This weekend marks the grand opening of the exhibition On the Edge: Medieval Margins and the Margins of Academic Life. It will be on display at the University of Chicago Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery. The grand opening celebration will take place on Monday, May 21st from 5-7pm, with the curator’s introduction to the exhibit at 6pm. Refreshments will be served and the celebration is open to the public.
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992) by University of Chicago art history professor Michael Camille (1958-2002), a work that looks at the playful and parodic images in the margins of illuminated manuscripts. Inspired by Camille’s work, the exhibition explores the symmetry between medieval margins and the modern margins of academic life. Camille studied the uncommon: the strange, remarkable, and extraordinary images at the edges of the medieval world, bringing to light to the confluence of the serious and the playful, the sacred and the profane. The serious and the playful also converge at the University of Chicago, and “On the Edge” features medieval manuscript marginalia paired with student photographs that capture the margins of campus life. The photographs show what happens outside of the classroom at the University, highlighting quintessential traditions such as the Scavenger Hunt.
“On the Edge” invites viewers to contemplate the juxtaposition of manuscripts and photographs of campus life, to compare one margin to another, and to discover how the medieval resonates with the modern.
On the Edge will be on view from May 19 – August 10, 2012.
More information is available here.
In the latest issue of The New Yorker, Chicago artist Theaster Gates is featured in a discussion of “shows that are changing the art world.”
Visit Theaster Gates’ website, and read more about his projects utilizing slide donations from the UofC Visual Resources Center here.
Many of us have been reflecting on the work and spirit of Mike Kelley after his passing earlier this week. He presented a solo exhibition at the Renaissance Society in 1988. Photos from this exhibition, as well as images of other works, are available to the public in the Renaissance Society archive in LUNA.
Google Goggles is a mobile app that uses images to search the Internet. Not long ago Google introduced their reverse-image search to the web; the concept of Google Goggles is similar, but takes functionality even further. For example: not sure who designed that famous building you’re seeing as a tourist in Rome? Having trouble translating that Italian dinner menu? Want more information about a book, logo, bottle of wine, or painting? There’s now an app for that!
Additionally, in collaboration with Google, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has made 76,000 two-dimensional works of art from their collection accessible through Google Goggles. If you want to know more about a work of art exhibited in the museum, you can take a picture and search for it via Google Goggles to quickly see authoritative and contextual information from the Met. This information will also display if you see a work belonging to the Met in a book, on a banner, or elsewhere in the world. Check out this video from the Metropolitan Museum of Art for an illustrated introduction to the partnership.
The app is free and available on both iPhone (iOS 4.0) and Android (2.1+) platforms. If you’ve already downloaded iOS 5.0 for iPhone, the app won’t work, but we hope that a fix for this is under development!
Via Technology in the Arts.
For his project Vanishing Cultures, photographer Dennis Manarchy is traveling around the country documenting various cultures with a one-of-a-kind, 35-foot-long camera called “Eye of America”. Styled like an old fashioned large format camera, it’s so large that a person can work comfortably inside it. The negatives measure 6×4.5 feet, and are so large that windows must be used as lightboxes to examine them. The detail in a portrait subjects’ eyeball alone is a thousand times greater than what you get with the average negative. Resulting portraits will be featured on prints 2 stories tall.
Via PetaPixel. See their article for a video introducing the camera and a video introducing the project.
The Guggenheim has digitized 65 art catalogs and made them available online, free of charge. These texts include introductions to artists such as Kandinsky, Calder, and Munch as well as thematic introductions to modern art. Many of them contain full-color images.
If you have trouble using the online reader format (which includes an interactive page-turning feature), you can download PDFs and other versions at Archive.org.
Via Open Culture.
It’s the installation of “Uppers and Downers,” a new collaboration from Chris Vorhees and SIMPARCH. Click on this link for updates throughout the week.
Uppers and Downers reworks the familiar kitchen setup of cabinetry, countertop, and sink into an abstracted version of a massive rainbow arching over a waterfall. This kitschy natural scene plays upon the utopian promise that restraint yields bliss: if only you eliminate excess and organize clutter to hide messy reality behind stylish surfaces, then happiness will follow. Or perhaps not.
Via The Smart Museum of Art Facebook page.
The Morgan Library and Museum features online exhibitions, including high quality, zoom-able digital images of works in the collection. A recent example of this is the digital facsimile of The Black Hours (MS M.493), a Book of Hours from 1470 created on vellum and stained or painted black:
The result is quite arresting. The text is written in silver and gold, with gilt initials and line endings composed of chartreuse panels enlivened with yellow filigree. Gold foliage on a monochromatic blue background makes up the borders. The miniatures are executed in a restricted palette of blue, old rose, and light flesh tones, with dashes of green, gray, and white.
Last week The New York Times published an opinion piece titled “Opportunity on Madison,” or What the Met Should Do When It Moves into The Whitney. The author discusses The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s recent lease of The Whitney Museum’s Marcel Breuer building on Madison Avenue (to be vacated by The Whitney in 2015) and the Met’s decision to display collections of modern and contemporary art there.
I love the 1966 Breuer design. With its trapezoidal windows and stepped-back facade, it’s what the Guggenheim isn’t: starchitecture with the right amount of ego, meaning that it works for art. Almost everything looks good in it. And the Met’s residency, contracted to last at least eight years, seems like a great idea on paper. The Whitney Museum of American Art gets to keep its celebrated building, and the Met, which can never show more than a small fraction of its encyclopedic collection, gets some desperately needed space.
But the Met’s use of that space primarily for new art would be a big mistake.
What do you think? Should The Met utilize the space to house curated shows that include art from many eras, as the author suggests, or for contemporary and modern art, or something else?
The Renaissance Society Archive is now available to the public in LUNA. In addition to images of individual works, the collection includes installation views of recent and historical exhibitions.
Above image: Apocalypse Ballet by Mai-Thu Perret, installation view. Part of the exhibition “And every woman will be a walking synthesis of the universe” from 2006.