The Duke House Exhibitions Series

The Duke House Exhibition Series brings contemporary art to the walls of the landmarked James B. Duke House in the form of two exhibitions per year. The work is displayed in the Gilded Age interior of the former residence of the Duke family, juxtaposing the historic with the contemporary and inviting viewers to engage with both the past and the future of the Institute.

Fall 2017

chin(A)frica: an interface

October 27, 2017 – February 18, 2018
Open daily 1pm - 4pm

*note that as this is a functional space, classes and events sometimes take place in the exhibition rooms. Please consult the events calendar ahead of time.

The fall Duke House Exhibition, chin(A)frica: an interface, investigates some of the ways in which identity, geopolitics, and otherness are re-formulated through expansive exchanges between China and African countries over the past decade. The exhibition presents works by four artists, two Chinese and two African nationals, who have reflected upon recent cross-continental relations and immigration. Held in the James B. Duke House, where the Institute of Fine Arts is located, the exhibition plays off the building's historical significance, decorative and architectural style, and the Institute’s engagement with art historical discourses.

The exhibition features a still from Hu Xiangqian’s video The Sun (2008), a work inspired by the unprecedented presence of African immigrants in the southern Chinese city Guangzhou, where the artist was trained for many years. In it, the artist tans himself to darken his skin, a gesture that suggests the blurred distinctions between conceptions of blackness and the Asian other. The work contrasts with another performance in the series, Self Portrait as Mao Zedong (2013), by the Cameroonian artist Samuel Fosso. Fosso transforms himself to enact several iconic portraits of Mao; in the work on display, his facial features, coupled with a dissonant red armband reading “Africa,” conjure up a Mao who oscillates between serving as an inspiration for liberation movements in the “Global South” and an embodiment of a new, quasi-colonial ambition.

The exhibition also includes works by artists He Xiangyu and Edson Chagas. In his half-fictional, half-documentary video work Wuqiao (2018), He Xiangyu follows a group of young Africans recruited to learn acrobatic skills in a famous circus town near Beijing. The video explores their training, integration, and religious practices, as well as the cultural and social mechanisms that led to their displacement. The Oikonomos series (2011) by Angolan artist Chagas presents self-portraits in which the artist’s face is completely covered by a variety of packaging materials bearing markers of the commercial entities present in Angola--such as one from a Chinese fertilizing company.

chin(A)frica: an interface juxtaposes contemporary art practices from China and Africa in order to explore contested issues like identity and race by incorporating a geopolitical context not directly mediated by the West, nor dictated by its colonial legacy. The exhibition will be accompanied by a round table discussion and a screening program that seeks to challenge conventional debates on identity politics and self-representation from and beyond these bilateral positions.

Organized by Duke House Exhibition 2017-2018 curators Xin Wang and Megan Ashley DiNoia.

Public Programming

Exhibition Opening: Tuesday, November 14, 6:30pm

Susan Brown joined Cooper Hewitt in 2001, where she is Associate Curator of Textiles. She curated the highly successful exhibition Fashioning Felt, and edited the accompanying catalogue. She has co-curated numerous exhibitions, including Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance, Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay, Quicktakes: Rodarte, and David Adjaye Selects, and contributed essays to these publications along with Design Life Now: National Design Triennial and Making Design, the museum’s collections handbook. She recently published an essay in Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe, published by Vitra Design Museum. She has published articles in Hali, Surface Design, American Craft, TextilForum, and Modern Carpet and Textile. She also teaches in the Masters’ Program in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies offered by Cooper Hewitt with Parsons/The New School for Design, as well as lecturing regularly for the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU.

Samantha De Tillio is a Brooklyn-based curator and writer. She is Assistant Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), where she specializes in post-war and contemporary craft. Some of her current research interests include performance in glass, and the intersection of craft and ecology. Her current exhibition Crochet Coral Reef: TOXIC SEAS is on view through January 22, 2017, and her upcoming exhibition Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story opens April 4, 2017. She is also curating the exhibition Aaron Pexa: The Spoils of Annwn, which opens at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn on May 24, 2017. De Tillio has a Master of Arts in the History of Decorative Arts from the Smithsonian Associates with George Mason University, Washington, DC, a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University at Albany. She has guest lectured at the Bard Graduate Center and is a regular contributor to GLASS: The UrbanGlass Quarterly.

