Dynasty and Divinity A Tale of Three Designers Gauguin as Printmaker The Old Masters
04 BEHIND THE SCENES Venice Biennale
06 PROVENANCE Picasso’s Ma Jolie
09 MEET THE STAFF Cynthia Rallis
10 MILLER HOUSE A Tale of Three Designers
N1 NOTES News, Programming
15 COLLABORATION Meditation Hikes
16 SPECIAL EXHIBITION Dynasty and Divinity
20 IN THE GALLERIES The Old Masters
22 100 ACRES A Look Back
24 IN THE GALLERIES Gauguin as Printmaker
With Miller House and Garden opening for tours this May, visitors will have the opportunity to marvel at the masterpiece created by three great Modernist minds— Saarinen, Kiley and Girard. In this issue, learn more about each designer and his role in this important home, and their interactions with the Millers. Discover what happens when great clients collaborate with great designers.
25 CONSERVATION Thornton Dial
26 VOICES William Lamson 02
On the cover » Head (detail), Wunmonije Compound, Ife. 14th-early 15th century C.E. Copper alloy. Fundación Marcelino Botín/Museum for African Art. © National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria. Photograph: Karin L. Willis
The upending of received wisdom is one of the pleasures of great exhibitions. While “blockbusters” are intended to draw large crowds on the basis of highly familiar art or artists, reinforcing the obvious and offering few surprises, the best exhibitions—if not always the best-attended ones—are displays that go to the trouble of assembling objects that will open our eyes. The remarkable exhibition titled Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria opens our eyes and knocks our socks off. Including portrait heads of kings and other rulers of Ife, the ancient city-state of West Africa’s Yoruba people, the exhibition’s more than 100 objects are spectacular, and the story behind their discovery is no less so. The unearthing of a cache of cast-metal portrait heads in Ife, Nigeria, in 1938 sent shock waves around the world. More objects from the same ancient culture came to light in the 1960s, and they are only now being shown in an international exhibition that has moved from a record-breaking run at London’s British Museum to its only Midwestern stop, at the IMA beginning this July. Curator Emeritus Ted Celenko advocated our bringing this exhibition to Indianapolis, and its installation here has been ably supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Morton, assistant professor of art history at Wabash College. The colonial era destroyed, obscured or neglected many of the achievements of artists and artisans throughout sub-Saharan Africa. As they make their way around the world for the first time since their discovery, these Ife works are debunking many of the prejudices that have accumulated since the first modern European contact with Africa south of the Sahara.
Americans and Europeans have lived for centuries with a very primitive understanding of the true artistic legacy of Africa. One of these prejudices was the belief that the formal qualities of African art are inferior to those of the art of Europe. This led to cognitive dissonance when the Ife portrait heads first came to light: It was initially assumed that the Ife portraits could not have been made by Africans, but instead could only have been the work of Europeans. The date of the bulk of this material—from the 12th to the 15th centuries— coincides with the dawn of the Italian Renaissance. But today even the most skeptical Eurocentric art historian has to concede that the works in this exhibition can hold their own against contemporary Florentine, Venetian or Roman cast bronzes. As we gear up to reinstall our permanent African collection in the relocated Eiteljorg Suite next year, Dynasty and Divinity offers a wonderful complement to the IMA’s holdings but will also leave our visitors with a completely fresh understanding of the heritage and accomplishments of the Yoruba people of Ife. We encourage you not only to leave ample time to savor these masterpieces, but also to take a turn among quattrocento Italian paintings in the Clowes Pavilion to compare the respective treasures of a world as international, complex and talented as the one we inhabit today.
Erica Marchetti Managing Editor Matthew Taylor Designer Bradley Brooks Christine Gregg Martin Krause Ellen W. Lee Richard McCoy Elizabeth Morton Annette Schlagenhauff Contributors Tad Fruits Tascha Mae Horowitz Mike Rippy Photographers Tascha Mae Horowitz Photo Editor Anne M. Young Rights & Reproductions Coordinator
The IMA Magazine is published by the IMA, 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208-3326. Questions or comments may be directed to the staff at 317-923-1331. All reproduction rights are reserved by the IMA, and permission to sell or use commercially any photographs, slides or videotapes must be obtained in writing from the Rights & Reproductions office, 317-923-1331. © 2011 Indianapolis Museum of Art The IMA Magazine is printed on FSC paper manufactured with electricity in the form of renewable energy (wind, hydro, and biogas), and includes a minimum of 20% post-consumer recovered fiber.(The FSC trademark identifies products which contain fiber from well managed forests certified by SmartWood in accordance with the rules of the Forest Stewardship Council.)
MAXWELL L. ANDERSON THE MELVIN & BREN SIMON DIRECTOR AND CEO 03
What is your role in the Biennale project?
BEHIND THE SCENES
Venice Biennale Preparations are well underway for the IMA’s participation in the 54th International Art Exhibition—La Biennale (June 4–November 27). Katie Haigh, IMA’s Deputy Director of Collections and Exhibitions, and Mike Bir, IMA’s Associate Director of Facilities for Exhibition Construction & Installation—just two of the many IMA staff working on this project—provide a behind-the-scenes look at what is entailed to mount the exhibition Gloria, featuring the artwork of artist collaborative Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. Learn more about the Biennale and the IMA’s project at imamuseum.org/venice.
Katie Haigh: As Deputy Director of Collections and Exhibitions, my role in the Venice Biennale project is to arrange for crating, screening,1 customs clearance, insurance and shipping of the artwork that will be displayed in the U.S. Pavilion in the Giardini. Included in my role is writing and negotiating contracts with the lenders/dealers and fabricators. Then, per the U.S. State Department grant,2 we are also responsible for installation, so a core team here at the IMA has been working together to determine shipping, courier and installation schedules and budgets. This responsibility requires us to meet with customs and shipping brokers and fabricators in each country (the artwork for Gloria is being fabricated in the U.K., Germany and the U.S.), and with the artists to ensure their vision is always at the forefront of everything we are doing. So far I have been on site visits in Manchester, England, and Venice, Italy, to meet with the shippers and fabricators, to see some of the artwork in progress and to determine the appropriate methods and routes for each individual shipment. In a few months I will fly to Los Angeles to accompany one of the shipments to Milan via air freight and then via truck to Venice, where we will crane the crates onto a barge to get them to the U.S. Pavilion. Once customs clears the crates we will unpack, do a condition report and install the artwork per the placement determined by the artists and the curator. Mike Bir: Technically I am responsible for the installation of the artwork, however to do that successfully, I have been working with Allora & Calzadilla and Lisa Freiman (U.S. Commissioner for the Biennale, and Senior Curator and Chair of IMA’s Contemporary Art Department) during the planning and fabrication period. By creating simple computer models showing the works of art fairly accurately to scale within the installation site, I help them see the results of their decisions. For example the size of one work in particular was dictated by the height and configuration of the Pavilion’s ceiling—its final proportions were determined from computer models. The models also help me anticipate problems and determine the extent to which the problems are avoidable. Problems come in all stripes. But so do solutions. While I am kind of partial to helicopters and cranes, my favorite solution is good planning. Helicopter lifts are exhilarating, but unanticipated barriers are heart stopping.
In August 2010 the TSA began screening all cargo traveling on passenger flights originating in the US. The IMA is a Certified Cargo Screening Facility so we can screen our own cargo here, meaning they don’t have to open our crated artwork in customs and risk damaging the art. When we have artwork traveling from another location, like in the case of the Biennale, we have to find an appropriate screening facility in that city to screen the crated objects before they go to the airport. 2 The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State supports and manages the official United States participation at selected international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale.
What are/have been the unique challenges with this project in regards to your area/role? Katie: Any time you are shipping and installing artwork in another country there are many factors that should be considered. You have to contract art handling, lighting, rigging and installation equipment, and make sure you have the tools required to do the job. The other major issue is the permitting requirements from state and local authorities. This process requires the use of architects and engineers to submit technical drawings along with a narrative explaining the project. Finally, the location of Venice itself is quite challenging because there are no roads. We have shipments trucking in from the United Kingdom, Germany and Los Angeles. Eventually they will all have to be loaded on barges for the final leg of the trip to the U. S. Pavilion in Venice. This is the most nerve-wracking part of the journey for me. Statistically you try to reduce the number of times crates are handled in order to minimize risk of damage to objects. As the risk manager I work very hard to make each shipment of artwork as direct as possible. The good news is that in Venice this is an everyday undertaking so they are quite proficient in moving everything in and out on boats and barges. Some of the artwork is quite heavy though so it will be a long slow process to move everything safely. When you work in another country you should expect everything to take twice as long as normal. Therefore patience is required. 3
Mike: Every installation site has challenges. Planning an installation with artists working in another location (Allora & Calzadilla are based in Puerto Rico) is a challenge in itself. But planning an installation that will be mounted in another country further compounds the problem. What we have to appreciate is the opportunities that we have available. For an exhibition like, Gloria the artists are creating new artworks, so we’ve been involved through the development and early production. This presents us with an opportunity: we can provide the installation site details to the artist, with the hope of reducing problems. When possible, it is preferred to work within the capacities of the building and its routes of access. Several of Allora & Calzadilla’s works brought us to the brink of the U.S. Pavilion’s capacities. Fortunately, Giacomo Di Thiene (the architect contracted to oversee the U.S. Pavilion) and the Guggenheim’s3 Chiara Barbieri are being very generous with time and advice. Though I look forward seeing the works finally installed, I expect the greatest pleasure of this project will be the opportunity of working with the many kind and capable people who have participated.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation owns the U.S. Pavilion and the Pavilion is operated by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Above » U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, circa 1933.
