Housed in the Wallace Performing Arts Center, the Luchsinger Gallery presents exhibitions by students, faculty, alumnae, and a variety of visiting artists each year. The Visiting Artists Program invites professional artists showing in the gallery to speak about their working process and lead workshops in the classrooms. The Luchsinger Gallery combines with the Jacobs Lobby to form an 1100-square foot space that has hosted emerging and mid-career artists from New York, New Haven, and Fairfield County.
Carl de Keyzer
States of Mind: Cuba and North Korea
Luchsinger Gallery and Jacobs Lobby
February 28 – April 23, 2019
Belgian-born photographer Carl de Keyzer has traveled the world capturing slice-of-life images of countries experiencing ethnic tension, revolutionary change, or environmental crisis. He photographed Soviet Russia in 1988-89, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and recently created a series called Higher Ground that imagines a remixing of European populations after a dramatic rise in sea level. This exhibition focuses on two series of de Keyzer’s photographs taken in Cuba in 2015 and North Korea between 2015 and 2017.
Cuba, La Lucha (Cuba, the Fight) documents Cuba’s evolving culture, rooted in Communism but increasingly open to Western capitalism. In his shots of decaying, once-grand buildings, cafes with faded advertisements pasted to the walls, and taxis retrofitted with new technology, de Keyzer captures a modern Cuba poised for change but proud of its past. He made plans for this series before 2014, when President Obama first spoke of lifting the long-standing US trade embargo, and traveled to Cuba a year later. He describes his series as evidence of “the end of a bankrupt Utopia, which has plunged its population into a deep identity conflict, divided by the lure of dazzling economic growth promised by capitalism and fears of consumerist excesses on its traditional culture.”
DPR Korean Grand Tour, shot during four official visits to North Korea between 2015 and 2017, suggests the psychological strain felt by those living under the Kim regime. De Keyzer is the only foreign-born, professional photographer to have traveled and photographed all over North Korea, visiting each of the country’s provinces in the company of local Korean guides. His official tour company advertised 250 places foreigners could visit, and he was permitted to see 220 during his sixty days in the country. “I was not allowed to take even one step on my own,” he wrote of his visits. In carefully framed images, de Keyzer suggests the rigid state controls that characterize life in North Korea. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) remains a closed Communist state, and photographs are carefully screened by censors. Nevertheless, de Keyzer effectively captures the tension that pervades life under this strict military dictatorship, with its frequent military parades, pro-Kim regime education, and anti-American propaganda.
This exhibition premiered at American University in the fall of 2018, and the exhibition here marks the second time DPR Korean Grand Tour has been shown in North America.
The exhibition is open to the public and continues through April 23.
Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #797
Site Specific Installation in the Greenwich Academy Dining Hall, 2018–19
(First installed at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College in 1995.)
Renowned Conceptualist and Minimalist artist Sol LeWitt (1928–2007) spent thirty years developing simple sets of instructions for large-scale wall drawings that could be created by other people, even after his death. His drawings use unique patterning, coding, and an element of chance, so that each new iteration differs from previous installations. On loan to Greenwich Academy from the LeWitt Collection in Chester, Connecticut, Wall Drawing #797 utilizes a series of instructions beginning with a black line drawn at random on a white wall. As subsequent lines are drawn in a repeating red, yellow, blue sequence, the pattern of the first line is recreated but also, inevitably, altered. The drawing is complete when the bottom of the wall is reached. Students and faculty are participating in the creation of this unique work of art.