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Haley Gallery To Present New Art Exhibition By Willie Cole Titled Lyrical Reconstructions

February 29, 2024

WHAT: The Haley Gallery at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum presents Lyrical Reconstructions, an art exhibition showcasing the works of acclaimed American sculptor and printmaker Willie Cole. The exhibition, which is guest-curated by Paul Barrett, is free and open to the public.

Cole blends familiar consumer objects with references to appropriated African and African American images in his art, often incorporating steam irons and their scorch marks, as well as ironing boards and high-heeled shoes.  His most recent works repurpose discarded water bottles or musical instruments, such as his 2022 commission “Ornithology” for the Kansas City International Airport.

Lyrical Reconstructions includes new works created for the exhibition utilizing musical instruments, along with past pieces that highlight Cole’s use of art and found objects to address social injustices throughout his 30-plus-year career. “Stowage Study,” a unique work based on one of the earlier proof prints for Cole’s monumental piece “Stowage,” will be showcased in the exhibition. “Stowage” is included in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

WHEN: On Thursday, March 28, the gallery will host a reception with Cole to celebrate the exhibition ’s opening. The reception will take place between 5 and 9 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Cole will perform two original songs at the reception. The exhibition will be open through May 16.

In support of the exhibition’s opening, Cole will give an artist talk in the museum’s Ford Theater on Thursday, March 28, at 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Haley Gallery, 224 Rep. John Lewis Way S., Nashville

About the artist

Willie Cole’s work has been showcased in more than 50 solo exhibitions across the United States and abroad, including the Birmingham Museum of Art, California African American Museum, Fabric Workshop and Museum, Frye Art Museum, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Miami Art Museum, Mint Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art and the Saint Louis Art Museum. Examples of his work are held in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the British Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among dozens of other major institutions throughout the United States.

He was an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the first artist recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize in African American Art and Art History at the High Museum of Art.

All work on view in Haley Gallery is available for purchase. Prices and details are available upon request. Visit the Haley Gallery’s website for more information on the exhibition  and the gallery.

Haley Gallery

Working in collaboration with renowned visual artists, the Haley Gallery organizes and displays a variety of art exhibitions each year. A portion of proceeds from artwork purchased in the gallery supports the nonprofit Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s educational mission. The Haley Gallery is free and open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The Haley Gallery is operated by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, along with CMF Press, CMF Records, CMA Theater, the Frist Library and Archive, the Taylor Swift Education Center, Hatch Show Print® poster shop and Historic RCA Studio B®. The museum collects, preserves and interprets country music and its history for the education and entertainment of an array of audiences. In exhibits, publications, digital media and educational programs, the museum explores the cultural importance and enduring beauty of the art form. The museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and is among the most-visited history museums in the U.S.

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