The Director

 

April Director’s Message

 
Dear Friends,
 
Thank you all for the warm welcome I’ve received this past month as I have taken on the interim director and CEO role here at the museum. It is a privilege to be working with the accomplished staff, talented volunteers, and remarkable donors who all care deeply about the Wadsworth. As we continue to teach and learn, listen and lead, our gaze is fixed not on where we stand, but on potential yet to be realized.
 
I’m happy to share a number of new projects with you. On the first floor in the MATRIX gallery, you’ll find photography by Todd Gray. Recently featured in the Los Angeles Times, Gray expands the boundaries of photography by layering and stacking individually framed photographs into dynamic assemblages that explore the history and enduring impact of European colonialism, slavery, and the African diaspora. The show is centered on two monumental works the artist created for this project—one is his largest work to date, composed of 14 photographs, measuring 34 feet long. Gray’s photographs are beautifully seductive, and intentionally so—their beauty draws you in and invites you to grapple with the ugly truths revealed by his juxtapositions. You can view the exhibition from anywhere by taking the virtual tour.
 
Visitors in Todd Gray / MATRIX 186 
Today, a new collection-based exhibition is on view. Goya, Posada, Chagoya: Three Generations of Satirists features etchings by the three artists-activists, each working in different countries at different time periods, and draws connections between them, all having used prints to comment on politics, culture, and society. In the work pictured below, Chagoya even depicts the three artists together in an early tribute to the two legendary printmakers. Posada, on the left, shakes hands with Goya while Chagoya appears in the bottom right-hand corner, on roller-skates dressed in an alligator costume. The work is full of additional references and appropriations that are uncovered in the exhibition through comparisons of etchings by the three artists.
 
Enrique Chagoya, "Goya conoce a Posada" Copyright Enrique Chagoya
 
Just as we have been reimagining spaces within the museum to create new experiences with art, we have also been working toward the same goal online. You may have noticed in recent weeks that the museum’s website has gotten a makeover. With so many more of your museum experiences happening virtually these days, we knew it was important to create a space reflective of the great works of art in our care and the varied stories they propel. If you haven’t yet, check it out today. Our thanks to ArtBridges who made this work, and many of our virtual tours possible.
 
It has been great to see so many of you connecting with us in the museum and from afar in recent weeks. We’re happy to extend free admission for the spring season, through June. Reserve tickets for your next visit online. As we all begin to enjoy the warmer temperatures and longer days, we’re hard at work realizing an exciting project with artist Leonardo Drew that will activate our front lawn this summer. The outdoor installation is one of two projects the artist has conceived for the Wadsworth. I’m excited to share the museum has also acquired a work by Drew, a Connecticut native raised in Bridgeport, for our permanent collection. Stop in to check out Number 83S, an impressive wall sculpture now on view in the contemporary art gallery. I hope you will keep returning to the museum to enjoy the company of art and each other.
 
Best,
 
Jeffrey N. Brown
Interim Director & CEO
 
 
 
Images
 
Top: Visitors in Todd Gray / MATRIX 186
 
Bottom: Enrique Chagoya, Goya conoce a Posada (Goya meets Posada), from Homage to Goya II: Disasters of War, 2003. Etching, aquatint, and rubber stamp on paper, ed. 3/30. © Enrique Chagoya. Gift of Linda Cheverton Wick.

 

 

A statement from Kimberly Kersey and Tom Loughman – June 3, 2020