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Tampa Museum of Art celebrates 20th century masters with Spring exhibitions
Carolina Morning, 1974. Mixed media collage on board, 30 x 22 inches. In Memory of Elaine Lebenbom and Dr. Miriam Mansour. Photography Courtesy Franklin Riehlman Fine Art Art © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

TAMPA, FL.- The Tampa Museum of Art announces its spring 2012 exhibition schedule that honors the work of three modern masters, Romare Bearden, Don ZanFagna and John Cage. In solo exhibitions dedicated to each of the three pioneers, the Museum takes the opportunity to understand the long shadows these artists have left.

“With this suite of exhibitions,” according to Todd D. Smith, the Museum’s executive director,” the Museum continues to tell the traditional and emerging histories of the art of the modern era and provide our audiences with a broader understanding of the art of the last century. Romare Bearden played a highly important role in helping our culture understand the complexity of race and representation. Don ZanFagna was a pioneer in the 1960s and 1970s of drawing our attention to the dangers that lie ahead for our culture if technology and ecological progress continued unabated. And finally, John Cage radically altered how we view the nature and the act of performance within a gallery and museum context.

Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections
January 28 - May 6, 2012

Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections is an exhibition of approximately 70 works that span the career of the nation’s foremost collagist and one of last century’s most important African-American artists. He has been the focus of many solo exhibitions, including presentations at the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art. In 1987 he was awarded the National Medal of the Arts by President Ronald Reagan. Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Organized by the Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Works assembled from public and private collections will highlight Bearden’s mastery of collage as well as his development of narrative and thematic explorations of his native South. This exhibition, which will be on view in Charlotte and Newark during its national tour, coincides with the centennial of Bearden’s birth and will examine how the South served as a source of inspiration throughout his career (a theme that has not been previously explored). Through visual recollections of his experiences in the South, Bearden meticulously recorded the ritual forms, or the “collective beliefs,” that imbue his works with archetypal significance. These visual metaphors hold in perfect balance the literal and the symbolic; with them he celebrated and eulogized a lost way of life and the feelings and values associated with the past.

Don ZanFagna: Cyborgs
January 28 - May 6, 2012

Don ZanFagna (born 1929) has been active since the 1950s and is known for his stunning works that fuse creativity with futuristic warnings. Between 1968 and 1974, Don ZanFagna created Cyborg Notes, a series of “cybernetic metaphors” that focus on the future problems that DNA mixing might cause. These metaphors take the form of collages of signals or warning of things going wrong. According to the artist, “these works incorporate humans and machines, cloning, eco-architecture and landscape, biology and technology and make use of dark humor, skepticism, irony, and futuristic symbolism.” The resulting Cyborg environment that ZanFagna constructs shows entities that have lost their humanity and sexuality, but mechanically still reproduce new “humans” replete with nuts, bolts, and robotic controls. This will be the only second exhibition of ZanFagna’s work in the last 30 years.

ZanFagna, a Rhode Island native, holds advanced degrees from the Universities of Michigan and Southern California in painting, art, and architecture. He earned a Fulbright/Italian Government Grant for study in Italy in 1956-57 and later chaired the art department at Rutgers University and was visiting eco-architecture professor at Pratt Institute. His work is represented in private collections and has been exhibited in more than 200 museums in the U.S. and Europe. A pioneer in environmentally sound practices, ZanFagna founded CEASE (Center for Ecological Action to Save the Environment), and was a speaker, along with Ralph Nader, Margaret Mead, and other well-known environmental activists, at New York’s first Earth Day Teach-In at Union Square in New York in 1970.

John Cage’s 33-1/3 – Performed by Audience
January 28 - May 6, 2012

One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, John Cage (1912- 1992) created sound and performance works that broke through boundary after boundary. In celebration of his enduring legacy and the 2012 centenary of his birth, the Museum is pleased to present John Cage's 33-1/3 - Performed by Audience – an interactive installation guest curated for the Museum by Jade Dellinger.

Conceived in 1969 as an "audience participation" work, John Cage’s original "score" simply stipulated that the gallery be filled with “about a dozen record players and two- to three-hundred vinyl records” - allowing museum visitors the opportunity to act as DJs – creating a musical mix by playing records freely and thus performing the work.

Aiming to create a broad spectrum of vinyl recordings as source material for visitor-participants to access at the Museum, a prominent group of visual artists and performers (even a few Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famers) have been invited to submit Top 10 picks or album playlists to fill record bins. Yoko Ono, David Byrne, Iggy Pop, Jack White, Pauline Oliveros, The Residents, John Baldessari, William Wegman, Arto Lindsay, Graham Nash, Bryan Ferry, Vito Acconci, Mike Kelley, The Art Guys, Lee Ranaldo, Richie Ramone, Jad Fair, Meredith Monk, Alex James, Blixa Bargeld, S.A. Martinez, David Harrington, Emil Schult/Kraftwerk, Jim Rosenquist, Matthew Barney, Christian Marclay, and several others have all generously participated in the Museum’s project by compiling and submitting record selections for John Cage's 33-1/3 - Performed by Audience (© 1969 Henmar Press Inc. Used by permission of C.F. Peters Corporation. All rights reserved).

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