Artist Spotlight focuses on interesting artists, upcoming exhibitions, and articles about art and those who love it or create it.

Discover new ways to stretch your imagination, be introduced to new artists, their exhibits, and books to read about them. Expect to excite your mind. Comments are very welcome! -- Rosemary Carstens

Friday, October 9, 2009

Telling Secrets: Codes, Captions, & Conundrums . . .

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) opens its fall exhibitions today and all three sound fascinating! They will run from October 9, 2009-January 10, 2010. If you are in Washington DC during these dates, I strongly recommend you put this unique jewel of a museum on your schedule.

NMWA has a knack for mounting shows that are unique, that focus on fresh, innovative themes.
The one that first caught my eye among the fall exhibits is Telling Secrets: Codes, Captions and
Conundrums in Contemporary Art. Its theme was inspired by the variety of mediums and techniques used by many of today’s artists to convey layered meanings in their work. Collage, symbols, text, marks, and mixed media such as encaustic, oils, ink, and found objects are often combined, worked and reworked, in sophisticated additive and reductive processes that create a sense of depth and mystery. Compelling and intriguing even at first surface glance, the art in this exhibit draws the viewer back again and again as more is revealed.

Alison Saar (see image above left), Leonora Carrington, Jane
Hammond, Robin Kahn (see image right), Hung Liu, Shirin Neshat, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and Adriana Varej√£o are among the 23 featured artists in this show. This is an evocative, culturally diverse presentation that represents a wide range of complex themes. And yet, there is a sense of unity among them. These artists are not only skilled at their craft, they are storytellers, weaving plot and subplot, passion and mystique, with masterful literary genius.

The other two fall exhibits on display through January 10, 2010, are:

Elements of Nature: Equines and Still Lifes by Clarice Smith
, featuring 20 paintings that portray the artist’s elegant vision of nature’s abundance rendered in her inimitable classic European style.

Lands of Enchantment: Australian Aboriginal Painting
, presenting 26 works by Australian painters who explore aboriginal dreamtime traditions through the use of elaborate symbols and signs that translate and interpret generations of layered meanings. These paintings have never been exhibited publicly before.

For more about the NMWA, its history and mission: http://www.nmwa.org/

1250 New York Ave., NW Washington, DC 20005-3970
202-783-5000, 1-800-222-7270

Two blocks north of Metro Center

There is a wonderful new book, A Museum of Their Own, written by founder Wilhelmina Cole Halladay, that delightfully reviews the conception and history of the NMWA. It’s available in an autographed copy through the museum shop, or at bookstores nationwide.
-- Rosemary Carstens
Carstens Communications

(Above left: Alison Saar, Snake Man, 1994. Woodcut and lithograph on paper, 33 1/2 x 42 1/2 in. – Above right: Robin Kahn, Victoria’s Secret, 1995. Mixed media on canvas, 68 1/8 x 28 1/8 in.)


Jerrie said...

Have an Allison Saar and a Hung Lui hanging in my livingroom. Made me sit and take note of the face that they're getting such wide attention.

Anne Doyle said...

Sounds great! I am planning to be VA in early November; perhaps I will get up to DC...I hope so.

Thanks for the news.

All good wishes,