13 Art Shows to See in Metro Phoenix During Spring 2016

Artwork featured in "Monstalgia" at ASU's Harry Wood Gallery.
Artwork featured in "Monstalgia" at ASU's Harry Wood Gallery.
ASU Institute for Humanities Research

There’s a little something for everyone in this season’s crop of exhibitions, which explore everything from monsters to immigration. Some are distinguished by the significance of the artists whose lives they reflect, such as Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo and 20th century Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Others stand out because of the media used by featured artists, such as repurposed bubble wrap and acrylic braided ribbon. Whatever your taste in art, it’s likely at least a couple of these shows will strike your fancy.

“Monstalgia”
ASU Harry Wood Gallery
Through February 14

This exhibition explores various types of creatures in contemporary art through the lens of nostalgia (“a longing for home that no longer exists”) and solstalgia (“a longing for life before environmental change and all its ramifications”), while considering how the “problem” of the monstrous in life and art is affected by memory and remembrance. Curated by MA candidate Kev Nemelka, it’s being presented by ASU’s Institute for Humanities Research. Find more information on the ASU Events website.

Photos by Nickolas Muray (Fida Kahlo in Blue Blouse; Frida with Magenta Rebozo, The Classic; and Frida, Pink/Green Blouse, Coyoacan) exhibited at Bentley Gallery.EXPAND
Photos by Nickolas Muray (Fida Kahlo in Blue Blouse; Frida with Magenta Rebozo, The Classic; and Frida, Pink/Green Blouse, Coyoacan) exhibited at Bentley Gallery.
Courtesy of Bentley Gallery

“Mirror, Mirror: Rare Photographs of Frida Kahlo”
Bentley Gallery
Through February 27

This exhibition features more than 20 vintage photographs of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, taken by a variety of notable 20th century photographers including Lucienne Bloch, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Imogen Cunningham, Fritz Henie, Guillermo Kahlo, Leo Matiz, Nickolas Muray, and Carl Van Vechten. Find more information on the Bentley Gallery website.

Rachel Bess, Peeling Off the Darkness, 2015, oil on panel.EXPAND
Rachel Bess, Peeling Off the Darkness, 2015, oil on panel.
Lisa Sette Gallery

"Rachel Bess  and Charlotte Potter"
Lisa Sette Gallery
Through February 27

Lisa Sette presents recent works by two artists, Rachel Bess and Charlotte Potter, exploring personal identity and digital personae. Arizona-based Bess creates modern-day vanitas and still-lifes in oil on panel. Virginia-based Potter creates sculpture and installation work using traditional forms of glassworking. We’re also looking forward to Sette’s April 23 to June 25 exhibition of works by Carrie Marill and Kim Cridler. Find more information on the Lisa Sette Gallery website.

Detail of Bradley Hart's American Gothic Interpreted (Injection), acrylic and bubble wrap, 2014.EXPAND
Detail of Bradley Hart's American Gothic Interpreted (Injection), acrylic and bubble wrap, 2014.
Lynn Trimble

“Ecosystem by Bradley Hart”
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
Through March 27

This exhibition includes works by New York-based Canadian artist Bradley Hart, who uses syringes to inject acrylic paint into bubble wrap as part of his art practice exploring “society’s excessive use and dependence on disposable materials.” It includes not only works created with bubble wrap, but also pieces made using materials recycled from his artistic process – including dried paint. Find more information on the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum website.

Michelangelo, Study for the Apostles in the Transfiguration (Three Nudes), ca. 1532. Black chalk, pen and ink. Florence, Casa Buonarroti.EXPAND
Michelangelo, Study for the Apostles in the Transfiguration (Three Nudes), ca. 1532. Black chalk, pen and ink. Florence, Casa Buonarroti.
Casa Buonarroti

“Michelangelo: Sacred and Profane”
Phoenix Art Museum
Through March 27

This exhibition features 26 rare drawings and sketches by sculptor and painter Michelangelo. Each is part of the collection of Florence, Italy's Casa Buonarroti – a building once owned by the artist which is now the world’s largest repository for Michelangelo drawings, architectural studies, and memoirs. Exhibited works include figure studies, architectural drawings, and preparatory sketches for later paintings. Find more information on the Phoenix Art Museum website.

Gallery view of "11 Miles of Color" at Scottsdale Civic Center Library.EXPAND
Gallery view of "11 Miles of Color" at Scottsdale Civic Center Library.
Andrew Pielage

11 Miles of Color: Repurposing Spring Crossing”
Scottsdale Civic Center Library
Through April 30

This exhibition includes works by 11 artists from diverse disciplines who used acrylic braided ribbon repurposed from a previous public art installation by Randy Walker to create pieces that include a fence, a vessel, and a collection of mushrooms. Featured artists include Jeffrey DaCosta, Amber Doe, Valerie Fair, Sarah Hurwitz, Francine Kavanaugh, Kris Manzaneres, Sharie Monsam, Courtney Richter, Shawn Rost, Katharine Leigh Simpson, and Kristin Wolfe. Find more information on the Scottsdale Public Art website

Video by Sandra Ramos featured in the "Watertight" exhibit at ASU Art Museum.EXPAND
Video by Sandra Ramos featured in the "Watertight" exhibit at ASU Art Museum.
Lynn Trimble

Upcoming Events

“Watertight: Sandra Ramos”
ASU Art Museum
Through May 28

This exhibition features works in various media, including eight short video animations, exploring the complicated relationship between Cuba and the United States. Ramos’ work prompts reflection on “immigration, international borders, and shattered utopian dreams.” Find more information on the ASU Art Museum website.


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