Cultivating Culture http://www.cultivatingculture.com Thinking and writing about culture around the world Sat, 13 Jan 2018 00:08:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 50009989 Last Chance to See Iconic Photographer at SFMOMA http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2018/01/12/last-chance-iconic-photographer-sfmoma/ http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2018/01/12/last-chance-iconic-photographer-sfmoma/#respond Sat, 13 Jan 2018 00:08:25 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5546 Photographer Walker Evans, best known for his work documenting everyday life during the Great Depression, has a new home: Until February 4, his work will be displayed as part of an exhibit at SFMOMA. Including everything from his earliest self-portraits to his photographs capturing average men and women on the streets, the SFMOMA exhibit is […]

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A photo of a shoeshine stand taken in the Southeastern U.S. in 1936. The image was captured by photographer Walker Evans.

“Shoeshine stand, Southeastern U.S.,” by Walker Evans (1936).
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photographer Walker Evans, best known for his work documenting everyday life during the Great Depression, has a new home: Until February 4, his work will be displayed as part of an exhibit at SFMOMA. Including everything from his earliest self-portraits to his photographs capturing average men and women on the streets, the SFMOMA exhibit is so large, it needs two huge sets of galleries to contain all of the photographs and others works. Those other works include a video of Evans talking about his art and the other artists who inspired him.

An exhibit of this size and scope doesn’t happen without a Board of Trustees including some pretty big names, such as Thom Weisel, the Silicon Valley business bigwig; Marissa Mayer, the former CEO of Yahoo!; and actor Bradley James, to name a few.

Evans’s work is worth seeing via a presentation like this because of its importance to the history of the U.S.—not just the evolution of photography.

Despite being born into privilege in 1901, Evans’s MO with his work was always to depict people as they really are—in particular lower class Americans who were often overlooked. A contemporary of Hemingway, Evans’s photographs included everyday people, storefronts, and Southern churches. He bridged the gap between the formal photography of the 19th century and the more realistic photography of the 20th century and beyond.

In the 1920s, Evans was hired by the government to photograph migrant farmers and their families to prove that government support programs during the Great Depression were working. However, once Evans saw the actual state of these families, he refused to produce propaganda and instead focused on photographing what life was really like for these people.

The SFMOMA exhibit is unusual not only in its size, but in that it’s the only presentation of this collection in the U.S. It includes over 300 prints (many of which have never been shown) and about 100 documents and objects from Evans’s personal collection.

If you’re in the area, don’t miss this exhibit. SFMOMA is open Fridays-Tuesdays 10 AM to 5 PM and Thursdays 10 AM to 9 PM.

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CreatiVets Creates a Safe Art Space for Veterans http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2018/01/08/creativets/ http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2018/01/08/creativets/#respond Mon, 08 Jan 2018 20:13:28 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5536 U.S. Marine Richard Casper was hit by a blast on an Iraqi road in February 2007. It was the fourth time he’d been hit by an explosive in just four months. After Casper returned to his home in Illinois, he suffered from anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some veterans with PTSD find comfort in yoga. […]

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CreatiVets' logo.

U.S. Marine Richard Casper was hit by a blast on an Iraqi road in February 2007. It was the fourth time he’d been hit by an explosive in just four months.

After Casper returned to his home in Illinois, he suffered from anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some veterans with PTSD find comfort in yoga. Some find comfort in hiking. But for Casper, his comfort came through art.

It wasn’t long until Casper co-founded an organization to help other veterans like him find an outlet in art, music, and writing. The nonprofit, CreatiVets, began in 2013 and continues to flourish today.

Sometimes, CreatiVets sends veterans to Chicago to study with the best at the School of the Art Institute. Other times, the group sends veterans to Nashville to work with skillful musicians. Today, the group has helped over 80 people.

One such person, Tommy Houston, collaborated with musicians through CreatiVets to create the song “Yellow Balloon” for his daughter. Houston shared the song with his daughter in a YouTube video that has now garnered over 400,000 views.

The art program is equally as successful. Though CreatiVets hasn’t made any Van Goghs yet, it does provide an experience that allows veterans to tell their stories and provide relief from their stress and anxiety.

In addition, the art program gives participants the opportunity to showcase the pieces they make in a gallery to raise public awareness about veterans’ psychological and emotional health after coming home.

“Personally, it was very hard for me to talk about my Iraq war experience, and [I] avoided questions about it,” said a CreatiVets participant. “I didn’t want to revisit the sad feelings or horrific memories. It wasn’t until after I began to tell my story to people that I felt a sense of relief from some of the grief I held inside.”

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3 Paper Planners That Are Trending http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2018/01/02/3-paper-planners-trending/ http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2018/01/02/3-paper-planners-trending/#respond Tue, 02 Jan 2018 23:23:24 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5528 In an age where people consume most of their media electronically, it might be surprising to hear that paper planner sales have been up $50 million in the last two years. Perhaps it stems from the same reason that some people still choose to hold onto their paperbacks when they have a convenient Kindle, or […]

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A photo of a paper planner with a pen laid on top of it.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

In an age where people consume most of their media electronically, it might be surprising to hear that paper planner sales have been up $50 million in the last two years.

Perhaps it stems from the same reason that some people still choose to hold onto their paperbacks when they have a convenient Kindle, or the same reason adult coloring books are trending. Whether it’s nostalgia, true convenience, or something else entirely, the verdict is still out. But the best day planners all have something in common—their clean design and creative style.

Here are a few of the best-designed paper planners that are trending in the art community and beyond.

1. Passion Planner

The Passion Planner doesn’t feature fancy cover art or pull-out folders. Instead, it contains the best of the basics. Originally featured on Kickstarter, this versatile planner contains areas for both long-term life goals (also called “life-mapping”) and daily time slots to ensure you don’t miss any meetings. Their passion to keep it simple by offering limited designs and colors has made the Passion Planner a timeless utility.

2. Day Designer

Another alliteration, the Day Designer is more design-focused than the Passion Planner. Their “Flagship Collection,” specifically created for women, includes 11 colorful patterns designed to brighten one’s day. The Day Designer also sells refillable leather-bound planners at $159 and up. The Day Designer, like any good trend, is about more than just being organized. Its stylish patterns and color palette have made it a household name and fashion accessory.

3. Calendar To-Do List Pad

When artist Ryan McGinness created the Calendar To-Do List Pad, he made it clean and simple so that anyone could have the space to take notes or doodle throughout their day. This no-frills to-do list is quaint and modern in a sea of bright and flowery planners. The 365 calendar also comes in a chic black box that’s perfect for putting on a shelf to look back at on New Year’s.

While the reason for paper planners trending in a digital age is still a mystery, one thing is for sure: paper planners are set to become more creative and well-designed in the years to come.

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Exhibit ‘Design in the Digital Age’ Inspired by Natural Algorithms http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/12/19/design-digital-age-joris-laarman/ http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/12/19/design-digital-age-joris-laarman/#respond Tue, 19 Dec 2017 19:47:19 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5523 In September 2017, Dutch designer Joris Laarman debuted his first major exhibition in the U.S., titled “Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age,” at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Laarman received critical acclaim from art purveyors and media outlets like The New York Times. His exhibit pioneers a distinctive take on a common household object: […]

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A unique chair that appears to be made from bones. It's called "Bone Chair" and was designed by Joris Laarman.

“Bone Chair” by Joris Laarman.
Photo courtesy of Social is Better via Flickr Creative Commons.

In September 2017, Dutch designer Joris Laarman debuted his first major exhibition in the U.S., titled “Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age,” at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Laarman received critical acclaim from art purveyors and media outlets like The New York Times. His exhibit pioneers a distinctive take on a common household object: the chair.

But unlike most chairs made from plastic, wood, and metal, the chairs in this exhibit are designed using algorithms found in nature and are made mostly by robots. For example, the iconic 2006 “Bone Chair” is made from marrying algorithms, software, and aluminum.

“Our digital age makes it possible to not just use nature as a stylistic reference, but to actually use the underlying principles to generate shapes just like an evolutionary process,” writes Laarman.

New York Times writer Joseph Giovannini likened the technological breakthrough of the “Bone Chair” to Ray Eames’s 1940’s “potato chip” chair, which “defined midcentury Modernism and endures today as a classic.”

