Spring 2014 Exhibitions

Guerrilla Girls: Not Ready to Make Nice

Not Ready to Make Nice:
Guerrilla Girls in the Artworld and Beyond

January 24 through April 6, 2014

Guest Curator: Neysa Page-Lieberman

Not Ready to Make Nice, a major presentation of the Guerrilla Girls, illuminates and contextualizes the important historical and ongoing work of these highly original, provocative, and influential artists who champion feminism and social change. Focusing primarily on recent work, the exhibition features rarely shown international projects that trace the collective’s artistic and activist influence around the globe. In addition, a selection of iconic work from the 1980s and 90s illustrates the formative development of the group’s philosophy and conceptual approach to arts activism.

The exhibition is further punctuated by documentary material including ephemera from famous actions, behind-the-scenes photos, and secret anecdotes that reveal the Guerrilla Girls’ process and the events that drive their incisive institutional interventions. Visitors can peruse the artists’ favorite “love letters and hate mail” and are invited to contribute their own voices to multiple interactive installations. This multimedia, expansive exhibition illustrates that the work of the anonymous, feminist-activist Guerrilla Girls is as vital and revolutionary as ever.

Sponsored in part by the John E. Moyer Sr. and Chris Moyer Endowment and Krannert Art Museum and partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency

Select programming:

Friday, January 24 through Sunday, April 6, 2014
Guerrillas In Our Midst
East Gallery

Guerrillas In Our Midst (1992), a film by Amy Harrison, presents a savvy exploration of the machinations of the commercial art-world during its boom in the 1980s, and brings the Guerrilla Girls to the screen. This anonymous group of art terrorists has succeeded in putting racism and sexism on the agenda in the art-world since 1985, and their witty and creative tactics have changed the face of political and cultural activism. Interviews with key figures in the Manhattan art scene, record-breaking auction sales, exhibition openings and interviews with the Guerrillas Girls themselves combine to highlight how the myth of the heroic male painter is perpetuated.

Thursday, February 27 · 2 pm
Informal Gallery Conversation
With Frida Kahlo, a founding member of the Guerrilla Girls
East Gallery

Thursday, February 27 · 7 pm
Artist Presentation
"Not Ready to Make Nice: 28 Years of the Guerrilla Girls"
Featuring Frida Kahlo, a founding member of the Guerrilla Girls
KAM Auditorium

Note: Link to view full video of the February 27, 2014 Gallery Conversation with Guerrilla Girls founding member Frida Kahlo.

Art As Provocation, Lorna Simpson detail

Art as Provocation

January 24 through May 4, 2014 and May 23 through July 27, 2014

Curator: Kathryn Koca Polite

The Guerrilla Girls, an anonymous group of female artists, began their social critique of the art world in 1985 with posters and billboards that revealed its continued discrimination on the basis of gender and race. Their mission—of exposing these inequalities and promoting social change—declared to the public what unfortunately was already known and understood by most artists, curators, art dealers, and many others at that time. The group’s anonymity and guerrilla tactics, such as appropriating and subverting well-known artistic works, gave their collective radical impact. Their 1989 posters Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? and The Advantages of Being a Woman Artist presented hard truths that incorporated biting humor and alarming statistics.

As a complement to the exhibition Not Ready to Make Nice: Guerrilla Girls in the Artworld and Beyond, Art as Provocation features works from the museum’s permanent collection whose creators used similar tactics to confront societal inequities surrounding race, gender, or sexual orientation; to protest military conflict; or to criticize growing class disparity. The contemporary artists featured in this exhibition utilize varying forms of appropriation, humor, and subversion to make a statement on current realities and highlight the need for change.

The exhibition presents paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by artists such as Michael Ray Charles, Judy Chicago, Sue Coe, Vernon Fisher, Barbara Kruger, Peter Saul, Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems, and David Wojnarowicz.

Auto-Graphics: Recent Drawings by Victor Ekpuk

Auto-Graphics: Recent Drawings by Victor Ekpuk

January 24 through July 27, 2014

Curator: Allyson Purpura

Nigerian-born artist Victor Ekpuk is best known for his improvisational use of nsibidi, a form of ideographic writing associated with the powerful Ekpe men’s association of southeastern Nigeria. As a student of fine arts at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ife in the mid-1980s, Ekpuk worked in a pedagogical environment informed by onaism, a Yorùbá aesthetic philosophy that urged students to explore the logics of pattern and design in indigenous African art forms. Ekpuk’s early fascination with nsibidi during these years—its economy of line and encoded meanings—led to his broader explorations of drawing as writing, and to the invention of his own fluid letterforms. As a mature artist, Ekpuk has so internalized the rhythm and contours of his “script” that it flows from his hand like the outpouring of a personal archive.

