“Taisho Chic: Japanese Modernity, Nostalgia and Deco”
Thursday, April 22 through Sunday, June 20
Museum hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
5550 S. Greenwood Ave. 702-0200. http://smartmuseum.uchicago.edu. Free.
The reign of Emperor Taisho (1912-1926) was an era of transition in Japan. Japanese designers of all kinds faced a choice between adapting traditional forms and motifs or embracing the new Western techniques and patterns identified with progress. Artists depicted these cultural oppositions in traditional panel paintings on silk and folding screens displaying Japanese women wearing Western dress and hairstyles, as well as fashionable, art deco designs incorporating Japanese landscapes, birds and flowers—motifs also adopted by Western designers such as Frank Lloyd Wright. Over 60 scroll paintings, folding screens, woodblock prints, textiles and other decorative art pieces represent the broad spectrum of Taisho culture with particular reference to objects associated with women, whose fashions, behavior and household rules exemplify the simultaneous clash and embrace of modernity and tradition in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s. There will be an opening reception for “Taisho Chic” at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 22, with an introductory lecture by Stephen Little, director and president of the Honolulu Academy of Arts, at 6 p.m.
Annual Javanese Gamelan Concert
Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave. 702-8069. Free.
6 p.m. Sunday, April 18
Gamelan, traditional Indonesian music and instruments, incorporates an orchestra of “hammered” metal percussion with soft and hard mallets, string instruments, flutes and vocals. This annual gamelan concert, led by classical Javanese scholar, performer and composer I.M. Harjito, will include Gendhing Randhukentir, referring to the fruit of the kepoc tree flowing downriver; Gendhing Mijilaras, an elegiac work adhering to tradition; Nartosabdho’s Sumyar, a piece often used by groups in Java for competitions; and Ladrang Pakumpulan (“togetherness”), a modern composition put together collectively.
“The French Intellectual as Public Figure” Film Series
Room 307, Cobb Hall, 5811 S. Ellis Ave. 702-8596. www-college.uchicago.edu/FSC/. Free.
7 p.m. Thursdays, April 15, 22 and 29.
This series explores the lives of critical figures in French intellectual history. At 7 p.m. Thursday, April 15, Pierre Bourdieu: Sociology is a Martial Art, which documents the life of one of the most important academics associated with anti-globalization, will be screened. The film became an unexpected hit in France just prior to Bourdieu’s death. A groundbreaking documentary on the life of iconoclastic French philosopher Jacques Derrida, Derrida informally demonstrates the philosopher’s concept of “deconstruction.” Derrida will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 22. At 7 p.m. Thursday, April 29, Arguing the World, which tells the story of four young radicals caught up in the political struggle of the Cold War, will be screened.
John Relyea, bass-baritone
Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th St. 702-8068. http://chicagopresents.uchicago.edu. $30 general, $11 students.
8 p.m. Friday, April 23
John Relyea, an acclaimed Canadian bass-baritone, will make his local debut for the University of Chicago Presents Chamber Music Series with a program of romantic songs, including works by Strauss, Jacques Ibert, Samuel Barber and Tchaikovsky. Joined by Warren Jones on piano, Relyea is fast establishing his reputation as an outstanding bass-baritone of his generation.