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Two new Solo exhibitions open at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston
Ragnar Kjartansson, The Man, 2010. Single-channel video (still). Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik.
BOSTON, MASS.- The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston opened Ragnar Kjartansson: Song on Dec. 12, the first U.S. solo museum exhibition of Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson. A musician as well as an artist, Kjartansson makes performance and video works that sample a wide range of culture, from the sagas of his native Iceland to American blues music. Often inspired by misheard lyrics, Kjartansson’s song-filled videos investigate the porous boundaries between reality and fiction, as well as the inherent artifice of performance. The exhibition includes a selection of video works from the last decade. The exhibition is on view from Dec. 12, 2012 through April 7, 2013.

A brilliant and nimble performer, Kjartansson uses music to focus on the persona of the performer, whom he often sets against extreme conditions. In The End the artist and friends play rock-and-roll in the heart of the wintry Canadian Rockies; in Satan is Real he croons while bare-chested and buried waist deep in a hole. Kjartansson also presents other performers, such as the iconic American blues musician Pinetop Perkins and even his own mother. The artist’s lush videos—characterized by incongruous settings, repetition and endurance, and humorous or nostalgic soundtracks—elicit contradictory feelings of pleasure and anxiety, humor and sincerity, sentimentality and skepticism.

Mickalene Thomas
Dec. 12, 2012 – April 7, 2013

Mickalene Thomas is best known for her vibrant acrylic and enamel paintings of African-American women that are adorned with rhinestones and glitter. Combining the genres of portraiture and domestic interior, Mickalene Thomas draws on art history and popular culture to create a contemporary vision of black female sexuality, beauty, and power. The exhibition highlights the ways in which Thomas experiments with the construction of intimate interior spaces to create a metaphor for the status of the female body—itself either present or absent—as it has been interpreted and used throughout the history of art. Organized by Curatorial Associate Anna Stothart, Mickalene Thomas features a selection of five, recent, large-scale paintings.

Meticulously composed of layers of bold patterns and bright blocks of color adorned with Swarovski rhinestones, the paintings are constructed through a rigorous three-part process. Thomas begins by constructing a tableau, posing a model, and taking a photograph. She then cuts up the photograph—fragmenting, deconstructing, and re-contextualizing the interior space—and reassembles the image as a collage. Finally, she reproduces the collage, at a greatly expanded scale, in acrylic, oil, and enamel.

As Thomas reorganizes the interior space surrounding the female figure, she draws inspiration from late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century artists such as Édouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger, and Romare Bearden—all of whom used abstraction, to one degree or another, in their representations of the world. Combining patterns and styles drawn from a 1970s aesthetic, Thomas’s compositions simultaneously recall the “black is beautiful” movement, as well as the second wave of feminism that shattered cultural assumptions about sexuality, family, the workplace, and reproductive rights.

The Institute of Contemporary Art | Ragnar Kjartansson | Boston |


Last Week News

December 16, 2012

Napoleon's abandoned palace in Venice shines again after $3.2 million restoration

Exhibition at the Groninger Museum is tribute to the peoples and cultures of the Nordic countries

Royal Academy celebrates Diamond Jubilee with gift of 97 works on paper for The Queen

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart offers a journey through two hundred years of art history

Paris's Notre Dame, the iconic cathedral at the heart of the French capital, turns 850

Galerie Lelong announced the completion of a major new work by Andy Goldsworthy: Stone Sea

Spain's cultural treasures on exclusive U.S. tour from the Prado, Madrid, to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

A chamber orchestra of 20 children from Paraguay play Mozart with violins made from garbage

Iconic film car, 'Rain Man' 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible, brings $170,500 at Heritage Auctions

New installation by Morgan Fisher reflects on aspect of new Aspen Art Museum design by Shigeru Ban

Marklin 'Chicago' glides to $264,500 at Bertoia's $1.6M sale of Dick Claus collection, Part II

Solo exhibition of new work by Kathryn Andrews opens at David Kordansky Gallery

FACT's final exhibition for 2012 is Winter Sparks, an interactive programme of works

First survey exhibition of Goshka Macuga opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

Visionary women launch ambitious endowment campaign with $15M in gifts

Mexico's Mayas face Dec. 21 with ancestral calm

The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga presents recent works by British sculptor Richard Deacon

