FX Excursions

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Get Your Art On

by Debra Bokur

Dec 18, 2019

Peanutroaster | Dreamstime.com


Gallery-hopping plans? Seeing a new place through its art can give travelers a profoundly new perspective.


Here are some openings and exhibitions worth taking in:


Across the Pond, British sculptor Jeff Lowe is the focus of a new show at Pangolin London, open Jan. 15–Feb. 11, 2020. A mix of small and large-scale abstract works shaped from aluminum will be on view as part of “In the Close Distance,” along with a selection of Lowe’s prints.


Artists of African descent, including Rashid Johnson, Wangechi Mutu, Nick Cave, Rozeal, Kara Walker and Lorna Simpson, are featured in “30 Americans,” on view at The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia through Jan. 12, 2020. Exploring personal and cultural identity within the context of common stereotyping, the exhibition, compiled from the Rubell Family Collection, has been on the road for the past decade. The Barnes exhibition marks the 10th anniversary of the show.


The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Photo: Paul Comstock | Dreamstime.com


Also in Pennsylvania, Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites in Bethlehem is the location of the largest independent handbag collection in the world. “PURSEonality: A Stylish Handbag History” can be seen at the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts. The exhibition includes handbags from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries — all from the private collection of author and designer Ilene Hochberg Wood. Beautifully embroidered bags, folk art-inspired designs and bags by Chanel, Gucci, Hermes, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent are part of the fun, along with novelty bags from the 1940s by Paris-based designer Anne Marie. The exhibit is on view until April 30, 2020.


If your travels take you to Moscow, check out works by Scottish photojournalist Harry Benson at the Lumière Brothers Photography Centre. “Harry Benson: The Beatles and Beyond” is open until Jan. 19, 2020, with a fascinating display of works documenting Benson’s time on the road with The Beatles, 1964–1966. Benson was particularly well known for his ability to capture his subjects in moments of spontaneity and vulnerability, illustrated in publications including Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Life, Time and People.


May 1–Sept. 20, 2020, the new Freyer – Newman Center at the Denver Botanic Gardens is host to “Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling.” Curated by former National Gallery of Art curator Mark Rosenthal, the new exhibition includes sculptural works created by Rydingsvard since 2000, along with pivotal early pieces from the 1970s through the 1980s. The artist is renowned for her large outdoor pieces crafted from cedar and bronze.


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