Global Perspectives: Highlights from the Contemporary Collection is a celebration of global interconnectedness. The Harn’s curators worked together to find shared themes and create conversations from a variety of mediums and perspectives covering Asia, Africa, Europe, and North, Central and South America.
Dulce Román, Chief Curator and Curator of Modern Art, selected paintings and prints addressing the architecture and energy of urban life in the United States. The works in this section hold parallel and contrasting urban themes, from controlled movement to expectant stasis. Prints by Ron Kleemann, Noel Mahaffey, and C.J. Yao depict city life up close, while Yvonne Jacquette’s painting and prints portray dizzying views of New York City captured from airplanes, helicopters, or tall buildings like the Empire State Building or the World Trade Center.
Working with the African collection, Susan Cooksey, retired Curator of African Art, chose artists who allude to cultural and historic motifs. British-Kenyan artist Magdalene Anyango N. Odundo’s ceramic vessels reference Zulu and Mangbetu women’s flared coiffures, and American artist Kehinde Wiley’s re-presentation of a 21st-century couple is modeled after a specific archetypal sculpture from the Dogon people of Mali.
Tongyun Yin, Cofrin Curator of Asian Art, and Allysa B. Peyton, Assistant Curator of Asian Art, selected works that feature artists at the forefront of social and cultural change, whether in subtle or dramatic ways. Using experimental and traditional media, contemporary Asian artists constantly challenge dominant Western cultural narratives, openly advocate personal freedom and individual expression, and actively tackle the social and political issues of the day. In his series The Naked Portfolio, Chinese photographer Shen Wei (born 1977 沈玮) explores issues of identity and introspection.
Carol McCusker, Curator of Photography, examines art from points below the equator, as seen in works from the collection of Héctor Puig. The focus is on Roberto “Yiyo” Tirado and José Clemente Orozco—their art practice is a political act, a manifestation of the poetry, struggle, opposition, and resiliency of daily life, specifically in Puerto Rico and Mexico, as well as beyond.
Bringing together each curator’s vision into one gallery, with juxtapositions of 50+ artworks from around the world, generates new interpretations and dialogues. Resonances across cultures, temporal and spatial boundaries and artistic genres illuminate these artists’ global commonalities and accomplishments.