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AU Museum | Past Exhibitions 2006 Late Fall

Carlos Saura, Self-Portrait

Carlos Saura, Self-Portrait

Carlos Saura: Flamenco

Performances, rehearsals and informal moments among Spain’s most talented, best known Flamenco performers and musicians over the past several decades are caught in these photographs by the eminent film director. Carlos Saura began taking photographs at fifteen and has kept a camera in his hands since. Many of these images in the exhibitions were taken during the filming of his highly acclaimed flamenco movies. Together the photographs reveal the dazzling talent of Saura, not only an authentic artist of film but of photography as well. Organized by the Embassy of Spain.

Joseph Stella, Aquatic Life, 1952

Joseph Stella, Aquatic Life, 1952

Gifts from the Katherine Dreier Estate

This AU Museum holding, part of the Watkins Collection, was donated by the Katherine Dreier estate in 1952 through the efforts of collector-patron Duncan Phillips. The exhibition features modernist works by Paul Klee, Marc Chagall, Kurt Schwitters, Heinrich Campendonck, and others. Katherine Dreier’s much-studied Société Anonyme, a loose knit group that included Marcel Duchamp and other progressive artists working in Paris and New York, helped launch the 20th century’s first trans-Atlantic avant-garde.

Guy Dill, Signal, 2006

Guy Dill, Signal, 2006

Guy Dill: A Decade

This body of work is a selection from a series initially titled Bronze Angels begun in 1997. The title itself has no bearing on the work but is a geographic designation, in this case “of Los Angeles.”

All works are composed from a similar "palette of shapes." The works share a vocabulary formed from the construction of “Joe’s Angel,” the first bronze of the series as well as works directly preceding it from the series “Spanish Mirrors,” (black painted carbon steel).

This vocabulary is one that emphasizes, in distilled forms, architectural conflict, movement and an unlikely grace from decisive geometric components. Their austere vernacular has been kept while the series has evolved in scale, context, configuration and construction. This evolution (growth, change, etc.) is evidenced in the vertical, singular, concentrated, intricacies of "Joe’s Angel” to the architecturally engaging spacial aspirations of “Halo,” 2006, and “Signal,” 2006, the most recent work in the series.

Each sculpture is fabricated individually from sheets of varying thicknesses of #655 silicon bronze. Finished works in the broader series range from 18” high to human scale and to monumental scales of 12 feet to a work-in-progress at 30 feet. In the exhibition works of 8 feet to 13 feet are included.

Certain works in the exhibition may at first glance appear figurative, but only enough to evoke a physical relationship with the viewer. Figurative reference is incidental.

Alan Shields, Whirling Dervish, 1968-70

Alan Shields, Whirling Dervish, 1968-70

High Times, Hard Times:
New York Painting 1967-1975

This comprehensive traveling exhibition—in Washington for its only mid-Atlantic showing—tracks an under-recognized but fecund period in New York painting. Artists such as Lynda Benglis, Yayoi Kusama, Blinky Palermo, Elizabeth Murray, and Richard Tuttle moved paint onto floors, built eccentric canvas structures, used their own bodies to create compositions, and incorporated traces of reality to deepen the power of the image.

High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975 is a traveling exhibition organized and circulated by Independent Curators International (iCI). The guest curator is Katy Siegel, with David Reed as advisor. The exhibition, tour, and catalogue are made possible, in part, with support from the Peter Norton Family Foundation, the Dedalus Foundation, Inc., the iCI International Associates, and the iCI Exhibition Partners, Kenneth S. Kuchin and Gerrit and Sydie Lansing.

Mark Cameron Boyd: Logocentric Playground

Washington area artist Mark Cameron Boyd has been exploring “text as a language for painting” through the use of his original text transcription process since 2003. In Logocentric Playground, the artist seeks to engage visitors in the making of art, to invite their interaction and consideration of the possibilities of communication through art and language. The installation also incorporates reading and interpreting texts—see Mark Cameron Boyd's installation notes.

Talia Greene: Entropy Filigree

Building on her continuing exploration of our control of nature and the body, Philadelphia artist Talia Greene transforms the detritus she finds around her into an intricately woven filigree of hair, dried flora, and bug parts. Her work questions dichotomies surrounding aesthetics and the body by drawing them closer together, finding sensuality in abjection, decoration in waste, and design in entropy.

Jose Carlos Casado, Pandora's Box

Jose Carlos Casado, Pandora's Box, Courtesy the artist

Twenty-first Century Ibero-American Art

Ibero-American Art Salon 2006 presents an exhibition of approximately 40 paintings and mixed-media pieces that reveal the diversity of contemporary art in the Spanish and Portuguese speaking worlds of Europe and the Americas. The exhibition, drawn from a pool of 20 artists from Central and South America, Spain and Portugal, is presented in conjunction with the Association of Ibero-American Cultural Attachés and juried by museum director/curator Jack Rasmussen of the American University Museum.


William H. Calfee, Palmists Mirror, 1960

William H. Calfee, Palmists Mirror, 1960,
Courtesy William H. Calfee Foundation

William H. Calfee and the Washington Modernists

Calfee was chair of the American University art department from 1945 to 1954 and a central figure in the development of post-war art in the Washington area. This exhibit concentrates on Calfee's cast bronze sculptures and features works by other artists working in Washington during the 1940s and 50s including Law Watkins, Robert Gates, Sarah Baker, Karl Knaths, and others. Calfee and the other Washington modernists played an important role in mid-century Washington art and through their work at the Phillips Gallery Art School, Studio House, American University, and Jefferson Place Gallery established a contemporary dialogue for DC art.

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