SANTIAGO CAL | Shaped by the Other
On View: January 26 – March 2
brings two concurrent bodies of work to the Wanda D. Ewing Gallery in a diversity of mediums, including drawing, sculpture, sound, and video. The first collection explores Cal’s identity as formed by objects commonly associated with Latin America – such as guayaberas, machetes, and chanclas. The work creates cultural metaphors from everyday items which contribute, both materially and spiritually, to the artist’s sense of identity.
Shaped by the Other’s second collection turns an eye to Cal’s immediate family in a series of arresting sculptures and sketches of his sleeping wife and child. Exploring the notion of the family as a “collective self,” Cal explains “We shape each other through consideration and change. I find that growth resulting from this reflection occurs just prior to sleep, which is why I have chosen this particular time and place to explore.”
March 21 – May 4, 2019
Glyneisha Johnson // The Black Interior
Wanda D. Ewing Gallery
The Wanda D. Ewing Gallery is dedicated to the Omaha artist and educator who passed away in 2013. Ewing’s work ranged from traditional print media to painting, sculpture, and fiber arts, and was influenced by folk-art aesthetics and the depiction—and lack thereof—of African-American women in popular culture and the canon of art history. Throughout her career, she represented the connections between autobiography, community, and history, often with a biting, comical edge.
Born and raised in Omaha and educated around the United States, both the artist and her work traveled around the globe: she felt strongly about the fact that where one has been in the past—literally and figuratively—affects how one proceeds in the future. This often led her to historical representations of women in popular and folk expressions, such as pin-ups, beauty advertisements, “Mammy” dolls, and “exotic” figurines, all of which promote sometimes powerful, sometimes problematic ideals of womanhood into which she often projected herself. In sometimes-humorous, sometimes-serious appropriations of works by white, male artists from Western art history she similarly, meaningfully recast the figures in ethnic and gendered configurations that require viewers to rethink the originals. In so doing, Ewing encouraged dialogue around questions of who is allowed to make, see, and be seen in visual culture, and whether the arts look like the communities we live in, challenging her audiences to believe in the transformative power of art to conjure images where people might be themselves wherever they can see themselves.