BY ANNETTE SCHLAGENHAUFF ASSOCIATE CURATOR FOR RESEARCH
Picasso’s Ma Jolie Although the IMA is home to only a few paintings representative of European early 20th-century Modernism, a number of them are truly exceptional. Picasso’s 1914 painting called Ma Jolie—a reference to the words that appear on the canvas quoting the refrain of a popular French song—clearly fits into this category. A superb example of the style known as “cubism”— a style in which shapes and space are fractured so as not to appear naturalistic—Ma Jolie reveals an assortment of everyday objects, from musical instruments and sheet music, to bottles, glasses, a cigarette and a newspaper. Before the IMA began systematic provenance research on its collection in 2003, the painting’s history of ownership was just as fractured as the items depicted in it. A gap, or break, in the provenance existed for the period from the 1920s into the 1940s, a period that included the critical years for World War II-era provenance research. But, fortunately, research conducted since then reveals an unproblematic, and also very distinguished, provenance that mirrors Ma Jolie’s exceptional artistic quality. Scholarship on Pablo Picasso, as one might expect for an artist of such international fame, is voluminous, and his career is more thoroughly documented than that of many other 20th-century artists. We know with certainty that this 1914 painting was created while Picasso was under contract to the German-born art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler (1884–1979) Kahnweiler had relocated to Paris in 1902, and opened a small gallery there in 1907. He had signed a three-year exclusive contract with Picasso on December 18, 1912, whereby everything the young artist produced was turned over to him. 06 04
With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Kahnweiler’s fate as a German living in Paris became precarious. His possessions, including his stock in paintings, were impounded by the French state as German property, and Kahnweiler fled to Switzerland. Shortly after the war, during the years 1921–23, the French government held four auctions of Kahnweiler’s gallery stock. Although Ma Jolie was not one of the paintings auctioned, its next owner, the Parisian art dealer Léonce Rosenberg (1877–1947) was the art expert selected by the government to catalogue the paintings for the series of auctions. He is identified as such on the title page of each of the first three auction catalogues. We know that Ma Jolie was part of Rosenberg’s gallery stock due to hard evidence: Remnants of a label from his gallery, Galerie de l’Effort Moderne (Gallery of the Modern Movement), were found on the back of the painting (see illustration on page 8). Rosenberg, like Kahnweiler, was a major supporter of artists working in a cubist style, and these artists were the staple of the gallery he had opened in Paris in 1918. The painting’s next owner was not confirmed until recently. It had long been known that Ma Jolie was reproduced in the book Western Art and the New Era: An Introduction to Modern Art, published in 1923. Reproduced there with the title “Music,” the painting appears without a credit line to indicate the name of its owner at the time. (Today it is standard practice in art publications to give a credit line, but this was not always the case in the past.) The author of the book was Katherine S. Dreier (1877–1952), who, like Kahnweiler and Rosenberg, was an adamant proponent of new forms of art.
Above » Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973, Ma Jolie, 1913–1914, oil on canvas, 21 3/16 x 25 5/8 in. (53.8 x 65.1 cm), Bequest of Mrs. James W. Fesler, 61.36.
“We know that Ma Jolie was part of Rosenberg’s gallery stock due to hard evidence: Remnants of a label from his gallery, Galerie de l’Effort Moderne (Gallery of the Modern Movement), were found on the back of the painting.”
Dreier hailed from an upper-middle-class family in Brooklyn, New York, and was herself a painter and a collector and frequently wrote on modern art. Her extensive travels in Europe had exposed her to the newest trends in art abroad. In 1920, with the artists Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray back in the United States, she founded an organization called the Société Anonyme, which promoted modern art with programs, publications and exhibitions. In the course of its activities the organization also assembled a substantial collection of art. Today Dreier’s name is most often associated with the Société Anonyme collection, which the organization gave to Yale University in 1941, where it now forms the core of the holdings of the Yale University Art Museum. Was it possible that Dreier had illustrated her 1923 book with works from either her personal collection or that of the Société Anonyme? Consistent with Dreier’s life-long goal of documenting and cataloging the Société Anonyme collection, Yale has published several catalogues devoted to it, mining Katherine Dreier’s papers which she also left to the university. From these sources we learn much about the breadth of her collection, which encompassed works by American, Canadian, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Rumanian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish artists. From them we also learn that Dreier purchased Ma Jolie from Léonce Rosenberg in 1922
while in Paris, well before WWII-era provenance issues manifested themselves. Beyond this, these sources reveal how Ma Jolie entered the art market. In 1942, in order to provide Yale with additional funds for the care, maintenance and research on the Société Anonyme collection, Dreier sold several works of art from her personal collection. One of these was Ma Jolie. Picasso’s Ma Jolie came onto the art market just at the time when Caroline Marmon Fesler (1878–1960), one of the IMA’s most generous patrons, was pursuing an aggressive strategy to build up the Museum’s European collection with paintings of exceptional quality. Although she planned to buy Ma Jolie for the Museum in the 1940s, the Museum’s board was still struggling to accept Modernism. Therefore, she purchased it herself, leaving it to the Museum upon her death as part of her bequest. Scholars today are becoming increasingly aware of the role that women played in exposing the American public to trends in modern art, both European and American, in the first half of the 20th century. Connecting the dots in the history of ownership of Ma Jolie, which includes the influential roles of Katherine S. Dreier of New York, and Caroline Marmon Fesler of Indianapolis, is further testimony to this important phenomenon.
Above » Fragment of the Galerie de L’Effort Moderne label from the back of Ma Jolie (now in IMA Historical File 61.36)
MEET THE STAFF: CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
Don’t let Cynthia Rallis’ stature fool you; there is a large amount of presence packed into her petite frame—perhaps honed from years of acting in high school and college (she holds a B.A. in theatre). And now she is sharing her expertise both in corporate banking and non-profit management with the IMA as its new Chief Development Officer. After five years in London, where Rallis was director of development at the National Museum of Science and Industry, she decided it was time to come back to the U.S. But then what? Rallis’ job hunt introduced her to the IMA, a place that appealed to her because of the innovative work being done and how the staff was thinking differently about the role of museums in the 21st century. “There are so many exciting things going on at the IMA and I wanted to be a part of it. The opportunity was very intriguing,” Rallis said. So in January Rallis began her post as the head of IMA’s development department. Rallis has her work cut for her, rebuilding and expanding the IMA’s development efforts. “The economic downturn was a real sucker punch for everyone, but it created opportunities. In fact, I believe it is in tough times that you see people’s true generosity.” Rallis continued, “We’re at an interesting moment with museums and fundraising. People are tired of big capital campaigns connected only to the bricks and mortar. Interest has shifted to audiences and programs. So now my focus here at the IMA is on building up the endowment, endowing staff positions and public programs.”
Cynthia E. Rallis
Hometown: Shrewsbury, Mass.
M.A. in art history, Courtauld Institute of Art (London, England) M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing and finance, UCLA B.A. in theatre, Smith College (Northampton, Mass.)
Director of Development, National Museum of Science and Industry (London, England) Director of Development, Cleveland Museum of Art Deputy Director, UCLA Hammer Museum Manager of Administration, Getty Education Institute for the Arts (Los Angeles, CA)
Rallis is optimistic about this challenge. “Indianapolis is a very philanthropic town and the IMA is a beloved institution.” That is a winning combination to Rallis, who has spent the past few years operating in a very different European culture where government subsidy of the arts is considered an entitlement. “European museums are often very heavily funded by the government or a quasi-government agency. Now those governments are trying to encourage private giving. It’s very different from the U.S. where there is an established culture of philanthropy and in fact that culture is deeply engrained in our society with exposure to philanthropy occurring very early in our lives.” Rallis is hoping this American trait will help her as she looks to expand the pool of donors. “Museums have relied on a small circle of supporters relative to their community and have a tendency to go back to the same generous people and corporations time and again. My challenge is to meet the next generation of donors while continuing to cultivate those who are already doing so much for the IMA.” And for those who have met Rallis, her confidence and enthusiasm give no room to doubt that she will help the IMA increase its financial self-sufficiency.
