NYUMBA YA SANAA
WORKS FROM THE MARYKNOLL COLLECTION Opening September 5
FALL 2013/vol VII What’s Inside: Notes from the Director Print Making Revolution: Mexican Prints and the Taller de Gráfica Popular Fall 2013 Calendar On the Road with TRAVEX P.A.L. Project/Henninger Art Class: Voices Heard and Celebrated Recent Acquisitions: Robert Birmelin
Exhibition/Education/Collection Syracuse University Art Galleries/Shaffer Art Building /Syracuse, Ne w York 13244
NOTES FROM THE DIRECTOR The SUArt Galleries is presenting a series of exhibitions for the 2013-2014 academic year that is truly international in scope. Beginning with Nyumba ya Sanaa: Works from the Maryknoll Collection and A World Apart: Art from the Samuel T. Pees Collection, the Galleries will also be presenting programming that is international in scope. Our SUArt Film Series selections and the speakers we are bringing to campus during the academic year will also fit into our international theme.
Domenic Iacono, Director
September 5 – October 20, 2013
NYUMBA YA SANAA
WORKS FROM THE MARYKNOLL COLLECTION
George Lilanga, I Can Remember, 1977
In 2012, the Syracuse University Art Galleries was chosen as a
Nyumba ya Sanaa: Works from the Maryknoll Collection will
repository for the Maryknoll Collection, a gift of the Maryknoll
introduce the Central New York community to Tanzanian
Sisters that included more than 170 original works of art by
artwork created in the last quarter of the 20th century.
twenty-two Tanzanian artists. The collection contains artwork
The exhibition will present 90 pieces of original artwork
created at Nyumba ya Sanaa (Swahili for “House of Art”), a
featuring a breadth of media including painting, sculpture
community cultural center and art workshop located in Dar es
and printmaking, and highlight over a dozen artists. Also on
Salaam, Tanzania. Founded in 1972 by Sister Jean Pruitt and
display in the Galleries will be artwork created by Henninger
the Maryknoll Order, Nyumba ya Sanaa’s (NYS) mission was to
High School students who have been inspired by the Tanzanian
support local artists, and to help them display and sell their
exhibition. This student display, Henninger Art Class: Voices
works, among other cultural activities. NYS also participated in
Heard and Celebrated is the result of community collaboration
vocational training in the arts, including arts and crafts, fine art
between the SUArt Galleries, Henninger High School Art
paintings, sculpture and wood carving, modeling plaster and
Teacher Lori Lizzio, and Stephen Mahan of the Photography
cutting metal. Among alumni from the NYS school are world
and Literacy (P.A.L.) Project.
famous artists George Lilanga, Robino Ntila, and Francis Patrick Imanjama, each of whom were invited by numerous European
Along with Nyumba ya Sanaa we will feature an exhibition of
galleries to exhibit their works. Through the years, Nyumba
international art that highlights work gifted to the University by
ya Sanaa emerged not only as a school for artists, but also a
collector Samuel T. Pees. A World Apart: Art from the Samuel
cultural attraction for Tanzania that attracted dignitaries and
T. Pees Collection presents original artwork featuring a breadth
royalty, including Prince Charles of Wales. continued on 4
cover: Phidelis Hassan Kamwona, untitled [Makonde, Hunger figure], c1990
THE PALITZ GALLERY/NYC Rembrandt: Strange Victories: The Consummate Grove Press Etcher and other 1951-1985 17th century november 18, 2013 – febRUARY 6, 2014 The Palitz Gallery Printmakers September 16 – NOvember 14, 2013 The Palitz Gallery The Syracuse University Art Galleries is proud to present Rembrandt: The Consummate Etcher and Other 17th Century Printmakers. This exhibition is a celebration of Louise and Bernard Palitz and their association with the Syracuse University Art Galleries. In the mid-1980s Louise and Bernard Palitz made their first gift to the Syracuse University Art Collection and over the next 25 years they became ardent supporters of Syracuse University and our arts programs. About ten years ago they gave us funds to renovate the gallery space at Lubin House and established an endowment to help it operate as an exciting venue for the University in New York City. During its short existence the Palitz Gallery has presented exhibitions that displayed the work of William Blake, James Whistler, Albert Maysles, Winslow Homer, and of course, our 2008 landmark exhibition: Michelangelo: the Man and the Myth. This