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Playing it Forward: German Expressionism to Expressionism Today

In 2001, The Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, acquired more than 70 German Expressionist prints from the collection of John L. and Roslyn Bakst Goldman of Rochester, NY. Since then, the Goldmans have formed a new collection of prints by international contemporary artists. This exhibition will feature both collections side-by-side, demonstrating the Goldmans’ continued interests in cutting-edge printmaking and their fidelity to Expressionist ideals, including a wide variety of printing processes, masterful technique, and challenging subject matter.

Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument

Gordon Parks was born into poverty and segregation in Fort Scott, Kansas, in 1912. An itinerant laborer, he worked as a brothel pianist and railcar porter, among other jobs, before buying a camera at a pawnshop, training himself, and becoming a photographer. In addition to his tenures photographing for the Farm Security Administration (1941-1945) and Life Magazine (1948-1972), Parks also found success as a film director, writer and composer.

Artists/Writers@Grinnell: Dan O’Brien

Dan O'BrienAward-winning poet and playwright Dan O’Brien will be in residence March 1–7 and April 16–19, sponsored by Writers@Grinnell and Artists@Grinnell.

O’Brien is giving a free public works in progress talk about his creative process at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, March 5, in Faulconer Gallery.

His plays include The Body of an American, winner of the Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play, the PEN Center USA Award for Drama, and other awards. His poetry collections include Scarsdale and War Reporter.

In March, O’Brien is teaching an English and theatre short intensive course on the creation of a one-act play. Students of the course are learning the fundamentals of dramatic structure and will write, rehearse, and present their own completed one-acts during his second visit in April.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.

Christiane Baumgartner to Give Gallery Talk

German artist Christiane Baumgartner is internationally known for monumental woodcuts that contrast the modern process of shooting digital video, resulting in distanced, ordered and simplified digital information, and the physicality of creating prints using ancient woodcutting techniques. In her Faulconer Gallery talk, Baumgartner will discuss how the centuries-old, labor-intensive process of cutting a printing block from wood offers space for reflection on the fleeting moments captured instantly in video and the contrast between the systems of nature vs. digital systems.

Three works by Baumgartner are in the collection of John and Roslyn Bakst Goldman, and are currently on view in Playing it Forward: German Expressionism and Expressionism Today. The Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College Art Collection owns an example of her work as well. Baumgartner’s visit to campus will include meetings with students and faculty. Her visit is funded, in part, by Artists@Grinnell, an Innovation Fund project.

Gallery Talk: Christiane Baumgartner
Thursday, February 26, 2015, 4:15 p.m.
Faulconer Gallery

Artists@Grinnell: Stelios Manousakis

Artists@Grinnell welcomes artist-in-residence Stelios Manousakis for a two-week residency February 15–28, 2015.

Stelios Manousakis (Crete, Greece, 1980) is a composer, performer, sound artist, and researcher. He operates across the convergence zones of art, science, and engineering / composition, performance, and installation / the rich tradition of western sonic art and ‘digital-folk’ idioms. He studied music and linguistics in Greece, Sonology in the Netherlands, and is currently finishing a PhD in Visual and Performing Arts at the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS, University of Washington). You can view Manousakis’ portfolio online.

Manousakis will be visiting campus to share his process, produce work, and connect with students, faculty, and staff.

Please come to the following events in Bucksbaum Center for the Arts. Email Artists@Grinnell Residency for more information.

Scheduled Events

Student Lunch

Noon Wednesday, Feb. 18, in Bucksbaum Room 152

Artists@Grinnell and the Music Student Educational Policy Committee invites you to learn more about Stelios over an informal pizza lunch open to all majors and interested students.

Installation Tours

4:15 p.m. Wednesday, February 18, & Friday, February 20, in Faulconer Gallery

Manousakis’ sound installation titled "Act so there is no use in a centre" (2014) can be experienced in the Faulconer Gallery throughout his residency. The installation tours will be informal to give viewers a chance to ask the artist a few questions. The piece is an interactive radio-transmitted spatial play using text from Gertrude Stein’s “Rooms” (1914) and Manousakis’ audio archive.

Works in Progress Talk: Creating with Systems

4:15 p.m. Monday, February 23, in Faulconer Gallery

Stelios Manousakis will talk about feedback, musical cybernetics, and working with systems, processes, and texts. He will present some of his recent artworks and will discuss the creative processes involved while keeping an eye on a wider historical, scientific, and artistic context.

