Last days of art | Art Related | Indy Week
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Last days of art 

When: Sun., Jan. 2 2011

Various museums—It's the second day of the second decade of the third millennium. Do you know what you're going to do? Ignore the football on television and take this opportunity to catch up on several of last fall's major art shows that are closing today. Let's do a quick roundup.

The Ackland Art Museum's triple show of portraiture closes today. The centerpiece attraction is Big Shots, a collection of Polaroids by Andy Warhol, but, as the Indy's Chris Vitiello reported, a room full of contemporary work, notably by Nikki S. Lee, called Counterlives, was the most revelatory. "[It] posits the most questions about portraiture as such: How is a portrait different from a picture? What social purposes do portraits serve? Can a person really be captured in an image?" Visit ackland.org.

In Durham, today is the last day to catch The Vorticists at Duke University's Nasher Museum of Art. Vitiello again: "[This] first U.S. retrospective of the British alternative to French Cubism and Italian Futurism since the original show at a New York gallery in 1917 ... offers startling work for both the eyes and the mind, as well as a lens through which to scrutinize a hugely influential era in art history." Visit nasher.duke.edu.

The Indy didn't review two other shows of note that close today, but both are worthy of a look. The popular recurring attraction Holiday Springs and Sprockets: Art That Moves, by Steve Gerberich, closes today at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science in Durham. This exhibit includes five life-size mechanical sculptures, including a new piece for this year, a 17-foot holiday train powered by spent coffee grounds. It takes two engineers to operate this thing, elves named Casey and Jones. Visit ncmls.org.

And we're also intrigued by the small installation called Extreme Makeover: Gingerbread Edition at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. Habitat for Humanity of Durham–Youth United have constructed elaborate edible homes. The sugary subdivision is on view in the Strickland Lobby and must come down today. Visit americantobaccocampus.com. —David Fellerath

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