For the Troy Daily News
DAYTON — The Dayton Art Institute has announced its lineup of special exhibitions for 2018, including large-scale contemporary origami, 20th-century portraiture by Yousuf Karsh, and the cutting-edge photography of Mickalene Thomas.
“The Dayton Art Institute is committed to providing a range of exhibitions that are inspiring and meaningful to our community,” said Katherine Ryckman Siegwarth, The DAI’s Kettering Assistant Curator of Collections and Exhibitions. “With intricate and monumental origami, iconic portraits of those who defined the 20th century, as well as the powerful and dynamic photographs of Mickalene Thomas, 2018 promises to be an unforgettable year of art at the museum.”
The 2018 season begins with “Above the Fold: Contemporary Expressions in Origami,” which will continue Feb. 17 through May 13.
“Above the Fold” demonstrates the extraordinary power and potential of contemporary origami. In the hands of nine international artists, what was once considered a children’s craft becomes a sophisticated global art form. Paper is transformed into breathtaking sculpture, large-scale installations and conceptual works that express contemporary social, political, aesthetic, and cultural dialogues. “Above the Fold” is the first traveling exhibition to bring origami installations from around the world to North American audiences. Above the Fold is curated by Meher McArthur and the tour is organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C.
The season continues in the summer with the 20th century icons and idols of “Yousuf Karsh: American Portraits,” June 23–Sept. 16.
During a career that spanned six decades, photographer Yousuf Karsh (1908–2002) created iconic portraits of many of the 20th century’s most influential men and women — from fields as diverse as business, medicine, entertainment, politics, and the arts. Karsh photographed countless international figures, but his images of Americans are counted among his finest portraits. This exhibition features 48 black-and-white photographs from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection. Portraits include writer Ernest Hemingway; artists Georgia O’Keeffe and Andy Warhol; actors Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart; athletes Muhammad Ali and Jackie Robinson; business leaders Elizabeth Arden and Warren Buffett; architects Frank Lloyd Wright and I. M. Pei; first ladies Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Eleanor Roosevelt; and entertainment giants Walt Disney and Jim Henson. This exhibition is organized by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.
The season concludes in the fall with “Muse: Photographs by Mickalene Thoma”s and its companion exhibition “tête-à-tête,” on view Oct. 20 through Jan. 13, 2019 and held in conjunction with the FotoFocus Biennial. The exhibition is organized by Aperture Foundation, New York.
Mickalene Thomas’ photographic work functions as a personal act of deconstruction and reappropriation — both of images she has created herself and images she has singled out as influential. With each series, she grapples with and asserts new definitions of beauty and inspiration. Thomas’ portraits draw equally from 1970s black-is-beautiful images of women, such as supermodel Beverly Johnson and actress Vonetta McGee; the 19th-century French painter Édouard Manet’s odalisque figures; and the mise-en-scène studio portraiture of James Van Der Zee and Malick Sidibé, to mention a few. This collection of portraits and staged scenes reflects a very personal community of inspiration as well — a collection of muses that includes Thomas herself, her mother, and her friends and lovers, emphasizing the communal and social aspects of art-making and creativity that pervade her work.
The idea of communities of inspiration will be further carried out via the companion exhibition tête-à-tête, an installation curated by Mickalene Thomas of work from photographers and key images which have inspired her. Artists in tête-à-tête include Derrick Adams, Renée Cox, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Lyle Ashton Harris, Deana Lawson, Zanele Muholi, Malick Sidibé, Xaviera Simmons, Hank Willis Thomas, and Carrie Mae Weems.
“Our curatorial team has once again put together a diverse lineup of special exhibitions that will appeal to a broad range of audiences,” said The Dayton Art Institute’s Director and CEO Michael R. Roediger. “As the museum begins the countdown to its 2019 centennial, we hope you’ll join us here and consider becoming a member. You won’t want to miss all the exciting things taking place at your Dayton Art Institute!”
A one-year membership starts at $40 and provides free admission to all special exhibitions, as well as the museum’s permanent collection, free admission to Bob Ross Auto Group Jazz & Beyond concerts, free or discounted admission for many other museum events, programs and workshops, discounts at The Museum Store and Leo Bistro, and reciprocal admission to 14 other Ohio art museums.
For more information about these special exhibitions and The Dayton Art Institute, visit www.daytonartinstitute.org or call (937) 223-4ART (4278). Tickets for most Dayton Art Institute events, exhibitions and programs may also be purchased online at www.etix.com. Connect with The Dayton Art Institute on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for additional information, behind-the-scenes photos and exclusive offers.