2022’s not over yet. Our area’s visual art Venues know it – and they’ve saved plenty of good stuff for last. They’ll close out the months that remain with spontaneous sketches, meditations on time, Celebrations of Gods and heroes, artistic antidotes to our current Age of Anxiety, and glimpses of Invisible worlds. These five visual arts highlights will take you to all of these places. See them while you can. And if you enjoy the journey, by all means keep going.
Ringling College of Art and Design
“Illustration Faculty Sketchbooks: 2022.” Art ripped from the sketchbooks of Ringling College’s illustration Faculty professors! (Or carefully removed, or Folded to the right page.) But it amounts to the same thing. Each image is a spontaneous work-in-progress – created in the moment, not refined to the Nth degree. Regan Dunnick’s ink drawing (captioned “Painted Man” in the sketchbook) is a steroidal body-builder, swirling with tattoos from head to toe. Sean Murray’s pencil sketch evokes a mountainside village with intricate line work. It looks like precise observation, but it’s the product of a fervid imagination.
Matteo Caloiaro’s watercolor of a cracker shack combines deft perspective with brilliant composition and shading. It Verges is photorealism. The fact he just sat down and painted it without a photo reference is amazing. That’s a sample of what you’ll see here. It reminds me of Peter Jackson’s “Get Back” documentary of the Beatles’ rehearsal sessions. These artists are still noodling and experimenting. You’re right in the middle of the creative process and it’s fascinating.
Through Oct. 22 at RCAD Selby Foundation Gallery, 2700 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; 941-359-7563; ringling.edu/galleries
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Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College
“Journeys to Places Known and Unknown: Moving Images by Janet Biggs and Peter Campus.” Curated by Terrie Sultan, this exhibition showcases moving imagery by two game-changing video artists. While their work is radically different, campus [lc STET] and Biggs share a common focus. Their art explores the collision of the artificial time of humanity’s clocks and calendars with the cyclical time of nature. campus is obsessed with boundary states and transitions.
In his digital video, “When the Hurly Burly’s Done” (2010), he aims his digital camera at the Shores of Shinnecock Bay, near his home in Patchogue. campus’ long, Meditative video captures subtle changes that the casual observer would typically miss. He invites you to slow down and take a second look at the ecological systems around you. Biggs’ “Somewhere Beyond Nowhere” (2013) investigates humanity’s assault on nature’s cycles on a devastating scale.
Her video camera takes you to the icy landscapes above the Arctic Circle and reveals how their magnificent desolation will soon melt into history thanks to anthropogenic climate change. “Entanglements” (2022) will also reset your inner clock – a collaborative, multi-channel video installation by Biggs, mathematician Agnieszka Miedlar, and physicist Daniel Tapia Takaki Exploring life’s interconnectivity from the quantum to the Cosmic level. The journey of this art show should be moving indeed.
October 2 – Jan. 15 at Sarasota Art Museum, 1001 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; sarasotaartmuseum.org
“Gods and Lovers: Paintings and Sculptures from India.” Curated by Rhiannon Paget, the museum’s curator of Asian Art, this exhibition reveals a panoply of Indian painting and sculpture drawn from The Ringling and private collections. The artists behind the art created for elite patrons in India’s royal courts from the 1500s through the 1800s. Their small-format creations were pages in books and albums, not paintings in walls. “Miniatures” is the default term — but this art is larger than life.
These images have a Mythic scale. These artists weave Tales of Divine love, earthly splendor, heroism, desire, and vengeance. Their sources were Hindu scripture and literature, Classical music, and court culture, but their expressions are unique to each individual creator. Along with these miniatures, this exhibition will showcase Buddhist, Hindu and Jain stone and metal sculptures from The Ringling’s collection. These date from the 800s through the 1300s. Paget says the exhibit features “superb examples of Indian painting, as well as sculptures from The Ringling’s permanent collection that have not been on view recently.”
Nov. 12-May 28; Museum of Art, Pavilion Gallery. 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota; 359-5700; ringling.org
Art Center Sarasota
“Jason Hackenwerth.” This Solo exhibition features new paintings by the Multidisciplinary artist and Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant recipient. Hackenwerth’s gestural, Acrylic paintings Juxtapose fragments of graffiti-like text (“Her eyes” … “GUT PUNCH!”) with dynamic, abstract color fields. His visceral “Thieves and Liars” (2021) tags horizontal Bands of hot color with the words “Michelangelo” and “G6” – a reference to both the economic summit and the Gulfstream Aerospace private jet. (I get the impression Michelangelo was on the run with a can of spray paint, and quickly made his mark on the world of high finance. But that’s only speculation.)
The artist describes such enigmatic scenarios as his response to an age of non-stop conflicts, both personal and political. But Hackenwerth refuses to push the Panic button. He finds peace in consciousness itself. As he shares on his website, “As an artist, I see my function as similar to a hiker on a remote trail who piles stones along the way to help others remain on the path. My work is a continual practice of trying to arrange the stones so surprisingly that they become arresting beacons of assurance that we are not lost; we are not alone. We are life.”
December 8 – Jan. 21 at Art Center Sarasota, 707 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; 365-2032; artsarasota.org
Selby Gardens / Historic Spanish Point
“Seeing the Invisible.” That sounds mystical, but it’s actually digital. We’re talking augmented reality (AR). In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a quick definition: Virtual reality (VR) only exists in computer screens and goggles. It’s a purely digital realm, divorced from objective reality. AR is more of a marriage than a divorce. It superimposes digital imagery on the real world, and that’s what you’ll see here.
This AR exhibit showcases bleeding-edge work by twelve major artists, including Ai Weiwei, Refik Anadol, El Anatsui, and Pamela Rosenkranz. Their AR artistry will overlap the reality of the Historic Spanish Point campus (and 11 other botanical gardens around the planet). The experience is user-friendly. No IT degree required. Just hold up your smartphone or tablet. The screen becomes a magic window where dream and reality intertwine. Crystals wrap around trees, bromeliads reveal doors to other dimensions. Thanks to AR tech, you’ll see the artists’ inner visions. And that’s pretty cool.
Through Summer 2023 at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Historic Spanish Point campus, 337 North Tamiami Trail, Osprey; selby.org/hsp/visit-historic-spanish-point
Read more visual arts stories by Marty Fugate