2020 Art Exhibitions

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Zoë Sheehan Saldaña: There Must Be Some Way Out of Here
Through May 24, 2020
The work of Zoë Sheehan Saldaña tends to hide in plain sight. Even her most elaborate undertakings, such as a reverse-engineered “Strike Anywhere” match or a hand-woven terrycloth towel, masquerade as objects you might toss away thoughtlessly, or stick in a drawer and forget. Underneath these acts of artistic camouflage lies a deep well of conviction, a drive to take full responsibility for things. For her exhibition at The Aldrich – the artist’s largest to date – Sheehan has refused the usual support that a museum offers. She will personally oversee every aspect of the project, down to making paint by hand and applying it to the gallery walls. Deceptively neutral in appearance, the space will be populated by about fifty of her beguiling handmade artifacts. The exhibition is an extended meditation on self-reliance: the instinct to escape the anxious, sometimes hysterical tenor of contemporary life. It will be accompanied by a publication with an essay by the exhibition’s curator, Glenn Adamson. Learn more.

Weather Report
Through April 19, 2020

Weather Report will reveal the sky as a site where the aesthetic, the romantic, the political, the social, and the scientific co-exist and inform one another. The depiction of weather phenomena in the visual arts is traditionally linked with either landscape painting or photography, but in the last two decades artists have increasingly turned to other media to explore weather and, by extension, the larger subject of the Earth’s atmosphere. Featuring the work of Bigert & Bergström, Barbara Bloom, Sara Bouchard, Josh Callaghan, Nick Cave, Violet Dennison, Bryan Nash Gill, Andy Goldsworthy, Nancy Graves, Ellen Harvey, Ayumi Ishii, Jitish Kallat, Kim Keever, Byron Kim, Damian Loeb, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Colin McMullan, Hitoshi Nomura, Pat Pickett, Sean Salstrom, and Jennifer Steinkamp, and an installation by researchers Amanda Bunce, Joel Salisbury, and Michael Vertefeuille. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with an essay by exhibition curator Richard Klein. Learn more.

Art Museum at the University of Saint Joseph

Tajima in Relief
Through June 14, 2020
This exhibition is the first museum retrospective of relief prints by Tajima Hiroyuki (1911-1984), a major Japanese artist internationally renowned for his use of layered and luminous color and his complex and creative printmaking techniques. Featuring more than 60 prints made between 1961 and 1984, it examines Tajima’s recurring themes and his approach to abstraction. Learn more.

Bruce Museum

Collecting Reimagined: A 2D Curiosity Cabinet
Through March 29, 2020

Sea serpents crushing ships. Seven-foot-tall giants. A mummified Porsche. What other oddities might you find in the Bruce Museum’s 2D curiosity cabinet?

The practice of collecting objects and putting them on display in cabinets of curiosities reached its peak among European collectors, scientists, and royalty during the 16th and 17th centuries. The purposes of these rooms varied, from showcasing prized possessions to serving as educational tools. Some cabinet owners even aspired to the metaphysical in their desire to create a microcosm of the universe through their collections.

Curiosity cabinets are traditionally thought of as physical spaces filled with objects. However, scholars and artists in the past also used words and images to describe, and occasionally create, cabinets in two-dimensional form. In these works, the cabinet is shown on paper rather than displayed in a room. Prints such as the third plate from William Hogarth’s Marriage A-la-Mode series (shown above) depict the interior spaces and contents of cabinets. Books filled with printed images detail the objects in the cabinets and the categories used to organize them.

Drawing inspiration from these cabinets on paper, this exhibition uses printed works, photographs, medals, textiles, and scrimshaw from the Bruce Museum collections to create a cabinet filled with two-dimensional depictions of typical three-dimensional cabinet objects. Learn more.