Recent ceramic works by Elisa D'Arrigo on view at The Elizabeth Harris Gallery

First major solo exhibition in Europe of Yin Xiuzhen's work opens at Kunsthalle Dusseldorf

December 15, 2012

Video art pioneer Nam June Paik stars in Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibition

Yoko Ono picks up German human rights prize at Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie Museum

Exhibition of works from the D.Daskalopoulos Collection opens in Edinburgh

A masterpiece by Sandro Botticelli previously owned by the Rockefeller family will be exhibited in Russia

Norwegian artist Matias Faldbakken opens exhibition at Wiels Contemporary art centre in Brussels

Buhl Collection brings $12.3M - Highest ever total for a private collection of photos sold at auction

Smithsonian exhibition parallels the 1863 emancipation of slaves with the 1963 March on Washington

Film in Space: An exhibition of film and expanded cinema selected by Guy Sherwin opens at Camden Arts Centre

Stedelijk Museum presents first comprehensive Mike Kelley exhibition in two decades

Six weeks after, New York City artists seek help to scrub away superstorm Sandy's stains

Rachel Whiteread's Tree of Life voted best loved work of art of 2012 in a poll of museum goers

The Greensboro Collection, Part II, headlines Heritage's FUN Event, first major U.S. coins auction of 2013

Smithsonian scientists find that for every mammal species, the rainforest holds 300 Arthropod species

Aspen Art Museum announces $2.5 million gift establishing Nancy and Bob Magoon CEO position

Invisible Exports announces the New York solo debut of work and objects by Bob Mizer

Global Philatelic Library celebrates success and expansion

SFMOMA announces 2012 SECA Art Award winners

No bidder found for letters by 'Peanuts' creator

'Casablanca' piano sells in NY for more than $600K

December 14, 2012

Mexican archaeologists discover 1,000 year old cemetery in the State of Sonora

According to scientist from the University of Oregon, fossil find challenges tree of life as we know it

Sotheby's names President and CEO William F. Ruprecht as Chairman of the Board of Directors

Man jailed for two years for defacing Rothko work in London's Tate Modern gallery

Florida won't restore rights to famed American Museum of Natural History jewel thief

Terra Foundation CEO Elizabeth Glassman awarded French Medal of Honor

80-year-old Spanish botched fresco artist sells work on eBay for charity organization

Saffronart announces its Modern Indian Art Winter Online Auction 2012 taking place on 18-19 December

Henrietta Leon Girshman's Carnet de Salon leads Bonhams Russian Literature Auction

Tate announces groundbreaking £5 million arts award for under 25s funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Indianapolis Museum of Art commissions Spencer Finch for Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion

Spectacular British, Islamic collections headline Heritage Auctions event in New York

Beatles rock Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Sale; Exceptional prices achieved for Beatles items

Hermes rules at largest luxury accessories auction ever: $3.2 Million

New series of works on paper, videos and a mobile sculpture by Roger Andersson at Poppy Sebire

New, purpose-built Vancouver Art Gallery will benefit entire visual arts community

Shaun Odell exhibits at Jack Hanley Gallery in New York

Sweden's ice hotel, a work of art for the here-and-now

Vatican austerity means donated nativity scene

December 13, 2012

Yale University Art Gallery reopens $135 million renovated and reinstalled galleries

Scientists at London's Natural History Museum seek to solve mystery of Piltdown Man

Michelangelo's David-Apollo returns to the National Gallery of Art in Washington

AXA Equitable donates Thomas Hart Benton's epic mural "America Today" to Met Museum

Hans Christian Andersen's first fairy tale found in Denmark's national archives

Mick Jagger love letters written to American singer Marsha Hunt sold at London auction

Dallas Museum of Art's Razor by Gerald Murphy featured in U.S. Postal Services stamp collection

Bowers Museum presents award winning costumes in "Cut! Costume and Cinema"

Fine art, exquisite antiques from Southern Calif. estates highlight Don Presley's New Year's Auction

Bonhams walks on Moon as illuminating space auction reaches the stars

Leading Turkish auction house Antik A.S. to offer Osman Hamdi Bey's "A Girl Arranging a Vase of Flowers"

The IVAM reviews the iconography of the American dream in the exhibition 'America, America'

Michael Winner sale makes £1.1 million and new record for EH Shepard at Sotheby's