Artist bios

Edson Chagas (b. 1977) was born in Luanda, Angola. He studied photography at the University of Wales in Newport (2008); London College of Communication (2007); Portugal's Escola Técnica de Imagem e Comunicação (2002), and Centro Comunitário de Arcena (1999). In 2013, his Found Not Taken series was exhibited in Luanda, Encyclopedic City, the Angolan Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, winning the Golden Lion for best national pavilion. Solo exhibitions worldwide have taken place at the Kunst Haus Wien, Museum Hundertwasser in Vienna (2016); Instituto Camões - Centro Cultural Português, Luanda (2014); and Memorial Agostinho Neto, Luanda (2013). Notable group exhibitions include Recent Histories - New African Photography at the Walther Collection in Ulm, Germany (2017); Disguise: Masks and Global African Art at Seattle Art Museum (2015-16); and Ocean of Images, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015).           
Samuel Fosso’s (b. 1962) self-portraits have been featured in seminal exhibitions including In/sight: African Photographers, 1940 to the Present, The Short Cen-tury: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994, Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent, and Events of the Self: Portraiture and Social Identity–Photography from the Walther Collection. Fosso was born in Cameroon and now lives and works in Bangui, Central African Republic and Paris, France.

He Xiangyu (b. 1986) is a Chinese artist based in Berlin. He was named as a finalist for the “Future Generation Art Prize” (2014), and won the 10th CCAA “Best Young Artist” Award (2016) as well as the “ARTNET Emerging Artist Prize” (2016). Recent exhibitions include: Tales of Our Time Film Program (Screening of the film The Swim), Guggenheim Museum New York, New York (2017); Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs by Kadist Art Foundation (2016-2018); Juxtapoz x Superflat, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver (2016); Chinese Whispers, Paul Klee Zentrum, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern (2016); Lyon Biennale (2015); Fire and Forget: On Violence, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015); Shanghai Biennale (2014); Yokohama Triennale (2014); and Busan Biennale (2014).

Hu Xiangqian (b. 1983) was born in Leizhou, Guangdong Province and graduated in 2007 from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. His performances arise from engagements with his immediate surroundings, his intuition, and his artistic contemplation of what it means to be an artist. His work highlights the contrasts in our society and amplifies minor incidents into major social signifiers. Notable exhibitions include the Gwangju Biennial (2014) and the Shanghai Biennial (2016). The artist lives and works between Beijing and New York.

Curators

Xin Wang is a PhD candidate in modern and contemporary art at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU.  Past curatorial projects include: special exhibitions researcher for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China (2013); Asian Contemporary Art Week 2014 for which she co-curated the inaugural edition of its signature program FIELD MEETING; the panel “Magiciens de la Terre and China: Looking Back 25 Years” co-organized with Asia Art Archive at Columbia University; the New York solo debut of artist Lu Yang (2014); exhibition series, THE BANK SHOW: Vive le Capital and THE BANK SHOW: Hito Steyerl (2015) in Shanghai. Life and Dreams: Photography and Media Art in China since 1990s at the Walther Collection in Ulm, Germany. Her writing has appeared in exhibition catalogues and publications such as E-flux, Artforum, Kaleidoscope, Art in America, Flash Art, Hyperallergic, and Leap. She is currently building a discursive archive of Asian futurisms in contemporary art practice at http://afuturism.tumblr.com

Megan DiNoia is currently pursuing her M.A. at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. She is the Managing Editor of IFAcontemporary, the Institute’s online contemporary art publication. Most recently, she participated in the NYU Curatorial Collaborative, curating 11:30 playdate at 80WSE Gallery, which featured works by NYU Steinhardt Honors Studio artists. She has also held internships at the Guggenheim Museum, assisting with the recent Peter Fischli David Weiss exhibition, as well as with Artbook D.A.P., researching and copywriting for their upcoming catalogue.

This exhibition was generously supported by Galerie Jean Marc Patras (Paris), Long March Space (Beijing), STEVENSON (Johannesburg), and White Space (Beijing) with additional production support from Cloud Gallery, New York. Special thanks go to Christine Poggi, Director of the Institute of Fine Arts; Sarah Higby, Director of Development and Public Affairs; Sophie Phoenix Lo, Manager of Public Programming and Special Events; Robert Slifkin, Associate Professor of Fine Arts; Conservation Graduate Students Emma Kimmel and Kristin Holder; and the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Fine Arts.

The Duke House Exhibition Series was begun in 2016 to bring contemporary art to the walls of the landmarked James B. Duke House in the form of two exhibitions per year. The work is displayed in the Gilded Age interior of the former residence of the Duke family, juxtaposing the historic with the contemporary and inviting viewers to engage with both the past and the future of the Institute.

