David Winton Bell Gallery

Past Exhibitions

November 2, 2018 - March 17, 2019

Danny Lyon once described the writer James Agee as, “a romantic who adored reality,” an epithet equally apt to describe him. Lyon made a name for himself in the 1960s with an embedded style of reportage, capturing a compelling beauty in the people and places he befriended across the country, from student leaders of the civil rights movement to convicts in Texas prisons. Drawn primarily from the Bell Gallery collection, The Only Thing I Saw Worth Leaving presents photographs from some of Lyon’s most significant series along with films and other work, organized around five principles that he refers to time and again: empathy, freedom, history, destruction, and narrative.

Curated by Allison Pappas
Image: Danny Lyon, Arrest of Eddie Brown, Albany, Georgia, 1962. Copyright Danny Lyon/Magmun Photos

Location Bell Gallery
November 2, 2018 - December 19, 2018

An affiliated program of the Warren and Allison Kanders Lecture Series 

Co-organized by the David Winton Bell Gallery and the Brown Arts Initiative

New No’s is a simple yet direct poem of defiance designed by Paul Chan and Badlands Unlimited. Published as a poster in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, the poem stands as a manifesto of resistance and a protest for solidarity against political and social shifts the artists observed in the United States and beyond.

This installation is part of For Freedoms’ 50 State Initiative, a non-partisan, nationwide campaign to use art as a means of inspiring civic participation in advance of the 2018 midterm elections. 

Curated by: Ian Alden Russell
Image: Paul Chan with Badlands Unlimited, New No's, 2016. Courtesy the artists.

Location List Art Building Lobby
October 1, 2018 - December 15, 2018

An affiliated program of the Warren and Allison Kanders Lecture Series 

Co-organized by the David Winton Bell Gallery and the Brown Arts Initiative

On Protest, Art and Activism explores differing ways artists engage the political and social issues of their time. Part 1—on view October 1–28— features works by Ja’Tovia Gary, Theaster Gates, Josephine Meckseper and Dread Scott. Part 2—on view November 2–December 19— features works by Hermine Freed, Guerrilla Girls, Suzanne Lacy, Howardena Pindell and Martha Rosler. Concurrent with Part 2, a site-specific installation of New No’s by Paul Chan and Badlands Unlimited is on view in the lobby of List Art Building. 

This exhibition is and part of For Freedoms’ 50 State Initiative, a non-partisan, nationwide campaign to use art as a means of inspiring civic participation in advance of the 2018 midterm elections. 

Curated by: Ian Alden Russell
Image: Howardena Pindell, Free, White and 21, 1980. Courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.

Location Cohen Gallery, Granoff Center
September 8, 2018 - October 21, 2018

Walter Feldman’s affiliation with Brown University began in 1953, when he taught his first class in visual design, extended through his fifty-four year teaching career, and continues today in a legacy of sustained artistic and educational endeavors.  This memorial exhibition celebrates Feldman's life through his arts, including a retrospective selection of paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, and artists’ books.   

Curated by: Jo-Ann Conklin
Image: Walter Feldman, Self Portrait, 1947-1949

Location Bell Gallery
September 8, 2018 - October 21, 2018

Recent additions to the photography collection will be featured in exhibitions mounted in List Lobby throughout the 2018-2019 academic year. The first edition of the series looks at photographic images of architecture — as documents of buildings and as reflections of urban and rural environments. The exhibition includes works by Tom Baril, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Markus Brunetti, Walker Evans, Frank Gohlke, Todd Hido, Philip Jameson, Justin Kimball, Andrew Moore, Arthur Rothstein, and Robert von Sternberg.

image: Markus Brunetti, Conques, Abbatiale Sainte-Foy, 2012-2014

Location List Lobby
June 9, 2018 - July 8, 2018

Pushing Painting presents three concurrent exhibitions of new and recent work by painters living and working in New England. While differing in terms of subjects and techniques, the work of Elise Ansel, Nicole Duennebier and Duane Slick all demonstrate the vitality of contemporary painting in New England and the ever-present potential for the painted image to attract, engage and prompt reflection on how we view the world and our place within it.