However, unlike Eames, Dutch designer Laarman unites natural design with industrial design while leaving room for individualization. Instead of programming an army of mass-produced chairs, Laarman could feasibly create thousands of one-of-a-kind “bone chairs,” other furniture, and even 3-D bridges made by fastidious metal printers.

3-D digital printers can be traced back to 1986, but the Joris Laarman Lab’s approach to them differs in that he created gravity-resistant resin and a printing system that utilizes walking robots and nozzles to print objects in layers from anywhere on the production floor. Now the promising art lab has also branched into MX3D, a robotics company taking on molten-metal projects for a walking bridge in Amsterdam that should be completed in 2018.

Whether exhibit-goers are looking for a rare living-room chair inspired by human tissue or wanting to be awestruck by the future of architectural 3-D printing, “Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age” is a must-see.

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Centuries of Cities: How Urban Centers Continue to Inspire http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/12/15/history-cities-inspire/ Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:00:24 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5517   Whether ancient or modern, we continue to be fascinated by cities and their histories. How they were founded, what their transportation looks like, what art they produce—each city has its own personality and products to show the world. Artists, photographers, historians, and curators capture the elements unique to each location and produce exhibits that […]

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A photo of New York City, taken at night.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Whether ancient or modern, we continue to be fascinated by cities and their histories. How they were founded, what their transportation looks like, what art they produce—each city has its own personality and products to show the world. Artists, photographers, historians, and curators capture the elements unique to each location and produce exhibits that both celebrate and educate.

Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire

Few historical cities have had the kind of lasting power of Teotihuacan. Thousands of years ago, it was one of Mesoamerica’s most powerful urban areas. These days it’s been reduced to archaeological sites, including pyramids and plazas. But that doesn’t mean its appeal has lessened any.

That’s why San Francisco’s de Young Museum has become the temporary home to an exhibit focusing on the history and culture of this dynamic city. Thanks to the dedicated support of local bigwigs like Silicon Valley businessman Thom Weisel and family, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, the Selz Foundation, and many more, this look into the history of an incredibly important city will be available through February 2018.

NY at Its Core: 400 Years of NYC History

The Museum of the City of New York is asking an important question about NYC: What made it the New York City we think of today? Was it the original Dutch village? The diversity, creativity, and innovation inherent in the city?

The “NY at Its Core” exhibit is providing visitors a chance to explore those questions using photographs, writings, video, and interactive digital presentations. The over 450 historical objects present not only the history of the city, but also some of its most famous denizens, including Alexander Hamilton, JP Morgan, Jane Jacobs, Emma Goldman, and even Jay Z.

Since the exhibit is ongoing, you can visit any time.

Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith

No one captured Seattle’s African American community quite like Al Smith, whose 65 years of photography are the subject of an exhibit at MOHAI (The Museum of History and Industry) in Seattle.

A self-described “real native son,” Smith documented his experiences in Seattle’s Central District. He took his hobby to the next level by forming his On the Spot photography side business after returning home from a series of steward jobs on merchant vessels sailing around the Pacific Rim.

The “Seattle on the Spot” exhibit isn’t just a celebration of Smith himself; it’s also a look into Seattle’s jazz scene and the history of the city at large. Visitors will have a chance to check it out through June 2018.

Museum of the City

More than just an exhibit, the Museum of the City is a website dedicated to “the city as seen through the eyes of its citizens.” It’s essentially an archive of user-generated photography and writing about their home cities—or the cities they choose to study. As a “virtual museum of cities,” the site aims to provide visitors with the opportunity to answer some of the same questions they might see in a more “official” exhibit: What makes a city? How do the past, present, and future affect an urban area? The content covers themes like ancient cities, cities of the future, food, health, immigration, and many more.

The website owes its existence to the partnership between Portland State University and the International Council of Museums Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities (CAMOC).

And since the exhibit is entirely online, it’s accessible anytime.

Our fascination with cities isn’t likely to wane anytime soon, which makes it vital that exhibits like these exist. Understanding the roots of the urban scene will help cities flourish and continue to be seats of innovation and creativity in the future.

