Shanta Lee Gander, DARK APHRODITE, 2021 (detail). Archival pigment print, 28 x 40 in. (71 x 101.6 cm). Courtesy of the artist.
Coming in Spring 2023
This coming spring we are excited to present three special exhibitions, as well as a new installation in our Collections Gallery:
Josef Albers - Formulation: Articulation
The exhibition Formulation: Articulation is a chance to look at every color differently—through the lens of an artist’s teaching exercises that show how our perceptions of colors are affected by the environments in which they are viewed. In color studies like Homage to the Square, artist and educator Josef Albers (1888-1976) demonstrates how immediate proximity changes our viewing of shades and values of color.
This fall, in a unique, debut collaboration between the Howard Center Arts Collective and the Fleming Museum, Arts Collective artists will create and show work inspired by a piece from the museum collections. Each of the 16 exhibiting members used the museum’s online collections database to identify artwork of personal interest, from which they drew upon to create something new.
In April 2022, Fleming Museum staff retrieved the selected pieces from museum storage and invited Howard Center Arts Collective members to view the artworks in person. Each artist spent time with their selection and was able to sketch, photograph, and view the piece from all angles. Collective members also engaged in dialogue with museum staff and each other about the piece they chose. One artist chose an early hand-drawn map of the state of Vermont. Another selected a black and white ink wash of doctors huddled around a small child on a gurney.
Each artist had their own process and reasons for selecting their chosen artwork from the Fleming’s 20,000+ piece collection. And over the next months, each artist will create their own original works of art in response to those selections. Some artists may choose to emulate the piece they chose using a different medium, style, or color palette. Others may take their piece in a completely different direction, drawing on their Fleming selection only loosely for inspiration.
Finally, the artwork created by the 16 Arts Collective artists will go on exhibition in the museum’s Storytelling Salon starting September 6, 2022. Some of the new works of art will hang side by side with the original archival pieces that inspired them, along with a 4-minute video documentary of the unique, collaborative process that brought this show to light.
Image: Thomas Stetson, Transit, 2022. 20x20."Acrylic. Courtesy of the artist
Dark Goddess: An Exploration of the Sacred Feminine / Object De-fied
February 8, 2022 – December 9, 2022
Dark Goddess: An Exploration of the Sacred Feminine, an exhibition of Shanta Lee Gander’s photo series of the same name, has been six years in the making. The series started off as an initial idea and inquiry: Who or what is the Goddess when she is allowed to misbehave? Who is the Goddess when she is allowed to expand beyond bearer of life, nurturer, and all of the other boxes that we confine women to within our society?
Dark Goddess is a mix of ethnography, cultural anthropology, an exploration of the sacred feminine, and a co-creation with each of the individuals featured. Shanta Lee writes that beginning to share the work through exhibition has helped her to sharpen her sense of the purpose of exhibitions in general. “Bringing Dark Goddess to others has been an ongoing inquiry and invitation outside of my comfort zone,” she shared.
Dark Goddess inspires us to reconsider what has been meant by “the male gaze,” a term coined in 1975 by Laura Mulvey and an insight shared in the book Ways of Seeing by John Berger. Does Dark Goddess challenge the underlying idea that all of the ways that we see are inherently male?
“While amazing breakthroughs at the time, I think that these theories are binary and within our current context, we must think of the ways that the camera and the ways that those who have previously not been seen can engage with this technology in ways to cause powerful shifts. As it relates to my work, I hope that it inspires more inquiry, questions about the other selves that are several layers beneath the surface of a society that categorizes and boxes,” writes the artist.
In addition to the photo-series, Shanta Lee’s Dark Goddess will enter into a conversation with the Fleming Museum’s collection and archives in ways that explore the continuum of the sacred feminine through time. This extension of the exhibition, called Dark Goddess: Object De-fied is installed in the corrdior of the European/American Gallery and features a diverse selection of art and objects from the Museum's permanent collection reinterpreted through the Dark Goddess lens
Image: Shanta Lee Gander, Dark Goddess: An Exploration of the Sacred Feminine, 2021 (detail). Courtesy of the artist.
Changes are afoot at the Fleming. We are currently re-envisioning the Collections Gallery (formerly the European/American Gallery). In areas freshly painted gray or blue, you’ll find a new selection of artworks installed among some objects from the prior display. This ongoing reinstallation project expands possibilities for connecting with the collection in new and exciting ways.