A Tale of Three Designers The Collaboration that Created a Modernist Masterpiece
BY BRADLEY BROOKS DIRECTOR OF HISTORIC RESOURCES
MILLER HOUSE AND GARDEN 10
On May 10 another attraction will be added to the already remarkable concentration of modern and contemporary architecture that makes Columbus, Indiana, one of America’s most outstanding centers of design innovation, and a destination for aficionados. Well known to insiders in the worlds of architecture, landscape architecture, and design, Miller House and Garden was home to J. Irwin Miller1 and Xenia Simons Miller and their family. Though they well understood their home’s significance and its interest to others, they highly valued their privacy and chose not to draw attention to it. As interest in the preservation of modernism grew, other properties and structures attracted the limelight of national attention while Miller House and Garden quietly continued to serve as the home of its builders (and did so until Mrs. Miller’s death in 2008). Embodying American modernism at its best, Miller House and Garden is without doubt one of the very finest properties of its type in the country. The perfection of its design resulted from the Millers’ discernment as clients in combination with the efforts of an incomparable team that included architect Eero Saarinen, chief associate Kevin Roche, landscape architect Dan Kiley, and interior designer Alexander Girard. Saarinen had previously worked for J. Irwin Miller to design a summer home in Canada as well as a new building for the Irwin Union Bank in Columbus.2 The son of Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, Eero rose to prominence in 1948 with his winning design for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, better known as the St. Louis Arch. Though a practitioner of modernism, Saarinen was less bound by its orthodoxy than some others. While some of his work reflects the austere rectilinearity characteristic of the style, he was equally capable of boldly expressive and sculptural designs. For the Millers, he created a house featuring a flat roof with deeply overhanging eaves, walls that incorporate large expanses of glass and monumental stone slabs, flowing interior spaces, and floors that extend seamlessly to generous, encircling exterior terraces. A grid of skylights that crosses the roof along lines defined by the house’s structural columns fills the house with incredibly soft, even light. Astonishingly, the effect is so complete as to render the interior nearly shadowless.
The house’s beautiful light shows the work of interior designer Alexander Girard to best advantage. A member of Saarinen’s team on the St. Louis Arch project, Girard was involved with Miller House from the earliest discussions. Born in New York and raised in Florence, Italy, he studied at the Royal Institute of British Architects. Best remembered today as a textile and graphics designer, Girard brought warmth, texture, vivid color and individuality to the home. Working closely with the Millers—especially with Mrs. Miller—Girard designed furniture and rugs, and crafted objects both beautiful and whimsical. For more than 20 years he remained in close contact with the Millers as they continued to refine the house’s decorative scheme. Unafraid to combine the contemporary with the antique and the sophisticated with the rustic, Girard earned from some the label of “neo-Victorian,” an indication of his delight in ornament, a delight that the Millers obviously shared.
Saarinen, Girard, and Kiley, working with light and shadow, steel and stone, color and texture, created a home that the Millers cherished throughout their lives.
1 Irwin Miller was a philanthropist and industrialist well known for his civic activism. He was instrumental in the success of the family business, Cummins Engine Company. 2 The two also designed the Cummins Foundation’s Architecture Design Program, which funded excellent design for public facilities in Columbus, and recruited rising young architectural talent to participate in the 1950s.
Saarinen chose another of his St. Louis Arch collaborators, landscape architect Dan Kiley, to undertake the design of the Miller garden. More than simply a setting for the house, Kiley’s garden is itself a seminal work of modernism. Attending Harvard in the 1930s, Kiley was among a small group of students who chafed at the ingrained traditionalism of the landscape architecture curriculum. He was determined to find an idiom that would express the social conditions and intellectual tenets of 20th-century America rather than rely on the historical styles and rigid structures that then dominated the profession. Kiley’s garden for the Millers took the order and geometry of European landscapes that had captured his imagination and applied them in new ways. His grids, lines and blocks of single species plantings created an interplay of large-scale forms that relies more on subtle variations of light, color, and texture than on single-perspective views or floral displays. The overall effect is one of quiet serenity. Saarinen, Girard, and Kiley, working with light and shadow, steel and stone, color and texture, created a home that the Millers cherished throughout their lives. Now it will be appreciated and cherished by new audiences and younger generations who seek to experience and understand the best in American design.
To learn more and purchase tickets for tours, visit imamuseum.org/millerhouse. Miller House and Garden is owned and cared for by the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Tours at Miller House and Garden are made possible through the Columbus Area Visitors Center. A generous grant from the Cummins Foundation has underwritten start-up cost to make Miller House and Garden fully accessible to public.
Page 11 » Correspondence from J. Irwin Miller to Alexander Girard, 5/25/1953, Miller House and Garden Collection, IMA Archives. Page 12 » A wall in master bedrooom (left); Mrs. Miller seated in her bedroom. Photo from family album provided by members of the Miller family. Page 13 » Alexander Girard floor plan with textile samples (detail), Miller House and Garden Collection, IMA Archives.
NOTES: MAY–AUGUST 2011
NEWS CALENDAR PROGRAMMING EXHIBITIONS EVENTS IMA MEMBER NIGHT Did you know that as a member of the IMA, you get special access to the museum one night every month? Every second Thursday of the month, bring your friends and/or family after work to unwind and enjoy all that the IMA has to offer. Stop in at Nourish Café for happy hour, check out our signature member drink of the night and take advantage of your discount. During Member Night, we also offer an exclusive tour to members and their guests.
General support of the IMA is provided by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis; and by the Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the Lilly Endowment Inc.
UPCOMING MEMBER NIGHTS May 12: Hoo-Hoo-Hoo-Hoosiers » Come catch a glimpse of Indiana’s cultural heritage and check out the 79th annual Indiana Artists’ Club Exhibition. June 9: The Italian Job » As the IMA represents the United States at the Venice Biennale, be a part of the celebration! July 14: Expelliarmus! » Before Harry Potter returns to the big screen one last time, explore the magical world of creatures and wizards at the IMA. August 11: Dynasty and Divinity » Join us for a tour of our special exhibition Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria. E-blasts with more details about each evening are sent out the week of the event. Not receiving IMA emails? Email email@example.com and we’ll get you on the list.
News IMA PARTNERS WITH USA GYMNASTICS AND USA TRACK & FIELD FOR VENICE BIENNALE
IMA CONSERVATOR HONORED BY INDIANA SENATE & HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Three works in the Allora & Calzadilla exhibition Gloria, which explores the concepts of competition and nationalism, will incorporate performances by professional gymnasts and runners— marking the first time that athletes have performed as part of the U.S. Pavilion. The IMA is working with USA Gymnastics and USA Track & Field (both are headquartered in Indianapolis) to provide and coordinate the athletes throughout the exhibition. Notable athletes performing include Olympic gold medalist Dan O’Brien (decathlon, 1996), Olympic silver medalist Chellsie Memmel (women’s gymnastics team, 2008) and U.S. all-round champion David Durante (men’s gymnastics, 2007).
Richard McCoy, Associate Conservator of Objects and Variable Art, was honored along with students from IUPUI’s Fall 2010 Collections Care and Management class (taught by McCoy) by the Indiana Senate and House of Representatives for their work in documenting the Indiana State House Public Art Collection. Senator Jim Merritt and Representative Tom Saunders sponsored a concurrent resolution to recognize this important work. The group examined, photographed and researched 42 sculptures found in and around the State House, posting their findings on Wikipedia and Flickr. Read more about this project on the IMA’s blog.
Gymnasts and dancers will perform on Body in Flight (Delta) and Body in Flight (American). These two works are realistically painted wooden scale reproductions of the latest industrial designs for business class seats found on U.S. commercial airlines. The sculptures replace the balance beam and pommel horse, creating a unique apparatus for gymnastics and dance performances developed by Allora & Calzadilla. A massive, overturned military tank that has been repurposed by superimposing a functional treadmill above its right track for the work Track and Field. USATF runners will run on the treadmill throughout the exhibition.
Learn more about Gloria and the Biennale at imamuseum.org/venice.
MR. DIAL FINALLY GETS HIS DUE While many still refer to Thornton Dial using terms like self-taught and folk artist, a few new terms have been added to the list. Since the IMA opening of his premiere retrospective Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial, Dial has been described as one of America’s greatest artists, profoundly reflective, a genuine talent, dignified, determined, and one of the most interesting artists of the last half century. After years of working quietly and without much recognition in Bessemer, Alabama, Mr. Dial has finally received the praise he deserves. To read some of the press coverage, including stories from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and TIME Magazine visit: imamuseum.org/dial/press.
ONE OF IMA’S OWN NOMINATED FOR PRESTIGIOUS ROSE AWARD Lynne Steinhour Habig, the IMA’s Greenhouse Shop Coordinator, was among 87 honorees nominated for the Indianapolis Convention & Visitor Association’s ROSE Award. ROSE stands for Recognition Of Service Excellence and the award honors nonmanagerial hospitality employees or volunteers who exemplify customer service. They positively influence a visitor’s experience in Indianapolis or the region. Habig was recognized at a dinner on March 2 where 13 honorees were named as the 2011 ROSE Award recipients.
IMA RECONFIGURING GALLERIES ON THE THIRD FLOOR The IMA has begun remodeling its third floor galleries consisting of the Asian, African, design arts, and textile and fashion arts collection, which will be complete in fall 2012. The new configuration will allow for more efficient use of space and improved display of objects, while providing room for the growing design arts collection. “It is important that we continue to show all areas of our permanent collection in fresh and innovative ways,” says Maxwell Anderson, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO. “The changes on the third floor will engage audiences in our ever-evolving permanent collection—an ongoing goal of the Museum’s strategic plan.” The changes include: Asian Galleries will be concentrated on one side of the floor with improved layout and lighting. The new space will display more objects than before; and the Francis Parker Appel Gallery will continue to host rotating Japanese print exhibitions. Portions of the collection will be on view through August 2012, while the entire suite will open fall 2012. A portion of the Asian Galleries (Wood Pavilion) will close and then house Dynasty and Divinity (see page 16). The Eiteljorg Galley of African Art will close January 2012 and move into the renovated space that held Dynasty and Divinity. The African collection will reopen spring 2012. The design arts collection will open in fall 2012 in the former African galleries. The Paul Textile and Fashion Arts Suite will gain a new entry from the Frank and Patsy Hiatt Asian Art bridge. N3
LIGHT, TEXTURE AND SOLITUDE: THE ART OF TANAKA RYOHEI May 13–October 2 » Free » Appel Gallery » Floor 3 Tanaka Ryohei (b. 1933) has established himself as Japan’s foremost etcher. His works combine an immaculate eye for form with intense concentration on visual detail. Rich, velvety ink tones, stark whites, deep blacks—sometimes accompanied by vivid touches of color—combine to make images that evoke feelings of quiet solitude.
