Lalla Essaydi

Lalla Essaydi, Bullets Revisited #3, 2012, Three Chromogenic prints mounted to aluminum with a UV protective laminate, Each Panel 88 x 71 in. Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery 

James Lee Byars

James Lee Byars, The Golden Divan, 1990, wood, silk, gold lamé, 36 1/4 x 75 1/4 x 29 1/4 in., Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London 

Laurent Grasso

Laurent Grasso, Studies into the Past, oil and gold leaf on canvas, 24 13/16 x 22 1/16 x 1 3/4 in. Courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York 

Don and Era Farnsworth

Don and Era Farnsworth, Gold Drip II, 2015, acrylic / aqueous paint, water-based and acrylic inkjet, hand applied gold leaf on engraved $1 U.S. bank note, 2 5/8 x 6 1/8 in. Courtesy the artists and Magnolia Editions 

Luis Gispert

Luis Gispert, Jimmy Page, 2015, polychrome stone, gold chains, 60 x 49 x in. Courtesy of the artist and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, Image courtesy of the artist and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago 

Charles Lindsay

Charles Lindsay, Sputterer (Detail of Field Station), 2016, salvaged laboratory 'sputterer' from Taiwan University with mixed-media, Courtesy of the artist 

Zarina

Zarina, Blinding Light, 2010, Okawara paper gilded with 22-karat gold leaf, 73 x 39 x 1/2 in., Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York

Alchemy: Transformations in Gold

October 7, 2017 - January 21, 2018
Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries

Alchemy: Transformations in Gold brings together a group of international artists whose work incorporates gold (or another metal disguised as gold). In each case, this precious material not only imparts a sense of luxury, but also calls to mind connotations of the historic and cultural value various societies have placed upon the rare element. As glamorous and sought after as gold may be, it is capable of suggesting complicated politics and potent symbolism. The works in Alchemy embrace both dark and light readings of this glittering metal. Artists in Alchemy are an international group at the forefront of contemporary practice.

Luis Gispert combines gold chains and glittering stone into sparkling abstractions, referencing the decadence of hip-hop and rock-n-roll culture as well as post-war abstract painting. Inspired by the power of a hydraulic press, the artist created custom, asphalt-like canvases (made of painted gravel), in which gold necklace chains are pressured into distorted lines. Both metal and stone are polished to a high shine, resulting in dynamic patterns of gold on black, resembling lightning strikes or cosmic bodies in space.

Zarina constructs paper works and prayer bead sculptures in gold leaf, referencing architecture and contemplative spirituality. The ornate designs and symmetry of India’s Mughal architecture, of which the Taj Mahal is the most famous example, particularly appeals to her. Following these influences, rich materials and references to buildings appear throughout Zarina’s work.

Lalla Essaydi uses glittering gold-toned bullet casings to create garments and backdrops that refer to Islamic visual culture, which she then works into large-scale staged photographs. A strong metaphor for violence, the woven fabrics she creates are extremely heavy, literally weighing down the women in her pictures. She intends her images to raise questions about gender dynamics and cultural stereotyping.

Teresa Margolles, an artist born in the Mexican state of Sinoloa, was trained in forensics and mortuary science. Her gilded fragment of a building destroyed in a catastrophic earthquake comments on commemoration and monuments of grief. Alchemy includes two bracelets from her Joyas series, which translates from Spanish to “jewels.” The gold-mounted stones adorning this jewelry are not gems, but shards of glass extracted from the bodies of people murdered in drug disputes.

Danh Vo gilds cardboard refuse, reimagining simple boxes as sculpture. The cardboard shows the dirt and wear of commercial use, and the metal gives off the recognizable shine of genuine gold leaf, its soft surface melded to the textures underneath. Vo applied gold leaf to a Coca-Cola box purchased in Vietnam. Like the value of gold itself, that iconic logo, in its curving typeface, is recognizable across national borders and cultural divides.

Rachel Sussman will install a site-specific work mid-way through the run of the Akron Art Museum’s presentation of Alchemy in homage to the Japanese tradition of “kintsukuroi,” in which ceramics are repaired with gold. Objects used in daily life naturally incur damage, and rather than disguise cracks and breakage, kintsukuroi honors repair as part of an object’s history. Sussman will “repair” a crack in the lobby with gold resin. Related photographs by Sussman will also be in the exhibition.

