Summer 2018 at American University Museum

By Editorial Team on June 11, 2018

Sat, 16 June 2018 - Sun, 12 August 2018

Ralph Steadman, Leaving Kinshasa, 1974. Pen, brush, and ink, conté chalk, acrylic ink on paper, 29.9″ x 22″. Courtesy Ralph Steadman Art Collection.
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 16 from 6pm to 9pm


  • Things Unseen: The Fluency of Abstraction Gallery Talk, July 12, 6-7:30PM
    Join curator Janell Blackmon Pryor and the artists of Things Unseen: The Fluency of Abstraction for an exploration of works in painting, sculpture, and photography that represent the unseeable. Free and open to the public.
  • WWAC Panel Discussion & Reception, July 21, 4-6:30PM
    Spend your Saturday afternoon with former members of the Washington Women’s Arts Center. Judith Benderson, Barbara Frank, and Taina Litwak will join the exhibition’s curator, Françoise Yohalem for a panel discussion that looks back at the history of the Washington Women’s Arts Center and its influence on the Washington art scene that still resonates today. A reception will follow the panel. Free and open to the public.
  • FIGURES Gallery Talk, July 28, 3-4:30PM
    In this panel discussion, artists Kiley Ames, Janice Nowinski, Kyle Staver, and Jo Weiss of FIGURES will consider the diverse ways in which each represents the philosophies of the human body.

Mix and mingle with fellow museum patrons and meet the artists and curators behind the four new Summer exhibitions at the Opening Reception. Free and open to the public.

Ralph Steadman: A Retrospective, June 16-August 12, 2018
Originally curated by Anita O’Brien at the Cartoon Museum, London, the Ralph Steadman Retrospective offers phenomenal insights into the genius of one of the world’s most acclaimed artists. This exhibition takes the viewer on a journey through Steadman’s prolific career of more than sixty years, from the sketches he created as a student in the 1950s to present day pictures.

The retrospective showcases Steadman’s legendary collaborations with maverick Gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson; his illustrated literary classics such as Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island; and the inventive books he authored such as I Leonardo and The Big I Am. There are also illustrations from his children’s books, which include No Room to Swing a Cat and That’s My Dad, plus artworks from his travels with Oddbins Wine Merchants and his iconic packaging for Flying Dog Brewery.

Alteronce Gumby, Child of the Sun, 2017. Oil on canvas, 27″ x 35″. Courtesy of the Collection of Craig Jacobson.

Things Unseen: The Fluency of Abstraction, June 16-August 12, 2018
Exploring themes suggested by internationally acclaimed artist Sam Gilliam, this exhibition features artists Adrienne Gaither, Alteronce Gumby, Allen Jackson, and David Smedley. These artists use abstraction as a conduit to express their keen observations. The broad implications of the exhibition signify the fluency of abstraction and its many interpretations. What is absent is present. The artists explore the unseen through abstract sculpture, painting, and photography. Curated by Janell Blackmon Pryor.

Laura Weaver Huff, Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Vega, 1985. Screen print, 32″ x 23″. Courtesy of the artist.

Latitude: The Washington Women’s Arts Center 1975-1987, June 16-August 12, 2018
The Washington Women’s Arts Center (WWAC), located at 1821 Q Street NW, then at the Lansburgh Cultural Center, was created in 1975 as a non-profit organization to provide professional support and opportunities for women in the arts. Throughout its history, the WWAC also sponsored speakers, produced literary and visual arts journals, and collaborated with other organizations to raise the profile of women artists in the Washington area and around the country.

This exhibition features the art of former WWAC members and exhibitors. Curated by Françoise Yohalem, it will showcase 90+ works produced between the years 1975-1987, some of which are iconic of that time. The show brings back the energy, passion, and talent of members when the WWAC was, for many, “the only show in town.” Recent works by WWAC artists will be featured in a slideshow and select interviews with members will appear in an accompanying documentary, Voices from the Washington Women’s Arts Center. This exhibition is sponsored by the Alper Initiative for Washington Art.

Janice Nowinski, Man in Front of a Car II, 2013. Oil on canvas, 16″ x 12″. Courtesy of the artist.

FIGURES: Kiley Ames, Janice Nowinski, Kyle Staver, Jo Weiss, June 16-August 12, 2018
Four women artists convincingly place human figures in space, each reaching that high-water mark of Western Art in their own way. Kiley Ames has a seemingly rational, systematic technique akin to pointillism that on closer inspection emits an emotional charge. Jo Weiss’s expressionist, emotional process ultimately reveals an analytical, orderly understanding of figures in space. Janice Nowinski’s paintings are brushy, mysterious, and unexpected portrayals of men in ambiguous situations. Kyle Staver’s technique is smooth and sophisticated, serving up darkly humorous tales of violence and sensuality. These artists create narratives that open our world to reflection and engagement in a way that abstraction cannot manage.

Center Hours:

  • Tuesday through Sunday: 11am to 4pm

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