Current Exhibitions

- Current - Upcoming - Recently off the Wall

Jill Reynolds and Daniel Spitzer, NOR'EASTER, 2015, Blown glass and assemblage, gift of Hannover Life Reassurance Company of America, and GLL Real Estate Partners GmbH.

NOR'EASTER
Friday, September 20, 2015

Opening Reception
9:30-11 a.m.,
Monday, March 2, 2015

On March 2, a swirling storm system will hover over the New Britain Museum of American Art’s Café on the Park. Created by artists Jill Reynolds and Daniel Spitzer, NOR’EASTER is a permanent installation that represents the weather phenomenon specific to the northern Atlantic coast—a Nor’easter. Approximately 250 glass pieces define the shape of an iconic nor'easter in three ways: the darker denser storm center, the surrounding lighter-colored concentric isobars of barometric pressure, and the droplets of precipitation.

Originally, the installation was modeled for the lobby space of a modernist skyscraper in downtown Pittsburgh. There, 1300 glass droplets were used to create a 160-foot long sculptural version of the city's three iconic rivers and titled Rivers of Glass: Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue. Similar to the way in which liquid takes the shape of its container, Nor’easter adapted its original shape to its new location and scale. It has been reconfigured to fit the shape and natural environment of the Museum. Coincidentally, during the two weeks that the installation was being designed two nor'easters were forecast for the New Britain area.

The NBMAA would especially like to thank Mr. Roland Vogel, CFO of Hannover Re Group, Hannover Life Reassurance Company of America, and GLL Real Estate Partners GmbH for donating the installation to the NBMAA.


Catherine Ross still from Laugh TrackA still from Catherine Ross's Laugh Track.

New Media: Catherine Ross: Laugh Track
Saturday, Feb. 14–Sunday, August 15, 2015

Opening Reception
5:30-7 p.m., Thursday, Mar. 12, 2015
6 p.m. Artist Remarks

New Media artist Catherine Ross frames instances on video that often go unnoticed in their original context. Isolating the movements of humans and/or objects, her videos create new sequences that reveal an inseparable relationship between motion and sound. In Laugh Track (2013), she recontectualizes film clips of both men and women laughing. The result is a mini overture in which laughter reveals an inherent awkwardness, a humor that echoes our own vulnerabilities.

Catherine Ross's video works have been presented in exhibitions and festivals internationally, including venues in Brazil, Finland, France, Ireland, England, Canada and the United States. She was award” at the 2006 Darklight Festival (Dublin, Ireland).


william partridge burpee swampscott doryWilliam Partridge Burpee, Swampscott Dory, detail, 1891, Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 in., Collection of Charles J. and Irene Hamm

Over Life’s Waters: The Coastal Art Collection of Charles and Irene Hamm
Saturday, Jan. 31–Sunday, Apr. 12, 2015

Opening Reception
2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015
Remarks at 2:30 p.m.

This winter, the New Britain Museum of American Art proudly showcases the Hamm’s labor of love in the exhibition, Over Life's Waters: The Coastal Art Collection of Charles and Irene Hamm. Ninety-three of the Hamm’s American coastal collection will be on view, including works by noted artists Thomas Hart Benton (1889–1975), William Braford (1823–1892), William Partridge Burpee (1846–1940), Sears Gallagher (1869–1955), Rockwell Kent (1882–1971), and Paul Pollaro (b. 1921). The exhibition will highlight several scenic seascapes including Old Mystic, Connecticut, Swampscott, Massachusetts, Monhegan, Maine, and New York Harbor.

As avid sailors and marine enthusiasts, each coastal work in the collection and exhibition has been handpicked by the Hamms. When forming their collection, the couple opted to collect works by American painters, alive or dead, in any medium that attracted their eyes and emotions. Together, the Hamms have sailed along several continents and have enjoyed cruising the New England and Northwest coasts. Their Connecticut residence on the Long Island Sound has been designed to display their coastal art collection and maximize their views and sense of the water.

Over Life's Waters: The Coastal Art Collection of Charles and Irene Hamm will allow visitors an opportunity to grasp the fundamental significance of coastal waters and how the Atlantic has shaped America. The Hamms have generously gifted the Museum their entire coastal art collection, consisting of 165 paintings, and $1 million to the Art and Education Expansion Project. The Charles and Irene Hamm Gallery will be constructed in the new wing, set to open in the fall of 2015, and paintings from the Hamm Collection will be installed throughout the galleries. The Museum is profoundly thankful to Charles and Irene Hamm for their extreme generosity and thoughtfulness.



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


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.