display primarily utilizes the holdings of the Syracuse University Art Collection and explores the impact of one of Europe’s most important artists on the printmakers of his day. This project, which grew out of a series of lectures for the Museum Studies Graduate class Curatorship and Connoisseurship of Prints, demonstrates the value of a study collection as a teaching tool that can extend outside the classroom. Taking its title from the film Strange Victory, which was collaboratively produced by Barney Rosset (who would become the dominant force behind Grove Press) and the leftwing documentary filmmaker Leo Hurwitz after World War II, this exhibition traces the history of America’s most notorious publishing house. From its role at the center of national censorship trials over Lady Chatterley’s Lover to its publication of politically engaged works such as The Autobiography of Malcolm X, as well as its avantgarde and sometimes scandalous Film Division, each of Grove’s projects, the exhibition reveals, was in its own way a “strange victory.” For while Grove altered the American literary landscape and challenged existing notions of social mores, equality, and freedom of expression, Grove also deployed savvy marketing strategies seemingly at odds with its avant-garde values, became embroiled in union battles, and floundered in its own successes. Strange Victories: Grove Press 1951–1985 offers a glimpse into the complicated story of Grove’s many literary and political achievements, some of which continue to exert a profound influence on American culture today.
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Self Portrait Drawing at a Window, 1648
Roechiyat, Before the Bharata Yudha War, 1973
of media from oil and acrylic painting to relief printmaking
Also on view in our second display period will be Paul Strand’s
and dye batiks. The exhibition highlights over 20 artists, with
famous Mexican Portfolio, which includes photogravure
nationalities as diverse as Haitian, Paraguayan, Indonesian,
impressions of people, landscapes, architecture, and religious
Thai, Grand Cayman, and Malaysian. This is the first exhibition
objects that he encountered in Mexico during his travels there
to examine artwork in the Pees Collection since 1989.
in 1932. Strand, like many of the artists who were making art at the Taller de Gráfica Popular print studio, worked on these
In 1988, Samuel Pees made a substantial gift of over 250
photographs during the period when the post-revolution
original pieces of artwork to the Syracuse University Art
government was trying to establish a modern national culture
Collection, followed by another gift of additional artwork in
that would capture Mexico’s unique character.
the mid-1990s. An alumnus of Syracuse University, Samuel Pees earned his master’s degree in Geology in 1959. As a
In 1967 Albert Delong printed these photogravures from the
professional consultant, Pees was able to travel frequently to
original plates under the supervision of the artist Paul Strand
South America, Latin America, Indonesia and the Southeast. It
who was a passionate advocate for the medium. For this
was during these travels that he actively acquired his collection
portfolio of images Strand asked the famous Mexican artist
of artwork, which includes work by well-known artists Tohny
David Siquieros to write a preface for the project. In it Siquieros
Joesoef and Jacinto Rivero.
called Strand’s images “the most objective art of our time.”
These exhibitions will run September 5- October 20, 2013.
These exhibitions will open November 7, 2013 and run through January 12, 2014.
The permanent exhibition galleries will host exhibitions that acknowledge our international theme. The Gallery of American
The international year continues in the spring semester with
Art will present America’s Calling, a yearlong display of work
an exhibition from January 30- March 16, 2014 titled Mithila
made by artists who relocated to the United States. These
Painting: The Evolution of an Art Form featuring a selection of
immigrant artists have had a profound effect on how we view
images made by women in the Mithila region of northern India.
the world and ourselves. The Print and Photography Study
Rich in color and infused with vibrant forms these paintings
Rooms will each display works from the collection that explore
describe gods from the Hindu Pantheon and illustrate
the artwork, landscape and people of Japan.
indigenous stories both old and new.
