Tag Archives: Valerie Cassel Oliver

NATHANIEL DONNETT in VMFA’s “The Dirty South” exhibition. Curated by Valerie Cassel Oliver

4 Jun

AT THE MUSEUM

The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse

MAY 22, 2021 – SEPTEMBER 6, 2021

The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse, organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, investigates the aesthetic impulses of early 20th-century Black culture that have proved ubiquitous to the southern region of the United States. The exhibition chronicles the pervasive sonic and visual parallels that have served to shape the contemporary landscape, and looks deeply into the frameworks of landscape, religion, and the Black body—deep meditative repositories of thought and expression. Within the visual expression, assemblage, collage, appropriation, and sonic transference are explored as deeply connected to music tradition. The visual expression of the African American South along with the Black sonic culture are overlooked tributaries to the development of art in the United States and serve as interlocutors of American modernism. This exhibition looks to the contributions of artists, academically trained as well as those who were relegated to the margins as “outsiders,” to uncover the foundational aesthetics that gave rise to the shaping of our contemporary expression.

Coronation Theme: Organon, 2008, Nadine Robinson (American, born England, 1968), speakers, sound system, mixed media. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, given by John F. Wieland Jr. in memory of Marion Hill, 2008.175. Image: © Nadine Robinson

Coronation Theme: Organon, 2008, Nadine Robinson (American, born England, 1968), speakers, sound system, mixed media. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, given by John F. Wieland Jr. in memory of Marion Hill, 2008.175. Image: © Nadine Robinson

Curated by Valerie Cassel Oliver, VMFA’s Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, the groundbreaking exhibition explores the legacies of traditional southern aesthetics in contemporary culture and features multiple generations of artists working in a variety of genres. Among those featured in the exhibition are Thornton Dial, Allison Janae Hamilton, Arthur Jafa, Jason Moran, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Kara Walker, William Edmondson, and many others. Inherent to this discourse is the rise of southern hip-hop. The exhibition’s presentation of visual and sonic culture looks to contemporary southern hip-hop as a portal into the roots and aesthetic legacies that have long been acknowledged as “Southern” in culture, philosophical thought, and expression.

In addition to the music, the exhibition features the contemporary material culture that emerges in its wake, such as “grillz” worn as body adornment and bodily extensions such as SLAB(s) (an acronym for slow, low and banging). In highlighting the significance of car culture, the museum has commissioned a SLAB by Richard “Fiend” Jones. At its essence, southern car culture, showcases the trajectory of contemporary assemblage often highlighted in southern musical expression. Other such aspects are explored across genres over the course of a century. Beginning in the 1920s with jazz and blues, the exhibition interweaves parallels of visual and sonic culture and highlights each movement with the work of contemporary artists, creating a bridge between what has long been divided between “high” and “low” cultures. The exhibition features commercial videos and personal effects of some of the music industry’s most iconic artists—from Bo Diddley to Cee Lo Green.

From Asterisks in Dockery, 2012, Rodney McMillian (American, born 1969), vinyl, thread, wood, paint, light bulb. Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles. Image: © Robert Wedemeyer

From Asterisks in Dockery, 2012, Rodney McMillian (American, born 1969), vinyl, thread, wood, paint, light bulb. Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles. Image: © Robert Wedemeyer

Ultimately, The Dirty South creates a meta-understanding of southern expression—as personified in the visual arts, material culture, and music—as an extension of America’s first conceptual artists, those of African descent. The exhibition traces across time and history, the indelible imprint of this legacy as seen through the visual and sonic culture of today.

Cassel Oliver is also the editor of the companion publication, which will function as an essential reader on Black material and sonic culture and demonstrate its impact on contemporary art from the 1950s to the present. Featuring an anthology of critical essays by scholars such as Fred Moten, Anthony Pinn, Regina Bradley, Rhea Combs, and Guthrie Ramsey, the illustrated catalogue will document works in the exhibition as well as artists’ biographies and a chronology of iconic moments that have shaped the Black presence in the South.

VMFA has also commissioned an LP by Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky aka That Subliminal Kid for the exhibition.

