The Contemporary Arts Center announced its 2016-17 exhibition season last evening during a special presentation to its Board of Trustees and media. At the same time, it also previewed several performances scheduled for that same season. (There may still be another art exhibition added.)The biggest takeaways from the announcement are that the CAC is striving for diversity in the artists it will show next year, and that it doesn’t believe painting is passé in Contemporary art. The first show, indeed, features one of Britain’s greatest living painters, Glenn Brown. “We wanted to celebrate painting,” says Steven Matijcio, CAC curator. “I think because it’s been the preeminent medium of the past, sometimes it gets secondary status in today’s art world. Glenn Brown makes very few works per year because he spends so much time on them. If an Old Master were living today, he would be that person.”Here is the list of shows, edited from a CAC press release. A fuller story will appear in next week’s The Big Picture column in CityBeat.GLENN BROWNSept. 9, 2016 to Jan. 15, 2017:Organized by the Des Moines Art Center; Curated by Jeff FlemingThis is the first solo museum exhibition in the United States to survey the work of renowned London-based artist Brown. Painting steadily for the last three decades, Brown crafts paintings with an immaculate, almost supernatural level of detail and fluidity.ROE ETHRIDGE: NEAREST NEIGHBOROct.7 2016 to March 12, 2017Organized by FotoFocus; Curated by Kevin MooreThe exhibition leads the programming for the 2016 FotoFocus Biennial, which explores the theme of the Undocument in photography. Nearest Neighbor is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. and will present over 15 years of photographs.NOEL ANDERSON: BLAK ORIGIN MOMENTFeb. 10 to June 18, 2017Organized by the Contemporary Arts Center; Curated by Steven MatijcioNoel Anderson is a Louisville-born artist and a professor at the University of Cincinnati, presently working in New York City. He is known for complex investigations into the evolving makeup of black-male identity translated through a variety of textiles — from old rugs to digitally produced tapestries. UGO RONDINONE: CHROMAphileMay 5 to Aug. 27, 2017Organized by the Contemporary Arts Center; Curated by Raphaela PlatowThis exhibition will celebrate a new iteration of the Swiss-born, NY-based artist Ugo Rondinone’s color spectrum series that congregates his art, the gallery architecture and every visitor to the space as collaborators in an all-encompassing experience. NJIDEKA AKUNYILI CROSBY: THE PREDECESSORSJuly 14 to Oct. 20, 2017Organized by the Contemporary Arts Center & Tang Museum, Skidmore College; Co-Curated by Ian Berry & Steven MatijcioWhen Njideka Akunyili left Lagos for the U.S. at age 16, she detoured from her initial plan to be a doctor to pursue painting and tell another side of Nigeria’s story. She fuses painting, drawing, collage and the use of transfers — a typically Western printing process that involves transferring ink from photographs using solvent. JANE BENSON: HALF-TRUTHSJuly 14 to Oct. 20, 2017Organized by the Contemporary Arts Center; Curated by Steven MatijcioThe story of two Iraqi brothers who escaped from Baghdad in early 2002 becomes a vehicle for British-born, N.Y.-based artist Jane Benson to explore the social reverberations caused by geo-cultural separation. The artist uses music to tell the story in a dual-channel video entitled Finding Baghdad (Part A), which serves as the show’s centerpiece. THE I-71 PROJECTOctober through November, 2016 Organized by the CAC, MOCA Cleveland and Columbus Museum of Art; Curated by Anne ThompsonThe I-71 Project is a collaborative venture uniting three major art centers across Ohio to present art on billboards that confront the theater and confusion of elections in the U.S. It is organized by artist, writer and 2015-16 Missouri School of Journalism Fellow Anne Thompson, who successfully organized a similar project called The I-70 Sign Show. Some of the key artists will include Mel Bochner, Marilyn Minter, and Kay Rosen.
- Here are the three performances that Drew Klein, performance curator, announced:
RADHOUANE EL MEDDEB: JE DANSE ET JE VOUS EN DONNE A BOUFFER(I DANCE, AND GIVE YOU SOME TO EAT)November 17-18, 2016Here, Radhouane is immersed in his loves of dancing and cooking, creating and celebrating a bridge between the two. Seated before his couscous maker, he prepares a meal and dances with all the grandeur, generosity and poetry inspired by these two arts. Between tomato concentrate, zucchini, carrots and cinnamon: a leap, a glance, a suspension or a rupture. Between the semolina and a chassé croisé, the dish simmers. This dazzling choreographic offering evokes all the senses in an almost synesthetic experience, the audience seized by the scents drifting through the air and captivated by the movement infused with generosity and poetry.JAN MARTENS: SWEAT BABY SWEAT January 19-20, 2017In Sweat Baby Sweat, Martens zeroes in on the most clichéd theme in dance: the relationship between a man and a woman. He traces the arc of their lifetime together in this physically demanding and intimate examination of a couple that just can’t let each other go. NAPOLEON MADDOX: TWICE THE FIRST TIME February 22-24, 2017In the performance Twice The First Time, Maddox will dance, sing and rap the story of Millie-Christine, conjoined twins born into American slavery in 1851, into the 21st century. They were aunts of Maddox’s grandmother.