Please note that all works are installation loans made specially for the chin(A)frica: an interface project.

Archive

Spring 2017

Beatrice Glow: Spice Roots/Routes

March 22 – June 19, 2017

I n Beatrice Glow: Spice Roots/Routes, Glow traces environmental degradation, wealth inequality, and the ramifications of colonialism to their historical roots in the early modern spice trade. The pursuit of spices, which she calls “the petroleum of the 17th century,” motivated conquest and colonization across Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America. Trade routes like the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade ferried spices, silks, and other luxury goods from China and the Philippines to Spain via Mexico. Polygenetic objects like the manton de Manila, an embroidered silk shawl made in China and the Philippines that became a fashion staple among wealthy women in South America and Spain, expose these networks of influence. Glow’s Spice Route series takes compositional cues from popular manton de Manila embroidery patterns, navigating between and beyond individual cultural traditions. Each digital print highlights a plant or spice that was intertwined with the legacy of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade between the 17th and 19th centuries, embodying the social and economic connections forged by colonial mercantilism.

In 1890, the pursuit of intoxicating aromatic plants produced another kind of empire: the American Tobacco Company. James B. Duke’s tobacco conglomerate dominated the American market and worked extensively with distributors in the United Kingdom and East Asia before being ordered by the Supreme Court to dissolve in 1911, having run afoul of the Sherman Antitrust Act. In 1909, Duke and his wife, Nanaline, commissioned the architect Horace Trumbauer to design a mansion on Fifth Avenue. Financed by the proceeds of the lucrative tobacco trade, the Duke House is an especially fitting site for Glow’s work, a meditation on the intersection of luxury, intoxication, and commerce.

This exhibition demonstrates how these recurring patterns of exploration and exploitation speak to one another and continue to resonate with contemporary concerns. By installing the Spice Route series in the former home of James B. Duke, we also reflect on how the Institute of Fine Arts—which has made the Duke House its home since 1958—can productively engage with the history of this site.

Organized by Kristen Gaylord and Kathleen Robin Joyce
With support from Jeong-A Kim and Matthew Lee

Susan Brown joined Cooper Hewitt in 2001, where she is Associate Curator of Textiles. She curated the highly successful exhibition Fashioning Felt, and edited the accompanying catalogue. She has co-curated numerous exhibitions, including Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance, Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay, Quicktakes: Rodarte, and David Adjaye Selects, and contributed essays to these publications along with Design Life Now: National Design Triennial and Making Design, the museum’s collections handbook. She recently published an essay in Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe, published by Vitra Design Museum. She has published articles in Hali, Surface Design, American Craft, TextilForum, and Modern Carpet and Textile. She also teaches in the Masters’ Program in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies offered by Cooper Hewitt with Parsons/The New School for Design, as well as lecturing regularly for the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU.

Samantha De Tillio is a Brooklyn-based curator and writer. She is Assistant Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), where she specializes in post-war and contemporary craft. Some of her current research interests include performance in glass, and the intersection of craft and ecology. Her current exhibition Crochet Coral Reef: TOXIC SEAS is on view through January 22, 2017, and her upcoming exhibition Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story opens April 4, 2017. She is also curating the exhibition Aaron Pexa: The Spoils of Annwn, which opens at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn on May 24, 2017. De Tillio has a Master of Arts in the History of Decorative Arts from the Smithsonian Associates with George Mason University, Washington, DC, a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University at Albany. She has guest lectured at the Bard Graduate Center and is a regular contributor to GLASS: The UrbanGlass Quarterly.

Artist bio

Beatrice Glow is the 2016–2017 Artist-in-Residence at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU at NYU and a Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics’ Council Member. She is the recipient of the Van Lier Visual Art Fellowship at Wave Hill (2015), was named a Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Finalist (2015), and served as Artist-in-Residence at the LES Studio Program at Artists Alliance Inc (2016). Recent projects include an installation at the Honolulu Biennial (2017), a lecture performance at the Venice Biennale (2015), and solo exhibitions at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Chile (2016), the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU (2016), and Wave Hill, New York (2015). She holds a BFA in Studio Art from NYU.

