ALBANY — With the “JUAN LOGAN: creating & collecting” exhibition at the Albany Museum of Art, viewers get an exceptional opportunity. They not only see the visual stories the 73-year-old North Carolina artist has created, but they gain insight about the artist through art that he has collected.
“It is a rare treat to witness the artist’s mind and spirit not only through their own works, but through the works of other artists they have sought to collect,” AMA Guest Curator Didi Dunphy said. “This is the opportunity we have here.”
“The AMA is honored to show the work of Juan Logan, an artist at the peak of his powers of expression,” AMA Executive Director Andrew James Wulf said. “An art critic once said the artistic output of any artist serves as an answer. It is our job as the viewer to find the question.
“In Logan’s work, it is evident he is asking us to pause to live with the questions (complete with actual puzzle pieces) of how we find our place in the world and what that means to each of us. It is also a rare feature to be able to enjoy the art Logan himself loves from his own collection, from artists as diverse as Louise Bourgeois to Jim Dine, from Robert Rauschenberg to Jasper Johns.”
The exhibition is one of three that opened July 9, when the AMA re-opened to members after being closed to the public for three months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also new are Works by Brian Willmont in the East Gallery, and “Viberations of Pasaquan,” with works by Eddie Dominguez, Martha Clippinger and St. EOM, in the West Gallery. The three exhibitions are scheduled to continue at the AMA through Oct. 24.
Following a special Members Week that offered museum members a special viewing period of the summer exhibitions, the AMA re-opened to the general public on Friday.
The AMA also has announced new hours for visitors. The museum will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It will be open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursdays, allowing later access to exhibitions. Admission is free.
“The AMA plans to re-open full-time with Saturday hours in the near future,” Wulf noted. “We also know that some guests who want to visit during the week cannot make it before 5 p.m., so we have added evening hours until 7 o’clock on Thursdays.”
A native of Nashville, Tenn., Logan now lives and works in Belmont, N.C. He is the conservation manager at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Project, which is restoring 31 large-scale sculptures created by artist Simpson for the city of Wilson, N.C.
Logan’s artworks, which address subjects relevant to the American experience, are simultaneously abstract and representational. His paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations and videos address the interconnections of race, place and power. They make visible how hierarchical relations and social stereotypes shape individuals, institutions, and the material and mental landscapes of contemporary life.
“Most of my work addresses this American culture as a whole,” Logan has said. “Where are we as a culture? The decisions made regarding policy and law impact all of us each and every day. But I’m not trying to provide anybody with answers. My goal has always been to ask questions, comment on my investigations and what I feel and how I respond to these questions.”
Aiding museum guests who explore Logan’s work are educational panels that include QR codes that connect the viewer to online videos of Logan. There also is a catalog of the exhibition that is available for purchase.
“This exhibition, originally on display at the Hickory Museum of Art, is accompanied by a beautiful catalog, including an essay by Jennifer Sudul Edwards, chief curator and curator of contemporary art at The Mint Museum,” Dunphy said. “This iteration and the design of this version of ‘JUAN LOGAN: creating & collecting’ are from a selection of works I had the pleasure of viewing during my spring visit to the Hickory.
“Three walls in the Haley Gallery contain works from the Logan Family Collection, while the remaining gallery walls are full and rich with the artist’s own hand.”
Dunphy said she hopes guests will “take a moment to read some of the educational panels around the walls and view the videos accessible through the QR codes to enjoy and learn Juan’s thoughts as expressed through his own voice.”
Logan has shown extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally. He has had numerous solo exhibitions and has executed many private and public commissions. Logan’s works can be found in private, corporate and public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Memphis Brooks Museum, the Zimmerli Museum of Art, and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. His “Some Clouds are Darker” has become part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Recently awarded a Pollination Project grant for a new project titled “The Waiting Project,” Logan, who received an M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art, has won multiple awards during his long career. Those include fellowships from the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, the North Carolina Arts Council, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, the Carolina Postdoctoral Scholars Fellowship, and the Phillip Morris Companies. He and his works have been featured in publications including Hyperallergic and Artform.
Juan Logan’s mixed media artwork “Help Me, Save Me, Love Me” (2009) is part of the “JUAN LOGAN: creating & collecting” exhibition on view at the Albany Museum of Art. The museum re-opened to the public on Friday.