Fall 2021 Exhibitions at American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

By Editorial Team on August 23, 2021
Courtesy of American University.

Fall exhibitions will open Aug. 28 in the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center.

Please refer to the museum’s web site for the most up-to-date information on visiting the museum.

Exhibitions open from August 28 and run through December 12

Successions: Traversing U.S. Colonialism is a solo exhibition by Amber Robles-Gordon, a conceptual juxtaposition celebrating abstraction as an art form. Robles-Gordon interrogates past and current US policies within Washington, DC and the territories (Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) that it controls. Robles-Gordon seeks to question who has access to resources, citizenship and the right to sovereignty by highlighting nuances of U.S. governance within these territories. She also uses works featured in Successions to mine the stories, personal narratives and aesthetics of the African women of the Caribbean in an effort to investigate the macro-environmental implications of placemaking, contemporary colonial policy, and notions of citizenship.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Robles-Gordon was confronted with a lack of resources and raw materials in Puerto Rico. Returning to Washington, D.C. catalyzed Robles-Gordon to improvise her approach to making works for the exhibition. Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah. Gallery Talk: Successions, September 14, 6-7 p.m. Robles-Gordon talks with Ossei-Mensah. Register on Eventbrite. This event will be held virtually. Please register to receive updates. 

Painter, photographer, and climate activist Diane Burko advocates for art’s role in addressing climate change in Diane Burko: Seeing Climate Change. Having focused on the monumental wonders of the natural world in her earlier landscape paintings, Burko redirected her practice to address environmental damage caused by global warming. While engaging the traditions of landscape painting, her increasingly abstract and large-scale images are layered with visual and scientific information about the urgent challenge posed to the planet, manifested in glacial melting, coral reef bleaching, raging forest fires and the COVID-19 pandemic. Her abstract images make the life-threatening dimensions of climate change palpable and real for her audiences.

Traveling to some of the most affected areas around the world—the Arctic Circle, Antarctica, the Great Barrier Reef—Burko has interacted and collaborated with members of the scientific community. This exhibition presents many of Burko’s large-scale paintings and serial groupings, including the 56-foot-long “World Map” series, addressing changes in glaciers and coral reefs across the globe. Curated by distinguished art historians Mary D. Garrard and Norma Broude.

In Reveal: The Art of Reimagining Scientific Discovery, Rebecca Kamen unlocks curiosity as a creative link between the arts, humanities, and sciences, exploring the symbiotic relationship behind scientific research and artwork’s development. A sequence of interrelated, thematic sections chronicle Kamen’s journey from a general interest in the human brain through her diagnosis of a brain tumor and its aftermath to the advent of the novel coronavirus and opportunities the pandemic provided her for further artistic investigation. Curated by Sarah Tanguy and presented by the Alper Initiative for Washington Art. Gallery Talk: RevealOctober 14, 6-7 p.m. Kamen and Tanguy discuss the exhibition. Register on Eventbrite. At this time, this event will be held virtually. Please register to receive updates. 

Philip Brookman: In the Light of Memory, 1969­–2021 showcases photography by the artist, intimate recordings of everyday life, like a personal diary or private note. Brookman has been photographing and curating art since the early 1970s. He cares deeply about social justice, which has influenced the content of some of his own pictures as well as the choices of artists with whom he has worked.

The exhibition of Brookman’s photographs will be divided into several sections reflecting the topics he has concentrated on since early 1970s. Among them will be portraits of artists, friends, family members, and random individuals; street scenes in the US or elsewhere, cities’ architectural elements or rural landscapes, and a new project based on his research of William Wilson Corcoran (1798–1888), banker, philanthropist, art collector, founder of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and enslaver. Curated by Milena Kalinovska. Gallery Talk: In the Light of Memory, November 17, 6-7 p.m. Brookman and Kalinovska discuss the exhibition. Register on Eventbrite. At this time, this event will be held virtually. Please register to receive updates.

Inside Out: Artists in the Studio explores how studios—and other interior spaces for artistic production—play a significant role in artistic practice, particularly in shaping how viewers experience the finished product. In an investigation of 20th-century still lifes, this selection of artists reveals inspiration in their artmaking spaces and the artistic possibilities they provide, and features still lifes, studio scenes and self-portraits drawn from the American University Museum collection. Curated by Sarah Leary. Gallery Talk: Inside OutDecember 7, 6-7 p.m. ET. Register on Eventbrite.  At this time, this event will be held virtually. Please register to receive updates. 

Exhibition open from Oct. 16 through Dec.12:

Anil Revri: Into the Light is presented by the AU Museum Project Space. Anil Revri creates dazzling geometric abstractions that embody the cross pollination of spiritual ideas from East and West. Born and raised in India and a resident of the United States for nearly 40 years, Revri uses tantric visualization techniques to create paintings and drawings that open the doors to unexplored regions of the unconscious. Curated by Eleanor Heartney. Gallery Talk: Into the LightNovember 20, 3-4 p.m. Revri and Heartney discuss Revri’s meditative, mixed media works on handmade paper. Register on Eventbrite. At this time, this event will be held virtually. Please register to receive updates. 

MUSEUM INFORMATION, HOURS, LOCATION: The American University Museum is a three-story public museum and sculpture garden located within the university’s Katzen Arts Center. The region’s largest university facility for exhibiting art, the museum has a permanent collection that highlights the donors’ holdings and AU’s Corcoran Legacy Collection, Watkins Collection, and Rothfeld Collection. Rotating exhibitions emphasize regional, national, and international contemporary art. The Katzen Arts Center, named for Washington-area benefactors Dr. and Mrs. Cyrus Katzen, brings all the visual and performing arts programs at AU into one space.

Designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in the arts, the Katzen includes the museum, the Abramson Family Recital Hall, the Studio Theatre, a dance studio, an electronics studio, artists’ studios, rehearsal space, and classrooms. For more information, call 202-885-1300 or look on the Web at www.american.edu/cas/museum. Follow the museum on Facebook (facebook.com/AmericanUniversityMuseum), on Twitter (@AUMuseum_Katzen), or on Instagram (AUMuseum_Katzen).

American University is located at 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW.