Binion/Saarinen: A McArthur Binion Project


Exhibitions

In the studio of Chicago-based painter McArthur Binion, a handwritten note has been pinned to the wall for a decade that reads “Binion/Saarinen.” The artist’s initial concept was to create a painting inspired by architect Eliel Saarinen and his design of Cranbrook’s historic campus, where Binion received his MFA in Painting in 1973 and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017. This early spark of inspiration will come to fruition at Cranbrook Art Museum and expanded through the creation of seven new works alongside a selection of Saarinen objects curated by the artist. Binion’s interest in the noted architect and campus is consistent with his artistic strategy that mines his personal history. One of his most prominent series of paintings is titled DNA, which he wittily says could stand for “… Distinct Neurological Advancement, or Detroit Negro Artist…”, yet either interpretation can be understood as an important origin of his human ...

Tagged: Painting, Saarinen

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Arnold Blanch’s “The Hunters”


Cranbrook Sightings BlogInside the Vault

CRANBROOK SIGHTINGS: INSIDE THE VAULT Arnold Blanch The Hunters Circa 1947 Oil on canvas 30 x 48 inches Collection of Cranbrook Art Museum (CAM 1970.28) Gift of J. L. Hudson Company With summer fast approaching (though it does not always feel like it in mercurial Michigan!), it’s about time that we let ourselves take a break from our everyday lives of work and obligations to imagine ourselves in the soon-to-be summer sun, carefree and radiant. For some children, summer means boundless days, free from the shackles of oppressive homework. For others, summer is merely a lazy day on the hammock or a leisurely bike ride to the ice cream parlor. For some of us here in Michigan, summer promises treks up north, to the glistening lakes and sun-kissed days. It is truly beautiful here, whether summer or any other season, and it is this beauty that Arnold Blanch captures in his oil painting, The Hunters, which the Cranbrook ...

Tagged: Arnold Blanch, Detroit, MI, Exhibitions, Jacqueline Honet, MI, Michigan, Painting

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“Nick Cave: Here Hear” to Open at Cranbrook Art Museum on June 20


Nick CavePress Releases

Museum Exhibition and Performance Series Run Through October Bloomfield Hills, Mich., May 28, 2015 – The stage is being set for Nick Cave’s most ambitious project to date – Nick Cave: Here Hear. The exhibition will open at Cranbrook Art Museum on Saturday, June 20, with a special ArtMembers’ Opening Reception on Friday, June 19. A media preview of the exhibition will be held on June 18 from 10am-noon. The celebration will continue through the weekend, with a special performance in Detroit’s Brightmoor and Old Redford communities on Sunday, June 21. Join us at 2pm for a screening of Cave’s video work at the historic Redford Theatre, followed by a celebration from 3-6pm at The Artist Village featuring food, music, and dancers in soundsuits – who will join the party in an impromptu flash mob. Both events are free and open to the public. The Brightmoor celebration is just one of several events ...

Tagged: Painting, Sculpture

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From the Files: The Viewpoint ’81 Exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum


Cranbrook Sightings BlogExhibitions

One of the perks of my job is the opportunity to sift through our old files when scholars email us with research questions. One such request led me to our records for Viewpoint '81, an exhibition of works by six artists created for and painted directly on the gallery walls at Cranbrook Art Museum. Daniel Buren, Gene Davis, Sol LeWitt, Patrick Ireland, Rick Paul, and Dorothea Rockburne each contributed to the installation, which was up from January 20 to March 1, 1981.Cranbrook Art Museum Viewpoint '81 brochure, 1981I could kiss whoever documented the development of this exhibition. When I got to the old metal file cabinets in storage, I found folders filled with hundreds of slides showing the installation process, along with photographs and mail correspondence between artists and museum employees. Above is the cover of the brochure produced for the show. You can view it in its entirety by ...

Tagged: Daniel Buren, Dorthea Rockburne, Gene Davis, Painting, Patrick Ireland, Rick Paul, Shelley Selim, Sol LeWitt, Viewpoint '81

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Warhol on Vinyl (It’s Record Store Day Tomorrow!)