RM Auctions secures upcoming sale of Texas' distinguished Don Davis Collection

The Wolfsonian-FIU receives $5 million to increase access to collection

Musical clock once owned by Egypt's King Farouk sells for £385,250

Dictionaries define success at Bonhams

Sotheby's announces first ever selling exhibition of contemporary art from central Asia and the Caucasus

Top results for Dali, Signac and Anker at Koller Zurich

Far from the Shire, a Hobbit house in Pennsylvania country

December 12, 2012

Johannes Vermeer's masterpiece "Woman in Blue Reading a Letter" travels to Sao Paulo

$6 million vase once owned by First Lady Lou Henry Hoover sells at Bonhams in San Francisco

Corcoran Trustees vote they will focus on approaches that keep the museum in the 17th Street building

Four letters by Tsar Nicholas II sold for record price of CHF 120,000 at Hôtel des Ventes de Genève

Van Gogh dazzles at Netherlands' Kroeller-Mueller; museum announced "Vincent is Back"

First U.S. Viewing of "The Jameel Prize: Art Inspired by Islamic Tradition" opens at Stanford

British artist and Turner Prize winner Simon Starling will create the Tate Britain Commission 2013

Founder of Cirque du Soleil exhibits photos taken on board the International Space Station

The Empty Quarter hosts photographer Steve McCurry's latest exhibition "Unguarded Moments"

Michael Hoppen celebrates 20 years in business with an exhibition from his collection

Zurich misplaces more than 5,000 works of art; expected to find most of the missing artwork

The prodigious son: George Maciunas returns to Cooper Union in a new exhibition

RISD Museum closes year with significant gift to cap Radeke Restoration Project

Renovations at Civil Rights Museum move forward

Design Miami/ reaffirms its position as the world's leading fair for collectible design with strong sales

The jewellery collection of the late Michael Wellby makes three times estimate in £2.8 million sale

New world record set for Howard Schleeter at Clars December 2012 fine art auction

Claudia Kleefeld's "Patterns of Nature: The Spiral and Interconnectedness" on view at LA Artcore

Man strips at Austrian art exhibition of nude men

December 11, 2012

"Cindy Sherman: The Early Works 1975-1977" opens at Centre de la photographie Genève

An aristocratic site in Bassing between independent Gaul and the Roman conquest

Art Basel Miami Beach presented premier quality works and strong programming

Winterthur announces that missing silver snuff box by Barent Ten Eyck has been located

Art auctions still soaring at Ketterer Kunst: High increases and many new customers

Exhibition in Milan explores the synthesis between colour, pictorial act, matter and form

Beauty and the beast: Roman goddesses and court dwarves at Bonhams sale

Russia's Hermitage denounces probe over modern art exhibit by Britain's Jake and Dinos Chapman

A tribute to the late Swiss artist Josephsohn on view at Hauser & Wirth in London

Early impressions by James R. Jackson on view at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum

French courts to rule in Chinese artist family feud between his third wife and his son from a previous marriage

Last King of France's ice buckets re-discovered and red-hot at Bonhams sale

Centre Pompidou Foundation appoints Sylvia Chivaratanond as the first Adjunct Curator of American Art

Sound installation conceived by Hans Tutschku for the rooftop of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts

Christie's New York wraps 2012 with over $163 million in jewelry auction sales

National Portrait Gallery presents 89 sitters in one innovative group video portrait

Painting of epic battle between British and American warships in 1813 for sale at Bonhams

House of Illustration raises 68,750 in "What are they like?" Celebrity Auction at Sotheby's London

Pulse Miami 2012 closes with record attendance, high museum sales and sold-out booths

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Scientists at Germany's Karl May Museum weigh returning Native American scalp

2.- Totally Thames launches Florentijn Hofman's first ever UK commission: HippopoThames

3.- Restoring Albrecht Dürer's masterpiece The Arch of Honour of Maximilian I

4.- German Consulate in New York presents the work of forgotten 20th century master painter

5.- Cave carving in Gibraltar may be first known example of Neanderthal rock art

6.- Monet discovered in suitcase taken into German hospital by 'Nazi art' hoarder

7.- Gustav Klimt's 'Portrait Adele Bloch-Bauer II' on view at the Museum of Modern Art

8.- Dreadnoughtus: Meet Argentina's supermassive, 85 feet from nose to tail, 'fear nought' dino

9.- Monet's 'Impressionism' birth dated by Texas State University's 'Celestial Sleuth'

10.- 'Chess' man star attraction at tattoo convention in Peru

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