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Otis Kaye, My Cup Runneth Over, 1950s, Oil on canvas mounted on board, 39 x 29¾ in., Private Collection, Illinois

Otis Kaye: Money, Mystery, and Mastery
Saturday, Jan. 17–Sunday, May 10, 2015

Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015
Remarks 2:30 p.m.

The exhibition features thirty-four works that display a mastery of the highly realistic, trompe l’oeil technique in curious compositions of currency, letters, and other symbolic items that make reference to political, economic and social issues facing America, and Otis Kaye personally, during the first half of the twentieth-century. More puzzling than Kaye’s work, which is steeped in mystery and symbolism, is the enigma that surrounds the artist himself. The record of Kaye’s life is nearly non-existent. The artist did not exhibit or sell his work during his lifetime, but gave his art to close family and friends. Through this exhibition, our visitors will have the opportunity to investigate this intriguing artist and help answer some of the remaining questions about his life and work.

The works featured in this retrospective are some of Kaye’s finest, generously loaned from various private collections and the Otis Kaye Estate and Trust. The Museum is thankful to the many private collectors, including Ron Cordover, Walter and Lucille Rubin, Richard Manoogian, Frank Hevrdejs, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Sheldon Museum, University of Nebraska for their loans to this exhibition. In addition, Ron Cordover’s generous contribution through the Cordover Family Foundation has allowed us to publish the first monograph on Kaye with contributions by James M. Bradburne, Mark D. Mitchell, and Geraldine Banks, which are included in the fully illustrated, 188-page catalogue, Otis Kaye: Money, Mastery, and Mystery. Additional funding has been received from the David T. Langrock Foundation, which has supported several of the New Britain Museum of American Art’s important scholarly monographs.



Titus Kaphar, The Vesper Project, detail, 2012, Mixed media installation, Courtesy of Burger Collection, Hong Kong & Friedman Benda, New York

NEW/NOW: Titus Kaphar
The Vesper Project

Saturday, Nov. 1–Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014
2:30 p.m. Artist Remarks

‘The Vesper Project’ is a massive sculptural statement— an encompassing installation, in which Titus Kaphar’s own work is seamlessly woven into the walls of a 19th-century American house. It is the culmination of an intense five-year engagement with the lost storylines of the Vesper family, a 19th-century family of mixed descent that passed as white. The project was “birthed in a state of extended disbelief,” according to Kaphar. As the artist’s muses, the members of the Vesper family and their histories are intertwined with Kaphar’s autobiographical details, and layered with wide-based cultural triggers of identity and truth.

In ‘The Vesper Project,’ period architecture, gilt frames, a vintage typewriter, a neglected wardrobe, and old photographs act as seemingly recognizable elements, but by employing every tool of his trade, Kaphar insinuates doubt and transports the viewer into a disrupted mental state. As the house fractures, like the lives of the Vesper family, so does the viewer’s experience. In so doing, Kaphar compresses time and history, postulating new, powerful realities.

The Museum is grateful to Max and Monique Burger for funding the Museum’s presentation of ‘The Vesper Project.’

 

The NEW/NOW Series is made possible by the generous support of Marzena and Greg Silpe


An image from John O'Donnell's Psychedelic Pantry.

 

New Media: John O'Donnell
Sept. 6, 2014–Feb. 8, 2015
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014
Artist Remarks at 2:30 p.m.
ARTIST PERFORMANCE
8-11 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31, 2014
@ Museum After Dark

Psychedelic Pantry, a new media installation created by John O’Donnell, points to moments of everyday life while highlighting the bizarre and mysterious moments we often overlook while shuffling to the toaster or coffee maker in the morning.

Appearing as a simple representation of a kitchen area or pantry, further inspection reveals there is more happening than food storage. Psychedelic Pantry is a New Media installation that reveals moments of constructed metaphysical awareness to reveal hallucinatory or surreal sensation, playing on ideas of peripheral vision and imagined movement. The aesthetic is informed by the combination of rather mundane objects typically found in a kitchen and psychedelic imagery. This installation intends to move past the typical category of drug induced awareness and speak about the potential of common items and commercial packaging to inform a heightened experience. Inspired by the brightly colored packaging of cereal boxes and other common snacks, this installation calls our attention to the hypnotic, and often times annoying, design of food items packaging. This is also a reference to the growing number of artificial additives that are found in a large portion of the food for sale in a grocery store and ultimately brought home for temporary storage before consumption.

O’Donnell, who lives and works in Connecticut, is a multidisciplinary artist and has created performance pieces for the Museum of New Art in Detroit, Proof Gallery in Boston, Flux Space in Philadelphia, and SOHO20 Gallery in New York City.


Beth Lipman, Aspects of (American) Life
(illustration 2)

Beth Lipman, Aspects of (American) Life
Wednesday, May 14, 2:30 p.m.

On view now! Beth Lipman's Aspects of (American) Life. The latest addition to the Museum's Appropriation & Inspiration series, this installation relates directly to Thomas Hart Benton's epic murals The Art of Life in America. Borrowing objects depicted in the murals, Lipman creates a monumental three-dimensional still-life sculpture from clear glass as a meditation on the good fortunes of wealth and prosperity as well as the misfortunes that ensue from their abuse.



Soo Sunny Park Concept

Soo Sunny Park
Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Mar. 9, 2014

The Museum is delighted to announce plans to unveil the third site-specific installation for February 2014 to animate the LeWitt Family Staircase where undulating, effervescent abstract forms seemingly float above the staircase landing. The artist, Soo Sunny Park, is known for creating otherworldly, immersive installations that transform their environments into seas of dancing light, reflection and shadow. Her proposal for the LeWitt Family Staircase is no exception.

As the artist explains, “The space will be filled with sinuous, large, sprawling structures on two opposing walls (units composed of weaving of metal grid and clear, iridescent, “edge glowing” Plexi glass), which transmit, reflect, and refract light while the painted dark walls of the gallery are enclosed with images that echo the shadows and reflections of the gleaming sculpture. The images are articulated with charcoal and graphite.” Changing light conditions will reveal different facets of the sculpture, so that during different times of day it will be transformed from translucent and clear to colorful and prismatic. The installation will harness daylight and artificial light as mediums with which to create, blurring the line between the physical drawing and the light drawing.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Soo Sunny Park received her BFA in painting and sculpture from Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio and a MFA in sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Park is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant; Grand Prize winner of the 19th Annual Michigan Fine Arts Competition; The Helen Foster Barnett Prize, National Academy Museum, New York; Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture residency, Skowhegan, Maine; Cité Internationale des Arts studio residency, Paris, France, and the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Arts & Literary Arts Residency, Bellagio, Italy.

Her most recent installations are Capturing Resonance (2011–12), created with composer Spencer Topel for the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and Unwoven Light (2013) for Rice Gallery in Houston, Texas. Park lives and works in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she is Associate Professor of Studio Art at Dartmouth College.

 

 

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