2014 Exhibitions

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December 6, 2013 - January 25, 2014
The Highwaymen

The Highwaymen, also referred to as the Florida Highwaymen, are a group of 26 African American landscape artists in Florida. Self-taught and self-mentoring, they created a body of work of over 200,000 paintings, despite facing many racial and cultural barriers. Mostly from the Fort Pierce area, they painted landscapes and made a living selling them door-to-door to businesses and individuals throughout Florida from the mid-1950s through the 1980s. They also peddled their work from the trunks of their cars along the eastern coastal roads (A1A and US 1).

For over 50 years The Highwaymen created large numbers of relatively inexpensive landscape paintings using construction materials rather than traditional art supplies. As no galleries would accept their work, they sold them in towns and cities and along roadsides throughout Florida, often still wet, out of the trunks of their cars. Their success and longevity is remarkable considering they began their career in the racially unsettled and violent times of the 50s in Florida and amid the social conditions of the Jim Crow South where the stirrings of the civil rights movement were only just beginning. They have been called “The Last Great American Art Movement of the 20th century”.

Made possible by a grant through the Efroymson Family Fund.

All our programs and exhibitions are made possible with support from The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (Wynn Kramarsky Freedom of Artistic Expression Grant), The Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, The Glick Fund, The Efroymson Family Fund, Halstead Architects, KEJ Foundation, the Indianapolis Foundation, The Tracy L. Haddad Foundation, The Netherleigh Fund, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Murphy Arts L.L.C., Penrod Foundation, and Big Car Art + Design.

Click here to see images from the opening reception.

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December 6, 2013 - January 25, 2014
Toyin Odutola

Toyin Odutola’s pieces evoke a multitude of feelings, like ones you might experience when looking at an actual person. Although her work mainly features characters rendered in black ink, their appeal is universal. Odutola’s work addresses issues of identity, and stand as a beacon in the storm of the human experience.

Odutola says of her work, “Where some may see flat, static narratives, I see a spectrum of tonal gradations and realities. What I am creating is literally black portraiture with ballpoint pen ink. I’m looking for that in-between state in an individual where the overarching definition is lost. Skin as geography is the terrain I expand by emphasizing the specificity of blackness, where an individual’s subjectivity, various realities and experiences can be drawn onto the diverse topography of the epidermis. From there, the possibilities of portraying a fully-fledged person are endless.”

People across the nation and in Indianapolis continue to find themselves in challenging conversations about identity.  Regardless of what you may think about these issues, Odutola’s pieces are alive in the way you can interact with them. People are often more open to the conversations contained within art than to each other. And that is how Odutola is helping change the art world and anyone who experiences her work. It’s not art for a particular group of people. It’s art for anyone who appreciates truth and beauty.

Toyin Odutola was born in Ife Nigeria in 1985. She grew up in Alabama, received a B.A. from the University of Huntsville in 2008, then an MFA from the California College of the Arts. Her work has shown in Museums and galleries all across the United States. She is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery and currently lives in New York City.

This exhibit was possible through a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (Wynn Kramarsky Freedom of Artistic Expression Grant)

All our programs and exhibitions are made possible with support from The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (Wynn Kramarsky Freedom of Artistic Expression Grant), The Christel Dehaan Family Foundation, The Glick Fund, The Efroymson Family Fund, Halstead Architects, KEJ Foundation, the Indianapolis Foundation, The Tracy L. Haddad Foundation, The Netherleigh Fund, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Murphy Arts L.L.C., Penrod Foundation, and Big Car Art + Design.

Click here to view the artist talk video, part one. Part two is here.

Click here to see images from the opening.

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February 7 - April 12, 2014
The Empire Never Ended

The Empire Never Ended, is influenced by author Philip K Dick’s VALIS, with artists Prince Rama, Marc Bijl, Serge Onnen and Benny Sanders.  This exhibit was made possible by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (Wynn Kramarsky Freedom of Artistic Expression Grant).

