From the architecture inherent in a skilled fashion designer's white shirts to the symbolism of cultural theft infusing a dozen animal zodiac heads, the fall line-up of art exhibitions in metro Phoenix has some intriguing fare. See artist-made inflatables in Chandler, videos channeling science fiction in Scottsdale, and photographs cherished by Frida Kahlo in Phoenix. From sculpture to photography, this fall's line-up brings focus to diverse topics from immigration to the aesthetics of light.
"Statement Piece: Erik Gronborg and Ehren Tool"
ASU Ceramics Research Center
August 1 to November 21
Curated by ceramic artist Garth Johnson, curator for ASU’s Ceramics Research Center, this exhibition brings together “two like-minded ceramics artists from different generations” who studied their craft at the University of California Berkeley. Danish-born Erik Gronborg, who came of age during the 1960s, creates pottery blending pop art with social activism. Ehren Tool, a veteran who served in the first Gulf War, makes functional cups imbued with sociocultural imagery meant to foster conversations about the realities of war. For more information, visit www.asuartmuseum.asu.edu.
September 4 to October 30
Explore the ways several international artists have employed air to create large-scale abstract and figurative sculptures that “use perception of space to open dialogue about pop culture and social norms.” Featured artists include Claire Ashley, Lee Boroson, Lewis deSoto, Patrick Flibotte, Billie G. Lynn, Guy Overfelt, and Momoyo Torimitsu. Originally curated by Carrie Lederer for the Lesher Center for the Arts, the exhibition also includes video documentation of inflatable works by Christo, Jeanne-Claude (1935-2009), and Joshua Allen Harris. For more information, visit www.visiongallery.org.
"Depth of Field"
September 8 to October 24
This inaugural brick-and-mortar exhibition by Rfotofolio, an organization that features photographic works by emerging and established artists online, includes 90 images from 70 photographers hailing from multiple countries including Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Slovenia, France, and the United States. For more information, visit www.artintersection.com or www.depthoffield2015.org.
"Tradiciones: Honoring Hispanic Heritage"
West Valley Arts HQ
September 10 to October 9
Works by various Arizona artists working in several media are being exhibited in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. For more information, visit westvalleyarts.org.
"Yonder Peasant…The Photography of Pedro E. Guerrero"
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
September 11, 2015 to January 17, 2016
Mesa-born Pedro E. Guerrero, the subject of a PBS “American Master” documentary, created artist portraits and architectural photographs — capturing iconic subjects including Frank Lloyd Wright, Alexander Calder, and Louise Nevelson. This exhibition highlights his images of mid-century modern architecture as well as experiences during World War II, using his ephemeral photographs as a window into Americana during a time of innovation and great change. For more information, visit www.mesaartscenter.com.
"Kelly Richardson: Tales on the Horizon"
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
September 12, 2015 to January 10, 2016
Drawing on 19th century landscape painting, 20th century cinema, and 21st century scientific research, the Canadian artist creates video installations meant to “offer imaginative views of the future that prompt careful consideration of the present.” Curated by Emily Stamey, Curator of Contemporary Art for SMoCA, the exhibition highlights dualities present in Richardson’s work — including drama and stillness, beauty and strangeness, hard science and science fiction. For more information, visit www.smoca.org.
Shemer Art Center & Museum
September 17 to October 15
This exhibition juried by Tom Eckert will feature work by Arizona artists in the time-honored material of wood — blurring the line between form and function, showing woodturning and carving not merely as traditional trade but as contemporary art form. For more information, visit shemerartcenter.org.
"Green and Gray"
The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts
October 2, 2015 to January 2, 12016
Several artists consider “the world between the natural landscape and the built environment” while playing with the common conception that green connotes the natural and gray the manmade. Featured artists — including Carol Allenman, Susan Beiner, Peter Bugg, Christine Cassano, Angela Cazel-John, Candace Eisenfeld, Steve Gompf, Preston Graces, Jonathan Howard, Mohammed Reza Javaheri, Karen Jilly, Catherine Nash, and Ellen Wagener — explore subjects and imagery showing where natural and artificial elements merge, converge, and/or conflict. For more information, visit www.tempe.gov/TCA.