In November our main exhibition will be Print Making
We will also turn our attention to South Africa and the
Revolution: Mexican Prints and the Taller de Gráfica Popular,
contemporary art scene there. Recent work by several
focusing on the work produced at that influential workshop
Johannesburg artists including William Kentridge, Diane Victor
in Mexico City during the political and social unrest of the
and others will be on view.
post-Mexican Revolution. These prints advanced a variety of More to come about these exhibitions in our next newsletter.
revolutionary ideals and causes, including the formation of organized labor, the fight for civil rights, and an active campaign against fascism.
November 7, 2013 – January 12, 2014
Print Making Revolution: Mexican Prints and the Taller de Gráfica Popular
Angel Bracho, Victoria! Los Artistas de Taller de Grafica... ,1945. Courtesy of the University of New Mexico Art Museum
In Mexico City, during the political and social unrest of the post-Mexican Revolution, the art of the print had an undeniable impact on the everyday lives of the struggling people’s history and culture. This exhibition will introduce the Central New York community to the important artists and artwork produced at the Taller de Gráfica Popular (The People’s Graphic Workshop), or TGP. Founded by Leopoldo Méndez, Luis Arenal and American born Pablo O’Higgins, this influential workshop advanced a variety of revolutionary ideals and causes, including the formation of organized labor, the fight for civil rights, and an active campaign against fascism.
Leopoldo Méndez, Homage to José Guadalupe Posada. Courtesy of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
Calendar/Exhibitions September 5 – October 20, 2013 Main Gallery
September 16 – NOvember 14, 2013 The Palitz Gallery
OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2013 5:00–7:00 P.M.
NYUMBA YA SANAA
The Consummate Etcher
WORKS FROM THE MARYKNOLL COLLECTION
17th Century Dutch Printmaking
The Study Gallery
OCTOBER 15, 2013 7:00 pm
A lecture by Nadine Orenstein Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, Metropolitan Museum of Art
A World Apart:
Syracuse University Lubin House
Art from the Samuel T. Pees Collection
november 18, 2013 – febRUARY 6, 2014 The Palitz Gallery
Strange Victories: Grove Press 1951-1985 November 7, 2013 – January 14, 2014 Main Gallery OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2013 5:00–7:00 P.M.
Print Making Revolution:
unkown artist, [An actor in the dress of the feudal court], c1890
Mexican Prints and the Taller de Gráfica Popular
September 5, 2013 – May 11, 2014 The Photography Study Room
Visions for Sale:
Paul Strand: The Mexican Portfolio
Photographs of Nineteenth Century Japan The Gallery of American Art
America’s Calling The Print Study Room
Ukiyo-e to Shin Hanga: Japanese Woodcuts in the Syracuse University Art Collection 6
Paul Strand, Boy - Uruapan, 1933
Calendar/EDucation LUNCHTIME LECTURES Wednesdays at 12:15
Second Sundays beginning in October 2:00 P.M., Shemin Auditorium, Shaffer Art Building
September 11 Gallery Tour: Nyumba Ya Sanaa with Domenic Iacono
September 18 Gallery Tour: Ukiyo-e to Shin Hanga with Andrew Saluti
September 25 Gallery Tour: Visions For Sale with David Prince
October 2 Gallery Tour: A World Apart with Domenic Iacono
October 9 Gallery Tour: Americaâ€™s Calling with David Prince
October 16 Gallery Tour: Voices Heard and Celebrated with Domenic Iacono
November 13 Gallery Tour: Print Making Revolution with Andrew Saluti
November 20 Gallery Tour: The Mexican Portfolio with Emily Dittman
Midnight in Paris
From the Collection: Robert Birmelin with David Prince
2011, Directed by Woody Allen November 10
Orozco: Man of Fire 2007, Directed by Laurie Coyle Saturday, October 12 Sunday, October 13 2:00 P.M.