INDIANA ARTISTS CLUB ANNUAL EXHIBITION Through June 5 » Free » North Hall » Floor 2 Since its inception in 1917, the Indiana Artists’ Club has held an annual juried exhibition. This spring the Club returns to the IMA for its 79th annual exhibition. Works are composed of a wide variety of styles and mediums both contemporary and traditional, with many works available for purchase.
VENETIAN VIEWS: AMERICAN WORKS ON PAPER June 3–November 27 » Free » Alliance Gallery » Floor 2
DYNASTY AND DIVINITY: IFE ART IN ANCIENT NIGERIA July 8, 2011–January 16, 2012 » $8 Public, Free for IMA members » Wood Pavilion » Floor 3 See page 16. Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria is co-organized by the Museum for African Art, New York, and Fundación Botín, Santander, Spain, in collaboration with the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria. The exhibition has been supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Humanitiesand the National Endowment for the Arts, and by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities
WILLIAM LAMSON: DIVINING METEOROLOGY Through August 28 » Free » Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion See page 26.
To coincide with IMA’s participation in the Venice Biennale, this exhibition presents 28 watercolors, drawings and etchings by American artists, such as John Singer Sargent and James McNeill Whistler, who traveled to Venice in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Supported by a grant from the Efroymson Family Fund, A CICF Fund. Above (left to right) » John Singer Sargent (1856–1925), Rio dei Mendicanti, Venice, about 1909, watercolor and pencil on paper, 14 5/8 x 20 1/2 in., Mary B. Milliken Fund, 44.52; William Lamson, Divining Meteorology, 2011; Thornton Dial (b. 1928), Green Pastures: The Birds That Didn't Learn How to Fly, 2008, cloth rags, rubber-coated wire, wire, screws, enamel on canvas on wood, Collection of the High Museum of Art; Robert Cauble, Alice in Wonderland, Or Who is Guy DeBord?, 2003, single-channel video with color and sound, 23:20.
HARD TRUTHS: THE ART OF THORNTON DIAL
SELECTIONS FROM PROJECT 35
Through September 18 » $8 Public, Free for IMA Members » Clowes Special Exhibition Gallery » Floor 2
Through October 30 » Free » Holeman Video Gallery » Floor 4
Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial highlights the artist’s significant contribution to the field of American art and shows how Dial’s work speaks to the most pressing issues of our time—including the War in Iraq, 9/11, and social issues like racism and homelessness. The exhibition presents 70 of Dial’s large-scale paintings, drawings and found-object sculptures spanning 20 years of his artistic career— including 25 works on view for the first time.
The exhibition is made possible through the generosity of the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation. Additional programming support provided by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Project 35 is a selection of videos chosen by a team of 35 international curators who strove to select works that acknowledge the adaptability of video as a medium for artistic expression. Three of these videos will be featured at the IMA—artists Robert Cauble, Kota Ezawa and Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz each engage popular culture through the adoption of iconic images, personas, historical events and cultural movements.
Project 35 is produced and circulated by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, by grants from the Cowles Charitable Trust; Foundation for Contemporary Art; the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; The Toby Fund; and ICI Benefactors Agnes Gund, Gerrit and Sydie Lansing, Jo Carole Lauder, and Barbara and John Robinson.
GAUGUIN AS PRINTMAKER: THE VOLPINI SUITE Through September 18 » Free » Golden Gallery » Floor 2
See page 24.
April 22, 2011–Feburary 5, 2012 » Free » Paul Textile & Fashion Arts Galleries » Floor 3
THE OLD MASTERS Through December 31 » Free » Conant Galleries » Floor 3 See page 20.
From court dress to couture, the objects in Material World feature extravagant ornamentation of textiles and personal adornment from cultures around the world while highlighting the significance of textiles in displaying wealth, status and power. Objects range from a Buddhist bone apron to Dior and Chanel couture pieces, spanning several centuries to the present day. N5
Program Highlights FOR EDUCATORS Many IMA public programs may be eligible for Indiana Dept. of Education Professional Growth Plan (PGP) points, toward teaching license renewal. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
TOURS Visit imamuseum.org for complete tour schedule including tour themes. All tours are free unless noted.
PERMANENT COLLECTION Tuesday & Wednesday » 1 pm Thursday » 1 & 7 pm Friday » 1, 2:30 & 7 pm Saturday, Sunday » 1 & 2:30 pm (ASL interpreted tours: 2nd Friday at 7 pm and 3rd Sunday at 2:30 pm)
HARD TRUTHS: THE ART OF THORNTON DIAL Through September 18 » Times vary » included with exhibition admission
DYNASTY AND DIVINITY: IFE ART IN ANCIENT NIGERIA July 8–January 16 » Times vary » included with exhibition admission
FAMILY TOURS 2nd & 4th Saturdays » 1:30 & 2:30 pm Thirty-minute tours on different topic each month; for children of all ages
GARDEN WALKS Saturdays, Sundays through September » 1 pm Meet at main visitor entrance to Lilly House
LILLY HOUSE Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays (through December) » 2 pm
100 ACRES Saturdays, Sundays (through September) » 11 am » Meet at Lake Terrace
MEDITATION HIKES Fridays » 5:30–6:30 pm » Meet at the Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion
TALKS RECONSTRUCTING THE PAST IN 3-D: KEITH WILSON ON THE CAVE TEMPLES OF XIANGTANGSHAN Thursday, May 12 » 7 pm The Toby » Free Witness how innovations in 3-D scanning technology enabled curators and technicians to develop a magnificent, immersive recreation of the Chinese cave site of Xiangtangshan, an important medieval Buddhist devotional site. Keith Wilson, Associate Director and Curator of Ancient Chinese Art at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, discusses his exhibition that presents 6th century Buddhist stone sculpture with a digitally based contemporary art installation that references one of the damaged caves. (PGP) Presented by the IMA Asian Art Society.
STEFAN SAGMEISTER ON DESIGN & HAPPINESS Thursday, June 16 » 7 pm » The Toby $8 Public, $5 IMA members & Students, Free DAS members Blurring the boundaries of art, graphic design and branding, Austrian-born designer Stefan Sagmeister is known for his project Things I have learned in my life so far. Sagmeister published 20 maxims— among them, “Complaining is silly… either act or forget” and “Trying to look good limits my life”—in public spaces, rendered in silver duct work, sausage, light itself, and other materials. He visits the IMA to talk about design and bliss. Book signing follows. (PGP) Presented by the IMA Design Arts Society and made possible by the Evans Woollen Memorial Lecture Fund, with promotional support from AIGA Indianapolis.
ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO’S MALAIKAT DAN SINGA / ANGELS & LIONS
Thursday, June 2 » 7 pm » The Toby » $10 Public, $7 IMA members
Thursday, May 5 » 7 pm » The Toby $9 Public, $5 IMA members
Experimental musician Arrington de Dionyso takes you on a daring cross-cultural musical journey evoking rock, jazz, reggae and East Asian tribal traditions. De Dionyso performs in the Indonesian language using vocal techniques derived from Mongolian throat-singing; the lyrics are based on his translations of the English poet William Blake.
In advance of Indianapolis Opera’s La Traviata, enjoy a screening of Camille, a luxurious, melodramatic love/tragedy from the Golden Age of Hollywood starring Greta Garbo, Lionel Barrymore and Robert Taylor. When Camille (Garbo) falls in love with young nobleman Armand, she sacrifices her happiness and he his fortune in the name of love. The evening includes a musical teaser for La Traviata courtesy of the Indianapolis Opera Ensemble. Film shown in 35 mm. (1936, 109 mins., dir. George Cukor) Presented by IMA and Indianapolis Opera.
INDIANAPOLIS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Thursday, July 14–Sunday, July 24 The Toby & DeBoest Lecture Hall The 2011 Indy Film Fest presents another world-class selection of independent films and film artists from around the globe. This year’s line-up includes films from both award-winning professionals and emerging filmmakers, ranging from short-subject documentaries to full-length feature films. Visit indyfilmfest.org for festival info.
ANIMATION DAY APHASIA DANCE COMPANY: RENCONTRES DES IMBÉCILES (UNDER ERASURE) Saturday, June 18 » 5 & 7 pm » The Toby » $12 Public, $9 IMA members Belgium-based Aphasia Dance Company makes its U.S. debut with Rencontres des Imbéciles. The company explores unconventional uses of the body and theatricality to confront paradoxes of human nature. Rencontres des Imbéciles is a visual performance employing the power of surrealistic images, subtle magic and the concept of erasure. Indy native Ted Stoffer and Sayaka Kaiwa create a bizarrely comical, yet curiously touching imaginarium of mysterious creatures that challenge our ability to identify and define. Each performance limited to 200 people.
