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Contrasts, controversy take over University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor

In June, see four new, thematic installations at UMMA

Ceal Floyer's Things (2009) consists of audio-files, MP3-players, amplifiers, cables, speakers and wood. Photo © Uwe Walter
Ceal Floyer's Things (2009) consists of audio-files, MP3-players, amplifiers, cables, speakers and wood. Photo © Uwe Walter

ANN ARBOR, Mich – Throughout June, four immersive installations bring ominous landscapes, contrast and some controversy to the University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor.

Jason DeMarte: Garden of Artificial Delights

June 8 to Sept. 1 - ArtGym

Shot by Michigan photographer Jason DeMarte, a collection of immersive photography, scenes of animals and plant life lay in front of troubled, darkening skies and backgrounds. Each scene has contrasting components of light and dark, life and decay, ornamental showiness and simplification. Fantastical in its representation of nature, DeMarte’s landscapes are complicated and invoke traditional paintings in Europe yet contemporary and vivid.

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We can’t wait for the @jasondemarte exhibition to open this weekend! Jason DeMarte, “After the Deluge,” 2018, pigment print. Courtesy the artist — “Jason DeMarte: Garden of Artificial Delights” presents an enigmatic world filled with unexpected and unsettling sensory temptations. In this immersive installation of photographs and wallpaper, Michigan-based photographer Jason DeMarte weaves together detailed images of fauna (birds, caterpillars, and moths) and flora (local plants and flowers). Each scene is set against ominous cloudy skies, which rain melted ice cream, whipped topping, candies, and glossy paint. Overburdened with decorations, the flowers and plants begin to decay, leaving the birds and insects unable to survive for long in this overly sweet environment. DeMarte’s illusionistic landscapes recall the long tradition of still life painting in Europe and America, and a rich history of fantasy environments represented in literature and film—from Alice’s Wonderland to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Yet, his images decidedly foreground the complicated visual circumstances of our contemporary moment and provoke us to consider this imagined and oversaturated world as analogous to our own. Support for Jason DeMarte: Garden of Artificial Delights is provided by P.J. and Julie Solit, Amelia and Eliot Relles, and the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment. #JasonDeMarte #flowers #ummamuseum #universityofmichiganmuseumofart #umicharts #visitannarbor #destinationannarbor #immersiveart #hyperrealism #butterflies #annarbor #gardenofartisticdelights #artwallpaper #photocollage #annarbormichigan #annarbormi #newexhibition #floralart #flowerart #annarborart #art #artmuseum #afterthedeluge #JasonDeMarteAtUMMA

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Abstraction, Color and Politics: The 1960s and 1970s

June 8 to Feb. 9, 2020 - A. Alfred Taubman Gallery II

Throughout history artists, critics and the general public have always struggled to balance art and politics. In the ‘60s and ‘70s the themes of racism and feminism took hold in art and were expressed by artists through various media and styles. Abstraction allowed artists the freedom to take abstraction from a rigid style to one reflective the transition of American politics over the two decades.

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Ceal Floyer: "Things"

June 15 to Sept. 22, 2019 - Irvings Stenn Jr. Family Gallery

A multi-sensory installation, Ceal Floyer’s “Things” is more complicated than it first seems. With an audio element -- the word “thing” sung from a collection of songs” -- accompanies a visually simple but striking space that is conceptual and intellectual simultaneously.

Egon Schiele

June 29 to September 15, 2019 - The Connector

See the controversial works of Austrian Expressionist Egon Schiele throughout UMMA’s Connector. Three watercolors and a drawing of Schiele’s were recently gifted to the UMMA and are displayed for museum visitors to see why the artists work, spanning from landscapes to nudes, were deemed unconventional.

Even though the UMMA is free and open to the public, please remember to make a donation so as to support the arts. While the building is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., visit the UMMA galleries between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday or noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

The UMMA is at 525 S. State St.

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