Prince Rama’s portion of The Empire Never Ended, is centered around character Horselover Fat envisions the suspension of history in the 1st century A.D. with the landscape of southern California 1974 being superimposed as a holographic projection over Ancient Rome, hence “the Empire never ended”. For Prince Rama’s installation, they will flip the script and envision the suspension of history in modern-day southern California with Ancient Rome employed as a simulated projection of wealth, ersatz-spirituality, and aesthetic decadence. “In our version, says Taraka Larson, “the Empire never ended” is more of a comment on the past’s devolution into kitsch and subsequent haunting of the present in the form of Ghost-Modernism and Zombie Aesthetics.

Museum members are advised to bring a swimsuit if they so desire, they have the option of changing out of their everyday clothes into provided, borrowed robes so that they may be able to fully partake in the various interactive parts of the exhibit, namely the use of a Royal Spa hot tub.

Dutch artist Serge Onnen‘s piece created a large scale illustration and kaleidoscope. “When I started thinking about the book,” says Onnen. “All these different ideas and cultural phenomena’s existing next to each other, from psychedelic to gnostics. When working on the drawing I realized the book read very well in an I ching kind of way. Opening a page and looking for inspiration to fit inside my spaces.”

Dutch artist Marc Bijl‘s sculpture, PORN is the yang, the twin Dick references in VALIS, of the IMA’s Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture. He considers it a label for the spirit of the time, for the perversity of  the current political and social processes, for the insistent, penetrating nature of fanatic messages.

Dick was well aware of the nuttiness of 2-3-74, and when he turned to the problem of narrating the event in VALIS, he split himself into two characters: the narrator, a sober science-fiction writer named Phil Dick, and a mad visionary named Horselover Fat. The book itself is a hybrid, a melange of autobiography and fantasy that’s laced with an encyclopedic range of philosophical and religious information: citations from the I Ching, Henry Vaughan, Heraclitus, Wagner, Xenophanes, the Bible, Pascal, and, of course, the science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick.

In Dick’s book, VALIS, the narrator says, “I’ve always told people that for each person there is a sentence—a series of words—which has the power to destroy him….I realized (this came years after the first realization) that another sentence exists, another series of words, which will heal the person.”  The Empire Never Ended addresses the desire to be a creator and a destroyer.

Special thank you to Erik Davis of Techgnosis.com for much of the Philip K Dick information contained here. You can visit his website by clicking here.

The exhibits will run with iMOCA’s new hours of Tuesday-Wednesday 4-8 p.m. and Thursday-Saturday 1-8 p.m.

All our programs and exhibitions are made possible with support from The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (Wynn Kramarsky Freedom of Artistic Expression Grant), The Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, The Efroymson Family Fund, The Glick Fund, Halstead Architects, KEJ Foundation, The Tracy Haddad Foundation, The Netherleigh Fund, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Murphy Arts L.L.C., Penrod Foundation, and Big Car Art + Design

Click here to see images from the opening.

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June 6 - July 19, 2014
Circling The Camp: Wendy Red Star

Wendy Red Star’s work layers influences drawn from her tribal background (Crow), daily surroundings, aesthetic experiences, collected ephemera and conjured histories that are both real and imagined. Through her photographs and sculpture new universes are built, simultaneously urban-rural and high-low with their own language of symbols created from such seemingly disparate sites as HUD houses, rez cars, three legged dogs, powwow culture, proliferative indigenous commoditization, and Red Star’s personal collection of memories growing up as a half-breed on the Crow Indian reservation. The work represents an insider/outsider view that is wrath with complexity and contradiction, its most salient attributes. Red Star’s unruly approach examines a cross section of American cultures and their very consumption while also being a meditation on her own identity. Exploring the intersection between life on the reservation and the world outside of that environment. Red Star thinks of herself as a cultural archivist speaking sincerely about the experience of being a Crow Indian in contemporary society.

Red Star is an artist living and working in Portland, Oregon. Red Star received her B.F.A. from Montana State University-Bozeman and her M.F.A from UCLA in 2006. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Her exhibitions include shows at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Hallie Ford Museum, The Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship 2009, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Laura Bartlett Gallery London, The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Missoula Art Museum, St. Louis Art Museum, National Museum of the American Indian-New York, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Bockley Gallery. She has been a visiting lecturer at a range of respected institutions, including the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), The Banff Centre, National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Portland State University, Oregon College of Art & Craft, Flagler College, Fairhaven College, Fine Artworks Center-Provincetown, and I.D.E.A. Space-Colorado College.

