David Winton Bell Gallery

Past Exhibitions

January 23, 2016 - March 27, 2016

At a time when natural history museums are moving away from taxidermy, a resurgence of interest has been manifest in the popular culture—in internet blogs and image collections,  in fashion and commercial advertising—and in the visual arts. Dead Animals surveys current artistic usage of taxidermy through the work of eighteen artists: Maurizio Cattelan, Kate Clark, Mark Dion, Nicholas Galanin, Thomas Grünfeld, Damien Hirst, Karen Knorr, Annette Messager, Polly Morgan, Deborah Sengl, Angela Singer, Bryndis Snæbjörnsdóttir/Mark Wilson, Richard Barnes, Jules Greenberg, Sarah Cusimano Miles, Richard Ross, and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

The exhibition and accompanying symposium will examine the cultural history of taxidermy, social factors that have contributed to artists’ interests in the “idea of the animal,” and the ways in which these interests are manifest in artists’ works. It will question how taxidermy, with its inherent association with death, differs from the use of live animals or animal substitutes such as stuffed animals, and why taxidermy may be particularly relevant to the exploration of the human-animal question. Finally, it will examine ethical issues surrounding the incorporation of animals in art.

Curated by Jo-Ann Conklin
Image: Thomas Grünfeld, Misfits (penguin/peacock), 2005. Copyright 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Location List Art Lobby and Bell Gallery
November 7, 2015 - December 21, 2015

The 2015 Faculty Exhibition presents new and recent works by 20 artists from across Brown University's faculty at the David Winton Bell Gallery. Reflecting the creative, cross-disciplinary spirit that is integral to the arts at Brown, the exhibition features work in painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, video, sculpture, installation, music, and literary art.

Curated by: Alexis Lowry Murray, Ian Alden Russell

Location List Art Lobby and Bell Gallery
August 29, 2015 - October 25, 2015

The Bell Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of works on paper by Chicago-based artist Tony Fitzpatrick. In conjunction with the exhibition a performance of Fitzpatrick's "Stations Lost" (2010) will be staged at the Granoff Center for Creative Arts on October 9th, 2015.  

Curated by Alexis Lowry Murray 
Image: Tony Fitzpatrick, Blackburnian Wobblers, 2015 

August 29, 2015 - October 25, 2015

Acclaimed conceptual photographer Hank Willis Thomas is known for commandeering American advertising strategies in order to challenge constructions of race and gender in the United States. For several years he has also been appropriating the historical artifacts of past social struggles, from the holocaust, to the civil rights movement, to apartheid, and transforming these records into primary sources that can speak for today’s cultural conflicts. Thomas is particularly drawn to certain hand gestures that are universally legible as acts of protest. He isolates these non-verbal modes of communication from documentary photographs and reconfigures them into sculptures and retro-reflective prints that offer compelling moments of agency and resistance. The Bell Gallery will bring together these resonant gestures alongside mixed media sculptures and a five-channel video installation. The work included in this exhibition communicates contemporary acts of protest even as they are mediated through the events of history.


Curated by Alexis Lowry Murray
Image: Hank Willis Thomas, Amandla, 2013 

July 15, 2015 - August 12, 2015

As the summer months unfold, the David Winton Bell Gallery is pleased to present Flora, an exhibition of works on paper from the permanent collection. This eclectic group of photographs, drawings, and etchings re-imagines the traditions of landscape painting, still life, and floral portraiture through unconventional techniques and unusual subjects, while bringing together unexpected works by well-known artists. 

Curated by Jo-Ann Conklin
Image: Tom Baril, Three Poppies

Mobile Museum of American Artifacts
May 11, 2015

The Mobile Museum of American Artifacts (MMoAA) is a touring museum of personal objects and their histories. Housed in a small vintage trailer, MMoAA travels from town to town, conducting an “archeology of the present” that uncovers objects of significant (and insignificant) connection to everyday American life. MMoAA will be making its debut visit to Providence May 11-16th. Mark your calendars and find your objects!

Hosted by the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities, the MMoAA will be at the Bell Gallery on Monday, May 11 from 11-4, and at other locations in Providence throughout the week.

Location List Art loading dock
May 9, 2015 - July 5, 2015

The David Winton Bell Gallery is pleased to present a mid-career survey of Dave Cole’s sculptural practice. This exhibition will focus on Cole’s exploration of notions of childhood in America. It will present such monumental works as Music Box (2012), a vintage 1980s CAT CS-553 steamroller that has been refashioned into a giant music box that plays the first stanza of the national anthem, and Fiberglass Teddy Bear (2003), knit from iconic pink Owens Corning Fiberglas. While both works are whimsical and fun, resembling giant children’s toys, they are also poignant reminders of the intimate relationship between the construction of national identity and infrastructure building in the United States. In knitting industrial materials such as Fiberglas, lead, and Fiberfrax porcelain into quotidian objects such as teddy bears and baby blankets, Cole presents a literal portrait of the fabric of American life. Opening Reception, 5:30pm, May 8th, 2015 in List Art Lobby. 

