Visitors to the Ackland Art Museum are no longer transported to Japan, but to the post-1990s contemporary art and multimedia scene.
“A Season of Japan” ran from Sept. 7 to Jan. 6 and included numerous exhibitions, lectures, tours and workshops showcasing the Ackland’s extensive collection of Asian art.
This semester, which will not have a single theme, will kick off with a two-month-long exhibition focusing on love and contemporary art.
Opening Feb. 1, “More Love: Art, Politics, and Sharing since the 1990s” will explore the various aspects of love through photography, videography and installations that require viewer participation.
Emily Bowles, the Ackland’s director of communications, said she tried to communicate during “A Season of Japan” that visitors would not be seeing the same artwork for the entire semester.
“I tried to make sure people understood that you could come back to ‘Season of Japan’ in November and see some completely different works of art — even if you had come in August,” Bowles said.
She said “A Season of Japan” was the Ackland’s longest-running program, and it was well-received by the community.
“I think people really appreciated the broad and extensive look we gave to different art forms from Japan,” she said.
Differing from “A Season of Japan,” the “More Love” exhibition will run for only two months and feature work from only living artists.
“It speaks to the Ackland’s commitment to have a strong showing of contemporary art,” Bowles said.
“But it’s perhaps not what you think of when you think of the Ackland.”
“More Love” will be a more traditional exhibition instead of a semester-long endeavor, said Peter Nisbet, the Ackland’s chief curator.
“We try to have a nice variety in our exhibitions, so ‘A Season of Japan’ is sort of a balance in this academic year to the contemporary show that we will be presenting in the spring,” Nisbet said.
“It reflects the wide variety in the collection that the Ackland has,” he said.
Inspiration for the exhibition came from the works of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, who is known for his installations that reconfigure the viewer’s relationship to art.
Claire Schneider, consulting curator for “More Love,” said she wanted to create an intellectually stimulating exhibition.
“I think with all contemporary art, you want people to come away with many different things.”
“You just kind of have this profound interaction with art,” Schneider said.
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