Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Red on Edge": Tell + Show Gallery Discussion

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io
Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io
Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

The Krieble Gallery was transformed into an experiential learning lab on Sunday, for the first in a series of gallery talks devoted to exploring Sewell Sillman's modernist approaches to the treatment of color, line, and time. In "Red on Edge", Amanda Burdan, the curator for the newly-opened Sewell Sillman exhibition Pushing Limits, gave an engaging lecture on how Sillman's artistic practices drew on the radical ideas behind modernist color theory. Attendees had the opportunity to see firsthand how these techniques influenced the art on display in the gallery, and even got a peek at works that are not a part of the exhibition.

The next interactive gallery discussion, titled "Reflecting on a Line," will be held on Sunday, March 7 at 2 p.m. Expect to discover some surprises hidden within the pages of Sillman's personal sketchbooks, which help tell the story of how he developed his unique drawing style!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Opening for Sewell Sillman: Pushing Limits

What a wonderful start to the exhibition! Over 300 people attended the opening of Sewell Sillman: Pushing Limits. The Museum was so fortunate to have Jim McNair and all the people who made the exhibition possible in one place. Read more about the exhibition...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Getting inside the mind of an artist

If you're curious about the creative process, a peek at an artist's personal sketchbooks (Sewell Sillman's are pictured at left) can be a guilty pleasure. But what about the problem-solving, and exploration of new techniques, that lie at the heart of that process? To answer those questions, the museum will be hosting a series of experiential art labs and gallery talks inspired by Sillman's own creative process, aimed at allowing participants to really dive in and gain an understanding of the techniques he applied over the course of his career. Using his own fine art portfolios and personal sketchbooks as hands-on inspiration, Tell & Show gallery talks will stimulate discussion about how he tackled the problems of color, line, and time. In addition, two series of art labs, one geared to children and the other to adults, will set up drawing and painting exercises as a way to play with the techniques Sillman himself used.

These Sunday activities are free with museum admission. Read more about them here, and then get your creative juices flowing with a visit to the exhibit and an afternoon of artistic exploration!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Another Sillman sneak peek

Have you ever wondered how a museum exhibition goes from an idea to a finished product – practically a work of art in its’ own right? Last week, I got a sneak peek into that process, as preparations shifted into high gear for the Sewell Sillman opening. Amanda Burdan, the exhibit’s curator, introduced me to the model of the Krieble Galleries that she used to design the exhibit. This dollhouse-sized version of the museum is pictured in the photo. You can see the scaled model art on the walls and floor, which Amanda could easily move around as she planned the best way to display Sillman's works.

Over the course of his career, Sillman produced screen prints, oil paintings, and watercolors, in addition to working with textiles, relief sculpture, and collage. It can be a challenge to find the best way to display such a wide variety of artwork, but it's also a great opportunity to engage the viewer by customizing the exhibit into a flow that maximizes the visual impact of Sillman's works. 

Friday, February 05, 2010

The art has arrived!

Yesterday, some extremely good luck got sprinkled on this writer, the newbie in marketing. (Maybe it was pixie dust left over from the Wee Faerie exhibit!) I got the chance to hang out with Amanda Burdan, the curator in charge of the new Sewell Sillman exhibition, Pushing Limits, as she unpacked Sillman's works in the exhibition prep area. In the photo above, I caught Amanda carrying one of Sillman's pieces past the long line of metal display racks where the rest of the museum's permanent collection is housed. 
Various pieces of Sillman’s were scattered across a large table: a pile of beautiful, worn sketchbooks; pillows and textiles printed with his signature abstract, wavy lines; a huge piece of limestone with lines carved across the block. I have never been up close and personal with art in this way before. I had the chance to bend over the stone and examine the rough edges of the carving, and saw Sillman’s scribbles and doodles flash past my eyes as Amanda thumbed through the worn pages of his sketchbooks. It was totally magical to be able to move among the pieces of his life’s work, and to see them just as they might have been lying out in his studio. This is an exciting exhibit for the museum, too, being the first devoted exclusively to the work of a contemporary artist. 
As someone who regularly gravitates to the Renaissance and Impressionist galleries in any museum, yesterday evoked a new sense of connection and excitement about modern art. It was heightened by the thrill of getting to play art historian and examine Sillman's work in a much more personal way than my typical experiences as a visitor to formal museum exhibits has allowed. Next week I'll post a few more sneak peeks as the museum gears up for the opening of Pushing Limits on Friday, February 12.