December 11 – ALBANY – Three art exhibitions, including “European Splendors: Old Master Paintings from the Kress Collection”, are in their last two weeks at the Albany Museum of Art.
In addition to the exhibition of Renaissance and Baroque paintings on loan from the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina, “Horse Power”, featuring Georgian artist Cedric Smith, and “Essay Topic: Write Down the Word WOMAN One Hundred Times !, “featuring works by Iranian Sanaz Haghani, will have its final day of exhibition on December 23.
“It has been an honor for WADA to share these phenomenal works of art with the community of Albany,” said Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf. “These three shows also symbolize WADA’s mission, to share the arts of the South with the world and the arts of the world with the South. We hope visitors take another opportunity to see these shows before they close. “
For those celebrating the Christmas season as a religious celebration, some of the artwork in the exhibit may be of particular interest. Religion was a major theme during the Renaissance period, and “European Splendors: Old Master Paintings from the Kress Collection” includes a number of paintings that depict images associated with Christmas. The exhibition includes five paintings of the Virgin and Child, two paintings of the Annunciation to Mary, one of Mary adoring the Child Jesus and a representation of the adoration of the Child Jesus by the Magi.
“These are beautiful works of art that illustrate parts of the familiar Christmas story,” said Annie Vanoteghem, director of education and public programming at AMA. “Some visitors may find them particularly inspiring during the Christmas season.”
A viewer can get more information about each painting by using a smart phone to read the QR code on the object tag of a painting, which will call up a PDF about the painting in the phone’s internet browser.
“We have incorporated ‘European Splendors’, along with the Cedric Smith and Sanaz Haghani exhibits, into our education program for our school and organization tours, as well as our Homeschool Day and Toddler Takeover programs,” said Vanoteghem.
Additionally, visitors can access WADA’s social media to view videos of Smith and Haghani’s artwork now on display at WADA, and hear the artists talk about their respective exhibitions. Links to the videos can be found on the artists’ respective exhibition pages on the AMA website, www.albanymusuem.com.
Smith’s Horse Power, on display in the East Gallery, focuses on the neglected roles black American men have played in the country’s horse industry. The idea for the exhibit came from a conversation Smith had with a young boy who visited his studio in Macon and noticed that he didn’t know black people were riding horses.
The self-taught artist who was inspired to begin his professional career as a professional artist by William Tolliver, himself a self-taught professional black artist, says he hopes his work inspires others.
“It was the inspiration that showed me that it was possible,” he said. “This is the root of my painting. If you can see it, you can be, in a way. If people can see that there are black jockeys out there, maybe that is an inspiration to a kid who has a fondness for horses and never knew about it. “
Haghani, who arrived in Georgia via Minnesota after she and her husband left Iran, is exhibiting her screen-printed artwork at the AMA. Her work examines the roles of women in Iranian culture and how the hijab, social class, and other forces control women’s freedom and behavior.
The exhibition is named after its title, “Test subject: Write the word WOMAN a hundred times!” This work of art, which repeatedly curls rafters from the ceiling to the floor of the upstairs McCormack Gallery, sits on a single 100-foot-long strip of Kozo-shi paper. On a dark background, the image of a woman is repeated 100 times, as well as the word “woman” in red in Persian script.
A graphic designer with a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Georgia, Haghani said that she and her brother were encouraged by their father from an early age to discover the talents they had in them and to develop them. to chase.
“When I was doing the play, I also thought about the title,” Haghani said in an interview. “For this article, I think the title talks about the whole thing. It’s about the essay and homework, and someone asks you to write an essay. When you write an essay, you have to use your own imagination. You have to use your own words. “
The rules of the society in which she grew up determined many facets of women’s lives.
“They decide your life,” she said. “They decide when you have to get married, your kids, even how you should go out, how you should be in society. They dictate your life, and you have to follow it. That’s what I wanted to show. When I made this play, I wrote the word “woman” a hundred times. “
Still, Haghani said she wanted to get creative in the play.
“It goes up and it goes down,” she said. “And it’s double-sided. I wanted to show that you can’t control other people’s imaginations. Even though society forces you to control your thoughts, you still find a way to be creative and find your own way. to live. That’s what I wanted to show with that. “
Haghani takes photos of women she knows and meets and, with their permission, incorporates the images into her art. Image used for “Test subject: Write the word WOMAN a hundred times!” is that of a friend of his.