Alexander McQueen and more coming to the Columbia Museum of Art

Alexander McQueen (British, 1960 – 2010). Four-panel minidress, crystal kaleidoscopic print blazer, and multicolor silk moth print kaleidoscope dress. Natural Dis-tinction, Un-natural Selection, Spring/Summer 2009 and Plato’s Atlantis, Spring/Summer 2010. Photo Barrett Barrera Projects. Courtesy of Barrett Barrera Projects & RKL Consulting.

Columbia, S.C. – The Columbia Museum of Art announces its schedule of featured exhibitions for 2023, a broad assortment of exclusive, house-organized shows as well as traveling exhibitions, including the hotly anticipated fashion and photography exhibition Lee Alexander McQueen & Ann Ray: Rendez-Vous, opening in October.

“Be our guest to enjoy art from around the corner and around the world,” says CMA Executive Director Della Watkins. “In these unique exhibitions, artists and designers convey stimulating ideas and techniques in captivating paintings, glassware, flowers, pottery, quilts, and high fashion. We promise a rousing reason to visit every season.”

Forward Together: African American Art from the Judy and Patrick Diamond Collection
On view through April 2, 2023

This exhibition highlights a selection of works by African American artists, drawn from the esteemed collection of Judy and Patrick Diamond. Patrick was born in the community of Frogtown, a historically segregated neighborhood in Columbia, S.C. He attended Saint Martin de Porres Elementary School before moving north with his family. While a student at Boston University, he met his future wife, Judy, and their mutual interest in art blossomed. For more than 40 years, the Diamonds have shared a passion for collecting some of the most significant African American artists of the 20th century. The works on view here — by artists such as Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, and Jacob Lawrence — touch on a variety of themes relating to African American life, history, and humanity. Organized by the Columbia Museum of Art.

Our Own Work, Our Own Way: Ascendant Women Artists in the Johnson Collection
On view January 21 – May 21, 2023

This exhibition brings together 41 female artists of the 20th century who had connections to the South — including Emma Amos, Beverly Buchanan, Elaine de Kooning, Zelda Fitzgerald, Gwendolyn Knight, and Columbia’s own Laura Spong — while shining a spotlight on several other regional artists. Having faced resistance from the art world for decades, many of these artists are just beginning to receive critical attention. Women artists in the South particularly encountered resistance in their quest to gain parity, especially when their mode of expression was modern in style or subject. Furthermore, contemporary female artists of color faced what Loïs Mailou Jones, also featured in the exhibition, termed the “double handicap” of racism and sexism.

Like their sisters to the north, these Southern women often worked alongside, but in the shadows of, their more celebrated male counterparts. Comprised of artwork from the 1930s to the 1990s, Our Own Work, Our Own Way champions a roster of artists whose aesthetic achievements transcended convention and invigorated the South’s modern milieu. Presented by the Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Reverent Ornament: Art from the Islamic World
February 18 – May 14, 2023

The Near Eastern world — roughly, the region including India and the Asian countries to its west — is a vivid patchwork of many different peoples, languages, and traditions, with a history stretching back to Neolithic times. Comprising works of fine glassware, ceramics, metalwork, painting, weaponry, weaving, and much more, Reverent Ornament shares timeless Islamic art that celebrates everyday life, history, and culture in Iran, Egypt, India, Syria, and Turkey. The works, some of which are centuries old, include objects meant for palaces as well as ordinary homes, evoking a rich and comprehensive vision of daily life from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Organized by the Huntington Museum of Art and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

Bullets and Bandaids: A Veteran Anthology
March 2 – July 9, 2023

Inspired by veterans from across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, Bullets and Bandaids: A Veteran Anthology features stories and art that look at returning home after war to the newly unfamiliar “normalcy” of civilian life after the chaos of combat, asking: “What is my next step?” Each work in the exhibition is the result of a creative partnership between artist and veteran to process and honor a veteran’s wartime experiences. Together they celebrate our common humanity through storytelling and art.

Bullets and Bandaids is a nonprofit organization that creates a living anthology of veterans, writers, and artists through a traveling art project and accompanying book that strive to benefit everyone. Their events underscore that we are all in this together, sharing our lives and humanity, regardless of our past experiences, by pointing out with dignity and respect the trials and continued courage of our veterans.

Art Blossoms
May 11 – 14, 2023

Over Mother’s Day weekend, the museum will once again be home to four dazzling days of flowers and art, celebrated with special events, classes, and more. The CMA and Boyd Plaza will transform with floral creations that bring new interpretations to world-class works of art beloved by visitors. Now in its third year, Art Blossoms is a unique exhibition that also serves as a fundraiser for the Columbia Museum of Art. Every ticket purchased for the exhibition and its related events supports the CMA's award-winning arts education and programming and helps to ensure a thriving creative community in the Midlands.

Resurgence and Renaissance: Art of the Catawba Nation Since 1973
June 10 – September 3, 2023

Featuring a range of arts and artists of the Catawba Nation from 1973 to present, this exciting exhibition centers around Catawba pottery, the oldest continuous ceramics tradition in North America, dating back thousands of years. Basketry, quilt works, and photography round out the exhibition to showcase the living traditions of Catawba arts, culture, and heritage.

This is a 50-year anniversary exhibition that builds off a 1973 CMA exhibition of Catawba potters recognized as pillars of excellence in their craft. Since then, the citizens of the Catawba Nation continue to preserve their heritage through artistic traditions and innovation. Resurgence and Renaissance: Art of the Catawba Nation Since 1973 includes some of the finest Catawba makers over the last half century, including those practicing today. This exhibition is organized by the Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina and the USCL Native American Studies Center, Lancaster South Carolina.

Tina Williams Brewer: Stories of Grace
June 10 – September 3, 2023

For over 40 years, Tina Williams Brewer has created quilts that tell stories of vision and grace. A native of West Virginia, she draws on the rich Southern tradition of quilting, synthesizing her personal experiences with historical realities. Her work incorporates unique fabrics and inspirations from her travels, including time spent at St. Helena Island in South Carolina. The resulting vibrant, hand-stitched quilts explore themes relating to African diasporic history, spirituality, migration, and shared heritage. Organized by the Columbia Museum of Art.

Lee Alexander McQueen & Ann Ray: Rendez-Vous
October 7, 2023 – January 21, 2024

Rendez-Vous offers a rare glimpse into the life and mind of one of the most renowned contemporary fashion designers of our era, Alexander McQueen. Providing unique insight into the creative process of this influential and complex figure, this exhibition features key garments from McQueen's most celebrated fashion collections along with photographer Ann Ray's intimate portraits and behind-the-scenes photographs of McQueen's runway shows, taken over the course of their 13-year friendship.

The exhibition includes 50 garments designed by McQueen and over 60 photographs taken by Ray, the only photographer permitted to document the behind-the-scenes culture of his runway shows and atelier.

Organized and produced by Barrett Barrera Projects.

For more information, visit columbiamuseum.org.


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