One of the esteemed Los Tres Grandes Mexican muralists, José Clemente Orozco (1881 – 1949) is best known for monumental fresco cycles that present dramatic, epic narratives. Yet throughout his life, Orozco was also an avid draftsman who had a masterful understanding of the musculature and the inherent expressiveness of the human body. This exhibition includes more than twenty figure studies generously loaned by the Michael Wornick Collection. Many of them have never been exhibited before.
Long interested in the mysteries of the night sky and of the natural world, internationally recognized artist Diana Thater has created a dramatic new video and light installation based on her fascination with the dung beetle and its relationship to our galaxy. Larger-than-life moving images of the jewellike insect float on the barrel-vaulted ceiling of SJMA’s soaring skylight gallery. Directly below this starry scene, a 16-by-20-by-8-foot box emits a soft yellow light like that of the sun. Thater enveloped the entire gallery with blue light to mimic the environment that the beetle inhabits. Nearby, two video walls display animations of the Milky Way and its galactic neighborhood, based on the latest scientific observations of the universe.
City life has fascinated artists for hundreds of years. Early twentieth-century artists in the United States often depicted the physical and social realities, as well as the potential emotional disconnect, that can accompany urban density. In recent decades, artistic focus shifted to the ramifications of climate change, localism, and globalization. City Limits, City Life encourages audiences to think about urbanism in a larger context and coincides with collective efforts to enliven and transform downtown San Jose.
Two generations after the exultation of Independence and the concurrent horrors of Partition, contemporary Indian photographers reclaim and reappraise the history of colonialism in their country. These artists look closely and critically at historical Indian photography and draw on diverse sources of inspiration. They take matters of history into their own hands, redefining the iconic historical images of India and investigating the complex relationship between traditions of representation and contemporary image-making.
The act of making (whether it be artistic or scientific) with the goal of producing a more beautiful and better world is part of the human impulse. Makers demonstrate an “I can do it” attitude. They use materials in new ways, upcycle discarded objects, challenge familiar ways of doing things and invent new ones. Sometimes creativity, a force inherent in all of us, just needs a little inspiration. In this spirit, we invite you to the Koret Family Gallery: view artworks made of new materials in new ways, take a maker challenge, and rekindle your creative spark.