Public Programming

Thursday, May 11, 6:30pm

Empire of Smoke: the Legacy of Tobacco
Watch online

Schedule

Smudging Ceremony at the entrance of the James B. Duke House
Introduction by curators Kristen Gaylord and Kathleen Robin Joyce
Opening Remarks by George Stonefish
"Spice Roots/Routes," a performance/lecture by Beatrice Glow
"Tobacco, tobacco! Sojourns, Symbols, and Slaves in the Shaping of the Modern World," a talk by Gunja SenGupta

George Stonefish is a First Nation member [American Indian] who is 1/2 Delaware; 1/4 Ottawa; 1/8 Ojibwa; 1/16 Pottawatomi; 1/16 Miami from Ontario, Canada. However, he was raised in NYC and has spent most of his life working for the First Nation [American Indian] community on both a national and local level. He started his activism at an early age when he went to the takeover of Alcatraz by First Nation students in 1969 with his Grandmother and Uncle. Since that time he has participated in the defense of Native Nations as a member of their warrior societies and by promoting their struggles though media, as he had the first weekly radio program on Native issues on WBAI 99.5 FM in NYC from 1978 to 1983. He was also raised in the tradition of his people, which has helped him to organize Native Nations’ governmental structures in preparation for federal recognition. He is a well-known traditional dancer and singer.  

Beatrice Glow is the 2016–2017 Artist-in-Residence at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU at NYU and a Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics’ Council Member. She is the recipient of the Van Lier Visual Art Fellowship at Wave Hill (2015), was named a Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Finalist (2015), and served as Artist-in-Residence at the LES Studio Program at Artists Alliance Inc (2016). Recent projects include an installation at the Honolulu Biennial (2017), a lecture performance at the Venice Biennale (2015), and solo exhibitions at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Chile (2016), the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU (2016), and Wave Hill, New York (2015). She holds a BFA in Studio Art from NYU.

Gunja SenGupta is Professor and Chair of the History department at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. Her current interests lie in 19th-century U.S. and slavery/abolition in the Indian Ocean; sectional conflict; African American and women's history. Her first book, For God and Mammon: Evangelicals and Entrepreneurs, Masters and Slaves in Territorial Kansas (1996), dealt with sectional conflict and consensus. In
From Slavery to Poverty: The Racial Origins of Welfare in New York, 1840-1918 (2009), she explored welfare debates as sites for negotiating identities of race, gender, and nation. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals including the American Historical ReviewJournal of Negro (African American) History, Civil War History, and Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art. Her current projects, co-authored with Awam Amkpa, and funded by Melon, Whiting, Wolfe, and Tow fellowships/grants, include one on 19th-century United States and slavery/abolition/empire in the Indian Ocean; and another on the history, memory and films of the Black Atlantic.

Fall 2016

Intertwined

Julia Bland, Channing Hansen, Josh Faught, Sergej Jensen

October 11, 2016 – February 19, 2017
Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday, 12:00–7:00 p.m.

This exhibition brings together four fabric-based works that are inspired by, but move beyond, the strictures of painting. Each artist evokes a different fiber tradition: Sergej Jensen combines knit wool and luminous painted canvas in a composition using modernist vocabulary; Julia Bland’s stretcher-less graphic weave, hung to flutter, recalls a fringed rug or standard; Josh Faught re-presents text found in his culling of archives related to gay history in an extravagant yet elegiac piecing of hemp, linen, and lamé; and in Channing Hansen’s playful work wool is caught in a relapse toward its more familiar form as clothing. From traditional canvas to wool, hemp, linen, and lamé, the fabrics that historically supported art and craft are, for these artists, generative fine-art materials themselves. Organized by Kristen Gaylord with Rachel Vorsanger.

Public Programming

February 1, 2017, 6pm

Opening Event, and Panel Discussion

Speakers


Josh Blackwell, Fiber artist; Professor, Bennington College

Bio: Originally from New Orleans, Josh Blackwell is an artist and teacher based in New York City and Bennington, Vermont. He has exhibited his work in the US and internationally since 1999. In 2014 he received a Pollock-Krasner Grant. He has also received fellowships from the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, ZKU Berlin, Santa Fe Art Institute, the Delfina Studio Trust in London, and the Corporation of Yaddo in Saratoga Springs NY. He received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and a BA from Bennington College, where he has been a visiting faculty member since 2009 and joined the full time faculty in 2016. His exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design, “Neveruses Report Progress” is the inaugural installation of the Education Department’s MAD Process Lab, a new series exploring an individual artist’s practice—from inspiration to exhibition—in great depth. It is on view until February 19, 2017. He has been represented by Kate Macgarry, London since 2004. His website is www.joshblackwell.com

