Set to run concurrently, the exhibitions open Saturday, July 14, and continue through Sunday, September 16, with a joint opening reception on Friday, July 13, from 5:307:30 p.m. The museum has also planned a series of free public talks to complement the campus exhibitions.
In addition to the four shows being held on campus, two exhibitions will be mounted in downtown Santa Barbara, at the Jane Deering Gallery.
"After a successful reopening that focused on the strengths of our architecture collection, we are radically changing gears," said Bruce Robertson, acting director of the museum. "This group of exhibitions demonstrates the extraordinary range of possibilities, using the simplest and most traditional of mediums. The variety from large color abstractions to intimate surrealist and classical subjects is dazzling. So is the range of artists, from a young, exciting contemporary artist, to the legacy of a Renaissance art history professor, to established artists such as Helen Frankenthaler. We're showing off a little, in a good way."
Amy CutlerA New York-based artist known for her whimsical and visionary paintings, Amy Cutler's compositions feature female figures, clothed in exquisitely patterned garments and participating in bizarre tasks, which evoke dreams yet find resonance with the everyday. Her sources are manifold, including Indian miniature painting, folk art, and textile design. Cutler's most recent body of work, a series of portraits based on her unforgettable characters, will be also featured.
Cutler is known for her paintings, but underlying her work is a strong graphic impulse that serves as the inspiration for three talks to be held in conjunction with the exhibition exploring the connection between contemporary art practice and drawing.
Painter Penelope Gottlieb (Thursday, July 26), architect Stephen Harby (Wednesday, August 1), and painter, photographer and video artist Stephanie Washburn (Thursday, August 9) will each discuss the role of drawing in their work. The talks all begin at 6 p.m. in the museum gallery.
Cutler herself will conduct a final walkthrough of the exhibition at a closing reception on Friday, September 14, at 5:30 p.m.
The Zodiac of Wit: Peter Meller and the Graphic ImaginationUsing the simplest materials and techniques in brilliantly imaginative ways, Hungarian-born Peter Meller (19232008), who was a professor of art history at UCSB, created an impressive body of drawings and prints. Many of his designs reflect his training as a scholar of Classics, and feature traditional themes, updated with comical, ironic, or poignant references to contemporary life. Sophisticated yet accessible, Meller's work speaks to the full range of human experience the passions of love, the pain of loss, and the pleasures of life.
On Thursday, July 19, Robert Williams, professor of art history at UCSB and curator of the exhibition, will join in public conversation with John Moore, UCSB professor emeritus of political science and Meller's son-in-law. The discussion begins at 6 p.m. in the museum gallery.
Bounded ChaosAn exhibition of prints, paintings, and mixed media works, Bounded Chaos examines the opposing forces of order and chaos. As a broad inquiry, the show looks at how order may emerge from chaos, or vice versa, and demonstrates how new perspectives can be formulated by incorporating either or both in the conception of a work of art.
Active Abstractions: Recent Gifts from the Sharon & Terry Bridges CollectionThis group exhibition in the museum's new Student-Initiated Projects Gallery, organized by student curator Jamie Stoneman, samples a selection of recent gifts to the museum that reflect the collectors' taste for an international roster of artists working in a variety of media. Led by their heartfelt responses to works of art, the Bridges' eclectic collection reflects their passion for color, line and abstraction.
Art, Design & Architecture Museum @ Jane Deering GalleryAlso this summer, the museum will begin its second season at the Jane Deering Gallery in downtown Santa Barbara. The gallery has made its space available to the museum from June to December, allowing it to feature smaller exhibitions of work by contemporary artists, or to mount exhibitions that complement those running on campus.
A suite of seven new video animations by Laurel Beckman, multimedia artist and UCSB professor of art, opened June 8 and will run through Saturday, July 28. Eschewing traditional narrative, each 60-second vignette features as its main character an animal or fruit that Beckman discovered had been levitated in scientific experiments.
The artist uses these characters as a means of exploring ideas such as perfection and grace in the everyday. Writings submitted by invited participants will be incorporated in the installation and demonstrate how personal, sublime experiences can be found in public spaces.
Complementing "The Zodiac of Wit" exhibit at the campus museum, an auxiliary exhibition of works by Peter Meller will open Friday, August 3, and run through Saturday, September 29. The opening First Thursday reception will be on August 2, from 58 p.m.
The Art, Design & Architecture Museum at UC Santa Barbara is open Wednesday through Sunday, from noon5 p.m. Admission is free. For directions and parking information, please visit museum.ucsb.edu.
The Jane Deering Gallery is located at 128 East Canon Perdido St. in downtown Santa Barbara. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, from 11 a.m.5 p.m., and on Saturday, from 11 a.m.3 p.m.
† Top photo: Amy Cutler, Realignment, 2009, gouache on paper, 18-5/8 x 17-5/8 inches.
Copyright Amy Cutler, courtesy 21C Museum and Collection of Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, Louisville, Kentucky
†† Middle photo: Peter Meller, Son of William Tell, n.d., photocopy with correction fluid, with red and gray paint, 11 x 7 in.
Courtesy of John Moore
†† Laurel Beckman, One Minute to Heaven (mouse), 2012, animated video.
Courtesy of the artist