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SCAD or Scam? President’s Lucrative Salary Raises Concerns http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/12/11/scad-scam/ Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:52:17 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5511 A damning new report published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has caused many to do a double take on the “highly acclaimed” Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Over the years, SCAD has built a reputation for itself as being one of the nation’s leading private art institutions. But does it truly live up to […]

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A photo of Savannah College of Art and Design's Atlanta campus.

Savannah College of Art and Design’s Atlanta campus.
GAPhoto credit: ESB Professional / Shutterstock

A damning new report published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has caused many to do a double take on the “highly acclaimed” Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

Over the years, SCAD has built a reputation for itself as being one of the nation’s leading private art institutions. But does it truly live up to its name of being a highly esteemed university, or is it all just a marketing ploy?

According to Alan Judd of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, SCAD sells a dream, and the person who benefits most from it is SCAD’s own founder and president, Paula Wallace.

Suspicions were first aroused in 2014, when tax filings showed that Wallace had earned a whopping $9.6 million that year, making her America’s highest paid college leader. Between 2011 and 2015, SCAD paid her a total of $19.9 million in salary and other forms of compensation. Compare that to Harvard, which paid its president less than a third as much during the same time period.

David LaChapelle, a renowned photographer and film director who was invited to speak at a SCAD event, described Wallace as “greedy” and “self-serving.” Prior to being invited as a guest speaker, LaChapelle said he’d never heard of the college before. It wasn’t until he Googled SCAD that he came across various articles about Wallace’s salary, the enormous cost of tuition, and how the school frequently invites celebrity guests for what appear to be promotional purposes.

“She is an incredibly savvy businesswoman who’s incredibly greedy and self-serving,” LaChapelle told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “For someone to profit off these kids’ dreams, that’s really sad.”

Jenna Schreck, who graduated from SCAD in 2012 with a degree in photography, says she bought into the idea of attending a distinguished art school. However, it wasn’t until later did she realize it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

“We all had this understanding that if I’m going to this top-notch school, surely I’m going to be top-notch in my industry,” said Schreck. “Surely, I would take off a little quicker than anybody else. As soon as I got out here, I realized that wasn’t true.”

But for as prestigious as it appears to be on the outside, getting accepted into the school is actually pretty easily. In 2014, bond credit rating firm Moody’s reported that SCAD accepted nearly 94% of all applicants. At most Ivy Leagues schools, the acceptance rate is closer to 20 to 25 percent.

“We’re getting anyone and everyone with a pulse and a bank account,” said Pete Sakievich, a former art professor at SCAD’s Hong Kong campus.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reached out to Wallace for an interview, but those requests were denied. The newspaper also sent the college a list of written questions, which have gone unanswered.

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Art Created By Guantanamo Detainees Now Belong to the US Gov’t http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/12/04/guantanamo-detainees-art/ Mon, 04 Dec 2017 19:35:24 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5505 A popular art exhibition in New York that features works by Guantanamo detainees has caused the Department of Defense to ban all art from leaving the prison pending further review of its policy on the matter. Ode to the Sea, which opened on Oct. 2, 2017 and will run through January 26, 2018, is a […]

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A painting of a ship at sea. The artist is Ghaleb al-Bihani, a former Guantanamo prisoner who was released in January 2017.

A painting by former Guantanamo prisoner Ghaleb al-Bihani, who was released in January 2017.
Photo courtesy of Justin Norman via Flickr CC.

A popular art exhibition in New York that features works by Guantanamo detainees has caused the Department of Defense to ban all art from leaving the prison pending further review of its policy on the matter.

Ode to the Sea, which opened on Oct. 2, 2017 and will run through January 26, 2018, is a collection of sea-themed drawings, paintings, and sculptures by eight current and former Guantanamo inmates (four of which are no longer in captivity). The artwork is centered on the theme of freedom, with the sea acting as a metaphor for liberation.

“It’s easier to humanize an image of the sea than it is to humanize the man who painted it. I think that’s the power of this exhibition,” said co-curator Charles Shields. “The Pentagon’s response has proven how powerful the work is. It proves how powerful art is.”