Trained as a geologist, Charles Lindsay transforms salvaged aerospace and biotech equipment into his ambitious installations and sculpture. These circuits, retroflectors, laser-optic parts, and colliders, many of which are gold, take on new roles in Lindsay’s installation, Field Station. The artist imagines an outpost set up in a new world and questions what humans will bring as pioneers from Earth. Lindsay will transform an entire room in the Arnstein gallery into an immersive, futuristic field station.

Other participating artists are James Lee Byars, Los Carpinteros, Catherine Chalmers, Dorothy Cross, Olga de Amaral, Don and Era Farnsworth, Laurent Grasso, Hank Willis Thomas and Shinji Turner-Yamamoto.

—Des Moines Art Center

Alchemy: Transformations in Gold was organized by the Des Moines Art Center.

Its presentation in Akron is supported by the Ohio Arts Council. Additional support is provided by the Hilton Garden Inn-Akron. Media support provided by ideastream®

Ohio Arts Council logo    Hilton Garden Inn - Akron logo    ideastream logo


 

Synapse Lecture: Charles Lindsay

September 28, 2017, 6:30 pm

Join Charles Lindsay as he discusses his evolving hybrid installation FIELD STATION, on view in Alchemy, along with other current projects. 

Synapse Lecture: Charles Lindsay

September 28, 2017, 6:30 pm

Free and open to all • Share this artist talk on Facebook

Charles Lindsay is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work synthesizes ideas about technology, ecosystems, semiotics and humor. He creates immersive environments, sound installations, sculptures built from salvaged aerospace and bio-tech equipment, photographs and videos. His career trajectory has been diverse, ranging from exploration geology in the Arctic to photojournalism in the jungles of southeast Asia. He invented a carbon-based imaging process and merged that with sound and sensors to create immersive installations.

Lindsay serves as the SETI Artist in Residence Program Director. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Residency, Artist in Residence at Imagine Science Films, and the innovator behind OSA EARS – a project designed to deliver real-time sound from one of the world’s most bio-diverse rain forests to anyone anywhere via Internet. His work has been profiled by WIRED, Motherboard, ARTonAIR.org, Viralnet, NPR, and CNN International.

Works from the FIELD STATION, an evolving hybrid installation, are on view at the Akron Art Museum as part of the exhibition Alchemy: Transformations in Gold, Oct. 7, 2017 – Jan. 21, 2018.

image: Charles Lindsay, Sputterer, from FIELD STATION, 2016-17, courtesy of the artist

The Synapse series explores enlightened collaborations between art and science. This initiative at The University of Akron probes the ideas, images, and mutual interests connecting art and science professionals and disciplines. The Synapse series is funded through the generous support of the Knight Foundation.
 

Synapse Lecture: Rachel Sussman

November 2, 2017, 6:30 pm

Join artist Rachel Sussman as she discusses her series The Oldest Living Things in the World, as well as her Sidewalk Kintsukuroi series.

Synapse Lecture: Rachel Sussman

November 2, 2017, 6:30 pm

Free and open to all

Rachel Sussman is a contemporary artist based in Brooklyn. Her critically acclaimed, decade-long project The Oldest Living Things in the World combines art, science and philosophy into a traveling exhibition and New York Times bestselling book. After conducting research and consulting with biologists, the artist traveled the world to photograph continuously living organisms 2,000 years old and older. Sussman’s series Sidewalk Kintsukuroi expands the traditional Japanese art of kintsukuroi—the practice of repairing cracks in ceramics by filling them with gold—by taking it, literally, out into the streets. In 2014, she began developing new installation work deepening her explorations of personal and cosmic time, the universe, nature, philosophy, and beauty.

Sussman is a Guggenheim, NYFA, and MacDowell Colony Fellow, and two-time TED speaker. She is currently an artist in residence with the SETI Institute. Her exhibition record spans more than a decade in museums and galleries in the US, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. With the support of the LACMA Lab, and working with SpaceX, NASA, and CERN, and her new work can be found at MASS MoCA, the New Museum Los Gatos, and the Des Moines Art Center.

