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The five best Arts & Life visual arts stories of 2014

Robert Frank (U.S.A., b. Switzerland, 1924), Detroit, 1955. Gelatin silver print. Gift of Raymond B. Gary, 1984.492.15. Courtesy of Cantor Arts Center.

In 2014, The Cantor Arts Center played host to a variety of fantastic exhibits, including a retrospective of Robert Frank’s photography. Stanford also saw the opening of its new building to house the modern art collection of the Anderson family, which is notable both for its innovative architectural design and its impressive collection. Arts & Life covered it all. Here’s a look at five of our best visual arts stories from 2014.

1. Cantor Exhibit explores Frank’s early photography by Gillie Collins

Robert Frank (U.S.A., b. Switzerland, 1924), Detroit, 1955. Gelatin silver print. Gift of Raymond B. Gary, 1984.492.15. Courtesy of Cantor Arts Center.
Robert Frank (U.S.A., b. Switzerland, 1924), Detroit, 1955. Gelatin silver print. Gift of Raymond B. Gary, 1984.492.15. Courtesy of Cantor Arts Center.

In her review of the Cantor Arts Center’s exhibits of Robert Frank’s early photography, Gillie Collins persuades readers of the value of visiting the exhibit. She explains how Frank captured the state of post-war America, and the racial and class tensions that defined it. She notes how alive each of the images are, and in her vivid descriptions, you can grasp just how remarkable they are, yet still feel compelled to see them for yourself.

2. A chat with Peter Galassi, former curator at MOMA by Staff Visual Arts Critic Eric Huang

In his thoughtful interview with former MOMA curator Peter Galassi, who curated Cantor’s Robert Frank exhibit, Staff Visual Arts Critic Eric Huang gives an inside look at how Galassi came on board as guest curator, his past curatorial experience, and the differences between the East Coast and West Coast art scene.

3. How to find love at the Anderson Collection by Gillie Collins

Published just after Stanford’s new Anderson Collection for modern art was opened in September, Gillie Collins, wowed by the collection, suggests how to make the most of it. She recommends repeat visits. She notes some of the collection’s highlights, gives some history of how the collection came about and to Stanford, and encourages you to find the pieces that speak most to you in the collection — it might take more than one visit to really get a sense of the collection. It’s a great piece on art appreciation, and the amazing art resources available at Stanford.

4. Ai Weiwei takes over Alcatraz by Staff Visual Arts Critic Eric Huang

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A piece from Ai Weiwei’s exhibit on Alcatraz. Photo by Eric Huang.

Eric Huang raves about the new exhibit by Chinese activist and artist Ai Weiwei, which is currently on display in Alcatraz. The exhibit spans multiple buildings on the island, and includes large installation art. Huang explores how Ai’s preoccupation with freedom and imprisonment make the site of a former prison a great place to display his works.

5. Must-see pieces at Cantor Arts Center by Staff Visual Arts Critic Eric Huang

In this top-five list, Staff Visual Arts Critic Eric Huang explores the highlights of the collection at Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center, which spans centuries and media. He describes five must-see pieces that you might not otherwise have thought about, and why these are such essential and great parts of the collection.

Contact the Arts & Life editorial staff at arts ‘at’ stanforddaily.com

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