Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ten innovative exhibitions: The Mint Museum announces upcoming shows for 2012

The Mint Museum announced a slate of 10 upcoming exhibitions for 2012,
beginning withSurrealism and Beyond (image by Kay Sage), which opens
to the public on February 11. With former U.S. Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright in attendance, the museum also announced that an
exhibition of her jewelry entitled Read My Pins: The Madeleine
Albright Collection will open June 30 and be on view during the
Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. And complementing trends
that are reverberating throughout popular culture, museum officials
detailed plans for the exhibition Fairytales, Fantasy, & Fear, which
is scheduled to open March 3.

Following is a list of the announced exhibitions, with additional
details about Read My Pins and Fairytales, Fantasy, & Fear attached.
More will be added to this list in coming months, so keep checking
back at for updates! (Note: This is a guide for the
media to use for planning purposes; descriptions of individual
exhibitions are always updated as they get closer to opening. Also,
please be aware when publishing information about upcoming exhibitions
to be clear to your readers/viewers/listeners about whether they are
appearing at Mint Museum UPTOWN or Mint Museum RANDOLPH. Thank you!)

Surrealism and Beyond
Mint Museum UPTOWN
11 February – 13 May 2012

This project brings together three groundbreaking exhibitions and
comprises the largest and most significant examination Surrealism and
Surrealist-inspired art ever presented in the Southeast.

Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy
explores the exchange of ideas that informed the work of the important
Surrealist artists Kay Sage (American, 1898-1963) and Yves Tanguy
(French/American, 1900-1955) during their 15-year relationship. It is
the first exhibition to examine Sage and Tanguy's work from this
perspective, the first significant exhibition of Tanguy's art
organized by an American museum since 1955, and the first major
gathering of Sage's paintings since 1977. Double Solitaire: The
Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy is made possible through
support from The Mint Museum Auxiliary and awards from the National
Endowment for the Arts and the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation.
Exhibition organized by The Mint Museum and Katonah Museum of Art.

Seeing the World Within: Charles Seliger in the 1940s focuses on the
remarkable paintings and drawings created by the American artist
Charles Seliger (1926-2009) during the first decade of his career. It
is made possible through support from The Mint Museum Auxiliary and
awards from the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Dedalus
Foundation, Inc. Exhibition organized by The Mint Museum.

Gordon Onslow Ford: Voyager and Visionary is the first retrospective
of the British-American Surrealist painter's work organized by an
American museum in more than 30 years. Featuring approximately 30
paintings by the artist, it is drawn entirely from his family's
collection. It is made possible through support from The Mint Museum
Auxiliary and organized by The Mint Museum.

For a complete news release about these exhibitions, visit and click on "News/Press Releases."

Fairytales, Fantasy, & Fear
Mint Museum UPTOWN
3 March – 8 July 2012

Fairytales, Fantasy, & Fear brings together the work of several
internationally acclaimed artists, including Mattia Biagi, Mark
Newport, Kako Ueda, Tom Price, and Kate Malone. Known for his work in
tar, Italian artist Biagi reinterprets icons of lost innocence, such
as Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella's carriage. Newport, an
American fiber artist, creates hand-knit acrylic re-creations of
heroes' costumes, which combine their heroic, protective, and ultra-
masculine yet vulnerable personas. Ueda, a Japanese paper artist, uses
unsettling imagery, such as insects and skeletons, in her detailed
cutouts to represent the fine line between beauty and decay. Price, a
British furniture designer, is known for his use of polypropylene
tubing to create spiky shapes that evoke forms from the natural world.
And Malone, a British ceramic artist, is known for her sensual Neo-
Baroque forms and mastery of crystalline glazes.

This thematic exhibition, generously supported by the Mint Museum
Auxiliary, also includes selections from the Mint's permanent
collection and loans from private collections, and utilizes flat-
screen televisions for a one-of-a-kind experience. For a complete news
release about this exhibition, visit and click on "News/
Press Releases."

