Join MOCAD for a night of art, music, and drinks at our 2015 spring/summer exhibition opening reception. MOCAD members are invited to an exclusive members preview hour at 6pm, with the general public exhibition opening at 7pm. A curator and artist talk with Jens Hoffmann and Greg Fadell starts at 6:15PM. Music performance by Yoni Wolf, Serengeti, and Little Animal begins at 9PM (free for MOCAD members; $10 for non-members after 9PM)
Rob Pruitt: The Obama Paintings and The Lincoln Monument
The Obama Paintings and The Lincoln Monument will be presented to the public for the first time in this solo exhibition. Rob Pruitt began The Obama Paintings as a means of tracking President Barack Obama’s term of office. Since Obama’s inauguration on January 20, 2009, Pruitt has created a two by two foot painting of the President every day, with imagery drawn from the news of that day. Upon completion, The Obama Paintings will comprise 2,922 paintings, incorporating events from the mundane to the historic.
Pruitt’s interests range from transformation of everyday materials to what one could call a durational performance piece with a painting-a-day concept. Pruitt’s choice to debut this work at MOCAD shows a willingness to create a moment that is potentially challenging for the audience, and perhaps even to his own beliefs. Pruitt’s examination of the Obama presidency through day-by-day images, when viewed together, asks us to question our relationship to government, what it means to be a patriot, and what the role of the president is in a time of celebrity culture.
The Lincoln Monument uses the most ubiquitous form of presidential iconography, the copper penny, as raw material. The work is made up of 200,000 pennies filling four stacked copper–painted truck tires. As odes to public fountains, Pruitt’s Lincoln Monument stands as a metaphor for our own idealized American political system.
Rob Pruitt: The Obama Paintings and The Lincoln Monument is organized by MOCAD. It is curated by
Elysia Borowy-Reeder, Executive Director of MOCAD, coordinated at MOCAD by Exhibitions Manager Zeb Smith.
Exhibition programming support for Rob Pruitt: The Obama Paintings and The Lincoln Monument is generously provided by the Taubman Foundation and Gavin Brown’s enterprise.
DETROIT AFFINITIES: Greg Fadell
Detroit based artist Greg Fadell will inaugurate the second set of the Detroit Affinities series of solo exhibitions, part of MOCAD’s DETROIT CITY program. Ken Okiishi will be the other artist in this new pairing. These exhibitions mark the first solo museum exhibition for each artist. MOCAD presents DETROIT CITY as a multiyear program of exhibitions, talks, publications, and educational initiatives investigating Detroit’s current artistic, political, cultural, and economic realities, and how Detroit connects with other cities and regions around the globe. Detroit Affinities is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by MOCAD Senior Curator at Large Jens Hoffmann.
Fadell’s first museum exhibition will focus on the artist’s fascination with art history and its use and role in shaping aesthetic opinions. Fadell’s paintings, sculptures, and video conceptually question how to engage with and measure aesthetic and cultural value and explore what it means to be an artist in the twenty-first century. Art history is used as an inspiration and a starting point of discovery, and traditional painting techniques are replaced by inkjet prints and chemical solvents. Using appropriation and deconstruction, Fadell seeks to uncover the perceptual bias of aesthetic precedents, object value, provenance, and institutional prestige. Through this critical examination of how art history is mediated and represented via art publications, ordinary museum posters, or a seemingly mundane television show, Fadell adapts factual information and subverts it to create a historical context of his own invention.
Yoni Wolf is embarking on a solo rap tour with the legendary Serengeti in tow, and rather than do the same old song and dance he did as the front-dude of WHY?, he's retrofitting his songs from WHY? as well as cLOUDDEAD and Reaching Quiet to do an all-rap tour, sponsored by his podcast, The Wandering Wolf. Yoni Wolf is the founding member of Why? and co-founder of the Anticon Label. His music combines wildly creative, freewheeling poetics with the collage aesthetics of traditional hip-hop.
Serengeti has followed his stream of consciousness through the darker corners of society and his psyche over an increasingly adventurous musical trajectory. Though Serengeti (né David Cohn) is the great nephew of Sonny Cohn, Count Basie’s trumpeter of thirty years, music wasn’t passed down freely in the family. Instead, young David kept his musical obsessions in his head, and by the time he was ready to loose them, his skull had accumulated several album’s worth of left-field hip-hop detritus. As Spin said last year, "The eternal paradox of Chicago rapper Serengeti is that his success is more akin to that of a show like Breaking Bad, and totally anomalous in music. That is, as the MC born David Cohn gets more famous, his records get deeper — as in esoteric."
Detroit duo Little Animal opens, with their take on contemporary R&B and electronic pop. They're the latest in MOCAD's Detroit Stages performers.
Rob Pruitt: The Obama Paintings and The Lincoln Memorial
Detroit Affinities: Greg Fadell
6pm: members-only preview
7pm: exhibitions open to the public
9pm: music starts with Little Animal