Curated by: Ian Alden Russell

Image (left): Elise Ansel, Medium Study IV for Dutch Flowers, 2018
Image (middle): Nicole Duennebier, Bearded Tooth and Golden Sac, 2014
Image (right): Duane Slick, A Voice from the Prairie Grass, 2017

Location Bell Gallery and List Art Lobby
March 31, 2018 - May 27, 2018

Artists have participated in scientific and artistic explorations of the iconic landscapes of Earth’s polar regions since the late-nineteenth century. Today, the crisis of climate change and the associated threat of ice melt and sea level rise have drawn a legion of international artists to Greenland, the Arctic, and the Antarctic. There, they document the beauty and the destruction of the region, in hopes of drawing viewers’ attention to the impending loss and eliciting action toward change.

33° presents the work of six artists: Danish sound artist Jacob Kirkegaard and photographers Olaf Otto Becker (German), Camille Seaman (Native American/African American), James Balog (American), Jean de Pomereu (French), and Iain Brownlie Roy (Scottish).  Kirkegaard’s forty-minute soundspace Isfald (Icefall) will be on view at the David Winton Bell Gallery, alongside photographs of glaciers, icebergs, and the Greenland icesheet by Becker and Seaman. Photomurals by Becker, Seaman, Balog, de Pomereu, and Roy will be displayed on the exterior of buildings across Brown’s campus.

Curated by: Jo-Ann Conklin
Image:  Camille Seaman, Breaching Iceberg, Greenland, August 8, 2008

Location Bell Gallery, List Art Lobby, and various sites on campus
March 31, 2018 - May 27, 2018

33° extends across campus with photo murals of polar landscapes and animals—by Becker, Seaman, James Balog, Jean de Pomereu, and Iain Brownlie Roy—exhibited on the exterior of university buildings.

Curated by: Jo-Ann Conklin
Image:  rendering of James Balog, Greenland Ice Sheet, 28 June 2009, Adam Le Winter surveys Birthday Canyon on Prince Enginnering Laboratory, Brook St.

February 24, 2018 - March 11, 2018

The David Winton Bell Gallery and the Department of Visual Art present the work of student artists in Brown University's 38th annual Student Exhibition.

Location Bell Gallery and List Art Lobby
January 10, 2018 - February 11, 2018

The struggle to define what it means to be Mexican in an era of rapid change and instability profoundly affected Mexican art in the twentieth century. Drawn from the Bell Gallery collection—and including works by Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Graciela Iturbide, Salvador Lutteroth, Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Leopoldo Méndez, Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, Mariana Yampolsky, and Francisco Zúñiga—the exhibition raises questions about who is allowed, capable, or obligated to create culture. Who has the right to speak for Mexico?

Curated by Rica Maestas
Image: Graciela Iturbide, Mujer Ángel (Angel Woman), 1979. Gelatin silver print.

Location List Art Lobby
November 11, 2017 - February 11, 2018

Festivals, Funerals, and New Life presents new and recent works by renowned sculptor Melvin Edwards alongside rarely exhibited historical works and pieces completed with the artist’s late wife, poet and activist Jayne Cortez. Sculptures and installations composed with industrial steel, chain, and machine parts broadly reflect Edwards’s engagement with European neocolonialism, histories of race, labor, violence and African diaspora. Bringing works from the 1970s into conversation with new and recent works, the exhibition affirms a continuity of themes, concerns, and commitments throughout Edwards’s career, spanning the Civil Rights Movement and continuing through recent and ongoing social justice movements. 

Curated by Ian Alden Russell
Image: Melvin Edwards, Steel Life (After Winter), 2017. Welded steel. © 2017 Melvin Edwards/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York.

Location Bell Gallery
November 11, 2017 - December 21, 2017

Considered to be one of the artist’s most important bodies of work, Carrie Mae Weems’ Kitchen Table Series interweaves themes of race, class, gender, friendship, love, loss, power, and motherhood. The intimate and often political content of these images finds common ground around the kitchen table, transcending the separation of domestic and civic space. First exhibited in 1990, the Kitchen Table Series set the stage for future contemporary artists to explore issues of identity.

Curated by Jo-Ann Conklin with Rica Maestas
Image: Carrie Mae Weems, Untitled from the Kitchen Table Series, 1990. Gelatin silver print.

Location List Art Lobby