Photographs from Sussman’s Sidewalk Kintsukuroi series are on view at the Akron Art Museum as part of the exhibition Alchemy: Transformations in Gold, Oct. 7, 2017 – Jan. 21, 2018. In early November, Sussman will install a Sidewalk Kintsukuroi in the museum’s lobby by filling a crack in the concrete with gold.

The Synapse series explores enlightened collaborations between art and science. This initiative at The University of Akron probes the ideas, images, and mutual interests connecting art and science professionals and disciplines. The Synapse series is funded through the generous support of the Knight Foundation.
 

Book Club The Lady In Gold by Anne-Marie O'Connor

October 19, 2017, 6:00 pm

Join the museum’s book club for a discussion of Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer.

Book Club The Lady In Gold by Anne-Marie O'Connor

October 19, 2017, 6:00 pm

Free and open to all! • The book is available for purchase in the Museum Shop for $17.95

Join the museum’s book club for a discussion of Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer, a book that brilliantly tells the galvanizing story of Gustav Klimt’s 1907 masterpiece—the breathtaking portrait of a Viennese Jewish socialite, Adele Bloch-Bauer. The
celebrated painting, stolen by Nazis during World War II, subsequently became the subject of a decade-long dispute between her heirs and the Austrian government.

When the U.S. Supreme Court became involved in the case, its decision had profound ramifications in the art world. Expertly researched, masterfully told, The Lady in Gold is at once a stunning depiction of fin-de siècle Vienna, a riveting tale of Nazi war crimes, and a fascinating glimpse into the high-stakes
workings of the contemporary art world.

The discussion will conclude with a tour of Alchemy: Transformations in Gold. 

Educator Open House

October 14, 2017, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Educators, experience the new Alchemy exhibition, preview upcoming gallery changes, schedule free field trips for your students and much more at our open house.

Educator Open House

October 14, 2017, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Calling all teachers! Head down to the museum to experience the new Alchemy exhibition, preview upcoming gallery changes, schedule (FREE!) field trips for your students, watch an artist demonstration, enjoy refreshments, and network with your fellow educators. If you have little ones in tow, send them off to create with a museum instructor while you gather inspiration for your classroom. All activities will occur throughout the event time.

Free, but Registration is required. Use the link / button below to register online.

This event is designed for educators of all kinds (including scout leaders and homeschoolers) and all subject areas. Each participant will receive professional development paperwork to submit to his/her LPDC.

Contact Associate Educator Gina Thomas McGee at 330.376.9186 x247 or gthomas@akronartmuseum.org with questions. 

Photo by Fitzwater Photography.

Time to Shine! Alchemy Opening Party

October 6, 2017, 6:00 pm

All that glitters is gold, well at least at the Akron Art Museum. You are invited to the celebration of the dazzling works of Alchemy!  

Time to Shine! Alchemy Opening Party

October 6, 2017, 6:00 pm

Doors Open To All on Friday, October 6 at 6:00 pm for The Glitziest Party Of The Season

Director’s Circle PREVIEW • 5:00 pm (by invitation only)

Members-only PREVIEW • 6:30 pm

EXHIBITION OPEN TO ALL • 7:00 pm

Members receive special offers and discounts throughout the night.
Click here to Become a Member Today! 

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All that glitters is gold, well at least at the Akron Art Museum. You are invited to the celebration of the dazzling works of Alchemy! Transform into your shiniest attire for the glitziest party of the season; black, gold, metallic
fashions and jewels galore are the order of the night! While the artists and media presented in Alchemy vary greatly, the thematic material along with the universal love for all things gold, makes this a must-see exhibition for everyone!

Party with us in our specially gilded museum Crystal, and treat yourself to a night filled with art, drinks, snacks and music. Make sure you enjoy all of the luxuries of the night, like strutting down our gold carpet and posing for photos in front of our flashy paparazzi wall! 

Image: Lalla Essaydi (Moroccan, born 1956), Bullets Revisited #3, 2012, three Chromogenic prints mounted to aluminum with a UV protective laminate, Each Panel 88 x 71 in., Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery

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