On the Edge of the World: Masterworks by Laurits Andersen Ring from SMK—the National Gallery of Denmark
Through May 24, 2020
Following a five-month construction project, the Bruce Museum is pleased to reopen its newly expanded main art gallery with a major international exhibition: On the Edge of the World: Masterworks by Laurits Andersen Ring from SMK—the National Gallery of Denmark. Initiated by the American Friends of Statens Museum for Kunst, the national gallery of Denmark, the exhibition opens on Saturday, February 1, 2020, and will be on view through Sunday, May 24, 2020.

L.A. Ring (1854-1933), a Realist and Symbolist painter, ranks among the most significant figures in Danish art. The national gallery of Denmark holds the largest collection of Ring’s paintings and drawings. On the Edge of the World showcases 25 of his most important paintings, which represent the key themes, sheer variety, and complexity of his work. The exhibition travels to only two U.S. venues. The Bruce Museum is the only one on the East Coast. Learn more.

Center for Contemporary Printmaking

Under the Influence: Members’ Exhibition 2019
Through February 9, 2020
Under the Influence includes prints by CCP’s member artists representing the people, events, places or other sources of influence that have informed their work. Each piece is accompanied by a reference text or image to provide the context. Jacob Lewis, President of Pace Prints will jury the submissions and select awards. Learn more.

Fairfield University Art Museum

Gifts of Gold: The Art of Japanese Lacquer Boxes
Through May 15, 2020
Gifts of Gold: The Art of Japanese Lacquer Boxes will introduce viewers to the medium, functions, decorative techniques, and symbolic associations of Japanese lacquer by presenting approximately twenty exquisite works ranging from the 15th through the 21st centuries, complemented by a few select paintings. The exhibition will consist of four groupings with the following themes: 1) forms in black and red 2) seasonal and auspicious motifs 3) poetic and literary associations 4) materials and techniques. Objects in the exhibition are drawn from institutional and private collections, as well as featuring a 19th century writing box recently acquired by the Fairfield University Art Museum. Learn more.

Archives of Consciousness: Six Cuban Artists
Through May 15, 2020
Featuring recent and key past works by internationally renowned artists, this exhibit explores the many mythologies of liberation and fulfillment promised by modern life as well as the peculiar challenges they represent for island Cubans who must navigate Cuba’s contradictory system of combining capitalism with Communist rule since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Through sculpture, painting, photography and mixed media, artists Roberto Diago, Manuel Mendive, Eduardo (“Choco”) Roca, Abel Barroso, Mabel Poblet and Luis Camejo interrogate the ways that consumerism, migration, patriarchy and the legacies of slavery shape the definitions and differential experiences of freedom that twenty-first-century technology affords all of us. Yet these works anchor the viewer in deeply Cuban locations of consciousness, revealing how austerity and sacrifice, self-reliance and dependence, fear and valor, joy and anguish reflect central principles of survival in a society where egalitarian dreams have long clashed with scarcity, poverty and painful political realities. Learn more.

Florence Griswold Museum

An American Place: The Art Colony at Old Lyme
Ongoing on the second-floor gallery
Centered in the boardinghouse of Miss Florence Griswold, the colony attracted many leading artists – Henry Ward Ranger, Childe Hassam, and Willard Metcalf among them – who were in the vanguard of the Tonalist and Impressionist movements. Drawn to Old Lyme by its natural beauty, they discovered an “old” New England setting that was, as one observer noted, “expressive of the quiet dignity of other days.” Learn more.

Greenwich Historical Society

Hill-Stead Museum

A Natural Parterre: An Environmental Garden Art Installation by Bob Chaplin
A New Site-Specific Artwork at Hill-Stead. In the fall of 2018, landscape artist Bob Chaplin began the installation of A Natural Parterre on the grounds of Hill-Stead Museum. Through this unique, site-specific artwork, the artist hopes to initiate a dialogue between ‘nature’ and man’s involvement to try and ‘tame’ nature. The installation is situated in the large meadow below and to the north Hill-Stead’s historic 1901 Colonial Revival house. It can be viewed from the museum’s west lawn and as part of Hill-Stead’s established, mowed, walking-path system. The parterre is designed to be experienced up-close and visitors are encouraged to walk through it. Learn more.

