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Who, What, When
Arts on view
at the Tang
Untangling a Social History. January 31–June 6. We
wash it and dry it, bleach it and dye it; it grows—where we
want it and where we don’t—and we curl and straighten
it, shave and transplant it. Hairstyles create a series of signs
or visual codes that mark gender and age, status and sexuality.
Exploring the meanings of facial, head, and body hair in western
society, this show includes paintings, prints, and photographs,
hair-care products and devices, popular imagery in magazine and
TV ads, and works by contemporary artists who use human hair. The
exhibit is organized by art historian Penny Jolly, Skidmore’s
Kenan Professor of Liberal Arts. A public celebration to open the
exhibit is slated for January 31.
John Coplans. January 24–April 11.
John Coplans began his career as a museum director and founding
editor of Artforum magazine. In the late 1970s he turned more to
photography, focusing on his body as a means of
Self Portrait, Body Parts, No. 21, by John Coplans
the self. His works have been exhibited and collected by many major
museums in the US and abroad. After suffering a severe deterioration
of his eyesight recently, he used magnifiers to continue working. “Of course, we do not see with our eyes, but with our minds,”
he notes. “Once I recognized this, I was able to shoot many
more works and finish [my] series”—dyptichs featuring
“a collage of my arms and legs.” Organized by the Tang
in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the
Coplans exhibition will travel to MIT later this year.
Opener 6: Shahzia Sikander. January 24–April 11.
Pakistan native Shahzia Sikander reinvents the tradition of Indian
miniature painting, integrating precise and detailed figures with
loosely rendered forms suggestive of blood, viscera, and the body.
Her work addresses multiple identities, making fluid the distinctions
between past and present, Hindu and Islamic, East and West. Sikander’s
work has appeared in exhibitions throughout the US, Europe, and
Pakistan. In 1999 she receivedan achievement award from the South
Asian Women’s Creative Collective. This “opener” show is organized in collaboration with Jessica Hough, of the Aldrich
Museum of Contemporary Art in Connecticut, where the show will travel
before touring overseas.
The Tang’s regular hours are Tuesday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–5
p.m.; closed major holidays and much of January. For information
about curator’s tours, children’s programs, and other
events, call 518-580-8080 or check www.skidmore.edu/tang.