Sophisticated Surfaces: The Pottery of Herb Cohen
Mint Museum RANDOLPH
7 April 2012 – 6 January 2013

Organized as part of the Mint's celebration of its 75th anniversary,
this exhibition focuses on the ceramic creations of Herb Cohen, a
master potter and seminal figure in the museum's own history.
Sophisticated Surfaces: The Pottery of Herb Cohen brings together
approximately 60 works, including selections from the Mint's permanent
collection and loans from numerous private collections. Many of
Cohen's works feature intricate, abstract patterns carved into the
clay surface, along with innovative experimentations in glazing, which
harmoniously blend purity of form with sophisticated surface
decoration. Following the evolution of his seven-decade-long career as
an award-winning potter, this exhibition demonstrates in a variety of
forms that range from the functional to the sculptural the inimitable
skill and style for which Cohen has become known.

Born in Manhattan, Cohen first learned to throw on the potter's wheel
at the remarkably young age of 6, a craft he has continued to practice
throughout his life. After earning his MFA from the prestigious New
York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Cohen worked as a
designer for Hyalyn Porcelain Company in Hickory, N.C. He eventually
settled in Charlotte in the late 1950s, where he joined the staff of
The Mint Museum and served as its acting director from 1968 to 1969.
In the 1970s he moved to Blowing Rock, N.C. to establish his own
studio, but returned to Charlotte in 2010, where he remains active in
the local arts community.

The American Art Tile
Mint Museum RANDOLPH
7 April 2012 – 6 January 2013

The popularity of art tiles for embellishing American architectural
settings dates to the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. For
the remainder of the nineteenth century, many middle-class and wealthy
consumers incorporated the latest fashions of art tiles in their
homes. Mass-produced tiles with refined details often featured famous
portraits or vignettes. By the turn of the century, trends shifted to
favor the handmade aesthetic of the Arts & Crafts Movement. American
art tile companies enjoyed success for about 50 years, until the Great
Depression and World War II forced many out of business.

The Mint Museum will present approximately 40 tiles from its permanent
collection in the American Decorative Arts Gallery, including the
permanently installed fireplace surround, Arkansas Traveler, modeled
and designed circa 1916 by Henry Chapman Mercer of Moravian Pottery &
Tile Works, Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Heritage Gallery
Mint Museum RANDOLPH
Opens 12 May 2012

From its inception as the first art museum in North Carolina in 1936,
The Mint Museum has been an innovator and leader, a theme illustrated
in the inaugural installation of the Heritage Gallery at Mint Museum

It will feature works of art, archival documents, and photographs
documenting the growth and evolution of the museum, from its
beginnings as the original branch of the U.S. Mint to its founding as
an art museum to the present and beyond.

Matthew Weinstein
Mint Museum UPTOWN
28 April-18 August 2012

Matthew Weinstein, a visual artist currently living and working in
Brooklyn, N.Y., has achieved notoriety in the art world as the first
artist to focus exclusively on 3D animation. Beginning with a self-
written dialogue or lyrics, Weinstein uses musical scores and written
text to develop characters which he then renders by means of the
animation program MAYA. Weinstein then casts actors to vocalize the
dialogue, and musicians to create an auditory backdrop for the already
visually-developed environments. Using precision airbrush techniques
and single-hair paintbrushes, Weinstein also creates paintings,
essentially abstractions of his animated worlds. These paintings
accompany the digital installations and enable the artist to explore
the often-tenuous boundary between the real and the virtual in
contemporary culture.

The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra commissioned Weinstein to create a
digital accompaniment to debut with their performance of Maurice
Ravel's Bolero on May 4. The Mint Museum has organized a spotlight
exhibition of Weinstein's art, including four paintings and two
videos. Weinstein's Chariots of the Gods features a mechanized female
koi, voiced by Tony-award winning actress Natasha Richardson, who
dangles from a golden chain in an empty restaurant. While she seems
to carelessly meander through her environment with a smiling
disposition, she offers discourse on such weighty subjects as the
future, devolution, technology, aliens, and the impossibility of
progress. A second video, Cruising 1980, is an homage to writer-
director William Friedkin's iconic film "Cruising" (1980). This
exhibition is organized by The Mint Museum.

Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection
Mint Museum UPTOWN
30 June – 23 September 2012

During her career in public service, Madeleine Albright famously used
her jewelry to communicate diplomatic messages. Read My Pins: The
Madeleine Albright Collection reveals an intriguing story of American
history and foreign policy as told through Secretary Albright's
jeweled pins. The exhibition will be on display during the Democratic
National Convention, which will be in Charlotte September 3-6, 2012.

Organized by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the exhibition
features more than 200 pieces of jewelry. The collection that
Secretary Albright cultivated is distinctive and democratic —
sometimes demure and understated, sometimes outlandish and outspoken —
and spans more than a century of jewelry design and fascinating pieces
from across the globe. The works on view are chosen for their symbolic
value, and while some are fine antiques, many are costume jewelry.
Together the pieces in this expressive collection explore the power of
jewelry to communicate through a style and language of its own.

Through this traveling exhibition and the accompanying book "Read My
Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box" (2009), Secretary Albright
has given the world an opportunity to explore American history and
foreign policy through the lens of jewelry. For a complete news
release about this exhibition, visit and click on "News/
Press Releases."

Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial
Mint Museum UPTOWN
30 June – 30 September 2012

Thornton Dial is a keen observer of the human spectacle and its
narratives of corruption and moral strength, folly and triumph. As an
artist, he has spent the last two decades exploring the truth of
American history and culture in all its complexities and
contradictions. This exhibition presents a major survey of Dial's
work, an epic gathering of over fifty large-scale paintings,
sculptures and wall assemblages that address the most compelling
issues of our time.

Born and raised in the rural South, Dial spent his childhood toiling
in the farm fields of western Alabama, followed by decades spent as a
laborer in the region's factories and heavy industry. A working-class
man whose art was weaned in the unheralded expressive practices of the
black vernacular South, Dial speaks in a voice long overlooked in the
canons of modern art and culture. Since his discovery in the late
1980s, critics have likened Dial's complex and tumultuous creations to
the renowned works of such artists as Jackson Pollock and Anselm Kiefer.

To create his art, Dial employs a vast universe of symbolically
charged materials — from plastic grave flowers, child's toys, bed
springs and carpet scraps to cow skulls and goat carcasses. Salvaged
from garbage cans and trash heaps, these items reappear in dense
accumulations amidst the artist's fields of dripped paint and
expressionistic brushworks.

Over the years, Dial has tackled a wide range of social and political
subjects in his art, from gripping commentaries on the homeless, the
abuse of the environment, and the failings of global capitalism to
haunting meditations on the War in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and the
tragedy of 9/11. Concerned with representing those otherwise rendered
invisible within the contours of history, he has also created many
works on the plight of women, labor, the rural poor, and the
impoverished underclass. Still other paintings and sculptures examine
the long history of racial oppression in America. Recounting the
atrocities of slavery and Southern sharecropping, the aspirations of
the Great Migration, the flight for Civil Rights, and other episodes
in black memory, these pieces form a powerful anthology on the human
struggle for freedom and equality.

Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial is organized by the Indianapolis
Museum of Art.

Against the Grain: Wood in Contemporary Art and Craft
Mint Museum UPTOWN
1 September 2012 – 6 January 2013

This exhibition will examine woodworking in contemporary art across a
broad spectrum of practices and concepts. It will engage aspects of
art, craft, and design that have been characterized as "performative"
and critique the traditional art/craft/design divide. There will be
approximately 80 works in the exhibition including vessels, furniture,
sculptures, paintings, installations, and works by an international
roster of artists, crafts persons, and designers such as Alexandre
Arrechea, Martin Baas, Sandford Biggers, David Ellsworth, Hugo França,
Maria Elena Gonzalez, Robyn Horn, Donald Judd, Mel Kendrick, Silas
Kopf, Sherrie Levine, Mark Lindquist, George Nakashima, Sarah
Oppenheimer, Martin Puryear, Jean Shin, Bob Stocksdale, Alison
Elizabeth Taylor, and Richard Woods. Objects from the Mint's wood art
collection will be included.

