Opening on January 27, 2018, the Bruce Museum’s provocative new exhibition Hot Art in a Cold War: Intersections of Art and Science in the Soviet Era examines one of the dominant concerns of Soviet unofficial artists—and citizens everywhere—during the Cold War: the consequences of innovation in science, technology, mathematics, communications, and design. Juxtaposing art made in opposition to state-sanctioned Socialist Realism with artifacts from the Soviet nuclear and space programs, Hot Art in a Cold War touches upon the triumphs and tragedies unleashed as humankind gained the power to both leave the Earth and to destroy it.
Produced from the 1960s to the 1980s, the works on view address themes of international significance during a turbulent period marked by the ever-escalating competition for nuclear supremacy and the space race. Creative interpretations of these key historical events and their repercussions are presented here through nearly 40 works by 17 artists from the former Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, and Russia.
The Hot Art in a Cold War exhibition, which continues through May 20, explores the anxious realities and utopian fantasies of everyday Soviet life in the second half of the twentieth century through a variety of media, from documentary photographs and surrealist abstractions to hyperrealist paintings and kinetic sculptures. Kinetic artists in Russia and Latvia directly synthesized art and science in their works, often forming groups to collectively envision and even build immersive installations that offered viewers glimpses into unknown futures.
As science became a proxy battlefield for the struggle between the USSR and the United States, the Soviet space program achieved a long string of successes, including launching the first artificial satellite, first animal, first human, and first space station into orbit. This exhibition features artifacts representing these breakthroughs, including an unlaunched backup of Sputnik, a replica of the spacesuit worn by the first space dog Laika, and equipment from the Salyut space station program. The darker side of this Cold War competition is seen in examples of nuclear fallout equipment and specimens from Chernobyl.
“The Bruce Museum prides itself in being a museum of both art and science and in finding the interconnections between the two,” says Dr. Daniel Ksepka, Bruce Museum Curator of Science and co-curator of the exhibition. “Hot Art in a Cold War is a perfect example of this unique focus. Visitors will see how the triumphs of the space program and anxieties about nuclear arms were captured by period artists. Likewise, many of the scientific objects are works of art in their own right. The elegance of Sputnik, for example, is as striking and undeniable as its impact on the space race.”
“This exhibition is very timely, as we see history repeating itself in the connection between the ‘official’ behaviors of the Cold War and today’s ongoing wars and political conflicts, not to mention the ever-increasing role that technology plays in our everyday lives,” adds Ksenia Nouril, exhibition co-curator.
Hot Art in a Cold War is an expanded version of an exhibition organized at the Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., by Ksenia Nouril, Dodge Fellow, Zimmerli Art Museum and PhD Candidate, Department of Art History at Rutgers. The exhibition at the Zimmerli and Ms. Nouril’s fellowship have been supported by the Avenir Foundation and the Andrew Mellon Foundation.
A majority of the artworks on loan are from the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union, which is housed at the Zimmerli Art Museum. The late Norton Dodge (1927-2011), an American economist, began collecting Soviet unofficial art during the Cold War, making several trips to the Soviet Union starting in 1955. He amassed one of the largest collections of this kind of art in the world.
Although advancements in nuclear energy and space exploration gave great hope, they also came at a steep price, taking their toll on the Soviet economy, environment, and quality of life. Unofficial artists communicated their desires and fears by reimagining their earthly environments and conjuring unexplored worlds. Hot Art in a Cold War captures the direct and indirect intersections between art and science during this historically significant period of geopolitical tension that remains relevant today.
For support of this exhibition, the Bruce Museum thanks the Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund; the Connecticut Office of the Arts; a Committee of Honor, chaired by Jacqueline and Arthur Walker and Deborah and Alan Simon; and media sponsor WSHU Public Radio Group.
“Color Chases Winter Into Spring” is the title of a new show by Jan McLean opening Monday, February 5 at the Morris Art Gallery, Bethel Public Library, 189 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel. The show runs through April 13 and is part of the Accessible Art Project presented by the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut.
Using paint, paper, fabric, fiber, found objects and all manner of acrylic gels and mediums, mixed media artist Jan McLean invites us to banish the winter blahs with her vibrant and whimsical depictions of places not quite known and imagined. Sure to make you smile.
An opening reception will be held in the Maria Parloa community room on Saturday, February 10 from 1 – 2:30 pm. Snow date is Saturday, February 17th.
The Morris Gallery is located on the library’s 2nd floor. Opening hours are M-W-Th 10-8; Tu-F-Sat 10-5; Sun 1-5. Entrance and parking are on School Street.
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 15, 2018, 6:30-8:30pm. Light hors d’oeuvres and wine served. Enjoy a gallery tour and scholarly presentation at 7:00pm by Dr. Peter Bayers, Director of American Studies at Fairfield University.
Journey back in time to the early days of the New World and explore the dynamics between new settlers and Native Americans through Pequot Library’s Special Collections. This exhibition features a selection of the Library’s rare books held in Southport and on long-term loan at The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, including “The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, in the Mohawk language,” William Hubbard’s 1677 discourse on the Pequot War, and an early catechism for young children. Materials on native languages and colonial New England life offer insight into the intersection of two cultures in Fairfield and beyond.