But according to U.S. military officials, the decision to halt artwork from leaving the prison has nothing to do with the content of the works themselves, but rather the fact that they’ve been put up for sale.

In an interview with the Miami Herald, Air Force Maj. Ben Sakrisson said that Department of Defense officials “were not previously aware that detainee artwork was being sold to third parties,” which is why the Pentagon decided to ban the distribution of inmate artwork until the matter can be reviewed in further detail. Sakrisson referred to the works as property of the U.S. government.

Several arts organizations and civil rights groups have since condemned the military’s decision. Of particular note is the National Coalition Against Censorship, which issued the following statement on November 28, 2017:

“This baseless policy change uses art as a political football in an effort to prevent these works—and a deeper understanding of those who created them—from informing public discussion of the policies the U.S. government makes in its citizens’ names. We condemn this attempt to obstruct the American public discourse essential to a democratic and open society.”

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The Relationship Between Art Censorship and Dictatorship http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/11/27/relationship-art-censorship-dictatorship/ Tue, 28 Nov 2017 01:00:58 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5500 When most people think of a dictator, they picture a violent leader who physically enslaves his citizens. But the modern-day tyrant is much more dangerous due to his subtle approach to totalitarianism. Rather than commit overt acts of oppression, he’s much more likely to engage in indirect forms of it. One common tactic involves the […]

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A person with their mouth sewn shut.

Image: Shutterstock

When most people think of a dictator, they picture a violent leader who physically enslaves his citizens. But the modern-day tyrant is much more dangerous due to his subtle approach to totalitarianism. Rather than commit overt acts of oppression, he’s much more likely to engage in indirect forms of it. One common tactic involves the suppression of creative expression, which is a form of slavery on its own.

In Russia, for example, it is illegal to use obscenities in public performances and to insult the “feelings of religious believers.” And while many would argue that these laws are loosely enforced, there is evidence to the contrary.

In 2012, for example, three members of the feminist punk-rock group Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” Their crime? Performing an anti-Putin song in a Moscow church.

But truth be told, their imprisonment had nothing to do with the fact that they used profanity in their songs or offended religious believers. They were imprisoned because they challenged the status quo, and as every dictator knows, dissent like that can topple a government.

“The artistic community at large rarely sees eye to eye with the state,” writes Russian art curator Marat Guelman. “This conflict may not always boil over, but it exists because of a fundamental truth: Artists will always seek to be open to the world, looking to the future and seeing their place in it.”

A similar situation can be seen in China, where state-sponsored media outlets filter information before it is broadcasted to the public. Much like Pussy Riot, world-renowned activist Ai Weiwei was also imprisoned for creating art that was critical of the Chinese government.

“The censorship in China places limits on knowledge and values, which is the key to imposing ideological slavery,” Weiwei wrote in a New York Times piece. “I do what I can to show cruelties, the subtle and the not so subtle. As things are here today, rational resistance can be based only on the small actions of individual people. Where I fail, the responsibility is mine alone, but the rights I seek to defend are ones that can be shared.”

Weiwei’s statement provides further evidence that while oppressive governments and regimes are nothing new, the tactics that are being used to control the population are. Dictators have had to adjust their tactics over time to account for a baseline population that is more educated and informed than ever before. What this means is that their strategy is likely to rely more on manipulation than it is brute force.

Modern-day dictators know that ideas have the power to topple their regime, so they do their best to censor them. It’s up to artists to fight back.

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How Robert Rauschenberg ‘Erased the Rules’ http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/11/22/robert-rauschenberg-erased-rules/ Thu, 23 Nov 2017 01:32:35 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5494 During his life, artist Robert Rauschenberg worked in a variety of mediums, including everything from photography to vats of mud. The SFMOMA exhibit “Erasing the Rules” gives a retrospective of Rauschenberg’s work and includes more than 150 pieces. The exhibit, which runs from November 18, 2017 to March 25, 2018, is made possible by a […]

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An odd piece of art that features an ox with a tire wrapped around it. The piece, titled "Monogram," is by Robert Rauschenberg.

“Monogram” by Robert Rauschenberg.
Photo credit: j-No via Flickr CC.