Brought to you in partnership with The Eiteljorg Museum.

All our programs and exhibitions are made possible with support from The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (Wynn Kramarsky Freedom of Artistic Expression Grant), The Christel Dehaan Family Foundation, The Glick Fund, The Efroymson Family Fund, Halstead Architects, KEJ Foundation, the Indianapolis Foundation, The Tracy L. Haddad Foundation, The Netherleigh Fund, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Murphy Arts L.L.C., Penrod Foundation, and Big Car Art + Design.

Click here to see photos from the exhibit and opening.

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August 1 - October 18, 2014
Ian Weaver’s The Black Knight Archive, Chapter 1: Migration

Artist Ian Weavers’s The Black Knight Archive, Chapter I: Migration creates a fictional version of history of one black community. Weaver’s Black Knights are part medieval knight, part Black Nationalist – who have, ostensibly, lived within the “Black Bottom” community, circa 1940s. The work centers on the Near West Side of Chicago, a large multi-ethnic community, and, specifically, the “Black Bottom” section of the Near West Side where black residents once lived. Much like Indianapolis’s Indiana Avenue District, various parts of the Near West Side of Chicago and the Bottom were destroyed to construct an expressway and a university; as a result, the community lost much of its history.

“The works reinforce the role of the object as iconic, a conduit for memory and history,” says Weaver.

Weaver is constructing a fictive history for the Black Bottom community using a variety of fake elements: handmade museum vitrines, handmade maps and documents of the community, various faux sculptures and textiles, as well as installation and audio components.

Weaver’s Black Knights used political, social, and guerrilla tactics to fight for the survival of the community.

“The project speaks not only to the nature of the loss of this particular community’s history, but also to the larger concept of how we, as individuals, communities and societies construct our own narratives, identities, and memories through our commemorations,” says Weaver. “These histories tell stories that occupy specific time periods, but (because of the subjective nature of memory and history) also travel backward and forward into and out of our own time.”

The first chapter commission by iMOCA in this installment will explore the migration of the Black Knights to Black Bottom, U.S.A.

Ian Weaver (b. 1970) is a Chicago-based visual artist and Instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in the Painting and Drawing, Contemporary Practices, and Art Education departments.  He received his M.F.A. in Visual Art from Washington University in St Louis. His exhibitions include a survey of work (2004-2011) at the South Bend Museum of Art, as well as solo shows at the Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO, and Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago, IL. Group exhibitions include shows at the Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL; and the Kemper Art Museum and White Flag Projects, both in St. Louis, MO. He has been a recipient of numerous residencies, including Yaddo and the Millay Colony, both in upstate NY; and Ragdale, Lake Forest, IL. His awards include grants from Artadia and the Joan Mitchell Foundation, both based in NY; the Illinois Arts Council; and the Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago, IL.

Click here to see images from exhibit and opening.

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October 3 - December 20, 2014
Fermata: Richard Mosse

Mosse uses Kodak Aerochrome, a discontinued reconnaissance infrared film which registers chlorophyll in live vegetation to shoot in the Congo. The result is the lush Congolese rainforest rendered into a beautifully surreal landscape of pinks and reds. “Each of Mosse’s photographs reveal life’s destruction,” says curator Shauta Marsh, “And he seeks to preserve fleeting beauty, no matter the circumstances.”

The exhibit will run Tuesday-Saturday 1-7 p.m. and Sundays 12-5 p.m. through December 20.

The new expansion space faces The Alexander plaza along South Street and will give iMOCA a total of 5,000 square feet of exhibition space at its two locations. To commence iMOCA and Buckingham Foundation’s partnership, Mosse was selected as the inaugural artist.

“Buckingham Companies is committed to enhancing artistic environments at CityWay and throughout Indianapolis,” says Scott Travis, Senior VP of Development for Buckingham. “Partnering with iMOCA further highlights our passion for ‘The Art of Living’ and we are confident this new gallery will be a welcoming destination to locals, residents and visitors.”

Mosse photographs both the rich topography, inscribed with the traces of conflicting interests, as well as rebel groups of constantly shifting allegiances at war with the Congolese national army (itself a patchwork of recently integrated warlords and their militias).

