The Tampa Museum of Art has a couple of handfuls of great exhibitions happening right how (CL recently covered outsider art from the Monroe Family and “HerStory”), but downtown’s landmark museum has also made room for “Young @ Art,” featuring work from Hillsborough County students in kindergarten through 8th grade. Check it out through Feb. 20.
On view September 30, 2021 through January 16, 2022
Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s explores mid-20th-century abstract art from North Africa, West Asia, and the Arab diaspora—a vast geographic expanse that encompasses diverse cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious backgrounds. Comprising nearly 80 works by artists from countries including Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Qatar, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the exhibition is drawn from the collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation based in Sharjah, UAE. Inspired by Arabia calligraphy, geometry and mathematics, Islamic decorative patterns, and spiritual practices, they expanded abstraction’s vocabulary—thus complicating its genealogies or origin and altering how we view non-objective art. The paintings, sculpture, drawings, and prints on view reflect the wide range of nonfigurative art practices that flourished in the Arab world over the course of four decades. At the Tampa Museum of Art, Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s is possible thanks to a community sponsorship by Morgan Stanley. The exhibition is also supported in part by Colonial Distributing and George & Debbie Baxter in honor of Dr. Mudhafar Amin and Zahar Hadid.
C. Paul Jennewein’s (German-American, 1890-1978) artwork reveals the inspiration of the ancient world while also engaging with the new sculptural styles of his time, merging Art Deco with the neo-classical tradition. In 1978, the Tampa Bay Art Center, predecessor of the Tampa Museum of Art, received a bequest of 2,600 objects including finished artworks, as well as preparatory drawings, plaster casts, and molds for the numerous commissions Jennewein received during his prolific career. Sketches and Sculptures: A Study of C. Paul Jennewein highlights this extensive archive. The exhibition presentsan overview of the artist’s early sculptures and four major commissions executed between 1925 and 1940 that defined Jennewein as one of the most significant sculptors of his day.
Sketches and Sculpture: A Study of C. Paul Jennewein is part of the Tampa Museum of Art’s centennial exhibition series Celebrating 100 Years.
White Gold is an immersive installation by artist Thomas Sayre (American, b. 1950) that depicts a cotton-filled Southern landscape. The work intends to express the beauty, the complexity, and the tragedy of our embroiled agricultural traditions. Cotton is one of the nation’s most contentious and layered materials, and one with which almost every American has a personal relationship, either directly or indirectly. Inevitably, it is linked to the economic, racial, and social history of the region and its people. Sayre’s White Gold refers to cotton and a reverence for the land, the labor, and the people (forced or unforced) who made cotton their livelihood. The installation is a fierce expression of the Southern landscape: its magnificence and the haunting pain of history, memory, and ultimately, belonging.
White Gold: Thomas Sayre is organized by the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh