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The Speed Art Museum
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March 20, 2004 - April 10, 2005

Presence is an exhibition of eight works of contemporary art that will be exhibited individually and sequentially in a specially designed space in the Speed’s tapestry gallery. Presence aims to reinvent the space where the concentrated visual activity required to look at art regains its allure. A special space will be built within the central area of the tapestry gallery in the museum. This capsule will be designed functionally to house the works for Presence but will clearly contrast with the older, sedate style of the gallery it occupies. There will be enough space for visitors to still view the tapestries and to walk around the exterior of the capsule. The interior of the capsule will be a plain white space.

Berni Searle
Snow White, 2000
Dual-screen video

The eight works of art in Presence will each be exhibited alone, in sequence, in the capsule. Each will be exhibited for five weeks, with a turnaround gap of two weeks. The complete project will last twelve months. The exhibition will bring works by internationally renowned and regional artists into the same framework. Each work will be accompanied by an introductory pamphlet about the artist and their work. Presence will also encompass eight significant lectures, each addressing the concept of presence from a different direction. At the conclusion of the project, these eight lectures will be edited into book form, together with the pamphlets and installation photographs of the works.

 Artists included in the project are: Franz Gertsch, March 30 - May 2, 2004; Ik Joong Kang, May 18 - June 20, 2004; Bill Henson, July 6 - August 8, 2004; Mark Wallinger, August 24 - September 26, 2004; Gerhard Richter, October 12 - November 14, 2004; Chris Cunningham, November 30, 2004 - January 2, 2005; Berni Searle, January 18 - February 20, 2005; and Louisville artist Valerie Sullivan Fuchs, March 1 - April 10, 2005.
To celebrate Presence the exhibition, the Speed Art Museum in partnership with Equus Run Vineyards is offering 8 unique collectable wines with Presence inspired labels.  Each installation within the exhibition will receive its own label or the label will be representative of the work. Each collectable wine will be released to coincide with the opening of the work. Wines may be purchased exclusively at Liquor Barn.  

1000 Families
June 17 – November 28, 2004 at The Speed Art Museum
June 23 – September 19, 2004 at The Overlook at Waterfront Park

This exhibition features near life-size portraits of families that capture the traditions and social conditions of over 130 countries, creating “a Family Album of Planet Earth” and underlining the importance of family to all cultures.

A photographer for over 30 years, Ommer began his journey to capture average families around the world in 1996. Four years and 180,000 miles later he had images of a thousand different families. Using the same white backdrop and the same lighting in each photo, the collection tells the story of families, conventional and unconventional, and speaks to what it means to be part of a family and the family of man.
This exhibition was made possible in Louisville by the generous support of Yum! Brands, Inc.

Partners in the project are Metro Louisville and the Waterfront Development Corporation.

Visit the Louisville Families page.

Directions to The Overlook at Waterfront Park (near the Gracehoper Sculpture) as well as additional information may be found at

We Gratefully Acknowledge Our Sponsors:

Yum!, Brands

Louisville Waterfront

Louisville Metro Government

Elihu Vedder
Memory (Girl with Poppies) (1877)
Oil on canvas
High Museum of Art
Atlanta, Georgia
Gift of Julie and Arthur Montgomery

Tales from the Easel: American Narrative Paintings from Southeastern Museums, circa 1800-1950

September 14 – December 12, 2004

With the Columbus Museum, the Speed Art Museum premieres the traveling exhibition, Tales from the Easel: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century American NarrativePaintings from Southeastern Museums, circa 1800-1950. Featuring 70 works by some of this country’s most acclaimed artists, Tales from the Easel presents a fascinating glimpse into American narrative painting.

Drawn from the permanent collections of 28 prominent museums in the Southeastern United States, Tales from the Easel tells the American story through 10 themes: Literature, Fantasies, History, Politics, Agrarian America, Urban America, Community, Domestic Life, Childhood, and Death.

Exhibition tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for students and children.  Museum members receive free admission to the exhibition.  A group tour rate of $6 per person is available for groups of 10 or more. To schedule a group tour, call (502) 634-2960.

Randolph Rogers, (American, 1825-1892)
Nydia, The Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii, after 1854
Given in memory of John W. Barr, III, by the Barr Family
Photo by Kenneth Hayden

Telling Tales: American Storytelling Art from Kentucky Collections

September 14 – December 12, 2004

Telling Tales: American Storytelling Art from Kentucky Collections showcases masterpieces of American narrative art held in Kentucky including paintings, sculpture, drawings, and photographs drawn from state-wide collections and the museum’s holdings. Artists represented include Winslow Homer, Elihu Vedder, sculptor Randolph Rogers; America’s greatest illustrator, Newell Convers Wyeth; Louisville artist Aurelius O. Revenaugh; William Ranney, Carroll Cloar and others.

Potential Images Of The World September 16, 2003 to June 13, 2004

Mark Wallinger
Prometheus, 1999
Video Projection

The contemporary collection of the Speed Art Museum is a fast growing and important resource. Potential Images of the World showcases recent acquisitions to the Speed's contemporary collection and includes works in many different media from paintings, sculpture, prints, and photography to video works of art. Augmented by works from regional artists and works from local private collections, Potential Images of the World is presented through three conceptual frameworks.

Place - Forms of location: including works by Vito Acconci, Thomas Delisle, Langlands and Bell, Richard Long, Tania Kovats, Julian Opie, Yinka Shonibare, Marjetica Potr_, and Richard Ross.
Ritual - Forms of transformation: works by Helen Chadwick, Roy Deforest, Mark Fox, Anthony Goicolia, Ellen Kooi, Juan Munoz, Dennis Oppenheim, and Mark Wallinger.
Emanation - Forms of emergence: works by William Anastasi, Ed Hamilton, Alfredo Jaar, Javier Pérez, Letitia Quesenberry, Rosângela Rennó, Meyer Vaisman, and Yinka Shonibare.

In these frameworks, individual works enter into a dialogue of difference with each other suggesting a variety of potential meanings. As Place variously implies locations and spaces, it also indicates a relationship to the world of both material things and abstract thoughts, including the notion of consciously knowing one's place. Ritual, as well as being considered in terms of ceremonies and rights, can be thought of in terms of formalized routines, habits, and repetitive behavior. Emanation connotes welling and the potential of becoming as well as suggesting discharge and drainage. In this multiplicity of interpretations, the works in Potential Images of the World resist definitive explanations and, through the subjective engagement of the viewer, offer a view of identity that is fluid and indeterminate

The Speed Art Museum Commemorates Lewis and Clark Bicentennial with Faces From the Land: A Photographic Journey Through Native America by Ben Marra

October 14, 2003 – May 9, 2004

In commemoration of the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Speed Art Museum will present Faces from the Land: A Photographic Journey through Native America by Ben Marra, on view October 14, 2003 through April 11, 2004.

In 1988, Seattle photographer, Ben Marra and his wife, Linda, set out to document Powwows and the shared cultural qualities that bind together the community of Native America. Powwows are an integral part of Native American life, offering Native Americans the opportunity to gather together to celebrate their spiritual connections to their ancestors, the earth, community and traditions through drum, song and dance. Faces from the Land focuses on many of the Native American cultures that Lewis and Clark encountered during their expedition, such as Sioux, Lemhi Shoshone and Nez Perce. Also included in the exhibition is a photograph of Sacajawea’s great, great, great grandniece, Rose Ann Abrahamson.

These 36 large print portraits of dancers are accompanied by text written by the subjects describing the tribal significance of their regalia and dance. These striking images along with their text vividly detail the magic of the powwow, while also allowing the viewer the opportunity to the see the juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modern culture.

Marra’s book, Powwow…Images along the Red Road, (Abrams), featuring 105 color photographs representing more than sixty tribes and nations is available for sale in the museum gift shop for $16.95.

Dedicated to using his photographs to strengthen and perpetuate an appreciation for Native American Culture, Ben Marra’s work has been featured in numerous galleries and national magazines, and was recently included in Handbook of North American Indians, published by the Smithsonian Institution.

Marina Abramovic (born Belgrade, 1946)
The Onion, 1995
Courtesy: Sean Kelly Gallery, New York

Performing Body
April 20 – May 20, 2004

The exhibition Performing Body marks the first public showing of works by Marina Abramovic in this part of the country. The Amsterdam-based artist, whose performance and video installation Balkan Baroque (1997) won the International Award at the Venice Biennale of that year, has pioneered the use of performance as a visual art form, using her body as subject and medium.

For over 25 years, performance has formed the basis of Abramovic’s work in sound, photography, video, and sculpture. In multimedia she tests and pushes the boundaries of physical and mental endurance.

Performing Body entails two acts, “The Onion” (1995) and “Image of Happiness” (1996), both performed for video. The intention of juxtaposing these two videos is to explore the idea of alienation, a theme that pertains to our contemporary society and the habits of living in it.

Abramovic produces art for the public, hoping the viewer integrates their own experience by participating in the works - in this case spending time in front of a video monitor. The artist believes that through performance one is able to transfer ideas and make changes in the observer’s mind.
Abramovic has shown worldwide and is included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

Sinners, Satyrs, and Saints: German “Little Master” Prints From the Collection of Malcolm Bird
January 20 – April 4, 2004

Hans Sebald Beham (German, 1500-1550)
Detail: The Peasants’ Feast, about 1545
From the Collection of Malcolm Bird

This exhibition features 50 works of a remarkable, but little-known, group of printmakers often referred to as the “Little Masters.”
Working in Germany during the early 1500s, these innovative artists produced finely detailed engravings, occasionally producing prints no larger than a modern postage stamp. These artists—including Barthel Beham, Hans Sebald Beham, and Georg Pencz—were influenced by the pioneering painter and printmaker Albrecht Dürer and are today recognized for successfully combining stylistic elements of the Italian Renaissance with a distinctly northern European temperament.

The engravings and woodcuts featured in Sinners, Satyrs, and Saints illustrate the wide variety of subject matter employed by the Little Masters and their contemporaries. Influenced by the success of Albrecht Dürer’s woodcuts and engravings, these artists continued to explore traditional, religious subject matter. Recent translations of the Bible from Latin into German and the popularity of religious plays also prompted a new interest in scenes from the lives of Old Testament figures. But as the Reformation took hold in Germany and artists were forced to look beyond the Catholic Church for patronage, the Little Masters also began exploring secular subjects, including portraiture, allegories, mythological subjects, and scenes from everyday life. Carousing, festive peasants were a particularly favorite subject for Sebald Beham.

Calico & Chintz: Early American Quilts from the Smithsonian American Art Museum – December 16, 2003 - March 14, 2004

Unknown Maker,
Pieced Quilt (Bricks), ca. 1835, Maryland, calico and fondu printed cotton; quilted in diagonal crosshatch with border in chevrons, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Patricia Smith Melton

Calico & Chintz is drawn from an unparalleled collection of rare decorative bedcovers fabricated before 1850 by women of taste along the Atlantic seaboard and on southern plantations. Dating from 1818 to 1850, the twenty pieced, appliquéd, and whole-cloth quilts in the exhibition are exceptional examples of an unfamiliar chapter in American art. The quilts record a pre-Civil War patchwork aesthetic based on the generous use of the finest printed cottons imported from England and France, where textile printing had developed into an art form. The sheer beauty of the luxury fabrics printed before the introduction of aniline dyes in 1856 reveals a colorful opulence enjoyed by upper-class American households in cities along the eastern seaboard and on southern plantations. The simple compositions of many of these lavish quilts rely on ornate printed imagery to create exciting juxtapositions of color and form. Pieced side-by-side, squares and strips cut from different chintzes and calicoes create kaleidoscopic effects that appear surprisingly modern. The exhibition is organized by the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Unknown maker
Madison County, Kentucky area
Desk, about 1805
Cherry, other woods
Collection of Bob and Norma Noe

An Eye for Ornament: Early Kentucky Decorative Arts from the Noe Collection – December 16, 2003 - March 14, 2004

This exhibition will gather together a distinguished group of early Kentucky furniture, silver, textiles, and ceramics from the outstanding collection of Bob and Norma Noe. Along with providing a general introduction to Kentucky decorative arts, the exhibition will examine the various types and styles of ornament used during the 1810 to 1840 period. From floral patterns inlaid on furniture to decorative moldings applied to silver, ornament offers an index of changing tastes and historical sources. It can also help decode where particular objects were made and what sorts of symbolic associations they possessed.




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