At the JUAN LOGAN: creating & collecting exhibition at the Albany Museum of Art, viewers got an unusual opportunity. They not only saw the visual stories that 73-year-old North Carolina artist created, but gained insight through the art that Juan Logan has collected.
“It is a rare treat to witness the artist’s mind and spirit not only through their own works, but through the works of other artists they have sought to collect,” AMA Guest Curator Didi Dunphy said. “This is the opportunity we have here.”
A native of Nashville, Tenn., Logan now lives and works in Belmont, N.C. He is the conservation manager at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Project, which is restoring 31 large-scale sculptures created by artist Simpson for the city of Wilson, N.C.
Logan’s artworks, which address subjects relevant to the American experience, are simultaneously abstract and representational. His paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations and videos address the interconnections of race, place and power. They make visible how hierarchical relations and social stereotypes shape individuals, institutions, and the material and mental landscapes of contemporary life.
“Most of my work addresses this American culture as a whole,” Logan has said. “Where are we as a culture? The decisions made regarding policy and law impact all of us each and every day. But I’m not trying to provide anybody with answers. My goal has always been to ask questions, comment on my investigations and what I feel and how I respond to these questions.”
Aiding museum guests who take in Logan’s work are educational panels that include QR codes that connect the viewer to online videos of Logan. There also is a catalog of the exhibition that is available for purchase.
“This exhibition, originally on display at the Hickory Museum of Art, is accompanied by a beautiful catalog, including an essay by Jennifer Sudul Edwards, chief curator and curator of contemporary art at The Mint Museum,” Dunphy said. “This iteration and the design of this version of JUAN LOGAN: creating & collecting are from a selection of works I had the pleasure of viewing during my spring visit to the Hickory.
“Three walls in the Haley Gallery contain works from the Logan Family Collection, while the remaining gallery walls are full and rich with the artist’s own hand.”
Dunphy said she hoped guests would “take a moment to read some of the educational panels around the walls, and view the videos accessible through the QR codes to enjoy and learn Juan’s thoughts as expressed through his own voice.”
Logan has shown extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally. He has had numerous solo exhibitions, and has executed many private and public commissions. Logan’s works can be found in private, corporate, and public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Memphis Brooks Museum, the Zimmerli Museum of Art, and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. His Some Clouds are Darker has become part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Recently awarded a Pollination Project grant for a new project titled The Waiting Project, Logan, who received his M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art, has won multiple awards during his long career. Those include fellowships from the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, the North Carolina Arts Council, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, the Carolina Postdoctoral Scholars Fellowship, and the Phillip Morris Companies. He and his work have been featured in publications including Hyperallergic and Artform.