The Housatonic Museum of Art

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac – Hamden

Lyman Allyn Art Museum

A Century of Creativity: Connecticut Art from the New Haven Paint & Clay Club
Through May 10, 2020

Showcasing over 100 years of Connecticut art, this exhibition of paintings, prints, and drawings explores our surroundings—the landscapes, people, and objects that help shape our sense of place. What makes Connecticut special and how has the region’s identity shifted over time? A Century of Creativity draws on the permanent collection of the New Haven Paint & Clay Club, one of the oldest art clubs in New England. The exhibition celebrates the beauty and range of fine art produced in this region since 1900. Learn more.

Mattatuck Museum

MIXMASTER: 5th Annual Juried Members Exhibition
Through February 23, 2020
MIXMASTER seeks to discover and recognize the talents of artists in the New England and tri-state region. This exhibition provides an opportunity for established and emerging artists to debut their latest works. Works were selected from over 200 submissions, by Juror Richard Michelson, founder of R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, MA. This year, the Mattatuck is partnering with Post University where works will be on display in their downtown Waterbury location. Learn more.

Picturing Peace: Exploring Peace Through Photography
Through February 28, 2020
In this exhibition, 5th grade students in Waterbury’s Maloney & Rotella art programs display their photographic visions of peace and write how they draw on their social relationships and nature for inspiration. This exhibition is supported in part by Drs. Robert and Jill Beck. Learn more.

New Britain Museum of American Art

2020/20+ Women @ NBMAA Celebrating the Impact of Female-Identifying Artists throughout American History
Through January 31, 2020
The New Britain Museum of American Art will present 2020/20+ Women @ NBMAA, a year-long series of seven groundbreaking exhibitions devoted exclusively to women artists beginning January 2020. 100 years after women gained the right to vote, only 27% of major exhibitions are devoted to women artists worldwide. Challenging underrepresentation and celebrating diversity, artists featured will include Kara Walker, Anni Albers, Shantell Martin, Yoko Ono, Nancy Spero, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, Jennifer Wen Ma, and more. Learn more.

Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)
Through April 19, 2020
Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) considers experiences of racism toward African Americans that were absent or only alluded to in historical representations of the Civil War. Created in collaboration with the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies, New York, each print in the portfolio is an enlargement of a woodcut plate from Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Chicago, 1862), overlaid with Walker’s silkscreen cutout figures rendered in solid black silhouette.

This exhibition launches the Museum’s 2020/20+ Women @ NBMAA initiative, in which all exhibitions will be dedicated to female artists, in honor of the centennial of women’s suffrage in America. Read more. Learn more.

The Art and Artists of Monhegan Island: Selections from the Charles J. and Irene Hamm Collection of Coastal Art
Through August 30, 2020
Located 10 miles off the coast of Maine, the remote and rustic island of Monhegan has drawn artists from around the world for over 150 years. Appreciated for its natural windswept beauty, quaint fishing village, high granite cliffs, and rocky beaches, Monhegan—known as “The Artist’s Island”—has become the home of one of America’s best-known and enduring art colonies. The Art and Artists of Monhegan Island displays some of the most iconic and intimate scenes of this beloved destination and is derived exclusively from the NBMAA’s extensive Charles J. and Irene Hamm Collection of Coastal Art.

The origins of the art colony on Monhegan date to the mid-19th century; by 1890, it was firmly established. Hudson River School painter Aaron Draper Shattuck was the first recorded artist to encounter the island while on a tour of lighthouses along the Maine coast. In an 1858 letter, he described that “Monhegan Island has some wonderful things about it… beautiful coves and grand cliffs rising high out of the sea.” By the mid-1890s, landscape painters ventured to the island, including William Trost Richards, Alfred T. Bricher, and Samuel Peter Rolt Triscott, whose refined watercolors, featured in this gallery, capture the extraordinary natural beauty of this picturesque island.

