"Rhythm and History" Is Just Out of Reach at Tempe's ASU Art Museum

Categories: Review, Visual Art
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Katrina Montgomery
"Rhythm and History" exhibition view
During that first episode of frantic Googling, I came across a quotation from Cuban artist Antonio Eligio Fernández who also goes by the name Tonel (his work is included in ASU's collection). He says that "the chronology of Cuban art could be understood, not as a straight line but as a spiral: a process of accretion informed by constant transformation, influenced by what came before and after." His sentiments are eerily similar to Twain's and, by proxy, the exhibition's as well.

But because "Rhythm and History" falls short in giving visitors that initial historical backing, we're never really able to get all the way in the door. There are moments of seeming clarity while looking at the work, but there's a sense that something remains obfuscated. Exhibitions need not hold viewers' hands too tightly, but a short interpretative wall text here or there is a good place to begin. And I dare say, such guidance is necessary for a show that relies so heavily on understanding how the work is situated in space and time.

"Rhythm and History" will be on view at the ASU Art Museum through August 9. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free. For more information, visit the exhibition event page at www.asu.edu.

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ASU Art Museum

51 E. 10th St., Tempe, AZ

Category: General

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