RISD Museum announces reopening

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RISD Museum announces reopening
Salman Toor, Two Boys with a Dog, 2020. Museum purchase: gift of Avo Samuelian and Hector Manuel Gonzalez. © Salman Toor; Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

PROVIDENCE, RI.- The RISD Museum reopened to the general public on June 13, 2021 after having been closed since March 13, 2020.

Exhibitions on view include:

Black Flyyy
On view through September 26, 2021

In Black Flyyy, six short films and videos by artists including Sophia Nahli Allison, Bree Newsome Bass, and Charles Burnett explore self-revelation, craft, legacy, and ancestral knowledge(s) in ways that center Black narratives and challenge white cultural hegemony. These dreamlike meditations consider cultural traditions of and from the African Diaspora related to the meaning of the word fly, focusing on style and originality and making reference to stories of human flight or return to homelands. From stories that undermine stereotypes of Black abjection to Afrofuturist provocations that reimagine memory, these works engage themes of movement, imagination, transcendence, spirituality, and the supernatural.

Curated by Anita N. Bateman, Ph.D. Former Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Defying the Shadow
On view through December 18, 2021

It Comes in Many Forms: Islamic Art from the Collection presents textiles, decorative arts, and works on paper that attest to the pluralism of Islam and its expressions. From an Egyptian textile fragment dating to the 1100s to a contemporary woman’s top by the Paris-based designer Azzedine Alaïa, 30 objects offer explorations into migration, diasporas, and exchange and suggest the difficulty of defining arts from a transnational religious viewpoint. This exhibition includes several works from the RISD Museum collection that have never been displayed before.

It Comes in Many Forms
Islamic Art from the Collection
On view through December 18, 2021

It Comes in Many Forms: Islamic Art from the Collection presents textiles, decorative arts, and works on paper that attest to the pluralism of Islam and its expressions. From an Egyptian textile fragment dating to the 1100s to a contemporary woman’s top by the Paris-based designer Azzedine Alaïa, 30 objects offer explorations into migration, diasporas, and exchange and suggest the difficulty of defining arts from a transnational religious viewpoint. This exhibition includes several works from the RISD Museum collection that have never been displayed before.

On the Surface
Contemporary Ceramics
On view through June 30, 2023

Dip, brush, pour, scratch, paint—there are countless ways to adorn ceramics. Some techniques are studied and passed down for generations, while others are proprietary. Many formulas for glazes are hard-won secrets: measured, mixed, and tested over and over again to achieve a desired color or effect. From the mid-1900s to today, artists working in ceramics have continued to revise old methods and experiment with new ones, drawing inspiration from the world around them and pushing the boundaries of their medium. This exhibition presents seven different techniques for decorating ceramics—slip, sgraffito, unadorned, decals, texture, glaze, and painting—and the variety of approaches that artists have taken to each.

Raid the Icebox Now with Beth Katleman
Games of Chance
On view through July 4, 2021

This installation shines a light on the life of collector Charles L. Pendleton (1846–1904). In the corridor leading to Pendleton House, the RISD Museum’s decorative-arts wing, Beth Katleman creates an intricately embellished porcelain room replete with mirrors, architectural ornaments, and over-door sculptures. Hinting at dubious episodes from Pendleton’s life are a blindfolded Marilyn Monroe and Fortuna, Roman goddess of luck, a fitting muse given Pendleton’s passion for gambling. These elements and the many others in Game of Chance were cast by the artist in white porcelain from flea-market trinkets, toys, dolls, and pop icons, highlighting the contrasts between public and private personas as well as the polite veneer of Pendleton House and disreputable and mysterious aspects of the collector’s past.

Beth Katleman is an American sculptor based in Brooklyn, New York. She is best known for creating extravagantly detailed rococo installations laced with dark humor and literary references. Katleman casts found objects such as vintage dolls and other flea-market trinkets in white porcelain, then arranges them into ornate tableaus, fusing elements of high and low art and creating allegories that draw from pop culture, fairy tales, and classic literature.

Raid the Icebox Now with Pablo Helguera
Inventarios / Inventories
On view through August 21, 2021

Inventarios/Inventories explores the personal and domestic contexts of artworks, particularly as they exist in artists’ personal lives and working environments and the homes of their close family and collaborators. Drawing upon the RISD Museum’s Nancy Sayles Day Collection of Latin American art, Pablo Helguera has collaborated with living Latin American artists and the families, close friends, and collaborators of those no longer alive to provide a view of the domestic lives of artworks. The project is also a tribute to the exhibition history of the RISD Museum and the legacy of former director Alexander Dorner, who created immersive environments to enhance the visitor’s experience. The exhibition is accompanied by public programs and performances developed in collaboration with the participating artists.