Items on view include primers, language studies, and histories of local, state, and New England life. This exhibit follows on the “return visit” of the Columbus letter (1493) to Pequot in the fall of 2015 offering an imagined view of the early days as counterpoint to life as we know it today.
This exhibition was made possible in part through a generous gift in memory of Richard M. Carpenter and the Constance C. Baker Rare Book Fund.
Are you worried about what’s happening in the stock market? Taxes? Inflation? Every day it seems there’s something new to worry about. Join us for an “inside” perspective from Fidelity Investment & Catamount experts, and walk away with strategies for dealing with today’s markets.
*Refreshments and light fare will be served
West Rocks Middle School Drama Club presents Annie Jr.
March 22, 2018 7PM
March 23, 2018 7PM
March 24, 2018 2PM
All Tickets $10
Based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, with a beloved book and score by Tony Award-winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, Annie JR. features everyones favorite little redhead in her very first adventure.
With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie eventually foils Miss Hannigan’s evil machinations, finding a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.
Positive Directions- The Center for Prevention and Counseling in collaboration with Connecticut Renaissance, Inc. will be hosting the workshop, Gambling- What’s the Big Deal? at Westport Town Hall, Conference Room 201 on March 22 at 7 p.m. Free tickets are available at: https://gambling-whats-the-big-deal.eventbrite.com or by calling Positive Directions at (203) 227-7644. The workshop is designed to help people “have the conversation” about problem gambling. “We want to make people more aware that gambling can be a problem which may lead to addiction,” said Bob Vietro, Primary Therapist at Positive Directions. Approximately 2 million (1%) of U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for pathological gambling, another 4-6 million (2-3%) would be considered problem gamblers; yet for many, gambling remains a hidden addiction.
PAC audience favorite Orpheus Chamber Orchestra creates extraordinary musical experiences, performing music at the highest level, challenging artistic boundaries, and inspiring the public.
Schubert and Prokofiev always followed their hearts and their ears, even when the world misunderstood them.
Schubert never had a symphony performed publicly in his lifetime, but he conjured masterful sounds in the “Unfinished” Symphony that he abandoned midway, inexplicably. Music from Rosamunde — one of his many failed attempts to break into the theater world— matches the intensity of the “Unfinished” Symphony, and may have actually begun as its finale.
Prokofiev endured his own rejections during his years of exile in Europe, especially once he turned toward a self-described “new simplicity.”
The Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili brings her insightful perspective to Prokofiev’s elegant Second Violin Concerto, a work steeped in the crosscurrents between Russia and the West.
SCHUBERT Entr’acte No. 1 in B Minor from Rosamunde
PROKOFIEV Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63
PROKOFIEV/CHIHARA Schubert Waltzes Suite
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D. 759 (“Unfinished”)
Join us at 7:15 for a pre-concert Artist Talk. Free with your ticket.
Tickets: $80 / $65 / $50 / $25
“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination,” Leatrice Eiseman, PANTONE Color Institute.
Zeitgeist is descending to downtown New Canaan this season with “18-3838”, a group exhibition featuring works by Charles Arnoldi, John Clement, Leah Durner, Matthew Heller, Madeleine Keesing, Martin Kline and Jill Moser. These artists have been gracing Heather Gaudio Fine Art’s roster with their personal styles and individual processes. Now, for the first time, they will be brought together to showcase a visually rich installation that is as dynamic as it is au courant. The exhibition will open with a public reception at 4-6pm on Saturday, March 24th and will run through May 5th.
Last December, PANTONE declared 18-3838 Ultra Violet as the official color of 2018. The blue-based purple pigment shade is known to evoke spiritual and meditative reflection, as well as elicit cosmic and futuristic outlooks. Culturally, it has also been associated with individuality and acts of rebelliousness. Never stagnant, Ultra Violet is original, enigmatic and it is only natural that it draws the creative mind. It is therefore no accident that the artists in this show have gravitated to this color over the course of their careers. Works in this exhibition date from the last two decades, the most recent completed before 18-3838 became the official color of 2018.
The artists in this exhibition have achieved a defined style through a skilled understanding and use of the material and its properties, their subject matter emerging from the gesture. Whether as painters using encaustic, enamel or other pigments in liquid form, or as printmakers or sculptors, they share an exploration of abstraction and ideas. Starting with contemplation and meditating on their processes, these artists then allow for chance to play an integral part in the overall compositional structure. One outlier in the group may not fully conform to this description, however, his work manages to find an entry point to the show thematically. These artists invoke a confluence of the current spirit unified by the thought-provoking purple shade.
Carole Alexis and her Ballet des Amériques dance company invite you to the third evening of the fourth season of
Evenings of Dance in Port Chester
March 24, 7pm
Ballet des Amériques, 16 King Street, Port Chester, NY 10573 (conveniently located next to the Metro North commuter train station – a short ride from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan)
Suggested donation at the door: $20