Aesthetics, abstraction and archaeology at Ann Arbor's UMMA

Here's what's coming to the University of Michigan's Museum of Art in September

By Sarah Parlette

Credit | University of Michigan Museum of Art

ANN ARBOR - The University of Michigan Museum of Art is known for its tasteful and thought-provoking public exhibitions. With a constant rotation of interesting and delightful displays, it’s no surprise that the anticipated September exhibitions at UMMA delve into questions of design, politics and history.

Here are three upcoming exhibitions that we’re excited for.

Paul Rand, Dancer, 1939 (right) and, IBM Latin America, 1981 (left). Credit | University of Michigan Museum of Art

Paul Rand: The Designer’s Task - The Jan and David Brandon Family Bridge
Sept. 15, 2018–Feb.10, 2019

Featuring works from the earlier stage of Paul Rand’s career as a designer for publications as well as designs during his time as a corporate designer, "The Designer’s Task" will display Rand’s evolution over time. Known for his designs of corporate logos like Enron, IBM, Morningstar, ABC and numerous others, Rand’s ability to blend his minimal and modern aesthetics with branding are made more accessible to UMMA inquisitive patrons.

Abstraction, Color, and Politics in the Early 1970s - A. Alfred Taubman Gallery II
Sept. 22, 2018–Fall 2019

Art and politics have always collided (or collaborated). Art has always commented on politics and current events with the reverse being equally true. The abstract works of Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Gilliam, Al Loving and Louise Nevelson will be displayed as examples of how art was used as expression. In the 1970s female artists and artists of color dealt with the pressures of gender, race, and the relationship between art and politics during a political climate heavy with debate and discourse.

Proof: The Ryoichi Excavations - Photography Gallery
Sept. 29, 2018–Feb. 3, 2019

Storyteller and photographer Patrick Natagani creates the world of Japanese archeologist Ryoichi for audiences by crafting a series of photos detailing Ryoichi’s excavations. Using clever images of excavation sites, journal excerpts and a dash of creativity, Natagani narrates Ryoichi’s discovery of excavated automobile culture around the globe to envelope audiences and create an understanding of how current knowledge is a composition of fact and fiction.

While you’re checking these out, remember to stop by the “Beyond Borders: Global Africa” exhibit as well!

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 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. on Sundays. 

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