Don’t miss amazing exhibits this fall at AMAM

The Allen Memorial Art Museum has announced a full slate of exhibitions on display this fall:

Body Proxy: Clothing in Contemporary Art

• Ellen Johnson Gallery

• Sept. 1 through Dec. 13

As part of the AMAM’s yearlong focus on the human body, this exhibition presents works that use clothing as an art material or subject matter.

Due to their intimate associations with the body, articles of clothing function as powerful metaphors for the human condition. Clothes offer their wearers warmth and protection, while also communicating valuable information about public identity and status.

This selection of sculpture and mixed media works ranges from 1960 to the present. Drawn from the AMAM collection as well as a number of loans, Body Proxy highlights works by 30 international artists, including Joseph Beuys, Jim Dine, Leonardo Drew, Robert Gober, and Doris Salcedo.

Psycho/Somatic: Visions of the Body in Contemporary East Asian Art

• John N. Stern Gallery

• Through June 5, 2016

Artists in and from East Asia have contributed much to global contemporary art. This exhibition examines divergent ways of thinking about the body — from physical vehicle to transcendent symbol — and how our perceptions are created in large part by the culture in which we live.

In Asian thought, the body is often understood in many ways and on multiple levels simultaneously. A number of the works examine the mind-body relationship found in esoteric Buddhist traditions and how it can reveal an individual’s larger dimensions through visual quotations from religious imagery.

Hidden Mother

• Ripin Gallery

• Aug. 14 through Dec. 23

Early portrait photographers employed a number of devices from pedestals to pincer-like braces to stabilize the bodies of their subjects during long exposures. But these methods often were not suitable for the small, unruly body of a child. Instead, the photographer enlisted the mother, who, hidden by studio props, supported or soothed her offspring. Examples of this fascinating practice of the 19th century and the little-known genre of “hidden mother” photography include tintypes, cartes-de-visite, cabinet cards, and other mediums.

Many of the works are drawn from the private collection of Lee Marks and John C. DePrez Jr.

Transformation: Images of Childhood and Adolescence

• Ripin Gallery

• Aug. 14 through Dec. 23

This exhibition features works from the AMAM collection that take as their subject infants, children, and adolescents. Artists’ representations of children have shifted dramatically over the centuries, using their subjects as illustration for a variety of ideas about family, art, and society. From formal, sacred presentations of the Holy Family to intimate portraits of beloved offspring that capture innocence and its loss, these works evoke the nostalgia and deep sentiments associated with childhood and chronicle the transformation that occurs in the development toward adulthood.

The Body: Looking In and Looking Out

• Ripin Gallery

• Aug. 14 through Dec. 23

Instruments of perception and discovery — lenses, mirrors, cross-sections, and vanishing points — appear throughout this selection of more than 40 works from the AMAM collection and on loan from the Oberlin College Library’s Special Collections department, the Science Library, and the Clarence Ward Art Library. Presented side-by-side, works by visual artists and philosophers of natural science offer insights into ways of knowing and representing the corporeal nature of existence.

Ranging from old master prints to sculptural assemblages, the objects in this exhibition ask us to examine the relationship between truth and our ideas about the truth. They ask us to imagine what can be known but never accurately portrayed.

Return of the Dragon

• South Ambulatory and King Sculpture Court

• Through June 5, 2016

Enjoy the symbols, stories, and spectacle of dragons in a new installation of works from East Asia. Dragon-themed works in a diversity of mediums — from silk scroll paintings to carved ivory and porcelain jars — are on view. Most notably, Coiling Dragon, a large bronze that has been a perennial favorite of the AMAM’s Asian collection, has returned to the sculpture court.

Dragons appear in East Asian folk tales, mythology, and all of the region’s major religious traditions. Unlike the fire-breathing, gold-hoarding, maiden-kidnapping variety in Western mythology, in East Asia the dragon is most often a positive symbol as harbinger of rain and controller of floods and storms.