Where Every Family Matters

Frist Art Museum Announces 2022 Schedule

Frist things Frist...

The Frist Art Museum has officially unveiled its upcoming 2022 schedule of exhibitions.

In the Ingram Gallery, the year begins with On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Pérez Art Museum Miami Collection, an exhibition of fifty artists that explores the diverse cultural and political landscapes of Cuba and its diaspora. Light, Space, Surface: Southern California Art from LACMA’s Collection is an exhibition of sculptures, paintings, and installations by artists of the American Light and Space movement, including Robert Irwin, Helen Pashgian, and James Turrell. Weaving Splendor: Treasures of Asian Textiles presents rarely seen Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Persian costumes and textiles that will take guests on a journey across continents, and through time, from the 1500s to today.

In the Upper-Level Galleries, Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful traces the artist’s journey from semi-rural Georgia to international recognition and is the largest retrospective of her work to date. Knights in Armor showcases full suits of armor, mounted equestrian figures, swords, and other weaponry from the Middle Ages and Renaissance through the medieval revival of the nineteenth centuryMatthew Ritchie: A Garden in the Flood features dramatic paintings, architectural structures, and immersive visualizations by the renowned transmedia artist.

In the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery, the Frist presents Nashville-based artist LeXander Bryant’s debut solo museum exhibition of photography, mural work, and sculpture. In the fall, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens and the Frist Art Museum co-present sculptures by Nashville-born Virginia Overton, who creates large installations made from upcycled everyday materials.

In the Conte Community Arts Gallery, the Frist presents the juried exhibition Nashville Art Teachers: Beyond the Classroom, which will be shown in conjunction with Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful to celebrate the work and creative output of art teachers in Davidson County, and 2022 Young Tennessee Artists: Selections from Advanced Studio Art Programs, the ninth biennial showcase of the finest two-dimensional artwork by high school students across the state.

Frist Art Museum Announces 2022 Schedule of Exhibitions

Image Credits
1. Luis Cruz Azaceta. Caught, 1993. Acrylic on paper. 48 x 42 1/2 inches. Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, gift of Jorge M. Pérez
2. Chinese (Ming dynasty, 1368–1644). Chair Cover (detail), 17th century, Silk kesi tapestry weaves, 20 3/8 x 63 3/4 in. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Morse, 59-18/5
3. Alma W. Thomas (American, 1891–1978). Wind Dancing with Spring Flowers, 1969. Acrylic on canvas. Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, purchased through a gift from Evelyn A. and William Bl Jaffe, Class of 1964H, by exchange


*Titles and dates are subject to change.

On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Pérez Art Museum Miami Collection
January 28–May 1, 2022
Ingram Gallery

On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Pérez Art Museum Miami Collection features approximately seventy works by fifty Cuban artists of multiple generations, including María Magdalena Campos-Pons (currently a professor at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University), Yoan Capote, Los Carpinteros, Teresita Fernández, and Zilia Sánchez. Through paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos, and installations drawn from one of the largest public collections of Cuban art in the United States, the exhibition inspires dialogue regarding the physical, social, and political landscape of the island and its diaspora. Works in the exhibition demonstrate how artists can weave political commentary into their practices, providing insight into the sophistication of creative expression in an authoritarian system. The horizon line functions as a motif and symbol of personal desire, existential longing, or geographical containment throughout the exhibition—while always visible, it remains perpetually distant and unattainable.

LeXander Bryant: Forget Me Nots
January 28–May 1, 2022
Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery

Nashville-based artist LeXander Bryant’s debut solo museum exhibition Forget Me Nots addresses themes of perseverance amid adversity, family struc­tures and bonds, economic inequality, community activism, and more. The centerpiece of this multimedia exhibition is a suspended cracked concrete slab out of which blue forget-me-not flowers bloom. The installation references the late rapper Tupac Shakur’s poem “The Rose that Grew from Concrete” and honors survival despite seemingly impossible circumstances.

Other components include a selection of Bryant’s studio photographs; a “memory wall” contain­ing dozens of overlapping, community-based photos that collectively tell a story; wheat-paste murals similar to his work featured in the 2019 Frist exhibition Murals of North Nashville Now; and a projected video that depicts intimate interviews with family and friends from his hometown in southern Alabama. Together, the works offer an opportunity to consider one’s present position by thinking critically about the past and envisioning one’s legacy.

Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful
February 25–June 5, 2022
Upper-Level Galleries

Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful provides a comprehensive overview of the artist’s long life (1891–1978) with more than one hundred works, including her rarely seen theatrical designs and beloved abstract paintings. The exhibition will demonstrate how her artistic practices extended to every facet of her life—from community service and teaching to gardening and dress. A trailblazer, Thomas was the first Black American woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1972, which was similar to her exhibition at Fisk University in 1971.

The exhibition will be organized around multiple themes from Thomas’s experience. These themes include the context of Thomas’s Washington Color School cohort, the creative communities connected to Howard University (Vice President Kamala Harris’s alma mater), and peers who protested museums that failed to represent artists of color.

