Current and Upcoming 2020 Exhibitions at the Toledo Museum of Art
Through Feb. 9, 2020: Galleries 4, 5 and 9
The Toledo Museum of Art presents three gallery-sized installations by Pakistani-American artist Anila Quayyum Agha that create awe-inspiring spaces from intricate patterns of light and shadow that evoke the sacred while also raising questions of exclusion and belonging. Anila Quayyum Agha: Between Light and Shadow is sponsored by KeyBank, the TMA Ambassadors, the Ohio Arts Council, Lathrop and Gross Electric with additional support from 2020 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica.
Through Feb. 23, 2020: New Media Gallery
Following on the success of Sights & Sounds: Art, Nature, and the Senses (July 21, 2018–Feb. 24, 2019), this installation of the New Media gallery once again highlights a multisensory experience, this time focused on an exploration of the relationship between art and music. “Everything is Rhythm” is sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council with additional support from 2020 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica and a gift from the estate of Rachel Merrill. Free admission.
Through April 26, 2020: Levis Gallery
Over the past several years, the Toledo Museum of Art has been working to grow and broaden its holdings of global contemporary art. Global Conversations: Art in Dialogue features dozens of these works of art that encompass a broad range of media and geographic regions and offers visitors the chance to explore the many powerful ways artists engage with issues facing the world in the 21st–century, such as identity, migration and the digital revolution. Global Conversations is sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council with additional support from 2020 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica. Free admission.
Through April 26, 2020: Canaday Gallery
Over the past several years the Toledo Museum of Art has cultivated an exhibition program that strives to embody a celebration of singular masterworks, a demonstrated commitment to global contemporary art, the promotion of diverse perspectives, and an emphasis placed on multi-sensory artist projects and installations. All of these elements will be brought together in Toledo Museum of Art’s special presentation of Yayoi Kusama’s site-specific installation, Fireflies on the Water, made possible through a generous loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Yayoi Kusama’s artistic practice spans seven decades, and her paintings, sculpture and installations have left an indelible mark on both the art world and 20th and 21st century popular culture at large. The unbound creativity and complexity of Kusama’s own psyche has exerted a strong influence on the artist and her practice throughout her life. Fireflies on the Water speaks to Kusama’s ongoing investigation into the relationship between ourselves, the space that we occupy and the ungraspable concept of infinity. Visitors will be allowed to take part in this site-specific installation that utilizes lights and mirrors to transport viewers to a space that seems endlessly expansive. Toledo Museum of Art’s presentation of Fireflies on the Water will allow our audiences the opportunity to experience Kusama’s unique and singular vision first-hand and afford them the chance to partake in a work that stands as an icon of contemporary visual art, created by one of the most significant contemporary artists of our time. Yayoi Kusama: Fireflies on the Water is presented by ProMedica with additional support from Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP and the Ohio Arts Council.
Through Dec. 6, 2020:| Gallery 29A
In recent years, the Toledo Museum of Art has sought to actively broaden its collecting efforts and exhibition programs to more inclusively and holistically represent a variety of cultural perspectives and traditions not included in the established art historical canon. At the forefront of this effort is an emphasis placed on expanding the Museum's collection of art made by indigenous peoples throughout the world, with a particular focus on Native American art. The Museum’s collection of Native American art—both historical and contemporary—has grown in number and quality in the past five years. Continued expansion of this area of the collection is anticipated in the years to come.
To acknowledge this growing area of the collection, the Museum has recently installed a gallery dedicated to Native American art, which opened in Fall of 2018 with the first iteration of the exhibition Expanded Views: Native American Art in Focus. The next installation in this gallery builds upon the precedent established in the inaugural display and continues its intention of positioning Native American art as a fundamental area of a reimagined American art history.
Highlights of this new installation include a rotating selection of Navajo textile masterworks, on special loan from the Crane Collection at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. These works have been selected for their incredible beauty, exquisite craftsmanship, and ability to powerfully demonstrate the importance of Navajo textiles as a significant art tradition that warrants inclusion in a broadened understanding of what constitutes American art. Other highlights include a woven basket, a beaded bag and pottery as well as several works of art from the previous installation, including a large-scale work by artist James Lavadour. Expanded Views II: Native American Art in Focus is sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council with additional support from 2020 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica. Free admission.
Jan. 18–April 12, 2020: Gallery 18
With its solemnity and spontaneity, Camille Pissarro’s Still Life of 1867 is one of the most rewarding and mesmerizing compositions in the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art. ONE EACH: Still Lifes by Pissarro, Cézanne, Manet & Friends is a one-gallery focus exhibition that places this masterpiece in context. The exhibition will feature still lifes by seven French painters, all created in a single decade—the 1860s. Included are sterling examples from the hand of Édouard Manet, regarded as the ‘father of modern painting’, and Paul Cézanne, considered to have been the driving precursor of Cubism, the early 20th-century’s major art movement. Rounding out the group are superb paintings by Frédéric Bazille, Claude Monet, Henri Fantin-Latour and Gustave Courbet. ONE EACH: Still Lifes by Pissarro, Cézanne, Manet & Friends is sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council with additional support from 2020 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica. Free admission.