Sunday, July 31 » 1–4:30 pm The Toby » $2 per person The most memorable animated films involve richly conceived animated characters–from Buzz Lightyear and Eeyore, to Gumby and Betty Boop. Enjoy a set of animated shorts featuring characters with a lot of…character. See how animators use style and detail to give a character life and personality. Hear local animators describe the process of character creation. After the films, create your own character and snap a photo in front of a colorful backdrop. Ages 4 and up welcome. See detailed film list at imamuseum.org.
Left » Stefan Sagmeister Photo by John Madere. Above » Photo courtesy of Aphasia Dance Company
SUMMER SOLSTICE Saturday, June 18 » All day 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park » Free
FILM SHORTS FROM WHOLPHIN
Thursday, August 4 » 9:30 pm IMA Amphitheater » $9 Public, $5 IMA members
MILLER HOUSE SYMPOSIUM
A wholphin is a cross between a whale and a dolphin: real but improbably odd. Wholphin is also quarterly DVD magazine of ponderable films, published by McSweeney’s. Wholphin editor Brent Hoff visits the IMA to present a handpicked, 90-minute variety of daring short films, curious documentaries, disturbing instructional videos, foreign sitcoms, experimental animation or other cinema hybrids that deserve to be seen. Bring a blanket, lawn chair and a sense of adventure. Visit imamuseum.org for film line-up.
48 HOUR FILM PROJECT Saturday, August 6 » 5 pm, 7 pm & 9 pm The Toby » $10 for each screening, $20 for all three screenings (discount available only with on-site purchase)
Friday, May 20 » 9:30 am–5 pm The Toby » $50 Public; $30 Members of IMA, Indiana Landmarks, and ASLA; $25 Students In celebration of the opening of Miller House and Garden to public tours, enjoy an exciting day with some of America’s leading design experts exploring the legacy of this National Historic Landmark. Speakers include architect Deborah Berke, interior designer and writer Brad Dunning, landscape architect Laurie Olin, critic Suzanne Stephens, and Bradley Brooks of the IMA. Price includes lunch. Presented by Design Arts Society in partnership with Indiana Landmarks and the American Society of Landscape Architects. This program is made possible by the Myrtie Shumacker Lecture Fund.
HUMMINGBIRD BANDING WITH TIM TOLFORD
Teams of Indianapolis filmmakers screen short films produced in 48 hours, as part of an international film competition. Vote for the audience favorite at the event. Different films will be shown in three sets, at 5 pm, 7 pm and 9 pm; check the 48 Hour Film Project Web site to see the list of films in each set. Food and drink available for sale all evening by Nourish Café.
Saturday, August 20 » 9 am–Noon Garden for Everyone & IMA Grounds » Free
Presented by Big Car. Right » Photo by Tim Tolford.
Mark the Summer Solstice and the one-year anniversary of the opening of 100 Acres with a day of wonder in the Park. Start with yoga at dawn at Park of the Laments. Learn about this summer’s project on Indianapolis Island. Bring a drum and participate in a drumming circle with Steven Angel, founder of the Drumming for Your Life Institute (with additional drums provided by the Percussive Arts Society). Take a Park tour and sample art making at the Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion. Join a humongous game of freeze tag. Snacks and drinks for sale in the Park. Later, experience a performance about metamorphosis by Aphasia Dance Company in The Toby. In case of inclement weather, all events will occur Sunday, June 19. More detailed schedule at imamuseum.org.
See the vivid beauty of hummingbirds up close with bird bander and researcher Tim Tolford. Watch Tolford catch and release the birds in the midst of their seasonal migration. Bring your own camera (or pastels and paints) to capture what you see. Shop for hummingbird-attracting plants at the Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse Shop. Program occurs rain or shine.
MOMMIE DEAREST (1981) » June 3 Presented in part by Indy Pride, Inc.
BLUE HAWAII (1961) » June 10
THE SANDLOT (1993) » June 17 THE WIZ (1978) » June 24
SUMMER NIGHTS Fridays, June 3–August 26 » Doors open at 6:30 pm* / Films begin sunset** Tickets: $10 Public, $5 IMA members, Free Children 6 and under
ZOOLANDER (2001) » July 1 POLTERGEIST (1982) » July 8 CLERKS (1994) » July 15 Presented in part by Indy Film Fest
NEW! Tickets on sale for Members Only starting April 15; purchase tickets at imamuseum.org, at IMA or call 317-955-2339 (on sale to public May 2).
Enjoy another summer of classic films in IMA’s outdoor amphitheater. Bring friends and family for a fun evening. Before the film, explore the galleries—open until 9 pm and free—or 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park. More information at imamuseum.org/summernights *Priority Seating: Doors open at 6 pm for IMA members. **In case of inclement weather, films will be screened in The Toby. Indoor films will begin at 9 pm. Film status can be confirmed after 5:30 pm on imamuseum.org or call 317-923-1331. Tickets are non-refundable. Promotional support provided by NUVO
INDY FILM FEST SECRET SCREENING » July 22 TOP GUN (1986) » July 29 GREASE (1978) » August 5 TO CATCH A THIEF (1955) » August 12
GET MORE FILM—JULY 14–24 The Indianapolis International Film Festival returns to the IMA. More at indyfilmfest.org
Above » Zoolander: Paramount Pictures/Photofest © Paramount Pictures Right » Blue Hawaii: Paramount Pictures/Photofest © Paramount Pictures. Clerks: Miramax Films/Photofest © Miramax Films
LABYRINTH (1986) » August 19 SUPERMAN (1978) » August 26 Film schedule subject to change.
IMA Affiliates ART, DESIGN, AND NATURE INTEREST GROUPS IMA affiliates offer members unique opportunities to become more involved with the IMA by exploring their own interests. Affiliates do exclusive tours of IMA’s permanent collection, programs and special events related to the mission of each group. To learn more about how you can join one or more of these interest groups, contact Jessica Borgo, Board and Affiliate Relations Manager, at email@example.com or 317-923-1331, ext. 434.
THE ALLIANCE The IMA’s longest establish affiliate group develops and supports activities and projects that stimulate public interest in the Museum, its educational programs and collections.
ASIAN ART SOCIETY (AAS) AAS offers its members the opportunity to learn more about Asian art, history and cultural traditions, and socialize with others who share a deep interest in Asian art.
Reconstructing the Past in 3-D: Keith Wilson on the Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan Thursday, May 12 » 7 pm » The Toby » Free See page N6 for more details.
CONTEMPORARY ART SOCIETY (CAS) CAS is a dynamic group which promotes the understanding of and appreciation for contemporary art through educational programs, social events and community collaborations. CAS support has improved the quality and scope of IMA’s contemporary art collection.
DESIGN ARTS SOCIETY (DAS)
Stefan Sagmeister on Design & Happiness
DAS works to promote a greater awareness of the central role that design plays in our daily lives and to also help establish the IMA as an important center for the design arts in the U.S.
Thursday, June 16 » 7 pm » The Toby » $8 Public, $5 IMA members & Students, Free for DAS members
FASHION ARTS SOCIETY (FAS) FAS seeks to promote awareness and appreciation of textile and fashion arts through the study of haute couture and cloth. Members also help facilitate the expansion and enrichment of IMA’s fashion and textile arts collection.
HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY (HORT SOC) The Horticultural Society celebrates the art of gardening at the IMA by helping to develop, enhance and maintain the gardens, grounds and greenhouse through volunteer and financial support. The Society also maintains an extensive horticultural library on the IMA campus.
See page N6 for more details.
May Tour » Offered daily. See page N6 for more information.
DAILY 05 THR 06 FRI 12 THR 13 FRI 14 SAT 19 THR 20 FRI 27 FRI 28 FRI
Dining » Chef’s Taste » 6:30 pm » $35 per person Film » Camille » 7 pm » $9 Public, $5 IMA members
Special Event » National Public Gardens Day » Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Talk » Reconstructing the Past in 3-D with Keith Wilson » 7 pm » Free (PGP) Special Event » Member Night: Hoo-Hoo-Hoo-Hoosiers » 5:30–9 pm » Free for IMA members
Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Family Tour » Animals in Art » 1:30 & 2:30 pm » Free
Dining » Chef's Taste » 6:30 pm » $35 per person
Special Event » Miller House Symposium » 9:30 am–5 pm » Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Family Tour » Get in Touch with the Asian Gallery » 1:30 & 2:30 pm » Free
Assistive listening devices available for all Toby events and public tours. ASL interpretation available at Toby events where noted. Visit imamuseum.org for FULL program descriptions, TICKETS and more. N11
June Tour » Offered daily. See page N6 for more information.
