Rob Pruitt and Greg Fadell

Rob Pruitt and Greg Fadell

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

Rob Pruitt, “The Obama Paintings” (detail). Image courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise.

May 15, 2015

Rob Pruitt: The Obama Paintings and The Lincoln Monument
Greg Fadell: Detroit Affinities

May 15–August 2, 2015

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit 
4454 Woodward Ave 
Detroit, MI 48201 
T +1 313 832 6622

Rob Pruitt: The Obama Paintings and The Lincoln Monument
“The Obama Paintings” and The Lincoln Monument will be presented to the public for the first time in this solo exhibition. Rob Pruitt began “The Obama Paintings” as a means of tracking President Barack Obama’s term of office. Since Obama’s inauguration on January 20, 2009, Pruitt has created a two-by-two foot painting of the President every day, with imagery drawn from the news of that day. Upon completion, “The Obama Paintings” will comprise 2,922 paintings, incorporating events from the mundane to the historic. Pruitt’s interests range from transformation of everyday materials to what one could call a durational performance piece with a painting-a-day concept. Pruitt’s choice to debut this work at MOCAD shows a willingness to create a moment that is potentially challenging for the audience, and perhaps even to his own beliefs. When viewed together, each canvas in The Obama Paintings contributes to an overarching, multi-faceted view of Obama’s presidency—the work is a visual journal that documents his time in office.

The Lincoln Monument uses the most ubiquitous form of presidential iconography, the copper penny, as raw material. The work is made up of 200,000 pennies filling four stacked copper–painted truck tires. As odes to public fountains, Pruitt’s Lincoln Monument stands as a metaphor for our own idealized American political system. 

Rob Pruitt: The Obama Paintings and The Lincoln Monument is organized by MOCAD. It is curated by Elysia Borowy-Reeder, Executive Director of MOCAD, coordinated at MOCAD by Exhibitions Manager Zeb Smith. 

Exhibition programming support for Rob Pruitt: The Obama Paintings and The Lincoln Monument is generously provided by the Taubman Foundation and Gavin Brown’s enterprise. 

Artist lecture: Rob Pruitt
Thursday, July 2, 7pm

Detroit Affinities: Greg Fadell
Detroit-based artist Greg Fadell will inaugurate the second set of the “Detroit Affinities” series of solo exhibitions, part of MOCAD’s DETROIT CITY program. Ken Okiishi will be the other artist in this new pairing. These exhibitions mark the first solo museum exhibition for each artist. MOCAD presents DETROIT CITY as a multiyear program of exhibitions, talks, publications, and educational initiatives investigating Detroit’s current artistic, political, cultural, and economic realities, and how Detroit connects with other cities and regions around the globe. Detroit Affinities is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and curated by MOCAD Senior Curator at Large Jens Hoffmann. 

Fadell’s first museum exhibition will focus on the artist’s fascination with art history and its use and role in shaping aesthetic opinions. Fadell’s paintings, sculptures, and video conceptually question how to engage with and measure aesthetic and cultural value and explore what it means to be an artist in the 21st century. Art history is used as an inspiration and a starting point of discovery, and traditional painting techniques are replaced by inkjet prints and chemical solvents. Using appropriation and deconstruction, Fadell seeks to uncover the perceptual bias of aesthetic precedents, object value, provenance, and institutional prestige. Through this critical examination of how art history is mediated and represented via art publications, ordinary museum posters, or a seemingly mundane television show, Fadell adapts factual information and subverts it to create a historical context of his own invention.

Artist and curator talk: Greg Fadell in conversation with MOCAD Senior Curator at Large Jens Hoffmann
Saturday, May 16, 1pm

Exhibition programming support is generously provided by the Taubman Foundation.

DETROIT CITY funding is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Kayne Foundation (Ric & Suzanne Kayne and Jenni, Maggie & Saree), Quicken Loans, Andre Sakhai, Liz and Jonathan Goldman, Jane Suitor, Scholar Property LTD, Jasmin Tsou, the Krawiecki Gazes Family, Kimberly Brown, and William Leung. DETROIT SPEAKS funding is provided by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

Vdrome is on view at MOCAD and online, organized by Edoardo Bonaspetti, Jens Hoffmann, Andrea Lissoni, and Filipa Ramos, exhibiting an ongoing program of rotating film and video works, directed by visual artists and filmmakers whose production lies in between contemporary art and cinema. 

MOCAD exhibitions and public programs are supported by the Taubman Foundation. Additional funding for programming and educational initiatives is provided by the Edith S. Briskin/Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation. 

MOCAD Operations are supported by Masco Corporation Foundation, Erb Family Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. 



Rob Pruitt and Greg Fadell at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
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May 15, 2015

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