background image
Bowdoin College
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Collections       Exhibitions       Visit       Events       Digital Resources       About       Learn       Join and Give       Shop

Art & Resolution, 1900 to Today

The dual meaning of “resolution,” as both coming-into-view and as a means of overcoming conflict defines artistic responses to the historic transformations of the global twentieth century. Works selected for the exhibition visualize resolution and its conceptual underpinnings, and seek to act as agents of resolution through visual culture. Included is a section of Sosaku-hanga—creative prints, co-curated for "Art & Resolution, 1900 to Today" by students from Art History 3180: "Japanese Print Culture," Fall 2016.

Introduction

The dual meaning of “resolution,” as both coming-into-view and overcoming conflict, defines a wide range of artistic responses to the global shifts in society and culture—world wars, disasters, financial collapse, environmental degradation, and violations of human rights. This exhibition surveys how artists of the twentieth century mobilized artistic expression to clarify challenges, signal support to those struggling with difficult circumstances, and validate the importance of choice and freedom. Early twentieth-century photography conveys how individuals make a home amidst domestic and international migration, while a variety of aesthetic responses in the aftermath of World War II testify to the horrifying prospect of nuclear annihilation with strategies ranging from radical abstraction to turbulent figuration. Other works explore how art can bridge creativity and citizenship in an increasingly complicated matrix of identity formation and political conflict. Artworks may seek resolution through what they represent, but they may also refuse to resolve themselves in our field of vision, reminding us that resolution does not always come readily and that it is as much a process as an outcome.

Included is a section of Sosaku-hanga—creative prints (創作版画). These prints emerged as an artistic form of expression in twentieth-century Japan. This installation was co-curated for "Art & Resolution, 1900 to Today" by students from Art History 3180: "Japanese Print Culture," fall 2016.

Works in the Exhibition

"Peanuts," from "Crop Series," 1973, solvent transfer and color screenprints on deckle-edged rag paper, by Robert Rauschenberg. Printed at Graphic Studio, University of South Florida.

"Peanuts," from "Crop Series," 1973, solvent transfer and color screenprints on deckle-edged rag paper, by Robert Rauschenberg. Printed at Graphic Studio, University of South Florida.

"Untitled," 2008, chromogenic print by Adi Nes. Courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery.

"Untitled," 2008, chromogenic print by Adi Nes. Courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery.

“Ghada from ‘Our House Is on Fire’ series,” 2013, digital pigment print by Shirin Neshat, American/Iranian, born 1957. Gift of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

“Ghada from ‘Our House Is on Fire’ series,” 2013, digital pigment print by Shirin Neshat, American/Iranian, born 1957. Gift of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

“Sayed from ‘Our House Is on Fire’ series,” 2013, digital pigment print by Shirin Neshat, American/Iranian, born 1957. Gift of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

“Sayed from ‘Our House Is on Fire’ series,” 2013, digital pigment print by Shirin Neshat, American/Iranian, born 1957. Gift of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

“A Window on the Street,” 1912, oil on canvas, by John Sloan, American, 1871–1951. Bequest of George Otis Hamlin.

“A Window on the Street,” 1912, oil on canvas, by John Sloan, American, 1871–1951. Bequest of George Otis Hamlin.

Visiting the Exhibition

November 15, 2016 - April 16, 2017

    Bernard and Barbro Osher Gallery, Center Gallery, Halford Gallery, Focus Gallery