02 THR 03 FRI 09 THR 10 FRI 11 SAT 16 THR 17 FRI 18 SAT 24 FRI 25 SAT
Dining » Chef’s Taste » 6:30 pm » $35 per person Performance » Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat dan Singa (Angels & Lions) » The Toby » $10 Public, $7 IMA members
Film » Summer Nights: Mommie Dearest » Film starts at sunset » $10 Public, $5 IMA Members, Children 6 & under Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Tour » Alliance Studio Tour: Cathy Claycomb » 1–3 pm » $20 Public, $15 Alliance & IMA Members Special Event » Member Night: The Italian Job » 5:30–9 pm » Free for IMA members
Film » Summer Nights: Blue Hawaii » Film starts at sunset » $10 Public, $5 IMA Members, Children 6 & under Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Family Tour » Art in the Great Outdoors » 1:30 & 2:30 pm » Free
Dining » Chef’s Taste » 6:30 pm » $35 per person Talk » Stefan Sagmeister on Design & Happiness » 7 pm » $8 Public, $5 IMA members & Students, Free DAS members (PGP)
Film » Summer Nights: The Sandlot » Film starts at sunset » $10 Public, $5 IMA Members, Children 6 & under Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Special Event » Summer Solstice » All day » Free Performance » Aphasia Dance Company: Rencontres des Imbéciles (Under Erasure) » 5 & 7 pm » $12 Public, $9 IMA members
Film » Summer Nights: The Wiz » Film starts at sunset » $10 Public, $5 IMA Members, Children 6 & under Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Family Tour » Art in the Great Outdoors » 1:30 & 2:30 pm » Free
July Tour » Offered daily. See page N6 for more information.
DAILY 01 FRI 07 THR 08 FRI 09 SAT 14 THR 15 FRI 21 THR 22 FRI 23 SAT 29 FRI 31 SUN
Indianapolis International Film Festival » times & prices vary; visit indyfilmfest.org for more information.
Film » Summer Nights: Zoolander » Film starts at sunset » $10 Public, $5 IMA Members, Children 6 & under Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Dining » Chef’s Taste » 6:30 pm » $35 per person Special Event » Dynasty and Divinity Exhibition opening
Film » Summer Nights: Poltergeist » Film starts at sunset » $10 Public, $5 IMA Members, Children 6 & under Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Family Tour » Wizards & Wizardry » 1:30 & 2:30 pm » Free Film » Indiana Black Expo Film Festival
Member Night » Expelliarmus! » 5:30–9 pm » Free for IMA members
Film » Summer Nights: Clerks » Film starts at sunset » $10 Public, $5 IMA Members, Children 6 & under Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Dining » Chef’s Taste » 6:30 pm » $35 per person
Tour » Alliance Studio Tour: Kyle Ragsdale » 1–3 pm » $20 Public, $15 Alliance & IMA Members Film » Summer Nights: IIFF Secret Screening » $10 Public, $5 IMA Members, Children 6 & under Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free Family Tour » Wizards & Wizardry » 1:30 & 2:30 pm » Free
Film » Summer Nights: Top Gun » Film starts at sunset » $10 Public, $5 IMA Members, Children 6 & under Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Film » Animation Day » 1–4:30 pm » $2 per person
August Tour » Offered daily. See page N6 for more information.
Dining » Chef’s Taste » 6:30 pm » $35 per person Film » Film Shorts from Wholphin » 9:30 pm » $9 Public, $5 IMA members
Film » Summer Nights: Grease » Film starts at sunset » $10 Public, $5 IMA Members, Children 6 & under Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Film » 48 Hour Film Project » 5, 7 & 9 pm » $10 per screening, $20 for all three screenings
11 THR 12 FRI 13 SAT 18 THR 19 FRI 20 SAT 26 THR 27 SAT N14
Tour » Alliance Studio Tour: Dorothy Chase » 1–3 pm » $20 Public, $15 Alliance & IMA Members Special Event » Member Night: Dynasty and Divinity » 5:30–9 pm » Free for IMA members Performance » OUTSOUND featuring Son Lux » 7 pm » $12 Public, $8 IMA members Film » Summer Nights: To Catch a Thief » Film starts at sunset » $10 Public, $5 IMA Members, Children 6 & under Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Family Tour » Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial » 1:30 & 2:30 pm » Free
Dining » Chef’s Taste » 6:30 pm » $35 per person
Film » Summer Nights: Labyrinth » Film starts at sunset » $10 Public, $5 IMA Members, Children 6 & under Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Special Event » Hummingbird Banding with Tim Tolford » 9 am–Noon » Free Family Tour » Changing Seasons » 1:30 & 2:30 pm » Free
Film » Summer Nights: Superman » Film starts at sunset » $10 Public, $5 IMA Members, Children 6 & under Free Tour » Meditation Hike » 5:30 pm » Free
Family Tour » American Art Adventures » 1:30 & 2:30 pm » Free
Scenes from the IMAâ€™s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration
On February 24, the IMA opened Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial with Dial in attendance and special performance by Ben Sollee.
The winter chill didnâ€™t damper events in The Toby. Pictured above: Chris Ware & Chip Kidd and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra providing a live score to two Chaplin films. N15
4000 Michigan Road Indianapolis, IN 46208 317-923-1331 imamuseum.org
ADMISSION General admission is free.
100 Acres, Gardens and Grounds Open daily from dawn to dusk
Special Exhibitions » Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial ($8 Public, Free for members); Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria ($8 Public, Free for members). School groups are also free (must book through IMA Education Division at firstname.lastname@example.org).
The IMA also offers complimentary Wi-Fi, coat check, wheelchairs, rollators, strollers, public phone, and lockers.
The IMA strives to be accessible to all visitors.
GETTING HERE Location The IMA is located at 4000 Michigan Road in Indianapolis. The main entrance is approximately one block north of 38th Street and Michigan Road. Note that south of 38th Street, Michigan Road becomes Martin Luther King Jr. Street. The IMA is accessible off the Central Canal Towpath (an Indy Greenways trail). Bike racks are available on campus, including in parking garage. By Indy Go Bus » From downtown Indianapolis, take #38 Lafayette Square » From Michigan Road, take #34 North or South » Visit indygo.net/tripplanner to plan your trip. HOURS Museum Tue, Wed, Sat » 11 am–5 pm Thur, Fri » 11 am–9 pm Sun » noon–5 pm Lilly House Open April through December, all Museum hours except on Thur and Fri; closes at 5 pm. Both Museum and Lilly House are closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
The IMA offers free public tours of its galleries, 100 Acres, Lilly House, and gardens. For a complete schedule, including tour themes, visit imamuseum.org. ACCESSIBILITY
» The Museum building and Lilly House are accessible for wheelchair users » Open captioning is available on in-gallery videos; Closed captioning available with select public programs » Assistive listening devices are available for all public tours and Toby events » ASL interpretations during select public programs and tours or by request. Call 317-923-1331 at least three weeks prior to event. » Service animals welcome » Family restrooms and nursing mothers room available For more information: imamuseum.org/connect/accessibility or 317-923-1331. DINING Nourish Café Nourish Café offers delicious snacks and inexpensive meals set in a chic cafeteria setting. SHOPPING Museum Store Books, jewelry, and museuminspired merchandise 317-923-1331, ext. 281 Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse Rare and choice plants, gardening supplies, and gifts. Closes Thur & Fri at 8 pm. Shop online 24 hours a day at imamuseum.org/shop
IMA LIBRARIES Stout Reference Library A non-circulating research library that consists of thousands of resources on the visual arts. 317-920-2647 Tue, Wed, Fri » 2–5 pm Thur » 2–8 pm and by appointment Horticultural Society Library Non-circulating collection of books and videos on gardening and related topics, open to the public. Located at Newfield. 317-923-1331, ext. 429 Tue, Wed, Sat » noon–3 pm FACILITY RENTAL The IMA offers a variety of spaces to rent—perfect for any occasion from cocktail parties to weddings to business conferences. For more information: imamuseum.org/special-events or 317-923-1331, ext. 419 MEMBERSHIP Membership helps support free general admission at the IMA. For questions concerning membership, call 317-920-2651 or visit imamuseum.org/membership AFFILIATES For more information about IMA art interest groups and clubs, contact email@example.com or see page N10 VOLUNTEER For more information about how you can get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-923-1331, ext. 263 CONTACT THE IMA 317-923-1331 (Main) 317-920-2660 (24-Hour Info Line) imamuseum.org
Meditation Hikes For Linda Proffitt, the IMA grounds are a place of serenity. In 2007, she voluntarily began leading a weekly meditation hike for the public—in any and all types of weather, sometimes in silence, sometimes with conversation. As Executive Director of Global Peace Initiatives, Proffitt uses science, art and horticulture to teach peace and peacemaking. The hikes at IMA reach over 200 people per year. We asked Proffitt about her experiences leading hikes at IMA. What inspired you to begin offering these weekly hikes at IMA? I am passionate about the Indianapolis Museum of Art. I grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Indianapolis. I spent my summers here, where the arts are a historic and fundamental part of our community. They got that way because of generations of people who have been passionate about this museum. As a child, our family always had an IMA membership. I am conscious as I lead the Peace Hikes that this has become one way I can give something back to the Museum. What is Global Peace Initiatives? Global Peace Initiatives is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Indianapolis, with a vision for the world where peace is defined through positive action that improves peoples’ lives. We use special events, service initiatives, education and art to this end. How do these hikes further the mission of your organization? The practice of walking meditation is cross cultural. St. Francis of Assisi is known for walking and admiring the beauty all around him in nature. The Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hahn purposefully engages walking meditation to help us to become more attentive. The Peace Hike is the founding initiative of Global Peace Initiatives. The hikes give us a chance to demystify meditation so people can incorporate the practice into everyday life and thus becoming more mindful of the points of view of others. What do you enjoy most about these hikes? I enjoy seeing people realize the immediate and positive impact of meditation on their wellness. What is your favorite spot on the grounds? I don’t have a particular spot. I love the red flowers in the gardens and how they draw the hummingbirds in for nectar. I love the grounds in the deep of winter, because without leaves on the trees the earth is revealed. I love the 100 Acres lake (which is really a quarry) because it so perfectly helps me discuss how nothing is permanent, which encourages us to live more fully in the moment. Could you share a particularly memorable experience from the Meditation Hikes? A particularly memorable experience was on a very cold winter hike. There was a foot of snow, it was 2 degrees, and the sky was absolutely clear blue. We walked across the gardens and as we entered the greenhouses we were transported into a tropical paradise.