"Seasons and Cycles"
Herberger Theater Art Gallery
October 2, 2015 to January 3, 2016
More than three dozen Arizona artists show works inspired by seasons and cycles, including those created by natural phenomenon and those created by elements of human culture including science, religion, technology, and more. Curated by Georgia Michalicek, the exhibition features works in diverse media exploring seasons and cycles experienced by people, animals, and plants. For more information, visit herbergertheater.org.
"Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold"
Phoenix Art Museum
October 3, 2105 to January 31, 2016
A dozen bronze zodiac animals heads from the Qing Dynasty, looted by British and French troops during the Second Opium War in 1860, inspired Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei to create gold-plated replicas in 2010 as a “subversive commentary on the nature of looting and repatriation.” Janet Baker, Curator of Asian Art for Phoenix Art Museum, is pairing these symbols of cultural theft with 18th century Chinese bronze works from the museum’s own collection. For more information, visit www.phxart.org.
"Where Without Whom"
ASU Art Museum
October 3, 2015 to February 6, 2016
Inspired by an Octavio Paz poem titled Where Without Whom, this exhibition of works from the museum’s collection of Latin American prints and photographs explores issues of contemporary migration. "Where Without Whom" is part of the museum’s “Contact Zones” series which includes newly-commissioned video installations, guest-curated exhibitions, artist-initiated projects, and public engagement programs. For more information, visit www.asuartmuseum.asu.edu.
"Frida Kahlo – Her Photos"
October 21, 2015 to February 8, 2016
Curated by Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, a Mexican photographer and photography historian, this exhibition of more than 240 images is intended as a photographic collage revealing new facets of the 20th century artist Frida Kahlo. These photographs — taken by Man Ray, Tina Modotti, Edward Weston, and others — were selected from a collection of more than 6,500 kept by Kahlo at the Blue House in Mexico where she spent most of her life. Together they offer viewers an intimate glimpse of Kahlo’s life and special affinity for photographic media. Also look for “Las Favoritas de Frida: Selections from the Heard Collection,” an exhibition created in conjunction with members of the local artist collective Phoenix Fridas. For more information, visit www.heard.org.
"The White Shirt According to Me"
Phoenix Art Museum
November 4, 2015 to March 6, 2016
Twenty-seven iterations on a wardrobe staple by architecture-trained fashion designer Gianfranco Ferré, who spent nearly a decade as Artistic Director of Christian Dior, are featured in this exhibition — which also includes sketches, technical designs, photographs, and videos from the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation. The foundation designed, produced, and curated the exhibition — which includes some of the “most significant shirts” from Ferré’s 1982-2006 career — in conjunction with the Prato Textile Museum Foundation. For more information, visit www.phxart.org.
Lisa Sette Gallery
November 7, 2015 to January 2, 2016
British artist Bruce Munro’s first gallery exhibition is part of a cultural collaboration called “Desert Radiance” — which also includes an indoor installation for the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and site-specific outdoor installations for Desert Botanical Garden and the Scottsdale Waterfront. Works featured at Lisa Sette Gallery will include diverse video installations, including two recently-conceived pieces, and newer gallery-scaled light-based artworks. Munro’s gallery show will also feature Nine Clouds, a work designed specifically for the gallery, which pays homage to the William Wordsworth poem I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. For more information, visit lisasettegallery.com.
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"Somewhere Between Black & White"
Harry Wood Gallery
November 16 to December 4
Eager to push the boundaries of traditional definitions of textiles, the ASU School of Art presents an exhibition highlighting “the gray area of textiles.” Featured works “explore textiles through materiality, imagery, and functionality” — challenging artists to “think of their work in a broader sense” and encouraging viewers to see textiles through a contemporary lens. For more information, visit asuevents.asu.edu