Exhibition: Friday, August 24 through Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Symposium & Events: Thursday, August 23 & Friday, August 24, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, August 24, 6 - 8:00pm
The Grunwald Gallery at Indiana University Bloomington is pleased to present the exhibition Out of Easy Reach, guest-curated by Allison Glenn, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The exhibit contains works by twenty-four U.S. based, female-identifying contemporary artists from the Black and Latinx Diasporas. Working across a variety of media, these artists counter conventional accounts of abstraction in art history that have often overlooked the artistic contributions of women of color. A symposium, “Abstraction as a Strategy of Refusal,” will take place on Thursday, August 23-Friday, August 24, and the opening reception will be held on August 24 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
This exhibition investigates the contemporary and conceptual expansion of abstraction through a cadre of critically acclaimed emerging, mid-career, and established artists. Including over 40 artworks created between 1980 and 2018, Out of Easy Reach proposes that artists employ abstraction as a tool to explore histories both personal and universal, as well as to expose institutionalized modes of knowledge and power. The exhibition will be the focus of two art history courses, a graduate seminar, “Abstraction, Here and Now,” and a AH300-level class, “Curating the Contemporary,” offered by Assistant Professor Faye Gleisser.
The exhibition was first presented at three venues in Chicago, each with a distinctive focus. At DePaul Art Museum, the artists and artworks that were presented consider landscape, the body and the archive. At Gallery 400 at University of Illinois Chicago, the artists included were concerned with spatial politics, mapping and migration. The Stony Island Arts Bank, part of the Rebuild Foundation directed by Theaster Gates, exhibited works that consider process, time and material culture. The Grunwald Gallery will be including all of the works shown in the three Chicago exhibits.
A catalogue distributed by the University of Chicago Press includes full-color plates of many of the works on view and includes essays by Allison Glenn and Cameron Shaw. Additional contributors include Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Director, DePaul Art Museum, Lorelei Stewart, Director, Gallery 400, Rachel Adams, artist Torkwase Dyson and Faye Gleisser, Indiana University Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art, among others.
Jennie C. Jones
Zipporah Camille Thompson
Out of Easy Reach is curated by Allison M. Glenn, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. She was previously the Manager of Publications and Curatorial Associate for Prospect New Orleans’ international art triennial Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp, which opened November 2017. Her writing has been featured in numerous exhibition publications, including The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Prospect New Orleans, the California African American Museum, University at Buffalo Art Galleries, and The Studio Museum in Harlem. She has contributed to Hyperallergic, ART21 Magazine, Pelican Bomb’s Art Review, and Newcity, amongst others. Glenn received dual Master’s Degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Modern Art History, Theory and Criticism and Arts Administration and Policy, and a Bachelor of Fine Art Photography with a co-Major in Urban Studies from Wayne State University in Detroit.
A series of lectures and events will open the exhibition. All events are free and open to the public.
Thursday, August 23, 2018
6:00-7:00pm - Keynote Lecture: Bridget Cooks, “Making a Way Out of No Way” | FA 102
7:00-8:00pm - Welcome reception | Grunwald Gallery
Friday, August 24, 2018
12:00-1:30pm - Lunch roundtable: “Curating a New Canon” | Grunwald Gallery
Participants: Allison Glenn, Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Kellie Romany, Lorelei Stewart
2:00-3:00pm - Public gallery tour with Curator Allison Glenn | Grunwald Gallery
3:30-4:30pm - Abstraction as a Strategy of Refusal Part I: The Circulation of Images | FA 102
Participants: Edra Soto, Ayanah Moor, Malcolm Mobutu Smith, Vivian Halloran; Moderated by Faye Gleisser
4:30-5:00pm - Coffee break | Grunwald Gallery
5:00-6:00pm - Abstraction as a Strategy of Refusal Part II: The Language of Abstraction | FA 015
Participants: Steffani Jemison and Caroline Kent; Moderated by Allison Glenn
Format: Artists present on theme for 12-15 minutes, then conversation develops around abstraction as a language, abstraction and language, expanding the discourse, expanded subject positions, translation
6:00-8:00pm - Opening Reception | Grunwald Gallery
Visiting Participants: Allison Glenn, Bridget Cooks, Steffani Jemison, Caroline Kent, Edra Soto, Ayanah Moor, Kellie Romany, Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Lorelei Stewart
IU Participants: Malcolm Mobutu Smith, Vivian Halloran, Faye Gleisser, Betsy Stirratt
Out of Easy Reach is co-organized by DePaul Art Museum, Gallery 400 at University of Illinois, and Stony Island Arts Bank.
Major support for Out of Easy Reach is provided by the Joyce Foundation, through its program to support arts organizations in Chicago and the Great Lakes region. Additional support is provided by a grant from the Nathan Cummings Foundation, with the support and encouragement of Jane Saks. Generous support is also provided by the Dedrea, Paul, and Ian Gray family, Nancy and David Frej, Lisa Yun Lee, James and Paula Crown, Denise and Gary Gardner, Deone Jackman, Jason Pickleman and Leslie Bodenstein, the Bruce and Vicki Heyman Family Philanthropy Fund, Susan and Robert Wislow, PATRON Chicago, Lester Coney, John Ellis, Larry and Marilyn Fields, James Rondeau, Kevann Cooke, Janis Kanter and Tom McCormick, Yumi Ross, Cari Sacks, Jacqueline Stewart, an anonymous donor, Samuel Levi Jones, Tony Karman, and Christopher Audain.
This project was partially supported by the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University and Indiana University’s New Frontiers in the Arts & Humanities Program. Further assistance comes from the College Arts and Humanities Institute and the Robert E. and Avis Tarrant Burke Lecture Series in the Department of Art History. The Grunwald Gallery would like to thank the lenders of the exhibition.