“Impact: Contemporary Artists at the Hermitage Artist Retreat”

March 10, 2024 @ 10:00 am – July 7, 2024 @ 5:00 pm
Sarasota Art Museum
1001 South Tamiami Trail Sarasota
FL 34236
"Impact: Contemporary Artists at the Hermitage Artist Retreat" @ Sarasota Art Museum

“Impact: Contemporary Artists at the Hermitage Artist Retreat”

Presented in partnership with Sarasota Art Museum 

Sunday, March 10 – Sunday, July 7

Sarasota Art Museum (entrance at 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236)

Click here for more information.

This exhibition will feature work from ten nationally and internationally renowned Hermitage alumni artists: Diana Al-Hadid, Sanford Biggers (2010 Hermitage Greenfield Prize winner), Chitra Ganesh, Todd Gray, Trenton Doyle Hancock (2013 Hermitage Greenfield Prize winner), Michelle Lopez, Ted Riederer, the late John Sims, Kukuli Velarde, and William Villalongo. A key factor these ten artists have in common is that over the past two decades, each has been a Fellow at the Hermitage Artist Retreat on Manasota Key — a unique experience that contributed to each of their creative processes in a variety of ways. Overseen by guest curator and former Hermitage Curatorial Council member Dan Cameron, Impact represents the first major exhibition in collaboration between the Hermitage and Sarasota Art Museum. The exhibit will feature work across a range of media, including sculpture, painting, installation, video, photography, printmaking, ceramics, textiles, and social practice. Sanford Biggers, a distinguished Hermitage alumnus and internationally renowned artist, is also now a member of the Hermitage’s National Curatorial Council and was a featured guest speaker at the 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Dinner.

A longtime member of the Hermitage’s Curatorial Council, Dan Cameron is a curator of contemporary art who also writes about art, teaches and lectures about art, makes art, serves on art-related juries and boards, and advises both public and private collections. He has lived in Manhattan since 1979, although at times he has also been based in New Orleans and Long Beach. Throughout his 40-plus year career, Dan has steadfastly championed both the unexpected and the under-recognized. In 1982, he was the first American curator to organize a museum exhibition on LGBTQ art, and in 2008 he launched the Prospect New Orleans triennial in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Along the way, he has curated international biennials in Istanbul, Taipei, Ecuador, and Orange County, California, as well as retrospectives of such esteemed artists as Carolee Schneemann, Paul McCarthy, Peter Saul, William Kentridge, Faith Ringgold, David Wojnarowicz, Marcel Odenbach, Pierre et Gilles, Cildo Meireles, and Martin Wong. As part of the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time initiative in 2017, the Palm Springs Art Museum hosted Dan’s exhibition “Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art 1954-1969.” Dan’s core connection with art stems from its capacity to expand our collective awareness of ourselves, the world around us, and the way that humans invent ways to communicate essential values with one another. Whether in the cause of furthering social justice or challenging art history, Dan believes that the artist’s fundamental obligation to civilization is to push sensorial and perceptual engagement into new, fruitful realms of engagement. The curator’s role is to provide an appropriate platform and context for that expression, and to provide a public forum for viewers to more fully immerse themselves in the experience, and for the artists to engage in critical dialogue about the art and its meaning.

Hermitage Fellow Diana Al-Hadid is known for her practice that examines the historical frameworks and perspectives that continue to shape discourse on culture and materials today. With a practice spanning sculpture, wall reliefs, and works on paper, Al-Hadid weaves together enigmatic narratives that draw inspiration from both ancient and modern civilizations.

Sanford Biggers was the first recipient of the Hermitage Greenfield Prize in the discipline of Visual Art in 2010. His work is an interplay of narrative, perspective, and history that speaks to current social, political, and economic happenings while also examining the contexts that bore them. His diverse practice positions him as a collaborator with the past through explorations of often-overlooked cultural and political narratives from American history. Working with antique quilts that echo rumors of their use as signposts on the Underground Railroad, he engages these legends and contributes to this narrative by drawing and painting directly onto them.

Across a 20-year practice, Hermitage Fellow Chitra Ganesh has developed an expansive body of work rooted in drawing and painting, which has evolved to encompass animations, wall drawings, collages, computer generated imagery, video, and sculpture. Through studies in literature, semiotics, social theory, science fiction, and historical and mythic texts, Ganesh attempts to reconcile representations of femininity, sexuality, and power absent from the artistic and literary canons.

Hermitage Fellow Todd Gray works in photography, performance, and sculpture. Gray’s work is represented in numerous museum collections. He works between Los Angeles and Ghana, where he explores the diasporic dislocations and cultural connections which link Western hegemony with West Africa.

Trenton Doyle Hancock won the Hermitage Greenfield Prize in 2013. Influenced by the history of painting, especially Abstract Expressionism, he transforms traditionally formal decisions — such as the use of color, language, and pattern — into opportunities to create new characters, develop sub-plots, and convey symbolic meaning. Balancing moral dilemmas with wit and a musical sense of language and color, Hancock’s works create a painterly space of psychological dimensions. Trenton Doyle Hancock was the winner of the 2013 Hermitage Greenfield Prize for Visual Art.

Michelle Lopez is a Hermitage Fellow, interdisciplinary sculptor, and installation artist. As a builder, conceptualist, and manipulator of materials, Lopez inventively explores cultural phenomenon, stretching to their limits the industrial processes that craft consumerism in its many forms. Lopez examines collapsed political and social structures by inverting cultural tropes through the process of building, exploiting industrial materials to expose the hidden boundaries of embedded societal constructions.

A “one-time refugee from punk and sometime band member,” Hermitage Fellow Ted Riederer has armed himself with painting supplies, electric guitars, amplifiers, old LPs, record players, drum kits, hard disk recorders, photography equipment, a vinyl record lathe, and long-stemmed roses as he’s ambled artistically from the Americas to the Antipodes. His work has been shown nationally and internationally.

John Sims, a Detroit native and Hermitage Fellow, was an interdisciplinary conceptual artist who created multimedia projects spanning the areas of mathematics, art, text, performance, and political-media activism. His main projects were informed by the vocabulary of mathematical structure, the politics of sacred symbols and poetic reflections. As the former coordinator of mathematics at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, he designed a visual mathematics curriculum for artists and visual thinkers. John Sims died in 2022 at the age of 54.

Hermitage Fellow Kukuli Velerde left Peru as an adult, already aware of its racial, social, cultural and economic climate. Latin contemporary culture, its finest expression: family ties, and herself as result, are together the frame within which her work evolves. Velerde’s mediums include paining on aluminum plates and ceramic installations.

Hermitage Fellow William Villalongo’s work is concerned with stories and images of time and change in the arch of inhumanity to humanity that has marked the black experience shaping his subject and study as an artist. He often works in series where he looks for frameworks to make these concerns visible. A figure, a still life, a painting, a drawing or a sculpture are his vessels for information and sites to produce meaning.