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Nyumba ya Sanaa and A World Apart
Saturday, November 16 Sunday, November 17 2:00 P.M. Print Making Revolution 7
2012, Directed by Alison Klayman
On the road/TRAVEX The Syracuse University Art Galleries Traveling Exhibition Program [TRAVEX] has been offering affordable exhibitions to museums and university art galleries for over twenty years, generated from Syracuse University’s encyclopedic art collection and collaborating institutions.
Karl Schrag: Memories and Premonitions
An American in Venice: James McNeill Whistler and His Legacy
The Elizabeth Myers Mitchell Gallery St. John’s College 60 College Ave, Annapolis, MD 21404
The Arkell Museum
August 28 – October 13, 2013
2 Erie Boulevard, Canajoharie, New York 13317 July 28 – October 20, 2013
The art in Karl Schrag: Memories and Premonitions conveys the artist’s ability to see the landscape as if for the first time, the
This exhibit places eleven of James McNeill Whistler’s Venetian
surprise of that special view, the recognition of his ability to
etchings alongside the work of followers who were practicing in
feel wonder when looking at nature or figure, and the reward
Italy in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The
associated with seeing the world through his eyes.
juxtaposition allows the viewer to appreciate both Whistler’s innovations and the different ways in which his work affected the
Pure Photography: Pictorial and Modern Photographs from the Syracuse University Art Collection
artists who followed him.
Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art Kansas State University Manhattan, KS 66506 August 27 – November 24, 2013 As more individuals began using cameras, the idea grew that photography could be a form of art in addition to a form of documentation. This captured the attention of many artists, most notably Alfred Stieglitz, who formed the Photo Secession and helped establish Pictorialism.
learn more / travex.syr.edu 8
Pressing Print: Universal Limited Art Editions 2000-2010 Thorne - Sagendorph Art Gallery Keene State College 229 Main Street, Keene, New Hampshire 03435 September 20 – December 8, 2013
Art in the Detail: 20th Century Masters of Photography
Pressing Print chronicles the recent decade of artwork published by the renowned American printmaking workshops, Universal Limited Art Editions. The exhibition brings together new print works made by the vanguards of 20th century American Art with the emerging artists recently selected to collaborate at Universal.
The Artist Revealed: Artist Portraits and Self-Portraits
Widener University Art Gallery One University Place Chester, PA 19013 November 9 – December 14, 2013 This exhibition of 30 photographs explores texture, light, and the interplay of these qualities in the work of established and emerging masters of photography.
Hearst Art Gallery Saint Mary’s College of California 1928 Saint Mary’s Road, Moraga, CA 94575 October 12 – December 15, 2013 An exhibition of fifty works in a variety of media that examine self-portraits and portraits of other artists. Included in the show are works by Milton Avery, Chuck Close, Leonard Baskin, Edward Steichen, Norman Rockwell, and Anders Zorn.
P.A.L. PROJECT/EDUCATION Henninger Art Class: Voices Heard and Celebrated COLLABORATION THROUGH THE MARYKNOLL COLLECTION This project enthralled my students from the beginning. They
The students were able to see that all artists tell stories, in
connected to it through the story, the history, the artwork as
many different ways. They felt that every voice is heard and
well as the project itself. The idea was to have my students
important. That was my favorite part of this project. My
develop a personal connection to the exhibit’s artwork, and
students were so proud. So proud of the pictures that they
create a piece of artwork reflecting that connection. We felt
created and the process they went through to create them.
inspiration could be found in documenting everyday life. They
The excitement of participating in this exhibit and taking the
used cameras to tell their stories and from those pictures, used
pictures, learning to edit them and using the technology to
editing software to create artwork.