Nashville Art Teachers: Beyond the Classroom
March 4–August 28, 2022
Conte Community Arts Gallery

This juried exhibition salutes the heroic efforts of teachers during the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will feature the work of elementary, middle, and high school art teachers working in Davidson County and is presented concurrently with Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful. Thomas (1891–1978), the first African American woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, was an art teacher in Washington, D.C., public schools for thirty-eight years.

Light, Space, Surface: Southern California Art from LACMA’s Collection
June 3–September 6, 2022
Ingram and Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Galleries

This exhibition includes sculptures, paintings, and immersive and experiential installations by a loose-knit group of artists working in Southern California from the 1960s to the present. The renowned “Light and Space” and “Finish Fetish” artists are united by an interest in manipulating the medium of light, projected or reflected, to alter the perception of form, architectural space, and surface qualities.

Going beyond the tradition of representing light through paint or photography, artists like Robert Irwin, James Turrell, and Doug Wheeler create installations in which the actual light takes a form that seems to exist between presence and absence, providing a means of entering a mysterious immaterial world. In works by these and other artists—including Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Judy Chicago, Gisela Colón, Ron Cooper, Mary Corse, Ronald Davis, Guy Dill, Laddie John Dill, Fred Eversley, Craig Kauffman, John McCracken, Bruce Nauman, Helen Pashgian, Roland Reiss, Roy Thurston, De Wain Valentine, and Norman Zammitt—industrial materials such as cast resins, fiberglass, neon fixtures, and sprayed paint minimize the touch of the artist’s hand. They link art and technology in a cool aesthetic that echoes the emotional detachment of pop art and minimalism of the 1960s and 1970s. Their glossy surfaces and intense light are often thought of as characteristic of Southern California’s identity, with its car and surfboard culture and bright oceanside environment, though the artists in fact drew on many different experiences in developing their practices.

Knights in Armor
July 1–October 9, 2022
Upper-Level Galleries

Knights in Armor showcases stunning examples of European arms and armor from the renowned collection of the Museo Stibbert in Florence, Italy. One hundred and thirty rare objects—including full suits of armor, mounted equestrian figures, helmets, swords, and other weaponry—tell the tale of the European knight from the Middle Ages and Renaissance through to the medieval revival of the nineteenth century. The exhibition explains the historical and functional contexts of arms and armor of this period while also highlighting the undeniable beauty and artistic appeal of these works.

Weaving Splendor: Treasures of Asian Textiles
October 7–December 31, 2022
Ingram Gallery

Weaving Splendor: Treasures of Asian Textiles presents rarely seen Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Persian costumes and textiles drawn from the renowned collection of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Made with fine materials, exemplary techniques, and stunning artistry, Asian luxury textiles were central to global trade. The extraordinary stories of these treasures take guests on a journey along trade routes across continents, and through time, from the 1500s to today. Luxurious costumes of the court conveyed power, while striking theater robes brought stage characters to life. Sturdy wall hangings and furniture covers transformed palaces, temples, and homes, while shimmering tapestry-woven carpets were created as diplomatic gifts for foreign rulers.

Virginia Overton
October 7–December 31, 2022
Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery

This exhibition of outdoor and indoor sculptures by Virginia Overton, a Nashville-born, Brooklyn-based artist, is co-presented by Cheekwood Estate & Gardens and the Frist Art Museum. Though she has worked in New York City since the early 2000s, Overton maintains strong connections with Middle Tennessee, where her family has owned a farm for more than a century. For her site-specific installations, Overton seeks out the creative potential in everyday materials. Through elements such as moving water, fragrant cedar, plants, pick-up trucks, and rusty pipes, Overton’s works appeal to the senses, and from disparate parts she creates balance and equilibrium. Overton has had solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Bern, Storm King Art Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and in 2018, she was the first woman artist to have a solo exhibition at the Socrates Sculpture Park. This will be her largest exhibition in Nashville to date.

Matthew Ritchie: A Garden in the Flood
November 11, 2022–March 5, 2023
Upper-Level Galleries

Renowned transmedia artist Matthew Ritchie invites viewers to experience the richness and fragility of the world by connecting such fields as philosophy and mythology, epic poetry and science fiction, and history and physics.This exhibition’s interweaving of paradise and chaos offers a meditation on art’s capacity to help overcome our current social fragmentation—to be a connective tissue that is healing and beautiful. A Garden in the Flood will feature dramatic paintings, architectural structures and elaborate diagrams, a hallucinatory animation made through artificial intelligence, and a participatory augmented reality program. The most recent work in the exhibition will be a video with a specially commissioned soundtrack produced by acclaimed composer Hanna Benn in collaboration with the Grammy Award–winning Fisk Jubilee Singers. Intellectually and physically engaging, Ritchie’s work is simultaneously rife with ideas and visually alluring—and now appropriately presented in Nashville, an expanding city where interdisciplinary collaborations are ever increasing.

About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.