Ash Arder is a transdisciplinary, researched-focused artist from Flint, Michigan whose work investigates ecological and industrial systems, especially in consideration of the power dynamics between humans, machines, and the natural world. Her practice illuminates moments of intimacy, tenderness, and connection within industrial spaces. She transforms recognizable objects like hardhats and car parts into sculptural forms that contrast the hard, cold bodies of mechanical tools with the soft, warm bodies of the humans that deploy them.Arder is a 2018 graduate of the Fiber Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art, and Flesh Tones is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition and the second installment of Cranbrook Art Museum’s Fresh Paint series, which highlights new work from Detroit-area artists. Through deeply personal family narratives, Arder’s practice explores the impact and legacy of the automotive industry in southeastern Michigan. The departure point for Flesh Tones is a photograph of her late parents celebrating her baby shower ...Read More
Carl Toth: Reordering Fictions examines various bodies of work that the artist created over his more than forty-year career, from early black and white photography to his pioneering work in alternative photographic techniques. Through his interest in torquing reality, Toth sought to expand the field of photography through his exploration of the SX-70 Polaroid camera and his adoption of the photocopier as his camera lens of choice. Toth’s intricate use of collage and photomontage resulted in masterful compositions of complex still-life tableaux, toeing the line between representation and abstraction. Carl Toth (1947–2022) served as Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Photography Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art from 1972 until 2007, shaping generations of students. Toth brought a personal interest in literature and literary theory to the Academy at a time when such ideas were just beginning to redirect the medium. The title, Reordering Fictions, is derived from a quote by the ...Read More
Skilled Labor: Black Realism in Detroit focuses on a local community of artists that have developed expert skills in drawing and painting, and, through deft hands, explore the representation of the Black body in both personal and cultural contexts. Rejecting the monolithic nature under which the Black body is frequently conceived and popularly imagined, Skilled Labor illustrates the range, depth, nuance, and variety of Black life through each artist’s unique approach to figuration. The exhibition features a spectrum of lived experiences—joy, intimacy, reverie, danger, tension—through this artistic lens. Collectively, these artists are undertaking the laborious task of art historical and cultural rethinking through acts of representation.“Skilled labor” refers to highly trained, experienced individuals who complete complex mental or physical tasks with expertise. The term poetically speaks to these Detroit artists that perform a durational and technically proficient approach to artmaking. Skilled labor is also a rigorous intellectual process that these ...Read More
“Cranbrook on the Green” opens to the public on May 24, 2023Family playing the Bertoia Bronze hole at Cranbrook on the Green, Summer 2022. Photo by PD Rearick.Bloomfield Hills, Mich., April 18, 2023 -- Cranbrook Art Museum is pleased to announce that it is bringing back its artist-designed miniature golf course for the 2023 summer season by popular demand – with the addition of two new holes!Members of the Cranbrook community (students, alumni, past and present faculty and staff) were asked to submit ideas for new hole designs that were inspired by a Cranbrook site, story, or alumni. All submissions were reviewed by a blind jury, who selected two new concepts. The winning concepts are:New Hole 1: Glassy GreenCranbrook Academy of Art student Katie Mongoven was inspired by the windows of the Cranbrook Dining Hall on the Cranbrook campus of Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School. Designed by Eliel Saarinen in 1929 each window ...Read More
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