Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries, Beatrice Knapp McDowell Grand Lobby
July 14, 2018 - September 30, 2018
For the premiere edition of FRONT International, artists from the U.S. and around the globe will offer perspectives on aspects of “The American City” at the Akron Art Museum. Works by sixteen artists—several newly created for the Akron Art Museum—include a major video installation, sculpture, photography and mixed media objects that will occupy spaces throughout the museum. The exhibition examines how we as individuals move through the urban landscape. Artwork reflects on ways that technology, communications, advertising, industry and popular culture shape socio-economic and environmental conditions. Ireland native Gerard Byrne’s video installation In Our Time transports viewers into the studio of a 1970s or 1980s commercial radio station. Chronicling the daily routine of a radio broadcast, including infectious pop songs, weather, news and traffic updates, the video harks back to a pre-Spotify era when, as the artist points out, “people listened to the same things at the same time.” The studio set is meticulously constructed, complete with vinyl records, cassette tapes, recording equipment, wood paneling and guitars adorning the scant available wall space. A twelve-hour film, In Our Time plays in sync with the actual time of day. Works by Visible Collective and Nasser Al Salem provoke reflection on being a foreigner in the U.S. Katrín Sigurðardóttir calls attention to forgotten locations around Akron and Cleveland by placing her sculptures in the earth. Artists in the exhibition include Nasser Al Salem, Walead Beshty, Vladimir Bonačić, Nicholas Buffon, Gerard Byrne, Sean Connelly, Jamal Cyrus, Woody De Othello, Willie Doherty, Maryam Jafri, Li Jinghu, Ad Minoliti, Brenna Murphy, Katrín Sigurðardóttir, Jessica Vaughn and Visible Collective. This exhibition is presented as part of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. Its presentation at the Akron Art Museum is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Richard and Alita Rogers Family Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, the Mary and Dr. George L. Demetros Charitable Trust, The J. M. Smucker Company, Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLC and Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau. Works by Sean Connelly, Ad Minoliti, and Katrín Sigurðardóttir are commissioned for An American City: Eleven Cultural Exercises by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. An American City: Eleven Cultural Exercises is presented by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art with support from the Knight Foundation and the Richard and Alita Rogers Family Foundation. Work by FRONT residency artists: Sean Connelly, Ad Minoliti, and Li Jinghu, is made possible with support from the Cleveland Foundation's Creative Fusion program. Vladimir Bonačić is made possible with support from Yelena Bonačić Boxer.