This talk is the first of a series called "Works in Progress Talks" where visiting artists are asked to speak about their processes.

Artists@Grinnell is an Innovation Fund project and a collaborative effort by Faulconer Gallery; the art and art history, music, and theatre and dance departments; and Writers@Grinnell. Manousakis’ residency is co-sponsored by the music department and Center for International Studies.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Bucksbaum Center for the Arts and Faulconer Gallery are accessible. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.

Urban Issues & Social Justice in Chicago

From Feb. 3-6, Grinnell College's Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights will sponsor a free, public symposium.

"Chicago: Urban Issues and Social Justice in the Windy City" will feature speakers and panelists from across the country, and will include discussions of economic justice, grassroots organizing, urban education, activism, and deindustrialization.

"In this symposium, we wanted to deal with American urban issues," says Ed Cohn, assistant professor of history and interim director of the Rosenfield Program. "In focusing on Chicago, a major American city close to Grinnell, we can discuss those issues in depth."

Virginia Parks, Associate Professor at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service AdministrationSpeakers will include Virginia Parks (pictured), associate professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago; Christine Walley, associate professor of anthropology at MIT; Barbara Ransby, professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Kari Lydersen, freelance journalist and author.

The symposium also will feature "The Education Project Photo Exhibition" by photographer Sandra Steinbrecher. In this exhibition sponsored by the Faulconer Gallery, Steinbrecher has documented the struggles and triumphs of daily life in three Chicago high schools facing profound challenges. The exhibition runs from Jan. 26 through March 15 in Burling Gallery on the lower level of Burling Library.

On Feb. 5, Steinbrecher will lead a gallery tour and discuss her experiences working with high schools in Chicago, exploring how art, urban issues and politics intersect in her project. A reception will follow. Educators from Chicago area schools will join Steinbrecher on Feb. 6 for a panel discussion titled "Images and Issues in Urban Education." The Grinnell Careers in Education Professions program is co-sponsoring this event, which will be followed by a reception.

A complete schedule of events follows. All events are held in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101 unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, Feb. 3

4:15 p.m. Presentation

"The Exit Zero Project: Exploring the Aftermath of Deindustrialization in Chicago" by Christine Walley, author and associate professor of anthropology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

8 p.m. presentation

"Mayor 1% and Shaping the New Chicago: The Reign of Rahm Emanuel, the 2015 Election and Beyond" by Kari Lydersen, Chicago journalist and author.

Wednesday, Feb. 4

12 p.m. Scholar's Convocation

"The Fight for Economic Justice from the Streets of Chicago" by Virginia Parks, associate professor, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago.

8 p.m. Alumni Panel

Activism in Chicago, featuring Christian Snow '13, director of community engagement at Street-Level Youth Media, and Javon Garcia '14, health outreach at HIV Services at The Night Ministry.

Thursday, Feb. 5

4:15 p.m. Gallery Tour and Talk

"The Education Photo Project," a gallery tour and talk by artist Sandra Steinbrecher. Burling Gallery, Burling Library. Reception follows.

8 p.m. "Politics from Below: Grassroots Struggles Reshaping the Landscape of Chicago" by Barbara Ransby, professor of history, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Friday, Feb. 6

7 p.m. Panel Discussion

"Images and Issues in Urban Education" featuring panelists from Chicago area schools. Sponsored by the Grinnell Careers in Education Professions program in conjunction with "The Education Project Photo Exhibition." Reception follows.


Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities.

The Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, located at 1115 Eighth Ave., is equipped with an induction hearing loop system in Room 101 and accessible parking on the east side of the building.

Burling Library is located at 1111 Sixth Ave. with accessible parking on the northeast side of the building.

Both buildings are accessible. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

Piano Suite Honors Friends Killed in WWI

Eugene Gaub, associate professor of music, will perform Maurice Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin: A Memorial to Friends Killed in the Great War” at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28. This free concert will take place in the Faulconer Gallery.

Ravel, a 20th century French composer, drove an ambulance for France during the Great War and saw action at the Battle of Verdun, which is considered the greatest and lengthiest battle in world history. France eventually defeated Germany in this battle, which lasted from Feb. 21 through Dec. 19, 1916, and produced an estimated 700,000 casualties (dead, wounded and missing).

