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Detroit Institute of Arts features a selection of contemporary works in special installation, Experience & Expression
Felrath Hines (American, 1913–93). Alarm, 1985. Oil on linen; 52 × 64 in. (132.1 × 162.6 cm). Gift of the artist's wife, 2009.47.

DETROIT, MICH.- The Detroit Institute of Arts presents a selection of contemporary works in the permanent collection installation Experience & Expression, on view Saturday, January 30 through Sunday, October 3, 2021. Free with museum admission, the works on view draw from the museum’s permanent collection of contemporary art, whose galleries are currently being utilized for the exhibition Detroit Style: Car Design in the Motor City, 1950-2020.

This installation includes approximately 25 works, including recently acquired objects that have never, or rarely been seen by the public, by artists such as McArthur Binion, Rashid Johnson, Elias Sime, and Avery Singer. Other artists in the installation include Marina Abramovic, Ghada Amer, Jennifer Bartlett, Hernan Bas, Nicholas Hlobo, Allie McGhee, Yoko Ono, Sean Scully, and more. The works are grouped into three themes: abstraction, art meant to evoke emotion or an experience to the viewer by experimenting with color, form, and texture); materiality, understanding and exploring the meaning of the materials used; and meditations on identity, works that express the artist’s personal experiences and emotions. The installation provides novice art-lovers with an introduction to contemporary art and invite visitors to look closely, to ask questions, and to connect with their own experiences.

“The DIA looks forward to sharing these recent acquisitions which reveal how this diverse group of artists has drawn on their own experiences of the world, said Judith F. Dolkart, DIA Deputy Director of Art, Education and Programs. "From the personal to the political, from the aesthetic to the commercial, from the individual to the collective, from the spiritual to the material—to create these works.”

Highlights of this installation include:

River Crossing, 2011, Rashid Johnson, American; mirrored tile, black soap, wax. Detroit Institute of Arts.

The mirrors in Rashid Johnson’s piece alter the visitor’s reflection and the room in which it sits, grappling with the tension between naturalism and abstraction.

Family Album (Blood Objects) Exhibit F: Shirt, 1993, Yoko Ono, American; bronze with blue and red patina, on hanger. Detroit Institute of Arts.

This work by Yoko Ono represents the shirt in which the artist’s husband, legendary musician and anti-war activist John Lennon (1940–80) was shot and killed by a fan. Casting it in bronze, Ono suggests the weighty, enduring issues of gun violence and mental health in her own life and in society.

Sorting Out Andy, 2018, Hernan Bas; acrylic, oil stick, and ink transfers on linen. Detroit Institute of Arts.

Hernan Bas explores what our belongings may say about us. In Bas’s painting a fictional auction house intern catalogues artist Andy Warhol’s (1928–87) possessions for sale after his death--from mundane cookie jars to rare antiquities and paintings.

Plum Nellie, 1972, Robert Reed, American; acrylic on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts.

Robert Reed provides a masterful interplay between the expressive and the geometric in his painting.

This installation supports the DIA’s goal to present and highlight artists of diverse backgrounds and cultures. The museum is committed to sharing the individuality and universality of experiences, ideas, and concerns around the world and at home.

Experience & Expression is being displayed in the Special Exhibitions South galleries, while the DIA’s Detroit Style: Car Design in the Motor City, 1950–2020 exhibition is currently in the galleries dedicated to contemporary works.

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