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Look with Your Ears: The Addison at 90 


In celebration of our 90th anniversary, the Addison Gallery of American Art invited Tamar Avishai, host of the award-winning podcast The Lonely Palette, to create a limited series, Look with Your Ears: The Addison at 90, that thematically explores works in the Addison's collection. With episodes that focus on abstraction, the figure, and the urban sublime, Tamar looks at a selection of some of the most important and provocative objects in the Addison’s collection, and investigates what they mean to art history and to each other.

Episode 1: Abstraction

Tamar examines works by Agnes Martin, Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Mark Bradford, and Donald Judd, and asks listeners to consider how art with no fixed narrative invites the viewer’s participation.

Episode 2: The Figure

Tamar explores photographs by Lalla Essaydi, Laurie Simmons, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Sally Mann, and Dawoud Bey. Using these images, she asks viewers to consider the myriad ways that artists have used the figure to probe stereotypes and the multiple lenses through which bodies in art are viewed.

Episode 3:
Urban Sublime

In the third episode, Tamar explores the relationship of human beings to their environments in American art, beginning with Winslow Homer's Eight Bells. Observing that landscape images almost always have a deeper meaning, she then considers how 20th century artists Edward Hopper, Robert Frank, Berenice Abbott, Charles Sheeler, and Martin Wong, used urban landscapes to depict the city as sites of loneliness, energy, oppression, nostalgia, and comfort.

Episode 1 images, clockwise from left: Jackson Pollock, Phosphorescence, 1947, oil, enamel, and aluminum paint on canvas, 44 x 28 inches, gift of Peggy Guggenheim, 1950.3; Jasper Johns, Target, 1958, Sculpmetal and collage on canvas, 12 x 11 inches, gift of Frank Stella (PA 1954), Addison Art Drive, 1991.44; Mark Bradford, Crossing the Threshold, 2009, mixed media collage on canvas, 48 x 60 inches, museum purchase with support of the African American Art Acquisition Fund, 2009.80; Agnes Martin, Untitled, 1960, ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper, gift of Frank Stella (PA 1954), Addison Art Drive, 1991.46; Donald Clarence Judd, To Susan Buckwalter, December 15, 1965, blue lacquer on aluminum and galvanized iron, 30 x 141 inches, gift of Frank Stella (PA 1954), 1993.45

Episode 2 images, from top left: Sally Mann, The New Mothers, 1989, gelatin silver print, 8 x 10 inches. museum purchase, 1990.58; Dawoud Bey, Alva, 1992, Polacolor ER photographs (diptych), 30 1/4 x 44 inches, museum purchase, 1993.17a,b; Cindy Sherman, The actress (daydreaming) from Murder Mystery People, 1976–2000, gelatin silver print, 7 1/2 in. x 5 inches, purchased as the gift of Katherine D. and Stephen C. Sherrill (PA 1971, and P 2005, 2007, 2010), Sidney Knafel (PA 1948), Scott Mead (PA 1973), Michael Schmertzler (PA 1970), Drew Chin (PA 2000) and Emily D. Griset (PA 2000), and Amy Falls (PA 1982), and museum purchase, 2013.58.9; Lorna Simpson, Screen 4, 1986, wooden accordion screen, gelatin silver prints mounted on panels, vinyl letters, 73 ½ x 60 inches, museum purchase, 2000.83; Lalla Essaydi, Les Femmes du Maroc: La Grande Odalisque, 2008, chromogenic print mounted to aluminum with UV protective laminate, 30 x 40 inches, purchased as the gift of Katherine D. and Stephen C. Sherrill (PA 1971, and P 2005, 2007, 2010), 2018.51; Laurie Simmons, Woman / Kitchen / Sitting on Sink from In and Around the House, 1976, gelatin silver print, 8 x 10 inches, gift of Sybil and Kelly Wise, by exchange, 2011.8.

Episode 3 images, clockwise from top left: Charles Sheeler, Ballardvale, 1946, oil on canvas, museum purchase, 1947.21; Winslow Homer, Eight Bells, 1886, oil on canvas, gift of anonymous donor, 1930.379; Robert Frank, Hoboken, N.J., negative 1955, printed later, gelatin silver print, museum purchase, 1977.142; Martin Wong, Portrait of Miguel Piñero, 1982, acrylic on canvas, purchased as the gift of John P. Axelrod (PA 1964) in memory of the artist, Louis Wiley, Jr. (PA 1963), anonymous donor, James D. Marks (PA 1979) in memory of Abigail Bing (PA 1993) and her work combating AIDS, the Monette-Horwitz Trust, and The Paul and Edith Babson Foundation in honor of Richard L. Babson (PA 1976), and museum purchase, 2013.60; Edward Hopper, Manhattan Bridge Loop, 1928, oil on canvas, gift of Stephen C. Clark, Esq., 1932.17; Berenice Abbott, Canyon: 46th Street and Lexington Avenue, Looking West from Changing New York, 1936, gelatin silver print, museum purchase, 1978.100.

Generous support for the 90th anniversary exhibition and programming has been provided by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, Andrew and Barbara Gundlach P’22 and ’24, Edwin ’49 and Margaret Smith, William and Elizabeth Kahane P’20, and Harry Kahane ‘20.