During the last several decades, the work of the Outsider artists has come to the forefront of our thinking about the nature of art as their paintings and sculptures have made their way into fine art museums hanging alongside new and time-tested paintings and sculptures. To date, collector Gary Monroe has acquired nearly a thousand pieces of Outsider art, including works by Ruby Williams, Eddy Mumma, Frank Ritchie, and Jesse Aaron. An Irresistible Urge to Create includes 86 works and features objects by several self-taught artists from Florida’s West Coast and Central region. A publication accompanies the exhibition with an essay by Gary Monroe, a discussion by Boca Museum of Art Senior Curator Kathy Goncharov about the changing nomenclature of self-taught and folk artists, and a specially commissioned poem by Campbell McGrath about artists’ urge to create.
An Irresistible Urge to Create: Florida Outsider Art from the Monroe Family Collection is organized by the Boca Raton Museum of Art.
In 1998, Dr. Farid Karam and his wife Jehanne generously donated 149 archaeological artifacts to the University of South Florida (USF) Libraries’ Special Collections. For the first time since that donation, a selection of these ancient objects will be on view for the general public at the Tampa Museum of Art from November 11, 2021. In date, they range from the Bronze Age to the early Islamic period (ca. fifteenth-century BCE – thirteenth-century CE), and they originate from ancient Syria, Phoenicia, Egypt, Greece, and the Arab world. The metal, stone, glass, and ceramic artifacts include cosmetic and medical implements, utility vessels, and oil lamps, as well as sculptures and figurines.
Farid Karam (1929-2018) was born in a Greek Orthodox village in northern Lebanon. After specializing in plastic surgery in Cleveland, Ohio (1961), he taught medicine at the American University of Beirut Hospital. Due to the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), he moved to Bay Pines, Florida. In 1992, Dr. Karam was appointed Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery at the USF College of Medicine in Tampa, Florida. He returned to Lebanon in 1999 where he continued to practice facial plastic surgery. Mr. Karam was awarded the highest honor for lifetime achievements, the Bronze Wolf Medal, from the World Scout Foundation.
Paul Jenkins (American, 1923-2012) represents the legion of Abstract Expressionist artists who altered the landscape of modern art. Jenkins found inspiration in his journeys around the world, particularly time spent in Japan. He is celebrated for his unorthodox approach to paint application. In the early 1950s and throughout his life, the artist worked with controlled paint pouring. This method allowed him to create layers of translucent color as well as render stark contrasts between light and dark. This exhibition, drawn from the holdings of the Haskell Collection in Jacksonville, Florida, and the Jenkins Estate, looks at the evolution of Jenkins’ art from his large-scale paintings to works on paper. The exhibition will demonstrate how Jenkins’ groundbreaking techniques and imagery helped transform post-war painting.
Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue brings together a focused selection of work from a period of over forty years by two of today’s most important and influential photo-based artists. Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems, both born in 1953, came of age during a period of dramatic change in the American social landscape. Since meeting at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1977, the two artists have been intellectual colleagues and companions. Over the following five decades, Bey and Weems have explored and addressed similar themes: race, class, representation, and systems of power, creating work that is grounded in specific African American events and realities while simultaneously speaking to universal human conditions. This exhibition, for the first time, brings their work together to shed light on their unique trajectories and modes of presentation, and their shared consciousness and principles.
Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue is organized by the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
Presenting Sponsor: Bank of America