BANGOR — The University of Maine Museum of Art, located at 40 Harlow Street in downtown Bangor, will open three new exhibitions in January. UMMA, which is open Moday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., brings innovative contemporary art exhibitions to the region and presents approximately 12 original exhibitions each year. UMMA’s winter exhibitions will open to the public on Jan. 17 and run through March 22.
Hannah Cole: “Time’s Wife”
For New York City-based artist Hannah Cole, inspiration is found in the overlooked glimpses and fragments of everyday experience. The exhibition title, “Time’s Wife,” taken from US poet laureate Mona Van Duyn’s poem “Caring for Surfaces,” provides insight into Cole’s creative impetus and meticulous approach to painting. The artist surveys her environment for subjects – defaced manhole covers, metal doors scarred with paint marks and tape residue, and the textured surfaces below our feet. She painstakingly paints these pieces of urban existence, along with items of domestic life and varied objects observed in the studio and in doing so, imbues the mundane objects with new meaning. Cole states, “A cement sidewalk becomes a window, for example, and a manhole cover becomes a mandala.” Through her carefully framed and virtually hyper-realist depictions, she accentuates the geometric abstraction, rhythmic repetition and textural qualities of these observed surfaces.
Kenny Cole: “Parabellum” (Prepare for War)
Maine-based artist Kenny Cole has created an immersive, interactive installation especially for UMMA’s Zillman Gallery. The artist describes “Parabellum” as “a culture-jamming, docu-fiction, artivism work of art, which re-writes the past in order to guide us into the future.” Cole has taken on the persona of fictional “Bains Revere,” an American Civil War veteran/outsider artist, to create this visionary work. The installation reflects Revere’s innate pacifism and life-long shifting relationship with Hiram Maxim, a Maine native and real life inventor of the automatic machine gun. This false artifact, made as if it was originally installed in the front parlor room of a home, consists of 82 two-sided canvases. They are painted as a collection of generic red and white flags, the reverse of each containing relief battle maps and nesting underneath it all are hidden, corporeal landscapes. The components are riddled with trompe l’oeil water stains painted onto vintage 1890s newspaper.
“From Piranesi to Picasso: Master Prints from the Permanent Collection”
“From Piranesi to Picasso” features over 60 of the finest prints from the Museum of Art’s permanent collection. Established in 1946, the collection has particular strengths in original prints by an impressive roster of internationally renowned artists. Highlights of the selected works, which date from the 18th century to the late 1980s, include: Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s detailed etchings from 1748-1772 that document Rome’s grand architectural landmarks, Francisco Goya’s eerie and biting aquatint and etchings from the “Los Caprichos” and Pablo Picasso’s “Faun Unveiling a Woman,” considered to be one of the artist’s most significant graphic works. Also featured are Winslow Homer’s 1887 etching “Eight Bells,” John Marin’s 1910 etching “Chartres Cathedral” and Edward Hopper’s “The Lonely House,” 1922. Diverse printmaking processes such as etching, silkscreen, woodcut, lithograph, drypoint and engraving are demonstrated in this exhibition.
Admission to the Museum of Art is free in 2014 thanks to the generosity of Penobscot Financial Advisors.