January 2019 Exhibitions at American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

By Editorial Team on January 21, 2019

Sat, 26 January 2019 - Sun, 17 March 2019

Nancy Frankel, Red Tower, 2018. Courtesy of the Artist.
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 26 from 6pm to 9pm

Nancy at Ninety: A Retrospective of Form and Color
Gallery Talk: March 2, 3-4pm
This retrospective of seven decades of the work of Washington, DC sculptor Nancy Frankel will celebrate her ninetieth birthday in 2019. Working in various media since the 1950s—including wood, Plexiglas, Hydrocal, design cast, and steel—Frankel has explored a fundamentally geometric vocabulary, with moments of whimsy, the title of one of the works in this show. In addition to her freestanding works in three dimensions, a few of her many graphite drawings and tempera paintings will be represented, as well as a large wall relief.

This exhibition is sponsored by The William Meredith Foundation.

Jone Kvie, Untitled, 2002. Stainless steel. Gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Gift of The Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, Washington DC).

The Gifts of Tony Podesta
Gallery Talk: January 26 at 5pm
This first major exhibition drawn from our Corcoran Legacy Collection features strong and provocative photography and sculpture donated by Tony Podesta over the past decade to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, now part of the American University Museum’s holdings. Podesta has earned the reputation of being a fearless supporter of challenging contemporary art by women. He is an important patron of the arts nationally and internationally, with an outsized impact all across the Washington art world.


Darren Almond, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Jenny Gage, Mads Gamdrup, Anna Gaskell, Margi Geerlinks, Siobhán Hapaska, Mwangi Hutter, Justine Kurland, Jone Kvie, Clare Langan, Barbara Liotta, Malerie Marder, Ottonella Mocellin, Ernesto Neto, Anneè Olofsson, Gyan Panchal, Nira Pereg, Patricia Piccinini, Torbjørn Rødland, Jenny Rydhagen, Ann-Sofi Sidén, Katja Strunz, Janaina Tschäpe, Hellen van Meene, Tom Waldron.

Jiří Kolář, Self-Portrait, 1971. Collection of Museum Kampa, The Jan and Meda Mladek Collection, Prague.

Jiří Kolář (1914–2002): Forms of Visual Poetry
This exhibition is dedicated to one of the most remarkable Czech poets and visual artists associated with Modernism, Jiří Kolář (1914-2002). During the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, Kolář encountered considerable challenges, including a prison sentence for the critical stance towards the system expressed in his poetry. Whether because “images” were less easily censurable than “words” or for other, personal reasons, from about 1959, he focused exclusively on visual arts – especially various experimental forms of collage. Yet most of his mixed-media works remained profoundly concerned with the word/image relationship, and can best be described as “visual” poetry.

The selection is representative of the main aspects of his oeuvre as it evolved over several decades. It includes a wide variety of collages in diverse techniques: both early works and those of his mature period; on very small scale and large ones; two-dimensional and sculptural.

Michael Platt, Downtown Mystic, 2018. Pigment print on canvas. Courtesy of the Artist.

Michael B. Platt + Carol A. Beane: Influences and Connections
Standing at the foot of Australia’s sacred sandstone monolith known as Uluru, Michael B. Platt and Carol A. Beane envisioned a world invisible to many others. The world is at once primordial and imminent, spiritual and mortal. This exhibition is a collaborative offering from one of Washington’s most prolific pairs; an offering of visibility from one world into another. Inspired by the ancestral stories told by the indigenous keepers of Australia’s most sacred grounds, Platt and Beane fuse poetic image with word. The union culminates in an aesthetic experience of the human spirit that that transcends time, place, and identity.

Writing wind-songs
my words find themselves
in undulations and ululations;
floating in stark abstractions
of light, traceries of shadow
moving among the grasses
and sand, over waves, and
in city spaces, conjuring memories;
deciphering voices
in the rocks and the red dirt;
waiting at the waterhole
to ensnare the longing,
palimpsests for other times of being.

sounds in the air in the vastness of
ancient spaces, disappearing,
unintelligible to the undiscerning ear,
though telling stories, upon stories,
upon stories, long through the night.

American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center located at 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW. For more information, call 202-885-1300.