The Grunwald Gallery at Indiana University Bloomington is pleased to present the exhibition Out of Easy Reach, guest-curated by Allison Glenn, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The exhibit contains works by twenty-four U.S. based, female- identifying contemporary artists from the Black and Latinx Diasporas. Working across a variety of media, these artists counter conventional accounts of abstraction in art history that have often overlooked the artistic contributions of women of color. A symposium, “Abstraction as a Strategy of Refusal,” will take place on Thursday, August 23-Friday, August 24, and the opening reception will be held on August 24 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
This exhibition investigates the contemporary and conceptual expansion of abstraction through a cadre of critically acclaimed emerging, mid-career, and established artists. Including over 40 artworks created between 1980 and 2018, Out of Easy Reach proposes that artists employ abstraction as a tool to explore histories both personal and universal, as well as to expose institutionalized modes of knowledge and power. The exhibition will be the focus of two art history courses, a graduate seminar, “Abstraction, Here and Now,” and a AH300- level class, “Curating the Contemporary,” offered by Assistant Professor Faye Gleisser.
The exhibition was first presented at three venues in Chicago, each with a distinctive focus. At DePaul Art Museum, the artists and artworks that were presented consider landscape, the body and the archive. At Gallery 400 at University of Illinois Chicago, the artists included were concerned with spatial politics, mapping and migration. The Stony Island Arts Bank, part of the Rebuild Foundation directed by Theaster Gates, exhibited works that consider process, time and material culture. The Grunwald Gallery will be including all of the works shown in the three Chicago exhibits.
Out of Easy Reach is curated by Allison M. Glenn, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. She was previously the Manager of Publications and Curatorial Associate for Prospect New Orleans’ international art triennial Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp, which opened November 2017. Her writing has been featured in numerous exhibition publications, including The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Prospect New Orleans, the California African American Museum, University at Buffalo Art Galleries, and The Studio Museum in Harlem. She has contributed to Hyperallergic, ART21 Magazine, Pelican Bomb’s Art Review, and Newcity, amongst others. Glenn received dual Master’s Degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Modern Art History, Theory and Criticism and Arts Administration and Policy, and a Bachelor of Fine Art Photography with a co-Major in Urban Studies from Wayne State University in Detroit.
This project was partially supported by the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University and Indiana University’s New Frontiers in the Arts & Humanities Program. Further assistance comes from the College Arts and Humanities Institute and the Robert E. and Avis Tarrant Burke Lecture Series in the Department of Art History. The Grunwald Gallery would like to thank the lenders to the exhibition.