April 4–July 5, 2020: New Media Gallery
The retrospective exhibition Mirror Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar features over 30 prints and six sculptures to showcase Alison Saar’s extraordinary 35-year career as a printmaker. Consistent with Saar’s sculptures that often incorporate found objects, the artist’s vibrant graphic work centers upon a strong, single female figure portrayed in a manner reminiscent of African deities and woodcarvings to address racial identity and related issues of gender, heritage and spirituality. Employing a visual strategy informed by her sculptural practice, Saar’s unconventional printmaking approach combines historical references and methods offered by her materials in association with every day, personal experience. These highly inventive images that combine larger, collective narratives including African art and ritual, Greek mythology and the sculptural tradition of German Expressionism with individual memories exemplify how Saar’s rich artistic practice across media challenges cultural and historic references and stereotypes. Mirror, Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar is sponsored by 2020 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica with additional support from the Ohio Arts Council. Free admission.
April 4–July 5, 2020: New Media Gallery
Thornton Dial: Trip to the Mountaintop is a single-work installation of a monumental sculpture by the artist Thornton Dial. His work, entitled Trip to the Mountaintop will be on display in anticipation of a future landmark exhibition that will celebrate a significant addition of works by African American artists from the southern United States to the collection at the Toledo Museum of Art. These artworks, which range in size from the monumental to the intimately scaled, include paintings, sculpture and mixed media works by Dial, Thornton Dial, Jr., Richard Dial, Lonnie Holley and Leroy Alman, in addition to a selection of quilts by several generations of women from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, including members of the Pettway family, as well as works by Louisiana Bendolph and Elizabeth Kennedy. The Souls Grown Deep Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting the works of African American artists from the South and their cultural traditions. Thornton Dial: Trip to the Mountaintop is sponsored by 2020 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica with additional support from the Ohio Arts Council. Free admission.
May 2–Aug. 2, 2020: Gallery 18
Corresponding with an age of exploration, colonialism and the rise of the great European trading companies—including the West African slave trade—intense interest in natural history and attempts to classify and categorize it grew as specimens of plants, insects, shells, mammals and birds were collected from around the world and brought back to Europe. In particular, ornithology – the study of birds and their classification – made great strides in the 1700s with many lavishly illustrated studies of birds being published during the century. But naturalists were not the only ones fascinated by these “exotic” birds. Monarchs and aristocrats collected them in cabinets of curiosities and menageries, artists painted them, moralizers found symbolic meaning in them, and women wore their feathers as accessories. This exhibition highlights images of exotic birds in art primarily from the 17th and 18th centuries that show how they became the objects of scientific inquiry, of popular interest, of status, and even of household decoration and personal adornment.
The exhibition will showcase the Museum’s recent acquisition of the important six-volume Ornithologie written by Mathurin-Jacques Brisson and illustrated by François-Nicolas Martinet, published 1760. It will also feature paintings, prints and decorative arts from TMA’s collection, as well as select loans of significant prints and illustrated books from the Yale Center for British Art, the University of Michigan Libraries and the Bowling Green State University Libraries Center for Archival Collections. Rare and Wondrous: Birds in Art and Culture 1620-1820 is sponsored by 2020 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica with additional support from the Ohio Arts Council. Free admission.
June 27–Oct. 4. 2020, Levis Gallery
Judith Schaechter (b. 1961) has explored and pushed the limits of the stained-glass medium for over three decades with her striking stained-glass panels that fuse the medieval with the boldly contemporary. Her singular, subversive and masterful approach has altered the landscape of contemporary American art. The Path to Paradise will provide an in-depth scholarly assessment of the artist’s critical contributions to the history and intersection of contemporary art, stained glass and craft.
Schaechter’s genius lies in her unorthodox application of the centuries-old craft tradition of stained glass, most often associated with the glowing saints and stories of Christianity. With a sharp wit and unyielding focus, Schaechter redefines the medium by sand-blasting, filing, engraving and painting her unruly modern women onto multiple layers of colorful flash glass. She embraces the inherent contradictions of her work, gleefully melding the opposing currents of high and low, beauty and gore, sacred and profane, and transcendence and defeat. Dark narratives feature her favorite subjects, “sex and death, with romance and violence the obvious runners up.”
The Path to Paradise is the first survey and major scholarly assessment of this groundbreaking artist’s 37-year career. Organized by the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, the exhibition will be on view in Rochester from Feb. 15 through May 24, 2020. After Toledo, the show will end its run at the Des Moines Art Center. Drawn from both private and institutional collections, The Path to Paradise will feature approximately 45 of Judith Schaechter’s stained-glass panels along with a selection of related drawings and process materials. The Path to Paradise: Judith Schaechter’s Stained-Glass Art is sponsored by 2020 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica with additional support from the Ohio Arts Council. Free Admission.