2017 Exhibitions

Zina Saro-Wiwa: Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?

Zina Saro-Wiwa: Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?

November 17, 2016 through March 25, 2017
Main Level, East Gallery

Curated by Amy L. Powell, Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art
Co-presented by Krannert Art Museum and Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston

This exhibition is the first solo museum presentation of works by British-Nigerian video artist and filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa, featuring video installations, photographs, and a sound installation produced in the Niger Delta region of southeastern Nigeria from 2013 to 2015. Drawing upon folklore, masquerade traditions, religious practices, food and Nigerian popular aesthetics, Saro-Wiwa’s work shuttles between documentary and performance, testing art’s capacity to transform and to envision new concepts of environment and environmentalism.

Engaging Niger Delta residents both as subjects and collaborators, Saro-Wiwa cultivates strategies of psychic survival and performance, underscoring the complex and expressive ways in which people live in an area historically fraught with the politics of energy, labor and land. Known for decades for corruption and environmental degradation, the Niger Delta is also a verdant place, an abundant food producer as well as provider of crude oil and natural gas to the entire globe. The United States has until recent years been the largest importer of Nigeria’s oil, while Europe and India are now the top destinations. Returning to this contested region—the place of her birth—Saro-Wiwa insinuates herself as a transformative force ingesting and disgorging the stuff of tradition and of psycho-social dynamics to produce new origin narratives. Her new work makes visible the cultural, spiritual and emotional powers propelling the Niger Delta and its connections as a global energy capital.

An accompanying catalogue features recipe-stories by Saro-Wiwa alongside essays by curator Amy L. Powell, environmental cultural studies scholar Stephanie LeMenager, and writer Taiye Selasi, with a conversation between the artist and art historian Chika Okeke-Agulu. Niger Delta historian Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa contributes a guest foreword.

The exhibition and catalogue are made possible by the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. For this presentation, sponsorship was provided in part by the Krannert Art Museum Council. The exhibition is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

25th Annual Petals and Paintings

25th Annual Petals & Paintings Gala and Floral Design Exhibition

April 7–9, 2017
Main Level, All Galleries

Petals & Paintings is Krannert Art Museum Council's annual fundraising event in support of Krannert Art Museum held during University of Illinois Moms’ Weekend. The event includes a sealed-bid art auction of a donated work by an established artist, an evening gala with silent auction, and a two-day floral design exhibition. This year marked the 25th anniversary of this beloved weekend event.

Opening Gala and Silent Auction · 6:30–9 pm, April 7, 2017
Floral Design Exhibition · 9 am–5 pm, April 8 and 12 noon–5 pm, April 9, 2017

2017 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition

School of Art + Design
Master of Fine Arts Exhibition

April 7–22, 2017
Main Level, East Gallery

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

Public Opening Reception · 5–7 pm, April 8, 2017

Where the Arts Meet Physics

April 13–20, 2017
Lower Level, Classroom Studio

This exhibition presents projects stemming from the course Where the Arts Meet Physics, conducted by Smitha Vishveshwara, associate professor of Physics. The 2017 course surveyed exciting ways in which science has joined hands with a broad spectrum of the arts and celebrated the marvelous creations that emerged from this synergy.

Public Opening Reception · 5–6:30 pm, April 13, 2017

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Yu Haibo
Untitled No 2
from the series
Oil Painting Village in Dafen, China (detail), 2005
Inkjet print
Gift of the artist
©Yu Haibo

Samuel Marcus Adler
Cabala (detail), 1970
Painted wood relief
Gift of Samuel M. Adler in honor of Allen S. Weller