ArtLab @ The Lowe
The Changing Face of Art and Politics
Through April 24, 2011

The Lowe Art Museum, in partnership with the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Miami, presents the second exhibition in the ArtLab @ The Lowe series, on view in the Richard and Shelley Bermont Focus Gallery through April 24, 2011. The Lowe’s innovative ArtLab program provides University of Miami faculty and students the opportunity to organize an annual exhibition drawn from the Lowe’s permanent collection. The students work directly with objects from the museum’s collection of more than 17,750 works of art, produce research, and curate a thematic exhibition that will be on display for a full calendar year.

For the Spring 2010 semester, Dr. Joel Hollander, Lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History, and his Museum Studies students explored the influence of politics and political systems on artistic production over a span of five hundred years. The Changing Face of Art and Politics examines imagery not only through style and technique, but also by concentrating on motifs and narratives that over time share similarities. The meaning is also interpreted by putting into context the policies of despots, emperors, dictators, and/or democratically elected officials represented or alluded to in the work of art. As a group, the eleven undergraduate and two graduate students who enrolled in Museum Studies II (ARH 508) during the Spring 2010 semester went through a deliberate process that lasted several weeks of selecting objects from the museum’s permanent collection.

The connection between art and politics has served a long and traditional role in visual history. The prints, photographs, and paintings that were selected for this exhibition provide a chronological selection of artists whose imagery and range of topics include personal, national, and global identity. From old master Italian Renaissance printmakers to artists who came of age during the turbulent 1960s, a consistent repertoire of themes, forms, and iconography has become apparent over time, even as styles, techniques, and historical contexts change. Within the wide variety of work and media presented in the exhibition, politically-charged themes such as colonization, war, religion, equality, repression, revolution, and protest run throughout. The thirty-one works of art in this exhibition present only a small sample of the political-themed art in the Lowe’s collection, but it is a grouping that demonstrates the creative dialogue between artists and the political systems in which they live and work.

The ArtLab @ the Lowe series began last year (Spring 2009) and featured printmaking from the Lowe’s collection as well as UM Student and Faculty work. Future exhibitions in the series will focus on Islamic art (Spring 2011), and the contemporary art of Japan (Spring 2012). The exhibition series is generously underwritten by UM Alumnus Stella M. Holmes, president of Overseas Partners Realty.


England, 1820
George Cruikshank (Ah! Sure Such a Pair Was Never Seen So Justly Form'd to Meet by Nature)

etching, 8 3/4 x 14 5/8"
Gift of Dr. David Klein


England, 1805
James Gillray (Uncorking Old Sherry)

engraving, 8 3/4 x 6 1/2"
Gift of Dr. David Klein

Italy, 1525
Hieronymus Hopfer
(Combat Between the Cavalry and Infantry)

etching, 9 5/8 x 8 5/8"
Gift of Benedict Rucker


United States, 1953-1957
William Gropper
(Politics from The Capriccios)

lithograph, 16 1/4 x 12 3/8"
Gift of Sophie Gropper

 

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Media Resources

  • Media Pack includes archived ZIP file with Press Release, images, and image captions.
  • For more information, contact the Lowe Art Museum.