In 1903, celebrated modern artists Robert Henri, George Bellows, and Rockwell Kent worked together on Mohegan Island, applying gestural bravura to their compositions—examples of which can be viewed in our nearby Charles J. and Irene Hamm Gallery. Between 1903 and 1918, these artists were joined by American Impressionists and traditional marine painters, culminating in an especially active period known as Monhegan’s Golden Age of Art. A rich tradition of regionalist painting emerged between the 1920s and the second World War, represented by the work of artists Andrew Winter and Jay Connaway, who each lived year-round on the island for several decades, as well as Abraham J. Bogdanove, who spent long seasons there each year. Compelling views by Winter, Connaway, and Bogdanove can all be found in this gallery, revealing the visual drama of Monhegan’s cliffs and surf.

Today, visitors can find artists populating the ledges, bluffs, and trails of Monhegan Island, capturing views of Fish Beach, Pulpit Rock, Lobster Cove, and the cliffs of Blackhead. The island remains a refuge for all those seeking to find—and capture on canvas and paper—the sublime power of land and sea. Learn more.

Slater Memorial Museum

76th Annual Connecticut Artists Juried Exhibition
Through March 15, 2020
Juried by Mark D. Mitchell, Holcombe T. Green Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at Yale University Art Gallery.  Learn more.

Stamford Museum & Nature Center

Chagall for Children
Through January 5, 2020
Marc Chagall’s powerful works are characterized by their poetic, mystical qualities, their expressionist perspective, and their use of bold, vivid color.Chagall’s style has been associated with the art movements of surrealism, fauvism, and cubism but instead of fitting neatly into one category, Chagall created a style uniquely his own.

Chagall for Children gives a unique approach to introducing children to art through the life and work of a master artist, helping children and adults alike develop a greater understanding and appreciation of all forms of artistic expression.

The exhibit is designed to engage visitors in the exploration of both art and the artist through 14 interactive, multi-sensory components. Each component features one of Chagall’s works with an accompanying hands‑on activity in a variety of media that encourages the visitor to explore and work with specific art principles such as color, composition, light, and texture. Organized by the Kohl Children’s Museum, Illinois. Learn more.

Thomas D. Mangelsen – A LIFE IN THE WILD
Through March  15, 2020
American nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen has been praised by many as a spiritual descendant of Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter and Edward Weston.  Over his more than 40 years of traveling to the wildest corners of North America and beyond, Mangelsen has become legendary for producing a body of work that includes truly awe-inspiring landscapes and some of the most recognizable wildlife scenes ever photographed, including many counted among the most important of the modern environmental age.

A LIFE IN THE WILD is an exhibition containing 40 of Mangelsen’s most resonant images—images that take viewers on a journey into the haunts of iconic species whose struggles for survival are metaphorical fulcrums for reflection in the 21st century.

In an age of rampant digital manipulation of imagery and an era in which many nature photographers take shortcuts to amass portfolios by frequenting “game farms”—facilities that rent out wildlife “models” by the hour—Mangelsen’s work stands as a striking and noble counterpoint, Allen says. Every single image in Mangelsen’s portfolio has been taken in the wild under natural conditions; the result of him waiting for the “picture perfect moment” across decades and often in hostile conditions. Such a body of work can only be achieved by having a heightened sense of animal behavior, an uncanny feel for being able to read changing atmospherics in the environment, and patience. This exhibition is produced by David J. Wagner, L.L.C. Learn more.

Weir Farm National Historic Site

The Historic Buildings and Visitors Center at Weir Farm NHS are closed until May, however the grounds are open every day from dawn until dusk.
But you can follow J. Alden Weir’s travels in Europe by following Julian Alden Weir’s Student Years in Europe story map! Learn more.

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art – Hartford

Afrocosmologies: American Reflections
Through January 20, 2020
Black artists explore spirituality and culture in Afrocosmologies: American Reflections. Alongside artists of the late-nineteenth century, contemporary artists define new ideas about spirituality, identity, and the environment in ways that move beyond traditional narratives of Black Christianity. In dialogue, these works acknowledge a continuing body of beliefs—a cosmology—that incorporates the centrality of nature, ritual, and relationships between the human and the divine. Emerging from the rich religious and aesthetic traditions of West Africa and the Americas, these works present a dynamic cosmos of influences that shape Contemporary art.  Learn more.