Conceptually, Mosse centers around capturing an visual echo of the Congo and relaying it to his audience. The Enclave, a six channel immersive video installation, which was featured on CNN and part of the Venice Biennale, built upon his original Infraseries.

iMOCA’s Fermata exhibit with Mosse revisits the stillness and silence of the Infra series.

Mosse said in an interview with The British Journal of Photography “I wanted to export this technology to a harder situation, to up-end the generic conventions of calcified mass-media narratives and challenge the way we’re allowed to represent this forgotten conflict… I wanted to confront this military reconnaissance technology, to use it reflexively in order to question the ways in which war photography is constructed.”

Mosse is the winner of the 2014 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. In 2013, he represented Ireland in the Venice Biennale with TheEnclave, an immersive six-channel video installation that utilized 16mm infrared film.

Mosse was born in 1980 in Ireland and is based in New York. He earned an MFA in Photography from Yale School of Art in 2008 and a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, London in 2005. And he has exhibited work at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, the Bass Museum of Art, Miami, the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, the Dublin Contemporary Biennial and the Tate Modern, London.

Mosse’s work is part of many public collections including the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, the Martin Margulies Collection, Miami, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City, the Weatherspoon Museum of Art, Greensboro, and the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh.

Jack Shainman Gallery has represented Richard Mosse since 2008.

The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA)’s new CityWay location, 215 E South St, will open with Richard Mosse’s Fermata, October 3, 6-11 p.m. A free concert by musician Helado Negro will take place at 9 p.m. on October 3, both made possible through a partnership with Buckingham Foundation.

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November 7, 2014 - January 17, 2015
Wanderlust: Paul Harris

Few artists can say they have the title of their upcoming exhibition tattooed on their body. But, for Indianapolis artist Paul Harris, the title: “Wanderlust” appeared along his collarbone long before he even developed the idea for his show opening at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art on Nov. 7.

Harris will work in iMOCA’s Murphy Art Center to create a new installation that includes antique doll heads, crosses, pine needles, and 3-D collages. Harris hasn’t shown his work for nine years. His last solo show happened 13 years ago. iMOCA executive director Shauta Marsh is excited to be hosting Harris’s exhibition at iMOCA: “He’s one of Indianapolis’s most important artists. Not only did he help lay the foundation for the art scene we have today. But, through his work, he offers an experience like no other.”

Harris, an Indianapolis native, tends to use religious imagery in his works. In the past, some considered his work to be anti-religion which attracted protestors outside his show One Night Stand. However, he explains: “Religious imagery is comforting. I don’t know that I am religious but what I like about using it in my work is that everyone brings his/her own baggage or interpretation. It invokes an immediate response.”

Harris is a bit of a recluse and very selective about shows and projects. He intended his last show at Rushman Gallery, Different Dreams, Different Promises, in 2005 to be his final exhibit. “When I went to Herron I only wanted to live till I was 40. Then I hit 40 and I said, how about 50. Now I just want to go quickly. I don’t care. I decided to have this show because you’re only as good as your last barbeque,” said Harris, who is now 64.

Harris also explains his unique tattoo and inspiration for the exhibition’s title. “Wanderlust is a title my grandmother gave my grandfather when he ran off to another state,” says Harris who has designed window displays for Block’s department store, taught art at Herron, and created numerous TV commercial sets. “The feeling of the pieces and environment create wanderlust. Wanting things you can’t have. I lust for the objects I use in my collages. I am thinking of another place in time. My pieces are like us. We all live in the past but are trying to live in the future.”

Wanderlust opens at iMOCA Murphy Art’s Center location at 1043 Virginia Avenue on Nov.7 from 6 to 11 p.m. and will run through Jan. 17 with the hours of Thursday to Saturday 12 to 7 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

All our programs and exhibitions are made possible with support from The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (Wynn Kramarsky Freedom of Artistic Expression Grant), Buckingham, Foundation,The Christel Dehaan Family Foundation, The Glick Fund, The Efroymson Family Fund, Halstead Architects, KEJ Foundation, the Indianapolis Foundation, The Tracy L. Haddad Foundation, The Netherleigh Fund, The City of Indianapolis, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Murphy Arts L.L.C., Penrod Foundation, and Big Car Art + Design.

Click here to see photos from the exhibit and opening reception.