Pablo Helguera is a Mexican artist who lives and works in New York. His projects span installation, sculpture, photography, drawing, socially engaged art, and performance, drawing inspiration from topics ranging from history, pedagogy, and sociology. His work often takes on unusual forms of presentation, which have included road trips, phonographic recordings, musical performances, and books.

Raid the Icebox Now with Paul Scott
New American Scenery
On view through December 30, 2021

This installation juxtaposes early 19th-century Staffordshire ceramic transferwares drawn from the shelves of the RISD Museum storage with new Cumbrian Blue(s) artworks. Replacing the porcelain works typically on view in the Lucy Truman Aldrich gallery, New American Scenery melds historic printed tablewares, altered antique ceramics, and reclaimed Syracuse China plates with new screenprints to update early transferware subjects for the 21st century.

In the early 1900s, Staffordshire wares with images of American landscapes became hugely desirable objects, and for the first time, mass-produced industrial tablewares were elevated within museum hierarchies to rival the finest Meissen, Sevres, and Chinese porcelain. The high status of these works did not persist, however, and the period following World War II saw most relegated to museum storage, where they have gathered dust ever since. New American Scenery draws attention to the beauty, significance, and influence of original transferware material while examining the post-industrial landscapes of 21st-century America. Themes include industrial dereliction, borders, the physical manifestations of climate change, energy generation and consumption, and the ongoing legacies of invasion, slavery, and racism.

Paul Scott is an English artist who lives and works in Cumbria, UK. He appropriates traditional blue and white transferwares to make artwork for 21st-century audiences. Using selective erasure, new prints, collage, breakage, and re-assemblage, he alters historic tablewares to depict the contemporary landscape. At the same time he also commemorates and celebrates a rich, complex historical genre that is inextricably linked to wider visual and political cultures. New American Scenery is made possible by a lead grant from the Alturas Foundation with additional support from Ferrin Contemporary and Arts Council England.

Text, Paratext, and Images
On view through July 17, 2021

As a form of communication, text conveys information and meaning. It also presents an opportunity for interpretation and artistic engagement. Paratext—literally “beside text”—includes the more subtle associations a text carries, including reference notes, inscriptions, and the style of lettering chosen. When artists combine image, text, and paratext, new layers of interpretation are introduced, and new spaces of discourse are created. Featuring examples from Qur’an manuscripts to historical Japanese prints to contemporary works, this exhibition explores the relationships between text, paratext, and image, examining how choice of material influences texts; how different manipulations of texts and images signal social class, education, and other cultural hierarchies and norms; and how intercultural exchange can take place through circulation and interpretation.
Opening July 17, 2021:

Any distance between us
July 17, 2021 - March 13, 2022

Any distance between us explores the power and significance of intimate relationships in works of contemporary art, particularly those made by artists identified as Queer and of color. The exhibition features more than 30 objects—including several new acquisitions from the RISD Museum’s permanent collection—by artists such as Louis Fratino, Aaron Gilbert, Doron Langberg, Deana Lawson, Catherine Opie, Jack Pierson, Elle Pérez, and Salman Toor. Manual, the RISD Museum’s biannual journal, also focuses its Fall/Winter 2021 issue on intimacy, with texts by the curators and images of the exhibition. Any distance between us is curated by artist-writer Stephen Truax (RISD BFA 2007, Painting) in collaboration with Dominic Molon, the Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art at RISD Museum.

Artists on view are: Patrick Angus, Alvin Baltrop, Tom Burr, Katherine Bradford, Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Paul Cadmus, Patrick Carroll, Kennedi Carter, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, TM Davy, Angela Dufresne, Jess T. Dugan, Nicole Eisenman (RISD BFA 1987, Painting), Louis Fratino, Aaron Gilbert (RISD BFA 2005, Painting), Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Christopher K. Ho, David Hockney, Sholem Krishtalka, Doron Langberg, Deana Lawson (RISD MFA 2004, Photography), Robert Mapplethorpe, Maesie Mattia, Catherine Opie, Elle Pérez, Jack Pierson, Sage Sohier, Hugh Steers, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tom of Finland, Salman Toor, Keith Vaughan, Andy Warhol, and David Wojnarowicz.

Today's News

June 21, 2021

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Brian Lebel's Cody Old West Show jam-packed with Western and Native American memorabilia

Group exhibition surveys over 100 tea bowls made by 11 artists

RISD Museum announces reopening

Dr. Carol R. Angle gives second substantial gift to the Angle Exhibition Fund at The Fralin Museum of Art at UVA

Magenta Plains presents a series of new oil on linen paintings by New York artist Joshua Abelow

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Christina Quarles's vibrant and textured paintings on view at South London Gallery

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