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Sep 10, 2008

With the kids back at school and some time to yourself, why not check out this fall’s best art exhibits?

By FLYP Staff

Expand your mind and heart at some of the best exhibits around.

The Magic of Lee Miller

Where: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
When: Until Sept. 14
You’ll have to act quickly if you want to catch a retrospective of Lee Miller, one of the most stunningly creative—and just plain stunning—artists of the 20th century. The show highlights a series of prints from 1930–1, when she first stepped out from Man Ray’s shadow—she had been both mistress and muse of the legendary avant-garde artist—and emerged as a groundbreaking photographer in her own right.
Be sure to check out her iconic nude studies. Her sense of irony and dark eroticism will transport you back to an era filled with grit and beauty.

Defending Democracy
Where: Station Museum of Contemporary Art
When: Until Sept. 14
Political art takes over this renowned art center in a show that features Emory Douglas, one of the leaders of the Black Panther Party, Otabenga Jones & Associates, a Houston-based collaborative arts organization, and ASARO, the Assembly of Revolutionary Artists of Oaxaca.
One of the highlights is ASARO’s large drawing that depicts a confrontation between police and protesters at a bus depot, complete with blood-red ink pooling in the stenciled parking lot.
It will make you think twice about how far you would go to stand up for the liberties we so often take for granted.

Marc Dombrosky
Where: Portland Art Museum
When: Until Oct. 26
Marc Dombrosky is fascinated with all the detritus we leave behind in our daily lives: love notes, scraps of paper, ticket stubs, business cards.
In his first solo exhibition, Dombrosky embroiders over the found messages, providing a mysterious and slightly nostalgic permanence to their deeply subjective meanings.
Presenting these works in a gallery as self-contained entities—without the emotional connection of knowing their creators—visitors can view the messages in a completely different light: both as minor immortalizations of strangers and as found poetry.

Adam Helms
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
When: Until Jan. 18
This New York-based artist draws inspiration from revolutionaries of all sorts, be they Chechen rebels, al Qaeda jihadists, or American Civil War guerrillas.
Helms’s ink portraits of radicals in balaclavas are unmistakably ghostly. But it is the looks in his subjects’ eyes that provide glimpses into the convictions that justify and inspire their actions.
Helms’s first major solo exhibition explores the changing faces of radicalism, where every hooded—or dead—guerilla can be linked to a lineage that traces similar movements back through time in memoriam.

Lucky Number Seven

Where: SITE Santa Fe
When: Until Jan. 4
Last January, curator Lance Fung brought several emerging artists to the U.S. (many of them coming here for the first time), gave them a month-long residency and a meager budget of $7,500 for them to create something original. The resulting works are now on display as part of the seventh SITE Santa Fe International Biennial.
The 25 artists from 16 countries all made site-specific works, like Spaniard Martí Anson’s rebuilding (brick by brick) of a 19th-century mill in the parking lot, and an illuminated “XXX” sign on the building’s roof, courtesy of American artist Nadine Robinson.

Kehinde Wiley: The World Stage

Where: Studio Museum in Harlem
When: Until Oct. 26
This rising star in the painting world returns to the Studio Museum, where he was in residence from 2001–2.
Although Wiley gained his fame by presenting young, black males against patterned backgrounds that resembled that of European traditions, this time, he travels to Nigeria and Senegal to mimic art from those locales. Wiley picked his models up off the street, posing them in their traditional clothing against patterns and scenes that recall their own cultural heritage.
The show questions individual self-expression within a larger cultural arena.

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