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Gertrude Käsebier, Louise Grace, c. 1919, Sepia toned gelatin silver print, 9 x 11 in., New Britain Museum of American Art, Gift of Francine du Plessix Gray, 2005.181.

In Focus: Recent Acquisitions in Photography
Nov. 9
Dec. 30, 2012
Opening Reception
Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012,
5:30-7 p.m.

In Focus: Recent Acquisitions in Photography, on view in the McKernan Gallery from November 9 through December 30, 2012, will unveil the Museum’s emergent photography collection to the public for the first time. Although it was not until 1999 that the Museum began to incorporate photography into its holdings, the collection has grown steadily over the past 13 years. Organized in a chronological and thematic fashion, the exhibition consists of approximately 120 works that chart the development of photography over one and a half centuries to illuminate the importance of this medium in shaping this country’s visual culture.

In 2005, the NBMAA received the extraordinary Helen Vibberts Photography Collection from her brother Charles Goss. This collection includes daguerreotypes, tin types, cartes de visite, and other early 19th-century photographs. Spanning almost a century, many of these images were taken by members of prominent New Britain families. More recent acquisitions have focused on contemporary works, including Renate Aller’s minimalist, atmospheric ocean views and Stephanie Lempert’s photographic soundscapes.

The themes represented in the exhibition are: 19th-Century Portraiture and Local Photography; Landscape: Natural and Manmade; Photojournalism; Face and Figure; and Abstraction, Conceptualism, and Beyond. Well-known highlights include ones by New Britain’s own Sol LeWitt, and Dorothea Lange, Lewis Hine, William Wegman, Christine Breslin, Alfred Cheney Johnston and Nelson Augustus Moore. The exhibit will allow viewers to not only delve into the scope of the Museum’s permanent holdings in photography, but also to confront the variety of unexpected directions in which the genre of photography has moved since its inception.

Melinda Beck, Fine Dining with Your Dog, from Dogs Magazine in Germany, 2008, brush, pen and ink, and Photoshop, 8.25 x 5.25 in., Courtesy of the artist

Pixelated: The Art of Digital Illustration
July 21–Dec. 9, 2012
Opening Reception:
5:30-8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3, 2012

Pixelated: The Art of Digital Illustration brings 26 illustrations by the most widely recognized and awarded illustrators working today to the Low Illustration Gallery. Curated by Scott Bakal, an accomplished illustrator and professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the exhibition opens a window into the world of the modern illustrator and the tools and techniques that have transformed the face of illustration in the 21st century.

The roster of featured artists spans generations from the most seasoned illustrators with over three decades of experience to some of the youngest and newest names in the field. Among them is Melinda Beck, for example, who has not only produced illustrations for such noteworthy publications as the The New York Times, Random House, Rolling Stone and GQ, but also created Emmy-nominated animation for Nickelodeon.

Collectively, the artists participating in Pixelated: The Art of Digital Illustration have been the makers of some of the most recognizable images in today’s visual culture. The exhibition will feature an interactive display with digital galleries and video reels of artists’ portfolios to extend viewing opportunities. By providing a glimpse into artists’ creative use of digital media, Pixelated: The Art of Digital Illustration celebrates the intersections between art and technology to showcase the exciting possibilities of contemporary illustration.

Atta Kim, ON-AIR Project 160-13, The India Series, Paharganj in New Delhi, detail, 2007, eight-hour exposure, chromogenic print, 64.25 x 48.25 in., Courtesy of the artist

NEW/NOW: Atta Kim
Aug. 25–Nov. 25, 2012
Opening Reception:
5:30-8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7, 2012

Remarks by Ira Kim at 6 p.m.

Korean-american Artist Explores Human Existence On A Personal And Collective Level Through His Long-exposure Photographic Series.

Identity and survival are two of the most central aspects of human life, and our experiences shape our quest for both. This fall’s NEW/NOW: Atta Kim showcases six magnificent, larger-than-life photographs that examine fundamental questions of existence. Drawn from two series of Kim’s work, The Museum Project and ON-AIR Project, they capture figures and movement in carefully composed space and time, resulting in richly layered and surreal images.

Atta Kim (b. 1956) is strongly influenced by German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s existential explorations of the “question of being” and the Buddhist concept that change is the only constant of life. In The Museum Project, Kim depicts models in glass cases, creating “my own private museum that displays very basic human elements—violence, sex, ideology” so that “the models become live relics.” ON-AIR Project more subtly expresses ideas of identity and preservation in long-exposure images of people and cities, where signs of life blend into mere blurs. Kim’s work illustrates the notion that “everything has its own value of existence,” but also that “everything eventually disappears,” two truths that humans strive to reconcile and accept in living out our own lives.

Solo exhibitions of Atta Kim have been presented by institutions such as the International Center for Photography, New York; Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Rodin Gallery, Seoul; the Society for Contemporary Photography, Kansas City, Missouri; and the Nikon Salon, Tokyo. His solo exhibition, Atta Kim: ON-AIR, was displayed as part of the Collateral Events for the fifty-third Venice Biennale in 2009. He has also shown in numerous group exhibitions while dividing his time between Seoul and New York.

PH 2.0
Paul Theriault and Siebren Versteeg, Particular Heights, 2010, Hand made steel swing set, counter, and LCD monitor, Collection of artist

New Media: Particular Heights 2.0
May 26–Nov. 11, 2012
Opening Reception:
5:30-8 p.m., Friday, June 1, 2012

A swing set, an LED counter, and a web camera: all that is missing is the audience to bring the ensemble to life. Stationed on the front courtyard of the NBMAA, Particular Heights 2.0 transforms the viewer into a participant, inviting him or her to swing on the counting swing— “counting” because the swing acts as a record-keeper of its own use.

As the swing reaches a particular height, several operations are triggered. First, one digit is added to the LED counter affixed to the swing, which over time collects a quantitative documentation of the number of accumulated swings. Secondly, a webcam will capture a snapshot of the person in flight and then feed it as a series of stills to a monitor in the Batchelor Gallery. The resulting images will be strung together into a loop as an experiment in stop-motion animation.

Particular Heights 2.0 is a collaboration between artists Paul Theriault and Siebren Versteeg, who have been recognized both nationally and abroad for their multi-media, technologically-savvy installations and sculptures. Together, New Haven/Brooklyn-based Theriault, and Versteeg, who currently lives and works in New York City, construct a work that examines the idea of a recycled image, where an object is physically constructed, photographed, and subsequently digitized.


© 2010 New Britain Museum of American Art.
Design by InSight Design Studios



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