Changing Visions: Prints, Drawings, and Photographs during the Weimar Republic and AfterFriday February 10, 2017 - Thursday March 9, 2017
Founded in 1919 after Germany's defeat in World War I, at a time of revolution and reaction, the Weimar Republic in Germany lasted only fourteen short years until the seizure of power by Adolf Hitler and the establishment of the Third Reich in 1933. Yet during these fourteen years, artists thrived in an atmosphere of radical change and possibility. This exhibition from the permanent collection explores the creative ferment during the Weimar Republic, and the travels of artists after 1933, as many fled Germany or retreated to the countryside.
Otto Dix and George Grosz created biting social satire as part of the Berlin Dada group. Käthe Kollwitz advocated for women and for the poor. The Bauhaus school promoted radical clarity in design, with faculty members including Josef Albers, Lyonel Feininger, and Wassily Kandinsky. Photographic visions expanded not only at the Bauhaus, but also with August Sander and his attempt to fully catalog German social classes. Ilse Bing started her photographic career in Frankfurt and continued in Paris, then New York. This time of possibility in Germany stopped dramatically in 1933, when the National Socialist government condemned most modern art, in favor of heroic academic realism. The rejection of modernism culminated in the infamous exhibition which opened in Munich in 1937, titled Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art). Many artists fled Germany and brought the creativity fostered during the Weimar Republic to new audiences in Europe and the Americas.
Converging to a Center: Photographs from the Collection of Andrew Szegedy-Maszak and Elizabeth BobrickFriday March 31, 2017 - Sunday May 28, 2017
Photography has evolved dramatically since 1970, when Andrew Szegedy-Maszak started collecting. This exhibition at the Davison Art Center highlights 35 photographs acquired in the last two decades, photographs that reveal the shift from the intimate scale of small black and white (gelatin silver) prints to immersive large-scale color digital images.
This new group of photographs includes work by 28 artists and reflects the internationalism of photography today. Adou memorializes men and women from the Yi ethnic minority in his native Sichuan Province, China. Jem Southam tracks the changes in the not-so-idyllic English landscape. George Georgiou observes the metaphorical fault line in Turkey between East and West. Philip-Lorca DiCorcia creates cinematic color and texture on a street in Mexico City. Robert Adams, Joe Deal, and Richard Misrach challenge the grand depictions of the American West. In Detroit, Curran Hatleberg conveys the ambiguity of one contemporary American scene.
Despite the shift to large-scale color images, all these artists retain connections to the earlier traditions of landscape, genre, and portrait photography. Szegedy-Maszak has said that he is excited at seeing younger artists rethink their medium and stake their own place within the expansive world of today's photography.