Dr. Smith has a PhD in Physics from Harvard University and pursued a career in science, before earning his MFA from Hunter College and turning to art full-time. He explores the big questions of our experience, using humorous, homemade methods in his work. Breakdown Lane functions as both an exploration of the archetypal journey inherent to the road movie and as a reflection on the video medium itself. Throughout the absurd narrative, he rigorously attempts to maneuver his improbable automobile out of the breakdown lane.
Critic Sarah Goffstein has written that "beyond optical accidents, the makeshift mechanics of Smith’s vehicle put the artist at risk…It is hard not to expect electrocution or explosions." The video is shown on an improvised theater in the center of his installation and was selected by Curator of Contemporary Art Katherine Pill to complement The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip, on view in the Hazel Hough Wing from Thursday, February 9-Sunday, June 4.
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, Hazel Hough Wing, FINAL DAYS, through Sunday, January 22
This is one of the most expansive and vibrant exhibitions of Latino art ever presented in the Tampa Bay area. It spotlights 75 works by 62 gifted modern and contemporary artists, drawn entirely from the illustrious collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.
The art is as diverse as Latinos themselves. All media are represented, including vintage political posters and inventive video. Artists of Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Mexican descent are amply represented. Dr. E. Carmen Ramos, Curator of Latino Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, organized this traveling exhibition.
Jack Barrett: People Watching, Lee Malone Gallery, through Sunday, February 26
This Spotlight exhibition offers a rewarding glimpse of pages from Jack Barrett’s sketchbooks, with their spontaneous, yet ever confident drawings. His vivid, sometimes whimsical paintings reveal his eye for color, and his sculptures, on view for the first time, suggest an affinity with Alberto Giacometti. Standing Woman (1960) is his first known sculpture, and the painting Red Ladder (2007), with its stained-glass effect, was created near the end of his life.
Mr. Barrett (1929-2008) attended Carnegie Institute and graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He worked as an illustrator for the St. Petersburg Times from 1970 until 1990 and devoted himself to fine art upon his retirement. This is the first time his art has been shown at the MFA. Curator of Contemporary Art Katherine Pill selected the works with the invaluable assistance of his widow Louise Barrett.
Dominique Labauvie: Dig, Lee Malone Gallery, Saturday, March 4-Sunday, July 2
The formal explorations of interdisciplinary artist Dominique Labauvie are rooted in both material and a highly developed relationship to philosophies of the drawn line. He has written: "When a line bends, it slows down; as it expands, it suddenly appears as a flat surface—it carves out its presence in space like a black hole. The ground (any ground: earth, wood or stone) hosts the forged lines as the landscape that for centuries has been mapped by rivers, roads, and highways. The line informs us about the absent forms, as only the missing remain in our memories, our books, and in our images. The line attests to the desire of thought."
Dig brings together recent works by Mr. Labauvie in his signature media of steel and pastels. The theme of the ruin runs throughout, as he seems to take on the role of archaeologist, digging into the earth’s histories to try to understand their effect on current events.
Born in Strasbourg, France, Mr. Labauvie has resided in Tampa since 1998 with his wife, master printer Erika Greenberg-Schneider, founder of Bleu Acier studio and gallery. He earned his BA in literature and philosophy from the Academy of Colmar and studied art history at the University of Strasbourg. He specialized in sculpture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and later taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Tourcoing, France. He has shown his work internationally.
He is represented in the collections of the Musée des arts décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, in Paris; Musée d’art moderne et contemporain de Céret, France; and closer to home, the MFA and the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Mr. Labauvie has been commissioned to create large-scale public sculptures in Paris, Dijon, and Tampa. This is his first Spotlight exhibition at the MFA, organized by Curator of Contemporary Art Katherine Pill.
The Far North: Inuit Prints and Sculpture, Second-Floor Works on Paper Gallery, through Sunday, March 19
The Inuit people of Canada and the Arctic, formerly known as the Eskimo, have a long history of producing art, first through sculpture and basketry, and, more recently, printmaking.
Dr. Teresa Wilkins of the MFA staff curated The Far North. She specialized in non-Western art during her graduate study at Indiana University Bloomington.
This Museum premiere of more than 30 works includes all of the above media, as well as objects such as a bracelet, two letter openers (one in the shape of a fox and the other, a salmon), even a seal whistle. Largely inspired by nature, the Inuit have transformed the functional into the artistic.
These works span the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Most tell stories and transmit knowledge, from one generation to the next and from the Inuit to the wider world. The majority of the works were given to the Museum by Donald Karshan and Maurie Lee Harding, complemented by choice loans from area collectors.
The entire family is encouraged to participate in the MFA: Make and Take Saturday on January 21 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Check out the arctic animals represented in the exhibition and recreate your own using air-drying clay. The program is for ages five and older and is free with MFA admission. Supplies are included and no registration is necessary.
MAJOR SPONSORS OF 2017 EXHIBITIONS AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
The MFA expresses deep gratitude to the following generous supporters: Mark and Marianne Mahaffey; Bill Edwards Presents, Inc.; Jeff and Penny Vinik; The Margaret Acheson Stuart Society; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and the City of St. Petersburg Office of Cultural Affairs. The Tampa Bay Times and WUSF are the Media Sponsors.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
The MFA at 255 Beach Drive N.E. has a world-class collection, with works by Monet, Morisot, Rodin, O’Keeffe, Willem de Kooning, and many other great artists. Also displayed are ancient Greek and Roman, Egyptian, Asian, African, pre-Columbian, and Native American art. Kristen A. Shepherd is the new Executive Director.
Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, until 8 p.m. on Thursday, and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is only $5 after 5 p.m. on Thursday. Regular admission is $17 for adults, $15 for those 65 and older, and $10 for students seven and older, including college students with current I.D. Children under seven and Museum members are admitted free. Groups of 10 or more adults pay only $12 per person and children $4 each with prior reservations. For more information, please call 727.896.2667 or visit