The horrors and carnage Ravel witnessed in the trench warfare and use of poison gas at Verdun found expression in his music, notably in the suite of six pieces for piano titled “Le Tombeau de Couperin.” This work began in 1914 in homage to French music of the past (composer François Couperin, 1668-1733), but became a dual tribute as Ravel dedicated each movement to one of his friends killed in action.

In addition to performing the suite that Ravel finished in 1917, Gaub will introduce the men whose memory the suite honors, and describe the contexts — musical and political — from which the work emerged.

The concert is part of the Grinnell College Center for the Humanities year-long focus on “A Century of War: 1914 and Beyond.” Faulconer Gallery and the music department are co-sponsors of the concert.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from Conference Operations.


Photography and German Expressionism

Photos and prints will be on display in the Faulconer Gallery for the first part of the semester. Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument and Playing It Forward: German Expressionism to Expressionism Today” open with a reception on Friday, Jan. 23.

Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument explores acclaimed photographer Gordon Parks' first photographic essay for Life magazine in 1948, "Harlem Gang Leader."

The exhibition traces the editorial process behind the production of the photo essay with vintage photographs, original issues of Life, contact sheets, and proof prints. It also raises important questions about photography as a documentary tool and a narrative device, its role in addressing social concerns, and its function in the world of publishing.

Playing It Forward: German Expressionism to Expressionism Today, features work acquired by the Faulconer Gallery from the collection of John L. and Roslyn Bakst Goldman of Rochester, New York. Since the Faulconer Gallery acquired the prints in 2001, the Goldmans have assembled a new collection of prints by international contemporary artists.

This exhibition will feature the print collections side-by-side, demonstrating the Goldmans' continued interests in cutting-edge printmaking and their fidelity to Expressionist ideals, including a wide variety of printing processes, masterful technique and challenging subject matter.

"The Parks and German Expressionism exhibitions feature artists confronting the issues of the world around them," says Daniel Strong, associate director and curator of exhibitions at the Faulconer Gallery. "While they are separate exhibitions, they speak to similar issues, and both align with Grinnell's commitment to social justice."

Strong curated Playing It Forward: German Expressionism to Expressionism Today while Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument was curated by Russell Lord, Freeman Family Curator of Photographs at the New Orleans Museum of Art, in collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation.

In addition to the opening reception, numerous free public events will be held at the Falconer Gallery during the two exhibitions, which will run through March 15. 

Team Tolstoy

On Wednesday, Nov. 12, Laura “Lola” Baltzell ’83 and Christiane Carney Johnson ’83 will discuss the collaborative process they used to create the War and Peace Project exhibited through Dec. 7 in Burling Gallery. Their gallery talk is free and open to the public, and will start at 4:15 p.m. in Burling Library Lounge.

During their talk, Baltzell and Johnson will describe the collaborative fusion of literature and art that led to the creation of collages that cover all 747 pages of Leo Tolstoy’s famous novel. Each 5 x 7 inch collage incorporates one page from the Russian text, combined with bits of maps, dried flowers, ink, wax, graphite, thread, letters, and other printed material.

Baltzell, who majored in Russian and economics, and Johnson, who majored in Russian and political science, developed the project with a group of artists who dubbed themselves Team Tolstoy. They both were inspired by their experiences in the late Professor John Mohan’s renowned course about the Russian writer.

The team included four additional Grinnell alumni — Otto Mayr ’82, Lucy Zahner Montgomery ’83, Elizabeth Jorganson Sherman ’83, and Lynn Waskelis ’83. Artists Emma Rhodes and Adrienne Wetmore also served on the team.   

In addition to giving the gallery talk on Wednesday, Baltzell and Johnson will help Grinnell students create their own collages during a study break from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in the Rotunda of the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

While on campus, Baltzell and Johnson will work with students enrolled in a tutorial on War and Peace taught by Associate Professor of Russian Kelly Herold, visit Russian language and literature classes, and attend a reception hosted by Professor of Russian Todd Armstrong.

The Faulconer Gallery brought the War and Peace Project to Grinnell’s campus in cooperation with the Russian Department and the Center for the Humanities. The project has been shown in Boston, New York and Russia. The Grinnell exhibit is the first in which the project has been exhibited in its entirety in the United States.