Cutting Edge: Noguchi’s Aluminum Monolith Sesshū, 1958
Through March 15, 2020
Isamu Noguchi’s Sesshū (1958) exemplifies the Japanese American artist’s commitment to synthesizing disparate cultures through his work. Noguchi attributed his long-standing interest in making three-dimensional sculpture from two-dimensional materials to his childhood training in origami and kirigami—the Japanese arts of cutting and folding paper. Off view since 1968, the recently conserved Sesshū was created from a single sheet of Alcoa (Aluminum Company of America) manufactured aluminum, which was not considered a fine art material in the 1950s. The artist used industrial equipment to cut and bend the flat sheet into a screenlike form. Learn more.

William Benton Museum of Art

From Old Masters to Revolutionaries: Five Centuries of the Benton’s Best
An ongoing exhibition of works from the permanent collection
The Benton is pleased to present a changing selection of its most prized possessions that span five centuries. We begin with a sixteenth-century double portrait by the Spanish court painter Alonso Snchez Coello, whose unidentified subjects are a well-dressed noblewoman and child. Also featured is another image of maternal affection in the work Woman and Child by the American impressionist Mary Cassatt. More contemporaneously is Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother (Nipomo, California), an iconic photograph from America’s Dust Bowl era that captures the hardships of the time.
In addition to portraiture, the exhibition includes examples of landscape painting, religious imagery, and genre scenes. Of particular note is Gabrielle Münter’s Fabrik, an excellent example of German Expressionism, Rye Beach, New Hampshire by Martin Johnson Heade, as well more recent contributions by the twentieth-century American Ansel Adams.
No exhibition of the Benton’s best would be complete without the work of Reginald Marsh, an American painter, printmaker, and illustrator who graduated from Yale with his good friend William Benton. A large-scale oil painting, along with Marsh’s preparatory sketches, are featured in this exhibition.

Yale Center for British Art

Contemporary Designer Bookbindings from the Collection of Neale and Margaret Albert
Through March 29, 2020
Featuring the work of designer bookbinder George Kirkpatrick (b. 1938), one of the most imaginative artists represented in the collection of Neale and Margaret Albert, this display will also include exemplars by other noted designer bookbinders working today, such as Susan Allix, Hannah Brown, Gabrielle Fox, Michael Wilcox, and Robert Wu. Many of these bindings were especially commissioned by Neale Albert (Yale JD 1961), who is an active supporter of this often underappreciated aspect of the book arts. Albert was elected in 2014 as an honorary fellow of Designer Bookbinders, the principal society in Great Britain devoted to artistic bookbinding. All of the books included in the exhibition are a promised gift to the Center from Neale and Margaret Albert. Learn more.

Yale University Art Gallery – New Haven

Place, Nations, Generations, Beings: 200 Years of Indigenous North American Art
Through June 21, 2020
Place, Nations, Generations, Beings: 200 Years of Indigenous North American Art presents a wide variety of Indigenous voices and experiences through more than 75 artworks dating from the early 19th century to the present. This student-curated exhibition—the first exhibition of Indigenous art to bring together objects from the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library—showcases basketry, beadwork, drawings, photography, pottery, textiles, and wood carving by prominent artists such as Maria Martinez (P’ohwhóge Owingeh [San Ildefonso Pueblo]), Marie Watt (Seneca), M.F.A. 1996, and Will Wilson (Diné [Navajo]), among others. Guided by the four themes in its title, the exhibition investigates the connections that Indigenous peoples have to their lands; the power of objects as expressions of sovereignty; the passing on of artistic practices and traditions; and the relationships that artists and nations have to animals, plants, and cosmological beings. The objects on view contribute to the larger narrative of American art and act as touchstones for further partnerships with Indigenous nations. Learn more.