Join Linda Proffitt every Friday, regardless of weather, from 5:30–6:30 pm. Meditation hikes begin at the Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion.
BY ELIZABETH MORTON ADJUNCT CURATOR, ART OF AFRICA, THE SOUTH PACIFIC AND THE AMERICAS
DYNASTY AND DIVINITY Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria
A landmark exhibition of African art is coming to the Indianapolis Museum of Art from July 8, 2011, through January 16, 2012. Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria presents a glimpse of the extraordinary accomplishments of Ife, the legendary royal city-state of the Yoruba people from the 12th–15th centuries. During this period, Ife (pronounced “EE-fay”) was ruled by powerful sacred kings and queens, whose images are captured in stunningly naturalistic cast copper-alloy and terra-cotta heads and figures. These are among the most celebrated works ever created in Africa. For the first time they have been brought together with other objects from the same era, resulting in a fascinating depiction of Ife. Terracotta and brass figures show Ife to have been a dynamic society where idealized and serene citizens coexisted with their opposites—the diseased, the malformed, the old, and the imprisoned. Trade items illustrate Ife’s ancient prosperity. Its prized glass beads—worn by royalty—were exported across north and west Africa. Its metal casting technology was highly advanced, and is represented by works both from Ife and from neighboring regions that adopted the technology. Rare stone sculptures from sacred forest groves also present Ife as a place of vital ritual importance.
The society that served the sacred royal leaders of Ife is vividly depicted through works in a fascinating range of materials. All of the objects in this extraordinary exhibition are on loan from the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments, attesting to the fact that these rare and exceptional works are being preserved in that country’s national collection. The commission organized the exhibition in collaboration with the Museum for African Art, New York, and the Fundación Botín, Santander, Spain. The sacred significance of Ife lies in the fact that it is believed by the Yoruba people (and their millions of descendants around the globe) to be the place where the world began. Of utmost importance is that all the kings and queens of Ife are believed to be direct descendants of the creator god Oduduwa, who became the first Yoruba monarch. Given this context, it is not surprising to find that Ife’s most astounding technical and artistic skills in metal-casting were dedicated to creating images of the Ooni, the central spiritual and political figure. Remarkable cast copper-alloy heads depicting the Ooni come in two forms—either about three-quarters of life-size wearing a royal beaded crown, or life size, with small holes surrounding the hairline, and sometimes the mouth, that most likely were used to attach a beaded crown and face veil. While much is understood about these heads, mysteries persist. They are Page 16 » Seated Figure (Tada Figure), late 13th–14th century, copper (with traces of arsenic, lead, and tin). Fundación Botín/Museum for African Art. © National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria. Photograph by Karin L. Willis. Above » Royal Head, 14th–early 15th century, copper alloy. © National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria. Photograph by Karin L. Willis. Right » Figure of a King, 14th century, copper alloy. © National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria. Photograph by Juan Jesus Blázquez.
unique in their idealized naturalism—nothing quite like them exists among the Yoruba or anywhere else in Africa. Since their original settings and functions have been forgotten, certain details like regular incisions on some of the faces and the small holes have generated various explanations. The heads are so exceptional that when the first crowned head, known as Olokun, was discovered by the German explorer Leo Frobenius in 1910, he proclaimed that ancient Greeks must have made it. When more heads were discovered in 1938, and a date of manufacture was generally established as 14th to early 15th centuries, the Illustrated London News called them the “Donatellos of medieval Africa,” despite the fact that Donatello created his naturalistic masterpieces decades later. While flawed, these interpretations by Europeans nonetheless emphasize the technical and aesthetic brilliance of Ife royal images. One of the highlights of Dynasty and Divinity is an extraordinary mask made of nearly pure copper. Named “Obalufon II” after the Ooni of Ife who is known as the patron of metal casting, it is perhaps the only metal object which remained in the royal palace, until the 20th century. Also striking are two full-body figures. One depicts a frontal standing Ooni who holds a forest-buffalo horn in his left hand and a staff in his right, both objects of authority used only during a short period prior to coronation. The conceptual proportion of this figure (pictured at right)—which enlarges his head in relation to his body—expresses the philosophical and spiritual importance of the head (ori), and especially the inner head (ori inu), which is the site of a person’s essence and destiny. The Ooni is ritually attired in beaded necklaces and a beaded crown. The other figure (pictured on page 16), similarly made with the lost wax process, was found about 120 miles away at Tada, an important trade center along the Niger River. This figure, which wears only a wrapper on its lower body and sits in an unusual asymmetrical cross-legged pose, makes a wonderful comparison to the formal posture of the Ooni. Both beautifully illustrate the virtuosity and creativity of Ife metal arts. While these metal images are extraordinary, the success and critical acclaim of Dynasty and Divinity lie in its ability to create a context for them. From a stone guardian figure of a sacred forest grove to gagged prisoners in terra-cotta, the society that served the sacred royal leaders of Ife is vividly depicted through works in a fascinating range of materials created with the same considerable skill. Waldemar Januszczak of the London Sunday Times rightly proclaimed of the exhibition: “Nobody—and I mean nobody—… should miss it.” A beautiful catalogue is available with Dynasty and Divinity. It is written by Henry John Drewal, Evjue-Bascom Professor of Art History and Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Adjunct Curator of African Art at the University’s Chazen Museum of Art, with an introductory essay by Enid
Schildkrout, Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Publications at the Museum for African Art. Available at the IMA Museum Store and online at imamuseum.org/shop for $40 (soft cover). Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria is co-organized by the Museum for African Art, New York, and the Fundación Botín, Santander, Spain, in collaboration with the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments. All of the objects in the exhibition are on loan from the Commission.
The exhibition has been supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, and by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities.
IN THE GALLERIES
The Old Masters BY MARTIN KRAUSE CURATOR OF PRINTS, DRAWINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHS
In conjunction with the presentation of an exhibition of The Old Masters, we look at the origins of the term and thus who qualified to be included in this distinguished group.
In its modern sense, the term “Old Masters” was an invention of the exhibition society known as the British Institution, which at its founding in 1809 saw a value in bringing to the pre-museumera public, regular exhibitions of “the old masters” drawn from private collections. For the Institution this term distinguished the deceased painters of the various European schools from the contemporary English artists who the British Institution displayed annually. Like them, we designate the Old Masters as artists active before 1800. But the British Institution did not coin the term. It appears in the 17th century when it was applied more selectively to artists who had been renowned in their lifetimes and who had continued to enjoy posthumous fame. It is perhaps not surprising to find its early usage as a cataloguing category among scholarly print collectors, who could build far more comprehensive, historic and encyclopedic collections of works on paper than they could possibly hope to do with paintings and who therefore needed to systematically organize their holdings.
collection in 1667 to Louis XIV to serve as the foundation for the French royal print collection (Cabinet d’Estampes). Beginning in 1740 and continuing for 30 years, Pierre-Jean Mariette, a consummate print connoisseur and the son of a Parisian print dealer, compiled manuscript notes on the lives and works of the most eminent artists in history to his time, which remain an invaluable primary resource. The canon of Old Master printmakers has been updated to 1800, but otherwise remains unchanged. Many of those esteemed above all others by these collectors were chosen for the IMA’s exhibition The Old Masters and the opinions of those scholarly collectors and contemporary writers are voiced on the labels.
Coincident with printmaking moving from an anonymous craft to a fully artistic endeavor bearing the signatures of their makers around 1490, some print collectors moved from amassing printed images for illustrative purposes organized by subject to acquiring as many works by the best printmakers as they could afford. Artists responded by creating prints for the connoisseur rather than the mass market and the market responded by estimating some artists above all others. In 1625, Johann Aegidius Ayrer of Nuremburg organized the 20,000 prints that his family had collected over several generations into volumes, each devoted to an artist and arranged chronologically. There were volumes devoted to Albrecht Dürer, Lucas van Leyden, Israhel van Meckenhem, Master MZ (Matthäus Zaisinger), Hans Sebald Beham and Albrecht Altdorfer among others. An inventory of 1656 revealed that Rembrandt had arranged his own substantial print collection in like fashion with albums consigned to many of these same artists, as well as to Andrea Mantegna, to other Italians and to more contemporary painter-printmakers such as Jusepe de Ribera and Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The most comprehensive collector of all was Michel de Marolles, who owned 123,400 impressions by 6,000 artists organized by artist in 520 albums. He had volumes devoted to the complete works of such recent French printmakers as Jacques Bellange and Jacques Callot and others stretching back in history to “Les Vieux Maîtres” (The Old Masters) of the 15th century and to “Les Petits Maîtres” (The Little Masters), the German 16th-century specialists in miniature prints, who are still so-called today. He sold his entire
The Old Masters is on view in the Conant Galleries through December 31.
Left » Jacques Callot, French, 1592–1635, The Temptation of St. Anthony, 1635, etching, 12 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. (image), 13 x 18 1/4in. (sheet), James E. Roberts Fund, 1984.116. Above » Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch, 1606–1669, The Triumph of Mordecai (detail), 1641, etching and drypoint, 6 5/8 x 8 3/8 in. (image), 7 x 8 1/2 in. (sheet), Mrs. Nicholas H. Noyes Fund, 56.161.
100 ACRES: THE VIRGINIA B. FAIRBANKS ART & NATURE PARK
A Look Back With all the construction complete and removed for nearly a year, see what has changed or settled into its home as 100 Acres celebrates its one year anniversary (join the celebration Saturday, June 18; learn more on page N8). Free guided tours are available Saturdays and Sundays (through September), weather permitting. Meet at Lake Terrace at 11 am.
IN THE GALLERIES
Gauguin as Printmaker: The Volpini Suite were publicly displayed. His prints were mentioned at the end of the small catalogue as “viewable upon request.” That modest citation was the first reference to a body of work that now stands as one of the most important graphic projects of 19th-century France. The technical achievement of the Volpini Suite is even more remarkable given that it was Gauguin’s first attempt at printmaking. He chose to make zincographs, which are created by a lithographic process that calls for drawing on zinc plates rather than heavy lithography stones. The challenges of zincography proved appealing to Gauguin, who appreciated the medium for its rough, grainy textures and intensified its effects by printing on canary yellow paper. He probably made only 30 to 40 sets of the prints, and each member of the IMA set is in pristine condition, its brilliant paper unfaded and untrimmed. BY ELLEN W. LEE THE WOOD-PULLIAM SENIOR CURATOR
The paintings and the dramatic story of Paul Gauguin’s life garner so much attention that his talents as a printmaker are often ignored. The IMA adjusts that imbalance by unveiling a rare, complete suite of 11 prints by Gauguin— strategic new additions to the Museum’s renowned Pont-Aven School Collection—on exhibition through September 18 in Golden Gallery. Gauguin made the prints in early 1889, a critical year in his career. He had just returned from two tumultuous months in southern France with Vincent van Gogh, and the previous summer he and Emile Bernard, working in Brittany, had developed the approach that established Gauguin as the leader of the PontAven School. During the spring of 1889, Gauguin wanted to mount an exhibition to take advantage of the large crowds that would visit Paris’ Exposition Universelle. This world’s fair was designed to flaunt French cultural and industrial achievement—its signature attraction was the iron tower of Gustave Eiffel. The progressive paintings of Gauguin and his friends were not accepted for the fair’s official arts pavilion, so the artists appealed to Monsieur Volpini, the owner of a café within the fairgrounds. When the mirrors he ordered failed to arrive, Volpini agreed to display their work, inadvertently lending his name to Gauguin’s prints, which made their debut at that exhibition. The occasion also marked the first time that the Pont-Aven School paintings of Gauguin and his colleagues
The Volpini Suite draws upon Gauguin’s travels to Brittany, Martinique and Provence. Many motifs were adapted from his paintings of those locales, demonstrating how cleverly Gauguin transferred images from one medium to another. The prints offer scenes from everyday life, but their underlying themes are often ironic references to the human condition—allusions to guilt and pleasure, fear, hope, sexuality, and doubt. Adding Gauguin’s Volpini Suite to the permanent collection fulfills a longstanding goal for the IMA, where the prints enjoy a uniquely appropriate context. They are the ideal stylistic and thematic complement to the paintings in the Museum’s Pont-Aven School Collection, recognized as the finest outside Paris. The suite also provides a critical basis of comparison with the IMA’s extensive collection of prints by other PontAven School artists, given by Samuel Josefowitz in 1998. Gauguin’s bold experiment in printmaking is endowed with the innovative spirit that characterizes the Pont-Aven School as a whole and made Gauguin a pioneer of the modern era.
Above » Paul Gauguin, French, 1848-1903, The Joys of Brittany, from The Volpini Suite, 1889, zincograph on canary yellow wove paper, 19 5/8 x 25 1/2 in. (sheet), Caroline Marmon Fesler Fund, Beeler Fund, Anonymous Art Fund, Mr. and Mrs. William R. Spurlock Fund, Mrs. Pierre F. Goodrich Endowed Art Fund, Nancy Foxwell Neuberger Acquisition Endowment Fund, Gift of the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Russell and Becky Curtis Art Purchase Endowment Fund, Roger G. Wolcott Fund, E. Hardey Adriance Fine Arts Acquisition Fund in memory of Marguerite Hardey Adriance, Mary V. Black Art Endowment Fund, Delavan Smith Fund, Emma Harter Sweetser Fund, Cecil F. Head Art Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore P. Van Vorhees Art Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Crane Fund, Richard W. and Rosemary W. Lee Memorial Funds, 2008.359.2
Thornton Dial The IMA’s Conservation Department has a long history of preparing future conservators for graduate school through pre-program internships in the various laboratories. These internships allow prospective conservation students to gain hands-on experience, confirm that they have the interest and aptitude to succeed in a graduate training program, and to develop a foundation that provides context for their graduate work. These internships also benefit the Museum as interns often play a key role in contributing to the Conservation Department’s work. Jessica Ford and Katherine Langdon are IMA’s current pre-program interns. They started working with Richard McCoy, Associate Conservator of Objects & Variable Art, last summer to help document and maintain the more than 35 artworks on the museum grounds (not including the eight installations in 100 Acres). Since then they have helped on a variety of other projects, including a trip to the Souls Grown Deep Foundation’s warehouse in Atlanta, GA, with McCoy and Senior Conservator of Textiles, Kathleen Kiefer to help clean and prepare the eight largest Thornton Dial pieces for the Hard Truths exhibition now on view at the IMA.
“Being involved with this exhibition has been a great learning experience. Not only have we been able to study the pieces closely, where we discovered the materials and construction methods Dial uses, but at the museum we are also learning about the complexities of transporting and installing large artworks.” —Katherine Langdon
“Working on Dial’s artworks has been endlessly fascinating because of their conceptual and physical complexity. Seeing first-hand the innovation within each piece has taught me a lot about how to approach complicated art objects from a conservation perspective.” —Jessica Ford
Above » Images from the trip to Souls Grown Deep Foundation’s warehouse.
VOICES Through vigorous, often poetic interventions into natural and man-made environments, Brooklyn-
(b. 1977 in Arlington, Virginia) forges a captivating and highly based artist inventive exploration of natural forces and the passage of time. Lamson has created a monumental sculpture and sound installation for the IMA’s Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion, entitled Divining Meteorology, that reanimates a former communications tower by transforming it into a sound-producing, resonant object. The installation is on display through August 28. In much of your past work you’ve ventured outdoors, staging actions that engage urban and natural landscapes. How do you think about the relationship between inside and outside in your work, in particular how these out-in-the-world activities are then translated into gallery-based installations? For several years the work I presented in gallery spaces was as you described; documentation of a performance or an action that happened out of doors. In these cases, this inside/outside dichotomy was necessary because the performance involved working with a natural force that only existed in the landscape. However recently, I have started making installations for gallery spaces that also involve a direct engagement with these forces. For example, when I was at the Center for Land Use Interpretation residency last spring, I removed all of the windows in their gallery space and covered the outside of the 64 individual panes in a different color caramel. The result inside the room was a sunset-like glow that slowly changed as the caramel responded to the weather. Over the course of the summer, hot temperatures and moisture in the atmosphere softened the sugars, transforming the glassy material back into syrup that dripped down the windows and the back of the building. The project that I am doing for the IMA is similar in that instead of performing an action outside and bringing the results into the gallery, I am creating a real-time event inside the IMA pavilion that reflects the current weather, though in a far more abstracted form. Your installation currently on view at the IMA was inspired in part by sound experiments you conducted during your recent Binaural / Nodar Artist Residency in Portugal. Could you tell us a bit about this? The residency was in a small village in rural Portugal called Nodar. At the western entrance to the village there is an old stone bridge over a fast moving river. The sound piece I made there involved connecting heavy stones hanging from the bridge railing to water bottles floating in the river. Periodically, the bottles would find their way into slightly slower water, releasing the tension on the line and allowing the rocks to gently bump into the railing. Since I had padded these rocks with foam, instead of making an audible sound when they touched the railing, they sent low vibrations up and down the railing which I then recorded using contact microphones. The result was this beautiful low, reverberating sound that reminded me of a bell ringing, but without a discernable beginning or end. After listening to this recording, I started to imagine creating something that could make this sound in real time in the IMA pavilion. I eventually came up with the idea of transforming an actual communications tower into a sound-producing object. The materials you have put to use in past works—firecrackers, VHS tape, caramel, and latex balloons—served as particularly apt raw materials for your investigations of events that occur over time. For your piece at the IMA, you’ve reactivated a former communications tower. How do you think about this object in relation to past works and to the study of time? With all of these materials, the passage of time is directly linked to a physical force that works on the material and allows us to see changes to it over time. The galvanized steel tower, which was originally designed to endure these natural forces, has been removed from the landscape, compressed into itself, and now sits in a glass room, free from all forces except gravity. When I think about this piece in this context, the museum space becomes like a vitrine, and the compressed tower is like a specimen inside of it, which we can now listen to in a controlled environment. In this way, I think of the vibrations that I am running into the tower and the sounds coming out of it as distant echoes of its former life in the landscape.
Below Âť William Lamson working on his installation.
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