NATHANIEL DONNETT, I looked over Jordan and what did I see; a band of angels coming after me, 2019,
reclaimed wood, roof shingles, nails, light source, machete, glass, house paint

NATHANIEL DONNETT, I looked over Jordan and what did I see; a band of angels coming after me, 2019,
reclaimed wood, roof shingles, nails, light source, machete, glass, house paint

Available Artwork by NATHANIEL DONNETT

NATHANIEL DONNETT at Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston

6 Aug

Contact MORTON FINE ART for available work by NATHANIEL DONNETT.

http://www.mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart@gmail.com

(202) 628-2787

RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW: HOUSTON

On View: August 23 – November 30, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, August 22, 2014 | 6:30-9PM


With Right Here, Right Now: Houston, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston showcases artists living in the city and celebrates our region’s vibrant creative community. Houston has been a lively breeding ground for artistic innovation for decades now and is increasingly considered a global art center alongside New York, Los Angeles, London, and more recently, Berlin. The Houston of today is a globally networked city where a manageable cost of living and affordable studio space allow innovators to maintain practices at a highly professional level without having to sacrifice international recognition or an excellent quality of life. Right Here, Right Now: Houston is a dynamic portrait of the artistic developments taking shape in studios across this city and features solo presentations of work by Houston-based artists Debra Barrera, Nathaniel Donnett, and Carrie Marie Schneider. It marks the beginning of an occasional and ongoing series through which the museum will investigate localized artistic practices.

CAMH’s Director Bill Arning, Senior Curator Valerie Cassel Oliver, and Curator Dean Daderko respectively selected Barrera, Donnett, and Schneider. Each artist and curator pair worked together closely from the conception to the installation of the artist’s individual project. A complement of public programs will be presented in conjunction with the exhibition. Please check CAMH’s online calendar for a complete listing. Right Here, Right Now: Houston is the first solo museum exhibition for each of the participating artists.

CAMH sees itself as a nexus point for making sure that information on cutting edge culture flows in two directions: into and out of our unique metropolis. Along with CAMH’s recent drawing survey of Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock and an upcoming Perspectives exhibition of work by Robert Hodge as well as a survey of the work of Mark Flood slated for 2016, this exhibition will bring work by some of Houston’s most talented art makers to both area audiences for whom their work may be familiar, as well as act as an introduction to wider audiences outside of the region.

About Debra Barrera: Avalon
In Avalon, Debra Barrera’s ongoing exploration of the very human desire for escape is explored in drawing, installation, and objects. In her earliest mature works, she focused on modes of transportation combined with cinema—both methods of getting outside of or away from one’s present circumstances. She identifies far way places real and unreal, accessible and impossible and provides hints of how we can get there from wherever we are. In this installation, drawings of unlikely escapes, such as the puff of smoke the Wicked Witch used to vanish in the Wizard of Oz, are mixed with motorcycle helmets and taxi lights that all but declare “get me out of here.” The installation employs the real exits of CAMH using pink and black, respectively, to make the existing emergency exit and trap door appear to promise alternative escape routes. The title Avalon refers to an imaginary place that derives from our shared mythic histories, which when sung by Bryan Ferry in Roxy Music’s Avalon, was the perfect location for unreal romance.

About Nathaniel Donnett: Nothing to See Hear
Nathaniel Donnett’s Nothing to See Hear is an investigation into how sound and light can create a space of remembrance and meditation. Through the use of minimalist gestures, Donnett has created an immersiveenviornment that integrates light, sound, sculpture, and works on paper that give visibility to the contemporary portrayals of resistance and protest, loss and mourning. Donnett pays homage to the numerous men and women who have died while placing themselves on the front line for justice. His installation functions as a visual eulogy to their sacrifice as well as a conscious and thought provoking call toward social awareness.

About Carrie Marie Schneider: Incommensurate Mapping
For this exhibition Carrie Marie Schneider has created architectural models of CAMH, that stage a variety of conceptual, social, archival, structural, and imagined possibilities for the museum. Each model builds on CAMH’s iconic parallelogram footprint, which opened in 1972 and was designed by Gunnar Birkerts, and considers aspects of CAMH’s place within Houston’s broader cultural fabric. With their variety of scales, diverse media, and aestheticsensibilities, these speculative models “situate the Museum within webs of broader organizational and intellectual concerns to investigate CAMH’s wider cultural function, its place in the city, and the space it provides for art(ists),” says Schneider. Her polyphonic display is “full of possibilities and informed by survival creativity, good humor, desperate imagination, and the political charge to project a future forward. The models operate in the funky overlap where we envision and build a new world while we still occupy this one.”

Right Here, Right Now: Houston will be on view in the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s Brown Foundation Gallery from August 23 to November 30, 2014.

PUBLICATION
Rigth Here, Right Now: Houston will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by Bill Arning and Dean Daderko on the work of Debra Barrera and Carrie Marie Schneider, respectively, an interview by Valerie Cassel Oliver with artist Nathaniel Donnett, color and black-and-white illustrations of the artists’ work, and a biography on each artist.

This catalogue is made possible by a grant from The Brown Foundation, Inc.