In recent years, Ekpuk’s approach to mark making has come to flourish through his investigations of scale, motion, surface, and form. Auto-Graphics features selections from several of Ekpuk’s new bodies of work, including collage, digital prints, and his large scale drawings—bold, vibrant, yet restrained compositions in which nsibidi signs are cropped, abstracted and glided out of sight through the illusion of magnification. Their dense grounds of micro-stories and bristling opaque forms contrast with the figural, more cursive works on view. Ekpuk’s compositions are not tentative or ambivalent, and are drawn with no erasure. Like nsibidi, which communicates through both visual mark and gesture, Ekpuk’s immersive drawings seem to be choreographed with the full force of his body. This will become readily evident to visitors when, upon entering the museum, they are greeted by one of Ekpuk’s ephemeral works drawn directly onto the gallery wall—an ample surface on which to explore the infinite potential of the hand-drawn line.

Sponsored in part by Krannert Art Museum and partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council

Mandala Flea Market Mutants, Yoko Inoue

Mandala Flea Market Mutants

January 24 through July 27, 2014

Curator: Tumelo Mosaka

Yoko Inoue, a multi-disciplinary artist from Kyoto, Japan, explores the relationship between mass-produced objects and their mutating transcultural value. Inoue creates ceramic hybrid objects that are hand casted from popular items found in urban markets. Amongst many things, these objects portray Coca-Cola bottles, Buddhas, and Hello Kitty figurines that have been morphed with traditional Japanese symbols to inspire new ideas and questions about globalization and its transformative impact.

Inoue presents a largely ceramic installation that transforms the gallery space into a labyrinth of assembled objects, displayed like vending booths derived from traditional Japanese temple fairs. She is interested in the cultural process of assimilation and its effect on the value and form of objects as their symbolism changes into something new. Inoue investigates how cultural symbols acquire new meaning beyond their original context when absorbed and circulated within a new context.

Sponsored in part by Fred and Donna Giertz and the Krannert Art Museum Endowment Fund

Petals and Paintings

Petals & Paintings

April 4 through 6, 2014

The 22nd annual museum fundraising gala, silent auction, and two-day exhibition features innovative floral displays created by award-winning floral designers from across the Midwest. The floral arrangements are inspired by works in KAM's permanent collection and are displayed throughout the museum. The exhibition is curated by Rick Orr, a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers.

A full list of sponsors for this event is available on the exhibition page.

Petals and Paintings

2014 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition

April 19 through May 4, 2014

This annual exhibition represents the culmination of intense artistic development for graduate students in studio art and design. Marking a meaningful step further into the art world, the exhibition highlights and celebrates the artists’ exceptional creativity and inventiveness.

Sponsored in part by John and Alice Pfeffer and Krannert Art Museum

Petals and Paintings
2014 Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition

May 11 through 18, 2014
East Gallery, Gelvin Noel Gallery and Annex, Light Court

In this annual exhibition, Bachelor of Fine Arts graduates present a range of art and design studio practices that illustrate new and established technologies in material and virtual realms. The exhibition gives a public form to an undergraduate curriculum committed to the arts as a distinct and necessary approach to understanding, as well as an expression of diverse human experiences.

Sponsored in part by John and Alice Pfeffer and Krannert Art Museum

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Guerrilla GirlsNot Ready to Make Nice: Guerrilla Girls
in the Artworld and Beyond

At Montserrat College of Art
Installation view, 2013

Lorna Simpson
Details (detail), 1996
Photogravures with silkscreen text
Art Acquisition Fund
© Lorna Simpson

Victor Ekpuk
Composition No. 13
(Santa Fe Suite)
(detail), 2013
Graphite and pastel on paper
Courtesy of the artist
© Victor Ekpuk

Yoko Inoue
Water Gets No Enemy:
A Wishing Well

(detail), 2007
From the installation
Mandala Flea Market Mutants
at Smack Mellon, 2012
Photo by Etienne Brossard
© Yoko Inoue

Robert Lenz
South Kent, Connecticut Farm (detail), 2013
Oil on board
Courtesy of the artist
© Robert Lenz

2013 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition
Installation view
Photo: Kathryn Koca Polite

2013 Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition
Installation view
Photo: Kathryn Koca Polite