Museum of Art Opens Two Print Exhibitions on Jan. 24, 2020

January 20, 2020

The Grinnell College Museum of Art will open on Friday, Jan. 24, with two exhibitions featuring pioneering contemporary printmaking. Both exhibitions at the museum in the College's Bucksbaum Center for the Arts are free and open to the public.

Damon Davis, Jan. 24–March 15, 2020

A self-titled exhibition features prints by Damon Davis, a St. Louis-based multimedia artist and activist whose earlier work, inspired by his experiences during the 2014 uprising in Ferguson, Missouri, is part of the College’s permanent art collection. For the works in this exhibition, produced during his residency at Grinnell College last September, Davis turned his socially- and politically-engaged gaze inward in a process of healing prompted by more recent political and personal trauma. According to the artist, “My practice is part therapy, part social commentary. My work is rooted in the black American experience because that is my experience. I am having a conversation with myself; and when that conversation is made public, my hope is that people can see themselves in my work and it helps them grow, along with myself.” The exhibition continues through March 15, 2020.

Davis’ residency was sponsored by the College’s Center for the Humanities and by Artists@Grinnell, a program that facilitates experiences with visiting artists to mentor and inspire students, faculty, and staff.

Excavations: The Prints of Julie Mehretu, Jan. 24–April 5, 2020

The second exhibition, Excavations: The Prints of Julie Mehretu, will present work for the first time in Grinnell by Mehretu, an Ethiopian-born American artist currently based in New York and Berlin. Mehretu’s work will be displayed through April 5, 2020. Primarily known as a painter, Mehretu’s compositions balance precise, almost topographical line drawings with gestural abstractions, creating layers that explore complex relationships between the natural and the manmade landscape. Mehretu has completed collaborative projects at professional printmaking studios across the country, including the Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis, which has organized this exhibition.


Events during the exhibitions include:

  • 20 Minutes@11 with Makeba Lavan, 11 a.m. Jan. 29. Makeba Lavan, assistant professor of English, will speak about Damon Davis’ prints within the context of Afrofuturism.
  • Damon Davis: Gallery Tour and Reception, 4 p.m. Jan. 30. Damon Davis will give a tour of his exhibition and discuss the works created during his residency at Grinnell College Museum of Art in September 2019. Reception to follow.
  • 20 Minutes@11 with Andrew Kaufman, 11 a.m. Feb. 5. Andrew Kaufman, associate professor of studio art, will discuss the works of Julie Mehretu.
  • Community Day, 1:30–3 p.m. Feb. 15. Enjoy the exhibitions by Damon Davis and Julie Mehretu and explore an extravaganza of hands-on art projects.
  • Panel: “Notions of Territory and the Built Environment,” 4 p.m. Feb. 27. Julie Mehretu’s works are complex visual conversations that explore the metaphoric and tectonic through maps, public architectural sites and plans, sports diagrams, and abstract and figurative structures. An interdisciplinary panel will use her work as a starting point to develop ideas about territory and structures, considering mapping, colonialism, migrations, poetic form, and other topics. Speakers include Grinnell professors Joshua Marshack (anthropology), Asimina Ino Nikolopoulou (gender, women and sexuality studies), Hai-Dang Phan (English) and Fredo Rivera (art history).
  • Gallery Tour: Cole Rogers: “Collaborating with Julie Mehretu,” 7 p.m. March 5. Cole Rogers, artistic director and master printer, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, will discuss the collaborative relationship between artist and printer in contemporary print workshops as well as the techniques, history, and unique aspects of individual works in “Excavations: The Prints of Julie Mehretu.” 
  • Piano Recital: Royce Wolf, 11 a.m. March 10. Royce Wolf, associate professor of mathematics, will present a solo piano recital featuring the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Bartok, and Frederic Rzewski.

The Grinnell College Museum of Art, which is free and open to the public, is based in Grinnell College's Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell.

The museum provides an open door to world-class exhibitions, collections, and programs for the campus community and the general public. It is a hub for intellectual exchange and innovative learning and offers an opportunity to explore social issues through artistic expression.

The museum’s new hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The gallery will be closed Memorial Day.

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