Image: Dave Cole, The Music Box, 2012

April 11, 2015 - April 26, 2015

The David Winton Bell Gallery and the Department of Visual Art present the work of forty-four artists in Brown’s 35th annual Student Exhibition, on view at the Bell Gallery from Saturday, April 11 to Sunday, April 26, 2015. An opening reception will be held Saturday, April 11, from 7:00pm until 9:00pm. There will be two performances during the reception. The exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public.

January 24, 2015 - March 29, 2015

The 2015 NCECA Biennial is an international juried ceramics exhibition organized by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts and presented at the Bell Gallery in conjunction with Lively Experiments, the 49th Annual NCECA Conference, which will be held in Providence from March 25-28. Jurors for this year’s exhibition are Linda Christianson, Minnesota studio potter; Jo-Ann Conklin, Director of the Bell Gallery; and Anders Ruhwald, Head of Ceramics, Cranbrook Academy of Art. From a slate of 1147 entries, the jurors choose fifty works issuing from 22 states and Canada, Hong Kong, Italy, Romania, South Korea and Sweden. Works range from functional pottery to installations with associated video or computer programs. 

Curated by Jo-Ann Conklin
Image: detail of Karin Karinson Nilsson, We Take a Deep Breath, 2013

Location Bell Gallery and List Lobby
October 25, 2014 - December 21, 2014

Spanning a period of twenty-four years—from 1989 to 2013—the paintings, sculptures, and videos in SHE present a broad-ranging selection of contemporary depictions of women. Drawn from a private collection, the exhibition includes work by artists, such as Jenny Saville and Cindy Sherman, for whom the position of women in society is a primary concern, along with others who depict women more incidentally. Candice Breitz focuses on the portrayal of women in films, while the sometimes-controversial Lisa Yuskavage and John Currin reproduce images from popular magazines and soft-porn. The comic imagery of R. Crumb is channeled in Rebecca Warren’s crudely rendered female figures. Reworking historic painting styles, Glenn Brown and George Condo create outrageous and gloriously painted women. The idiosyncratic work of Yayoi Kusama is represented by an unusual painted self-portrait, while Chris Ofili's Orgena depicts an iconic African beauty (The title is a reversal of “a negro”). Finally, for Jeff Koons images of women are purely incidental—part and parcel of his Pop renderings. Reflecting the taste of the anonymous collector, the works in SHE combine to present a select overview of art and its approaches to women at the turn of the century.

Curated by: Jo-Ann Conklin
Image: George Condo, The Banker's Wife, 2011

Location Bell Gallery and Cohen Gallery, Granoff Center
Collection Highlights: Serial Order
October 25, 2014 - December 21, 2014

This exhibition of works on paper from the permanent collection is organized around the David Winton Bell Gallery’s recent acquisition of twelve Hilla and Bernd Becher duotone lithographs, Framework Houses, (1970/1993). In 1959 the Bechers began meticulously documenting Germany’s industrial landscape and arranging groups of like images into gridded typologies. Their use of serial order and the grid as organizing principles paralleled the systematic procedures deployed by many minimalist and conceptual artists of the 1960s and 1970s. This exhibition features work by the Bechers alongside that of Jennifer Bartlett, Agnes Martin, and Frank Stella.

Curated by Jo-Ann Conklin and Alexis Lowry Murray 
Image: Hilla and Bernd Becher, Holzhäuser Straße 2, Allendorf, 1973/1993 

Location List Art Lobby
August 30, 2014 - October 12, 2014

Tristan Perich opens at Cohen Gallery on August 23

Audible Spaces presents three sound installations that encourage participants to explore the subtleties of listening. Tristan PerichZarouhie Abdalian, and [The User] have each created immersive environments using seemingly uniform sounds that dissolve into tonal, tactile, and temporal variations as participants engage with them. Unified by a shared economy of means, all three projects prompt participants to consider the dynamic relationship between sound, space, and personal subjectivity, while addressing a distinct set of historical, social, and sonic concerns.

Curated by Alexis Lowry Murray
Image: Tristan PerichMicrotonal Wall: 1,500 divisions of four octaves from C3 to C7, 2011 

Location Main Gallery, List Art Lobby, Cohen Gallery