“Frida & Diego” will be exiting the High Museum of Art soon, and that enigmatic Dutch beauty “Girl With a Pearl Earring” will be arriving to tempt visitors throughout the summer, joined by two important contemporary art exhibits. Here’s a quick catch-up on what’s up at the Midtown museum:
- “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting” ends its run on May 12, but the museum won’t let works by the Mexican cultural revolutionaries depart without a party. The High will remain open for 31 hours, from 10 a.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. May 12.
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If you drank a half-dozen 5-Hour Energy drinks (not recommended), you might be able to catch all the festivities planned during those 31 hours: a Frida-inspired fashion show, sounds from DJ Speakerfoxxx, salsa music with Sabor, face painting, family activities, exhibit tours, body-painted Fridas on view, lucha libre wrestling, a photo booth, Mexican food and more. There will even be yoga on the piazza outside the museum entrance Sunday morning. Tickets are discounted to $10 between 2 a.m. and noon on the final day, and night owls also score parking discounts.
- “Girl With a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings From the Mauritshuis” opens June 23 for a run through Sept. 29. Its Atlanta tour stop will mark the first time Johannes Vermeer’s iconic title painting will be seen in the Southeast.
The exhibit of more than 35 landscapes and portraits focuses on Dutch “Golden Age” painters including Vermeer, Rembrandt, Jan Steen and Frans Hals.
- The High named Rashid Johnson the 2012 winner of its annual David C. Driskell Prize, recognizing excellence in African-American art and scholarship by an emerging or mid-career artist. Now the museum will host an exhibit by the New York-based artist.
“Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks,” opening June 8 and continuing through Sept. 8, surveys the first 14 years of the Chicago-born artist’s career and includes paintings, photography, video and sculpture. Johnson’s first major solo museum exhibition was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
The shifting nature of identity is at the root of Johnson’s work, which deconstructs the notion of a monolithic African-American identity by addressing matters such as education and class differences. Employing a process he’s called “hijacking the domestic,” Johnson transforms everyday objects from his childhood — such as books, shea butter, black soap, CB radios, record albums and food — into art.
- Surveying contemporary art closer to home, the High will mount “Drawing Inside the Perimeter,” an exhibit showcasing some 45 recently acquired works by more than 35 Atlanta-based artists, from June 29 to Sept. 22.
The artists comprise something of a who’s who of the local scene, including: Sean Abrahams, Alejandro Aguilera, Tristan Al-Haddad, Joseph Almyda, Radcliffe Bailey, Philip Carpenter, Don Cooper, Brian Dettmer, Craig Drennen, Sarah Emerson, Kojo Griffin, Scott Ingram, Benjamin Jones, Harrison Keys, Jason Kofke, Ruth Laxson, Ann Marie Manker, Katherine Mitchell, Jiha Moon, Andy Moon Wilson, Yanique Norman, Sam Parker, Joe Peragine, Fahamu Pecou, Seana Reilly, Susan Robert, Ben Roosevelt, Brandon Sadler, Nathan Sharratt, Robert Sherer, Freddie Styles and Katherine Taylor.
Alex Brewer (who works as Hense) and Rocio Rodriguez will create two wall drawings exclusively for the exhibition.
» LEARN ABOUT THE ARTIST: See Hense's work on his website
Most of the works have been acquired since 2010 with support from the Lambert Fund, established by the late art Atlanta patron and gallery owner Judith Alexander. The fund was named for independent Atlanta curator Marianne Lambert, who collaborated with High modern and contemporary art curator Michael Rooks on the acquisitions and show.
- Though the exhibit never had been formally announced, the High has delayed the final installment of its collaboration with New York’s Museum of Modern Art. “Free Radicals: Contemporary Art 1988-2008” is still listed on MoMA’s website as opening at the High on July 6, but a new date for the final show drawn from MoMA’s permanent collection is not yet set.
“Our exhibition calendar is a living document that changes frequently,” High spokeswoman Kristen Heflin said, adding that the packed summer schedule made it “challenging to give ‘Free Radicals’ the time and energy it deserved.”
Another possible factor in the move is that, as first reported by the arts website artsatl.com, attendance for the last MoMA show, “Fast Forward: Modern Moments 1913-2013” (84,701 over 14 weeks), fell off considerably from the prior installment, “Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters” (322,912 over 28 weeks).
“After ‘Fast Forward’ closed, we thought we should reexamine the similar thematic approach we were planning to take with ‘Free Radicals,” Heflin continued in an email to the AJC. “We want the last MoMA show to resonate strongly with our audiences while also bringing important works of contemporary art to Atlanta.”
Information: 404-733-4200, www.high.org.
Daughters inspire world premiere
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra bass player and composer Michael Kurth is getting his work out there.
Kurth, whose first symphony, “Everything Lasts Forever,” was given its world premiere by the ASO in April, has another work heading for a world premiere by the Atlanta Chamber Players on Tuesday.
The ensemble commissioned Kurth’s composition, “The Hedgehog Tree and Other Bequests,” which is inspired by the character traits of his three daughters. It showcases the unusual quartet of oboe, bass clarinet, viola and cello.
The 7:30 p.m. program, presented at the New American Shakespeare Tavern in Midtown, includes pieces by Bohuslav Martinu and Brahms.
The British pub menu is available starting at 6:15 p.m. Tickets, $15-$24 (does not include food), 404-874-5299, www.shakespearetavern.com.