7 Must-See Fall 2016 Art Shows in Metro Phoenix

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Brooklyn artist Kehinde Wiley challenges Eurocentric views of history and humanity by setting contemporary African American subjects in scenes based on iconic paintings of Old Masters. Phoenix artist Mayme Kratz explores longing and memory by imbuing luminous layers of resin with bits of biological debris.

Works by each artist are featured in exhibitions opening this fall in metro Phoenix, where a total of seven upcoming art shows are must-sees. Several of these exhibitions feature related programming, such as performances and symposiums, so be sure to check out related events when you’re exploring exhibition details online. Here’s what you need to see during fall 2016.

"Paradise Lost: Daniel Martin Diaz"
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
Through January 15, 2017

For a Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum season focused on connections between art and literature, Tucson artist Daniel Martin Diaz is showing primarily graphite and crimson pencil-on-paper works inspired by John Milton’s famed 17th-century epic poem. Diaz allegorically illustrates the poem using imagery inspired by anatomical paintings, alchemy, Byzantine iconography, and other sources.

"Energy Charge: Connecting to Ana Mendieta"
ASU Art Museum
September 24 to December 31

Five artists create installations in conversation with works by the late Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta, best known for advancing and synthesizing emergent art forms of the early 1970s such as body art and land art. The exhibition includes works by Mendieta and participating artists Ana Teresa Fernández, Kate Gilmore, Simone Leigh, Gina Osterloh, and Antonio Wright. The opening reception is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, September 23. 

"Juried Biennial: Clay"
The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts
September 30 to December 31

Works by 21 artists from around Arizona are featured in this exhibition juried by a four-person panel that included Garth Johnson, curator for the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center, and Peter Held, who held the post for more than a decade prior. Those who frequent the downtown Phoenix arts scene will recognize the names of several participating artists, including Christine Cassano, Constance McBride, and Danielle Wood. The opening reception happens from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, September 30. 

"Push Comes to Shove: Women and Power"
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
October 1 to January 8, 2017

This cross-disciplinary collaboration between Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and ASU intermedia professor Muriel Magenta casts art as a creative catalyst for rethinking how women view and exercise power. The exhibition features works by Magenta and 18 additional artists including Angela Ellsworth, Adriene Jenik, Gabriela Muñoz, Mary Neubauer, and M. Jenea Sanchez. The opening reception starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 14. 

"Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic"
Phoenix Art Museum
October 7 to January 8, 2017

Brooklyn-based Kehinde Wiley favors street-casting the subjects of his portraits, sometimes asking people of color he encounters on the street to pose for paintings based on iconic art. Hence his body of work highlights the glaring omission of people of color from Anglo-centric representations of history and culture. This exhibition, which originated at the Brooklyn Museum, features more than 50 paintings and sculptures spanning the artist’s prolific career. 

"Take Aim"
Northlight Gallery
October 21 to December 2

Mindful of the long history of hunting as subject matter for art, Arizona photographer William LeGoullon curates this exhibition of works by 10 national and international artists who explore themes related to hunting culture – including life and death, sport and tradition, and the intersection of human civilization with wilderness. The exhibition is co-produced and supported by Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art (phICA). The opening reception takes place during October's Third Friday. 

"Mayme Kratz and Marie Navarre"
Lisa Sette Gallery
November 1 to January 7, 2017

New works by Arizona artists Mayme Kratz and Marie Navarre explore nature, longing, and beauty while addressing the pivotal place of mortality and loss in our collective experience. Kratz gathers biological detritus, then embeds it in thick layers of resin, prompting reflection on disappearance in the global ecosystem and transitory human existence. Navarre creates photographic tableaus conjuring the paradox of loss and recovery, and their mutual integration into human experience. An opening reception with both artists takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, November 5. 

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