Cranbrook Sightings BlogExhibitions

We're big vinyl connoisseurs here at the Art Museum. One of us collects albums with covers featuring mid-century furniture (like this one!). Another spent a weekend scouring every record store in Stockholm for a Swedish pressing of Lee Hazlewood's Cowboy in Sweden, to no avail. So it's no surprise that we are pretty pumped for Record Store Day tomorrow, an annual nationwide event--held on the third Saturday of April--for which record stores feature limited edition pressings and exclusive releases from hundreds of musicians, new and old. Record collecting has experienced a surge in recent years, particularly for my generation. If we want to get diagnostic, it all could be chalked up to a cultural response to the immateriality of music (and more broadly, our lives in general); a longing for the days past when music--in its vinyl manifestation--was tangible, permanent, and thus held more personal value. But there's also that big, ...

Tagged: Album Art, Andy Warhol, Ben Shahn, Graphic Design, Painting, Shelley Selim

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Catherine Murphy’s Nighttime Self-Portrait


Cranbrook Sightings BlogInside the Vault

CRANBROOK SIGHTINGS: INSIDE THE VAULT Catherine Murphy Nighttime Self-Portrait 1985 Oil on canvas 16 ¾ x 16 1/8 inches Gift of Rose M. Shuey, from the Collection of Dr. John and Rose M. Shuey Image © Catherine Murphy From this gusty tundra of unrelenting frigidity (-20 degrees with windchill today!), we here at Cranbrook Art Museum would like to extend our warmest and most heartfelt congratulations to Catherine Murphy, the 2013 winner of the Robert De Niro, Sr., Prize, awarded to one outstanding mid-career artist each year. Since the 1960s, Murphy’s representational paintings have been widely exhibited and prolifically produced, but the artist’s talent for nuanced channels of perception remains at times underappreciated.Catherine Murphy, Nighttime Self-Portrait, 1985Cranbrook Art Musum holds Murphy’s Nighttime Self-Portrait (1985) in its permanent collection, acquired as part of a generous gift of contemporary paintings and sculpture from the Collection of Dr. John and Rose M. Shuey in 2001. The Shueys were principally drawn to ...

Tagged: Catherine Murphy, Painting, Shelley Selim

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A Tale of Two Paintings – Cranbrook and the University of Michigan


Cranbrook Center for Collections and ResearchCranbrook Sightings Blog

At the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, we spend a lot of time thinking about ourselves.  That sounds self-centered, but it’s the nature of the job – we uncover connections between different areas of Cranbrook, building historical and cultural relationships that help us to better preserve Cranbrook history and shape its future.  Cranbrook doesn’t exist in a vacuum, though, which is why it’s important for us to take a step back and look at the larger Cranbrook connections out there in the world.   And really, what better place to start than 18th-century Canada? I know that sounds crazy, but run with me on this.  In 1759 the British war hero General Wolfe was killed at the Battle of Quebec City on the Plains of Abraham, a battle which the British won.  Posthumously celebrated as one of the great British military leaders, General Wolfe and his heroic death were immortalized in ...

Tagged: Benjamin West, Painting, Shoshana Resnikoff, University of Michigan

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Zoltan Sepeshy’s Mural on Beaver Island


Cranbrook Sightings Blog

CRANBROOK SIGHTING #1 Sighter: Gregory Wittkopp Sighted: Zoltan Sepeshy, Hauling in the Nets, 1940 Location: Beaver Island, MI Date: August 18, 2012"Dad, have we ever gone on a vacation without visiting a museum?” My daughter, who now is a college Junior, asked me that question some ten or twelve years ago. While I don’t remember where we were when she asked the question, I do remember the answer:  “Probably not.” So here I am on vacation on Beaver Island, a relatively remote island in the middle of northern Lake Michigan, writing my first blog entry for Cranbrook Art Museum. And yes, my daughter and I are in a museum, the island’s Maritime Museum, sitting in front of a large mural by none other than Cranbrook Academy of Art’s second president, Zoltan Sepeshy. To get an idea of how incongruous this Cranbrook “sighting” really is, you need to get a sense of the context. While quite large ...

Tagged: Beaver Island, Gregory Wittkopp, Mural, Painting, Zoltan Sepeshy

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