Martin Art Gallery has temporarily closed to off campus visitors.
Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our community, and so the Gallery will remain closed to the wider public in accordance with guidelines provided by the College. We look forward to resuming public programming when it is deemed safe to do so. Students, faculty and staff permitted on-campus may visit the galleries during open hours.
Growing up Green
February 12 - May 20
Martin Art Gallery at Muhlenberg College is pleased to host the solo show Growing up Green, by Greta Bergstresser. The exhibition features an array of photographs organized into a series of visual essays that capture vignettes exploring traditional agricultural practices that she grew up with. The exhibition will be on view February 12 – May 20. At this time, the Gallery is only permitting Muhlenberg faculty, staff and students to view the exhibition in person, however visitors are encouraged to visit the artist’s website to view this and other projects.
Greta Kathryn Bergstresser was born in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. She pursued an early interest in photography and was selected to attend the selective Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts. Greta graduated with a B.A. in Art from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 2004 and proceeded to get her M.F.A. in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. Greta currently resides in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania pursuing her own fine art photography as well as teaching photography at both Muhlenberg College and Lafayette College.
February 25 – May 24
Image stills from: Bouncing Skull, 2007, Digital Video 10:30, On loan courtesy of the artist
A young man enters the screen, and immediately flicks up a most unusual ball, attempting to juggle it in the air for as many hits as possible. The ball rolls away and is swiftly brought back to center-frame. Quickly, we realize it’s not a ball, but what appears to be a human skull. The action is set against a backdrop of half demolished buildings, and we hear the child panting, shuffling, and straining against traffic noise in the distance. The extraordinary is superimposed on the everyday, provoking a host of unsettling associations.
Does the work offend through its callous disregard for a human life – or more specifically, the disregard for the formerly alive? What could this boy be thinking? What moral obligations is this protagonist failing to live up to? What are the implications of this work - ethical, political, historical? Canevari does not tell us how to think about the work, but only leaves us with a contextual clue: the video was shot in the shadow of the former Serbian Army Headquarters in Belgrade, that was bombed in 1999 by NATO during the Kosovo war.
Bouncing Skull was presented at the 52nd Venice Biennale curated by Robert Storr in 2007, and is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
Paolo Canevari was born in Rome in 1963, a third-generation artist in his family. Since his first solo show in 1991, in which he started using car tubes and tires, Canevari has developed a personal language aimed at revisiting the everyday and the most intimate aspects of memory. Over the years, and through the employment of a variety of media and techniques, from animation to large-format drawings, videos and installations, his projects have taken on a strong conceptual connotation. Focusing on the use of symbols, icons and images that are part of the collective memory, his works often invite viewers into a direct confrontation.
The artist was invited to participate in several biennials globally, including Liverpool Biennial 2004; the Whitney Biennale (2006), and the 52nd International Exhibition at the Venice Biennale (2007). Widely exhibited at prominent institutions around the world, Canevari’s works have appeared at the National Gallery and MACRO, Rome; MART, Rovereto; Museion, Bozen; The Drawing Center, PS1 Contemporary Art Center and MoMA, New York; IMMA, Dublin; KW, Berlin; and Parkview Green Contemporary Art Museum, Beijing. Pieces by Canevari are included in prestigious international museum collections such as MoMA, New York; the Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la Creation, Paris; Rome’s MACRO and MART, Rovereto. Currently, Paolo Canevari’s works can also be seen in Self-portrait / Autoritratto, a solo exhibition at Cardi Gallery in London, which will remain on view through April 17th.
The Autonomist Anomaly
Curated by Felice Moramarco
Postponed until Fall 2021
Image: Enrico Scuro, Contro la criminalizzazione delle lotte, 1977
Martin Art Gallery at Muhlenberg College looks forward to hosting The Autonomist Anomaly, guest curated by Felice Moramarco, in our Galleria Space in the fall of 2021. Accessibility requirements, and dates for the reception, public talk, and open hours will be announced in summer 2021.
Through archival images and materials and the film Settembre ‘77, this exhibition will take a look at the cultural production and organizing of the Italian movement Autonomia. For almost a decade throughout the 70’s, Autonomia upset the Italian political system with a wave of uprisings, animated by radical demands of equality and social justice. Through audio recordings, super 8 videos, photos, and magazines from the archives of activists of the movement, the Autonomist Anomaly recollects some of the crucial events that marked the history of Autonomia. By giving a glimpse into the dynamic organisation of the movement and its unusual forms of political struggle, the exhibition aims to highlight the unique political experience that was Autonomia, and its enduring legacy that is still relevant today.
For several reasons, Autonomia constituted an unparalleled anomaly in the history of Western post war politics. An aspect that immediately stands out is the remarkable impact that the movement had on the cultural and political life of the country, despite its lack of any kind of organisational structure. To clearly trace the boundaries of the movement is indeed an arduous task even for today’s historians. Having been more than a homogeneous movement, Autonomia was in fact a constellation of collectives, groups, pirate radios, magazines, often very diverse from each other, but all connected by the strong commitment to construct forms of collective life beyond state authority and private property. Autonomia was “the body without organs of politics” as the philosopher Sylvere Lotringere defined it, a political organism without a centralized organisation, thus constantly evolving, expanding and within which contradictory elements coexisted.
Furthermore, Autonomia introduced within the field of political struggle, aspects of private and public life that were traditionally considered non-political. The right to idleness, collectivisation of happiness, liberation of desire, general femminisation, expanded sexuality constituted some aspects the movement decisively advanced. To some these are ancillary cultural battlegrounds with little political value, but they were part of a larger project that aimed at radically revising the boundaries of political discourse. The radicality of this project inevitably led Autonomia to a frontal clash with state authorities, mass media, and both right-wing and left-wing parties. Despite the power imbalance, for the decade it was active, Autonomia was a catalysing force dramatically affecting political and cultural life in the country.
Felice Moramarco is a London based writer and curator, founding director of DEMO – Deptford Moving Image Festival. His practice and research focus on rethinking art’s agency in light of the current cultural, technological, and political paradigms shifts, exploring the possibilities of artistic practice to operate politically and configure new realities. He received his MA in Philosophy from the University of Bologna and his MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths. He held teaching and research positions at Goldsmiths – University of London, the British School in Rome, at Nordland Art and Film School and at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. He has curated various exhibition projects across Europe and the US, also in collaboration with renowned art institutions such as Arnolfini - Centre for Contemporary Arts in Bristol and the Museum of Modern Art of Bologna.
Collection Works Currently on Display in the Baker Center for the Arts
Throughout the year the Martin Art Gallery rotates permanent collection works that are on display in the Center for the Arts. These large works are hung throughout the common spaces, and extend into areas outside of the Baker Theater building [aka the Fishbowl].
Currently works are on display by Marjory Edwards, Heide Fasnacht, Jen Huh, David Mann, Liz Whitney Quisgard, Robert Rauschenberg, Alberto Rey, and others.
The Martin Art Gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday 12 - 8pm, and The Martin Art Gallery's Galleria Space is open Monday - Sunday, 9:00am - 11:00pm*. All of our exhibitions and programming are free and open to the public. For further information, please call us at 484 664 3467