During his life, artist Robert Rauschenberg worked in a variety of mediums, including everything from photography to vats of mud. The SFMOMA exhibit “Erasing the Rules” gives a retrospective of Rauschenberg’s work and includes more than 150 pieces.

The exhibit, which runs from November 18, 2017 to March 25, 2018, is made possible by a variety of donors and supporters, including Thomas Weisel and Janet Barnes, Carl and Lyman Casey, and many more.

For such a large exhibit, that level of support makes sense. The vast number of pieces includes prints, sculptures, paintings, and Combines (works combining painting and sculpture).

Rauschenberg is known for his history of experimentation and collaborative processes, which often broke down barriers between mediums (not to mention between cultural and social stances).

According to SFMOMA director Neal Benezra, Rauschenberg was the original “disruptor,” using art in ways that had never been thought of before. Rauschenberg’s “Erased de Kooning Drawing,” for example, is literally that: an erased drawing originally done by Willem de Kooning. Rauschenberg said in an interview with SFMOMA that he had a hard time at first convincing de Kooning to do a drawing that would later be erased. de Kooning finally gave in, though—promising he’d make it as hard as he could to erase the drawing. “It took me about a month,” Rauschenberg said, noting that he used so many erasers, he lost count.

Ultimately, Rauschenberg’s work is about the intersection of conceptual art (the idea) and the formal (the specific goals relating to tone, color, and detail). The exhibit highlights this, displaying the progression of Rauschenberg’s work over the years and how he grappled with these ideas.

Thematically, his work was actually quite personal on multiple levels. Some works are reactions to the events of the day: “Retroactive I” (1964), for example, deals with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Others are far more personal: friends and lovers frequently show up as subjects, and many curators interpret “coded references” to Rauschenberg’s life as a gay man.

“Erasing the Rules” can be seen at SFMOMA 10AM-5PM Fridays through Tuesdays and 10AM-9PM Thursdays. Tickets are $19-$25. Visitors ages 18 and younger are free.

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Curator Resigns Amid Accusations of Inappropriate Behavior http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2017/11/20/curator-resigns-inappropriate-behavior/ Mon, 20 Nov 2017 20:00:05 +0000 http://www.cultivatingculture.com/?p=5488 Curator Gavin Delahunty of the Dallas Museum of Art has resigned amid allegations of misconduct. Delahunty is best known for orchestrating the highly acclaimed 2016 exhibition “Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots.” Details regarding the exact nature of his offenses have yet to be determined. On November 18, Delahunty sent the following statement to his colleagues via […]

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A photo of the Dallas Museum of Art .

Photo credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock

Curator Gavin Delahunty of the Dallas Museum of Art has resigned amid allegations of misconduct. Delahunty is best known for orchestrating the highly acclaimed 2016 exhibition “Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots.” Details regarding the exact nature of his offenses have yet to be determined.

On November 18, Delahunty sent the following statement to his colleagues via email:

Today I am announcing my resignation as the Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, effective immediately. I am aware of allegations regarding my inappropriate behavior, and I do not want them to be a distraction to the Museum or to my colleagues. I offer my deepest apologies to those who have been affected by my behavior. I will be taking this time to spend with my family.

News of his departure shocked many, as it came abruptly and seemingly without warning. But a source familiar with the situation told ARTnews that outside counsel had been investigating Delahunty for quite some time, and that the museum had planned to terminate him.

Museum officials have remained silent on the issue thus far. Multiple requests for comment have gone unanswered.

Maxwell Anderson, who served as Director of the Dallas Museum of Art from 2012 to 2015, hired Delahunty in the spring of 2014. Shortly after the news broke, ARTnews reached out Anderson for comment, to which he responded:

I have great admiration for Gavin’s curatorial acumen, which is why I felt he would be a great addition to the DMA–and he accomplished a great deal in a short time. But in the end, we are all responsible for our personal conduct, as he has apparently accepted, and now has to address appropriately.

Prior to being hired on at the Dallas Museum of Art, Delahunty served as the Head of Exhibitions and Displays at Tate Liverpool from 2010-2014. It’s unclear as to how far these allegations go back.

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