Healing, loss, reinvention, and catharsis are at the heart of two new exhibitions—Aphrodite Désirée Navab: Landmines of Memory and Yoko Ono: Mend Piece—now on view at the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts.
Aphrodite Désirée Navab: Landmines of Memory —Navab’s first museum show—presents new works that use Persian folklore and Greek mythology to trace her experience with loss. Her series of several dozen abstract ink drawings take viewers on her journey from the rupture and trauma of her brother’s death, to catharsis and resolution. Navab, an Iranian-born, New York-based interdisciplinary artist, uses her Iranian, Greek, and American heritage, and experience emigrating to the United States, to explore competing histories, cultures, and politics and impact these have had on her personal identity.
In the Addison’s timely display of Yoko Ono: Mend Piece, Ono proposes communal mending as an act of healing. Presented with shattered cups and saucers, visitors are asked to bind the fragments together using common household items: twine, glue, scissors, and tape. The resulting creations are displayed on nearby shelves, evidence of the power of collective action. Both exhibitions are open through April 4.
These upcoming exhibitions accompany the Addison’s current shows, which include:
- Wayfinding: Contemporary Artists, Critical Dialogues, and the Sidney R. Knafel Map Collection (thru Feb. 28) presents new works by six contemporary artists—inspired by Phillips Academy’s holding of maps, globes, and atlases—that explore how land has been claimed, constructed, and reconfigured throughout history;
- Currents/Crosscurrents: American Art 1850 – 1950 (thru Mar. 7) places iconic works from the Addison’s collection by artists such as Ruth Asawa, Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Jackson Pollock in dialogue with the works of their lesser-known contemporaries to give a more holistic and nuanced glimpse into a century of creative expression in America;
- An Incomplete History of Photography: 1860s to 1960s (thru Feb. 21) draws from the Addison’s exceptional photography collection to highlight key artists and moments in the development of the medium and watershed moments in American history;
- Robert Frank: The Americans (thru Apr. 11) displays in its entirety Robert Frank’s eighty-three carefully sequenced photographs that capture a nation in the throes of social, political, and economic transitions in the 1950s. The Addison is one of only four museums in the world to own a complete set of this essential series.
What do you think?