I Like Andre Leon Gray, Yinka Shonibare & Carrie Levy
I guess, now that I've looked around the web a bit, that this is the party line of people responding to the NC Museum of Art's new building, but what struck me most is how the curators mix the traditional & the current.
In the Renn. room they have a reification of the Mona Lisa smile done all in spools of thread & hung upside down. In the room of Colonial portraits they have a creepy painting of the founding father's in silhouette, posing almost like the cast of The Expendables. They hung some relatively precious American impressionist paintings beside a set of modernist color & geometry pieces, which added to both of them.
The curatorial agenda puts the work in relation to its history & its intertextuality, which is nice to see at the museum. The last time I went there, some years ago, it was more like a warehouse for third-rate paintings representing each important art history epoch.
I particularly liked the one work of NC-native
Andre Leon Gray. It is the one with the basketball below, but the curators hung it among a group of ceremonial masks & traditional arts. It both fit right in & stuck out.
A decent brief write up of him here.
A decent interview with him here.
Similarly, the post-colonialist work of Yinka Shonibare fit in well with the more traditional African textiles. If you don't know his stuff you can read all about him here.
Outside of the old/new curatorial mashups, there was a lot of forward-looking work at the museum. When I was there years ago I remember thinking that the trip was worth the visit for the incredible Richter they have there. It's still there, but it no longer stands alone as the representation of pomo art. There were a lot of works I liked, but I found myself haunted by Carrie Levy's simple photos of nudes with their faces turned away from the camera. Check her work out here, it is all pretty great.