the corner of State and South University (across from the Michigan Union)?

It’s a much anticipated addition and restoration of the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Expected to reopen early 2009, here is what we know about the project.

Not coincidentally, the selection of the architect, Brad Cloepfil for this project has generated much enthusiasm among the museum community, and has already won a major national architectural award for its design. Just yesterday, the New York Times published an extensive article on Mr. Cloepfil and his controversial and brilliant restoration of yet another major museum -- the “Lollipop” building at 2, Columbus Circle (in Manhattan), new home for the Museum of Arts and Design.

The Outsider Art of Martin Ramirez

Martin Ramirez: Example of Martin Ramirez's artMartin Ramirez: Example of Martin Ramirez's art

Martin Ramirez may be famous for his art, but he is better known for his history as a catatonic schizophrenic who created most of his artwork during his stay at various hospitals. NPR has a retrospective of the artist's work, including several images. For further reading, the library also has the book "The Artist Outsider" that provides further examples of the artist's work and details of his life.

Artist remembered

Today, April 30, is the birthday of African-American artist, Ellis Wilson. Wilson was born in Mayfield, Kentucky in 1899. He moved north to Chicago in the early 1920's where he attended the Art Institute of Chicago. He later moved to New York where he participated in the WPA art programs. Awarded with a Guggenheim fellowship, Wilson traveled to South Carolina and painted African-Americans harvesting crops and selling goods at the open air markets in Charleston. He also was inspired during his time in Haiti where he painted peasants at work. He is probably best known for his painting, "Funeral Procession" which was displayed in the living room of the popular TV sit-com, the Bill Cosby Show.

Imagining Eden: Connecting Landscapes

Lyle GomesLyle Gomes

Imagining Eden: Connecting Landscapes, an exhibition by photographer Lyle Gomes is on view at the University of Michigan Museum of Art Off/Site (through June 3, 2007)

Created over a sixteen-year period, this project represents a long-term study of “idealized human-made landscapes of parks, golf courses, gardens, and garden cemeteries (and) explore the enduring human impulse to shape the landscape and to strive for a harmonious balance between humankind and nature.”

Many of the images in this exhibition reflect Gomes’ personal journey and professional development. His Fulbright Scholar Award allowed him to spend time in Britain and a Rockefeller Foundation residency took him to Bellagio, Italy. He continues to reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and heads the Photography program at College of San Mateo. He is represented locally by the Halsted Gallery.

Sol LeWitt, American Artist

Sol LeWittSol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt, 78, sculptor and muralist died April 8th, 2007 in New York.

Most often associated with his early sculptures Incomplete Open Cubes (image) seen in museums all over the world, LeWitt will be remembered for his dry humor (see New York Times Obituary} and his efforts to usher in Conceptualism and Minimalism as dominant art movements of the postwar era.

In 2000, a retrospective organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago showcased a new direction for LeWitt with newly colorful wall drawings that critics called "eye candy".

“A life in art is an unimaginable and unpredictable experience.”~ Sol LeWitt

John Himmelfarb, Chicago Artist

John HimmelfarbJohn Himmelfarb

Harvard educated, Chicago artist John Himmelfarb will give an artist talk on Saturday, April 7, 4 p.m. at the River Gallery (120 S. Main Street, Chelsea, Michigan) in conjunction with his one-man show (through May 19th).

Son of Samuel and Eleanor Himmelfarb, both accomplished painters, John Himmelfarb’s work has appeared in numerous galleries nationally and internationally, and has installed public works at such places as Boston Logan Airport and Chicago Transport Authority.

This exhibition will include paintings, drawings, prints, cast bronze sculpture, urns, and a tapestry of a canvas, hand woven in Peru. For more information, contact the Gallery at 734.433.0826.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #57

Portrait of an Unknown Woman* by Vanora Bennett, a British journalist trying her hand at fiction for the first time.

Set in Henry VIII’s England, Meg Giggs, the heroine of this historical, is a budding herbalist and a ward of Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More, the defender of the Catholic faith under threats of the Protestant heretics.

John Clements, a young physician is more than he appears. His courtship and marriage to Meg would be sorely tested by the secrets he keeps. On the other hand, Meg’s loyalty to More will also be called into question when religious and political conflicts roil at court.

“An engrossing, quietly impassioned historical”, no less for the added delicious details of the famous German painter Hans Holbein the Younger, commissioned to paint what will be his famous portraits of More and that of his family. For more information on the paintings and the time period, the author has created a website.

* = Starred Review

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