This timely exhibition addresses a heavily debated topic in the field:
As the boundaries between art, craft, and design increasingly overlap,
should these categories be redefined, and if so, how? Against the
Grain uses the versatile medium of wood to address this issue,
highlighting several artists represented in The Mint Museum's
collection, such as Mark Lindquist and Robyn Horn, as well as several
that have been identified as artists to collect in the future,
including Hugo França and Matthias Pliessnig.

Against the Grain will debut at The Mint Museum during the Democratic
National Convention, followed by a presentation at Museum of Arts and
Design, New York, New York (February-May 2013). The exhibition is
organized by the Museum of Arts and Design.

The Weir Family, 1820-1920: Expanding the Traditions of American Art
Mint Museum UPTOWN
20 October 2012 – 20 February 2013

This is the first major exhibition to examine collectively the
paintings of the American artists Robert Walter Weir (1803-1889) and
his two sons, John Ferguson Weir (1841-1926) and Julian Alden Weir
(1851-1919). It traces the trajectory of American art across
the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, exploring the wide
range of styles in which Robert and his sons worked, as well as the
way in which their transatlantic encounters helped to shape their art.

Robert Weir was one of the first American artists to study in Italy,
working there from 1824-27. Upon his return to America, he became an
associate at the recently-founded National Academy in New York in 1829
and, a few years later, an instructor at the United States Military
Academy at West Point. He was renowned for his talent as a portraitist
and a history painter. Robert's first son John trained with his father
as well as in Europe. He then taught at Yale University for forty-four
years, establishing the first academic art program at a university in
this country. Early in his career, he painted history and genre
scenes, but was also an adept society portraitist. John's younger
brother, Julian, was educated at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris
from 1873-77. Although he initially expressed disdain for
Impressionism and worked in an academic style, he later embraced the
new movement and became one of the country's leading Impressionist

This exhibition was organized by the Brigham Young University Museum
of Art and supported in part by the Henry Luce Foundation and by an
award from the National Endowment for the Arts. It will bring together
between 60 and 70 paintings drawn from public and private collections,
and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. It opened at
the Brigham Young University Museum of Art and will travel to the New
Britain Museum of American Art before making its final stop in


The Mint Museum is a non-profit, visual arts institution comprised of
two dynamic facilities: the newly opened Mint Museum Uptown and the
historic Mint Museum Randolph. As the oldest art museum in North
Carolina, The Mint Museum offers its visitors a remarkable opportunity
to experience art through two facilities that feature a global
collection spanning over 4,500 years of human creativity.

Located in what was the original branch of the United States Mint, the
Mint Museum Randolph opened in 1936 in Charlotte's Eastover
neighborhood as the first art museum in North Carolina. Today,
intimate galleries invite visitors to engage with the art of the
ancient Americas, ceramics and decorative arts, historic costume and
fashionable dress, European, African, and Asian art, among other
collections. Resources include a reference library with over 15,000
volumes, a theater featuring lectures and performances, and a Museum
Shop offering merchandise that complements both the permanent
collection and special exhibitions.

The Mint Museum Uptown houses the internationally renowned Mint Museum
of Craft + Design, as well as outstanding collections of American,
contemporary, and European art. Designed by Machado and Silvetti
Associates of Boston, the five-story, 145,000-square-foot facility
combines inspiring architecture with groundbreaking exhibitions to
provide visitors with unparalleled educational and cultural
experiences. Located in the heart of Charlotte's burgeoning center
city, the Mint Museum Uptown is an integral part of the Levine Center
for the Arts, a cultural campus that includes the Bechtler Museum of
Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and
Culture, the Knight Theater, and the Duke Energy Center. The Mint
Museum Uptown also features a range of visitor amenities, including
the 240-seat James B. Duke Auditorium, the Lewis Family Gallery, art
studios, a restaurant, and a museum shop. For more information, check