American University Museum's Online 'Contested Space' Series Explores Themes Relevant to Presidential Election of 2020

  • September 16, 2020 11:06

  • Email
Allan Gerson, Border Wall, No.8, March 2019. Courtesy The Estate of Allan Gerson.

Every four years, American University Museum in Washington, DC, presents exhibitions during the run-up to presidential elections addressing the most heavily contested issues, with the intention of educating and encouraging dialogue. This year, necessitated by the ongoing pandemic, the museum is providing virtual space for these exhibitions and discussions. Art on view this fall explores themes around the global climate crisis, particularly water as a declining resource, immigration policies, and truth and illusion in public discourse.  

Advertisement

TRUTH

There’s a tendency to think of fake news as a modern term. It’s not, as the phrase emerged over 100 years ago. Art and Authenticity in the Age of Fake News assembles 30 paintings, prints, and photographs from the American University Museum collection that—like images in the media today—challenge ideas about “truth” in representation. At a time when the veracity of images is constantly being tested, this virtual exhibition examines how and why modern artists have often done this testing themselves.

Nancy Van Meter, Barbie Petticoat: Like Flower Waiting for the Bee, 1999, cyanotype photogram mat: 14 x 14 in. Gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Gift of the artist) 2018.15.1887

With works spanning the 20th century and the Western world, the exhibition looks at the ways in which, over the past century, visual artists have negotiated issues of truth and deception. It provides insight into the complicated relationship between art and politics in the past, but also in the present. Nika Elder, assistant professor in AU’s Department of Art, who specializes in North American art from the colonial period to the present, including African-American art and the history of photography, curated the exhibit, while AU graduate students produced it.

The exhibit includes work by well-known figures like Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Mabel Dwight, Lee Krasner, Kurt Schwitters, Ben Shahn, and Renée Stout, as well as lesser-known artists. Gallery Talk: Art and Authenticity, 4:15-5:15 p.m., Oct. 26. Register on Eventbrite

ENVIRONMENT

Edward Burtynsky: Water features the artist’s large-scale photographs, often taken from a bird’s-eye perspective, that tell the timely story of where water comes from, how we use, distribute, and waste it. This exhibition, comprised of large-format color photographs by Burtynsky, explores humanity’s increasingly stressed relationship with the world’s most vital natural resource.

Water presents photographs taken between 2007-2013 that trace, in intricate detail, humanity’s complex relationship with the world’s most vital natural resource. In the seven years since the Water series was released, this body of work has perhaps become even more relevant as the planet moves deeper into the inevitable climate crisis and our relationship with water becomes more volatile and precarious. Gallery Talk, 7-8 p.m., Oct. 8. Register on Eventbrite

Allan Gerson, Border Wall, No. 7, 12/28/18. Courtesy The Estate of Allan Gerson.

IMMIGRATION

Two online exhibitions address issues surrounding immigration and identity from very different perspectives:

Border Wall | Allan Gerson presents powerful and poignant outsized photographs taken of the Mexican side of the border wall. Border Wall examines the question of citizenship from the point of view the other—the individual hungry for access to a country or space they’re told they cannot occupy and are consistently denied in inhuman ways. There is no shortage of deterrents, yet the desire and will for change are still there. The wall displays the symbols and imagery of all of the talismans for what could be, what life might hold and most importantly of hope. Curated by Jennifer Sakai. Gallery Talk: Border Wall, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Sept. 24. Register on Eventbrite

D.C.-based artist Mikray Pida was born in the Uighur autonomous region of Xinjiang, China. Her art is grounded in ancient Uighur civilization and the struggle of modern Uighur life. Drawing upon her ancestry to contemplate the loss of Uighur cultural identity, Pida’s large-scale paintings comment on climate change, overpopulation, and refugee crises that threaten human existence worldwide.  


  • Email

More News Feed Headlines

From Earle Vandekar of Knightsbridge, American Hooked Rug Depicting a Zebra Mounted on Stretcher, Early 20th Century, (Ref: NY9569 - camr).

Discover New Twists On Tradition In The Philadelphia Show With Online Programs and Offerings From 50+ Top Dealers

  • ArtfixDaily / April 22nd, 2021

Celebrating its 59th edition showcasing America's preeminent dealers of antiques and fine art, The Philadelphia Show ...

Read More...
John Leslie Breck (American, 1860 – 1899) Grey Day on the Charles , 1894.  Oil on canvas, 18 x 22 inches.  Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, J.  Harwood and Louise B.  Cochrane Fund for American Art, 90.151 Photo: Katherine Wetzel/ ©Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Traveling Exhibition On American Impressionism Brings Together Prime Examples From Public and Private Collections

  • ArtfixDaily / April 22nd, 2021

After its debut at Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis (on view now through May 9, 2021), the exhibition travels to ...

Read More...
Olafur Eliasson, Life, 2021.  Installation view: Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, 2021.  Courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles © 2021 Olafur Eliasson Photo: Mark Niedermann

Olafur Eliasson Floods Museum With Site-Specific Installation Open to 'Human and Non-Human Alike'

  • ArtfixDaily / April 21st, 2021

A new site-specific installation entitled Life by the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson has brought a literal ...

Read More...
John Gerdes, Looking at You, (n.d.).  Collage.  Copyright the artist's estate.

An Irresistible Urge to Create: The Monroe Family Collection of Florida Outsider Art

  • ArtfixDaily / April 20th, 2021

The passion for Outsider Art runs deep in Florida, where self-taught artists have forged an indelible mark of special ...

Read More...
Schwenke Auctioneers - Spring fine Estates Auction - April 25

ARTFIXdaily Artwire