create art really drove this project. They spent a lot of time working on it, and had fun in the process. They were in great
Students were inspired by the exhibit’s artwork. They found
dialogues about it beyond class time, as well as during class.
similarities and familiar relationships. Giving my students a
The artwork is an honest look at the voices of my students. The
project that asked them to visually “speak” freely about their
collection tells their stories, in more layers than I think they
life, friends, boyfriends, etc., was a very cathartic and rewarding
realize. I am a proud teacher of what they had to say.
process. I enjoyed watching their artistic styles emerge and their confidence grow with this opportunity. My students could
It was such a cool project; one that my students felt
also appreciate the opportunity to participate, as it related to
represented who they are, and what they want to say. Their
the Maryknoll Sisters giving people a place to create art when
voices were heard and celebrated. I am forever grateful for that
there was no other opportunity to do so. This class is the only
opportunity provided to them.
opportunity that many of these students have to create as well. Using other people’s artwork and finding personal connections
brings the common language of art into the classroom.
Henninger High School
Henninger High School Student Sierra Vespi
RECENT ACQUISITIONS/COLLECTION ROBERT Birmelin
Robert Birmelin, Remembrance of Europe, 1959
In 1979 the University Art Collection acquired Robert Birmelin’s
standing on the left side of a shallow balcony look out over the
painting, Night Driving, 1964. The easel sized acrylic on canvas
square just as a figure tumbles past from an upper story. Below
was only occasionally seen by students until the Art Collection
them another figure’s arms emerge from the left foreground and
began participating in First Year Forum, a university program
rests on a café table complete with a cup and saucer. The hands
designed to introduce incoming College of Arts and Sciences
are placed carefully to either side of a plate behind a group of
students to different parts of campus. Visiting Forum classes
nondescript folded papers. In sharp contrast to the heavily
were encouraged to decipher the painting’s ambiguous, non-
etched building façade, the foreground’s figurative elements,
linear narrative and talk about how visual communications
table and place setting are lightly delineated, thereby balancing
differed from other forms of communication. After brief periods
the composition’s visual weight.
of clear discomfort (because few had ever spent any time looking closely at works of art) students warmed to the assignment.
Later prints often incorporate urban or domestic settings
Groups spent an average of ninety minutes analyzing and
as backdrops for visually bizarre figurative combinations.
discussing the image, its content and possible meanings.
Translucent figurative elements are superimposed over other bodies in fantastical arrangements. Runner’s World, from Harsh
A recent conversation with the artist prompted his interest in
Truths, portrays a monumental mustachioed face materializing
adding another work to the permanent collection. A series of
over an urban street scene. The face crops the upper half of a
studio visits revealed his long term involvement with intaglio
pedestrian and the back of an adjacent figure’s head but the
printmaking that began in his student days at Yale working with
background (sidewalk stores and their signage) remains visible.
Gabor Peterdi. An offer was extended, and accepted, to develop
In other prints, Birmelin divides the picture plane into segments
a more comprehensive gift that would better illustrate Birmelin’s
to create separate, yet integrated compositions depending on the
involvement with the medium. Bob developed a group of
twenty-five prints describing his work from 1955 through 2007. Additionally, the artist’s son agreed to donate in 2014 Harsh
Further examination of the gift reveals the artist’s curiosity in
Truths, 1988, a suite of five etchings and aquatints.
intaglio and his exploration of the medium’s techniques. What predominates is Birmelin’s interest in line and tone as opposed
An early etching, Remembrance of Europe, 1959, describes the
to color. His deft manipulation of the etcher’s needle creates rich
artist’s experimentation with ambiguous designs. A dark, multi-
black marks that are characteristic of the medium. In this respect
storied stone building obliquely fills the background of an Italian
Birmelin’s etchings refer back to his drawings and his lifelong
piazza in front of which is parked an automobile. Two men
interest in line as a mode of expression.
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