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ARTgenda: September

Lauren Henderson | Thursday, September 2, 2010

September doesn’t just mean the start of classes and football games — it’s also a month packed with exhibition openings and special events around campus, South Bend and Chicago. While most of your weekends this month may be full of tailgating and football games, be sure to check out some of these highlights around campus:

Snite Museum

This fall, Notre Dame’s Snite Museum of Art is featuring three new special exhibitions. Gina Costa, the Marketing and Public Relations Specialist at the Snite, describes them for Scene:

Recent Acquisitions from the Dr. William McGraw ’65 Photography Collection (now through November 14)

This exhibition consists of 49 contemporary photographs given by Dr. William McGraw of Indianapolis, a 1965 graduate of Notre Dame. The donation includes examples by some of the most important artists of the recent period such as Sally Mann, Shelby Lee Adams and Robert and Shana Parke Harrison. The styles of these artists range from straight documentation to surrealism.

In addition to being an accomplished diagnostic radiologist in Indianapolis, McGraw is also a collector of contemporary photographs. He began collecting around 1993 with the acquisition of three prints by Michael Kenna.

McGraw remembers that the first thing that attracted him to photography was the strong sense of composition that many of the images displayed, as well as the effect of light, and of course the subject matter. His first love was black and white, and then he began adding color work.

The subject matter is broad. Documentary photographer Sebastião Salgado shows us a massive labor project in Brazil; Matt Heron chronicles the civil rights march to Selma, Alabama; and Ernst Haas captures the return of a one-legged soldier from World War II.

A number of photographs are surreal or fantastic, such as James Fee’s heavily manipulated commentaries on contemporary society, Martina Lopez’s creation of an imaginary landscape populated by images taken from old photographs, and Rocky Schenk’s dream-like study of a fountain at night.

Parallel Currents: Highlights of the Ricardo Pau-Llosa Collection of Latin American Art (now through November 14)

This exhibition features contemporary Latin American art from the collection of Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Cuban-American poet, critic, curator and collector.

For over three decades, Pau-Llosa has been a seminal figure in elevating the discussion of modern Latin American art on the international level, from a mapping of how styles originating in Europe or the United States took off in the region, to an appreciation of Latin American contributions to the evolution of modern art.

Pau-Llosa was a senior editor of “Art International” from 1982 to 1994, North American editor for “Southward Art,” and a frequent contributor to “Drawing,” “Sculpture” and other art journals, as well as serving as an advisor to the encyclopedic “Dictionary of Art,” 1996.

Pau-Llosa has also published six books of poems and has been published in “American Poetry Review,” “Indiana Review,” “Iowa Review,” “Kenyon Review,” “New England Review,” “Notre Dame Review,” “Partisan Review,” “Southern Review,” “Valparaiso Poetry Review” and in many other literary magazines, and within numerous anthologies.

Pau-Llosa, who was born in Cuba in 1954 and has lived in the United States since the age of six, often integrates diverse aspects of his heritage and his interest in Latin American art in his English-language poetry.  

Documenting History, Charting Process and Exploring the World: Architecture in Photographs from the Janos Scholz Collection of Nineteenth-Century European Photographs (September 5- October 31)

Heavily represented in collections of 19th century photographs, architectural photography provides inroads into major themes of the period: industry and technology, exploration and exoticism, documentation and preservation, and history and nationalism. Architecture lent itself to the long exposure times required by the early photographic processes and was used extensively as subject by the first generation of photographers.

Approaching 10,000 photographs, the Scholz collection includes representative examples of most significant categories of 19th century photography. Although most of the material originates from France and England, the two countries where photography was invented, the collection includes material from the rest of the world.

The photographs selected for this exhibition reflect the main categories of architectural photography practiced during the first decades of the medium from documentation of historic buildings, to exploration, progress, tourism, views of cities, urban renewal and vernacular structures. Driven more by the curiosity of a social historian than by the eye of a connoisseur, this exhibition reveals the wealth of information captured by 19th-century photographers as they turned their lenses toward architecture.

The Snite Museum of Art’s hours are Tuesday and Wednesday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Monday).

Also, be sure to listen to Ms. Costa on her radio segment “Art Watch” on WSND 88.9 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The segment airs at 8:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. on Monday, 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday and 5:15 p.m. on Friday.