Julia Bland, artist

Read artist bio further down this page

Susan Brown, Associate Curator of Textiles, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Bio: Susan Brown joined Cooper Hewitt in 2001, where she is Associate Curator of Textiles. She curated the highly successful exhibition Fashioning Felt, and edited the accompanying catalogue. She has co-curated numerous exhibitions, including Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance, Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay, Quicktakes: Rodarte, and David Adjaye Selects, and contributed essays to these publications along with Design Life Now: National Design Triennial and Making Design, the museum’s collections handbook. She recently published an essay in Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe, published by Vitra Design Museum. She has published articles in Hali, Surface Design, American Craft, TextilForum, and Modern Carpet and Textile. She also teaches in the Masters’ Program in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies offered by Cooper Hewitt with Parsons/The New School for Design, as well as lecturing regularly for the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU.

Samantha De Tillio, Assistant Curator, Museum of Arts and Design

Bio: Samantha De Tillio is a Brooklyn-based curator and writer. She is Assistant Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), where she specializes in post-war and contemporary craft. Some of her current research interests include performance in glass, and the intersection of craft and ecology. Her current exhibition Crochet Coral Reef: TOXIC SEAS is on view through January 22, 2017, and her upcoming exhibition Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story opens April 4, 2017. She is also curating the exhibition Aaron Pexa: The Spoils of Annwn, which opens at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn on May 24, 2017. De Tillio has a Master of Arts in the History of Decorative Arts from the Smithsonian Associates with George Mason University, Washington, DC, a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University at Albany. She has guest lectured at the Bard Graduate Center and is a regular contributor to GLASS: The UrbanGlass Quarterly.

Artist bios

Julia Bland’s works incorporate painting and weaving, developing the structures and patterns that bind disparate elements into a whole. Through weaving, cutting, sewing, dyeing, and painting, the surface becomes a visible record of her evolving, multi-faceted process. Bland earned her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008, and her MFA from Yale in 2012. She was awarded The Sharpe-Walentas Space Program in 2015, The Milton and Sally Michael Avery Residency at Yaddo in 2016, the Carol Scholsberg Memorial Prize in 2012, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust Travel Fellowship in 2008. She has been an artist in residence at Yaddo in 2013 and 2016, The Byrdcliffe Colony in 2014, and The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented by On Stellar Rays in N.Y.C.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Channing Hansen was educated at San Francisco Art Institute, where he participated in the New Genres program. Hansen’s current work incorporates his interest in the history of science and technology into his fibre-based art practice. His work has been included in exhibitions at Solway Jones Gallery and Outpost, both Los Angeles; 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica; Glendale College Art Gallery; Nuit Blanche, Toronto; and Hilary Crisp Gallery, London; and was most recently featured in Made in LA 2014 at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Womb-Womb Room, a collaborative installation made with Alexandra Grant based on Faith Wilding’s Crocheted Environment (1972), otherwise known as the Womb Room, was presented at Night Gallery, Los Angeles, in 2011. His work is in the collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the Ahmanson Foundation, as well as private collections. Hansen is also active as an educator through the Mountain School of Art.

Josh Faught lives and works in San Francisco, California and is an Associate Professor at the California College of Arts in Oakland and San Francisco. Recent solo museum exhibitions include a site-specific installation at the Neptune Society Columbarium as part of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art SECA Art Award Exhibition (2013); the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Missouri (2013); and the Seattle Art Museum in conjunction with his Betty Bowen Award (2009). His work has appeared in numerous group exhibitions, including at the Emily Foundation for the Arts, New York (2014); the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2014); Grazer Kunstverein, Austria (2013); Oakville Galleries, Ontario (2013); and Fiber: Sculpture 1960–Present at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2014). His work is included in the permanent collection of the SFMOMA, the ICA Boston, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Rubell Family Collection.

Sergej Jensen was born in Denmark in 1973 and was educated at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Primarily known for his textile works, his lyrical compositions incorporate a variety of fabrics, from burlap and linen to silk and wool. His work has been exhibited in a number of major international group exhibitions including Illumination, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art Humlebæk, Denmark (2016); Losing the Compass, White Cube, London (2015); and Art & Textiles: Fabric as Material and Concept in Modern Art from Klimt to the Present, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (2013). Solo exhibitions include National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen (2016); Dépendance, Brussels (2015); White Cube Hong Kong (2014); Berlinische Galerie (2013); and MoMA PS1, New York (2011). He lives and works in Berlin and New York.