Since the United States Postal Service has seen fit to honor Andy Warhol with a stamp bearing his "Self-Portrait, 1964" (long before he'd taken to the white-haired fright wig fashion that became his trademark, and probably the most innocuous work dear Andy ever turned out), you've the opportunity to catch a glimpse of pop art every time you open your mail.
Animation & Fine Art Galleries in Carrboro goes beyond Warhol with post-pop, devoted to a troika who followed Warhol and embossed pop with their own TV casualty sensibilities. Peter Max's blossoming, candy-colored women, Ronnie Cutrone's cartoon icons refigured, and Kenny Scharf's color explosions can be seen--and in the true spirit of pop, purchased--if your credit limit's high enough--through May 3. Call 968-8008 for gallery hours.
If you feel you're not equipped to understand the artistic significance of a painting of Fred Flintstone watching a volcano explode to the tune of nearly four grand, arm yourself with background information--the North Carolina Museum of Art continues their lecture series, "From Pyramids to Postmodern" with the highly relevant "From Pop Art to Earthworks: The 1960s and '70s." Learn more from Kristine Door, on Thursday, May 1, at 11 a.m. While you're at it, go ahead and write "NCMA" on your calendar for May 4. As the Augustus Saint-Gaudens exhibition, American Sculptor of the Gilded Age, approaches its closing date of May 11, a daylong symposium is offered to bid farewell to this stunning collection of late 1800s bronzes.
Allan Gurganus, author of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and Plays Well With Others (the latter recently adapted for the stage by Manbites Dog Theater), reads from his novella The Practical Heart, on a woman who wishes to have her portrait executed by John Singer Sargent, one of Saint-Gaudens' contemporaries. Other presentations: John Druesedow, director of Duke University's Music Library, on Charles Ives' "The 'St.-Gaudens' in Boston Common"; Joy S. Kasson, author of Marble Queens and Captives: Women In Nineteenth Century American Sculpture, on "Angels in the Parlor: Women in American Art"; David Lubin, Wake Forest University professor and author of Shooting Kennedy: JFK and the Culture of Images, on the Shaw Memorial in relation to Civil War paintings and photos; and Sheila Smith McKoy, N.C. State professor on realism and naturalism in late 19th-century literature. If that weren't already far more than enough, following speakings and book-signings is a screening of Glory, the 1989 Denzel Washington/Matthew Broderick Civil War flick. Should you remain, somehow, unsated, the museum boasts the Accent On Africa exhibition, new additions to its collection from Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and South Africa. Details on everything from 839-6262.
More African art in Raleigh this weekend as Visual Art Exchange opens this year's Annual Education Exhibition, Out Of Africa, with masks, stools, ceremonial figures and other artifacts from the private collection of Assan Nehme, plus bushels of information on each items' usage, origins, and history. Exhibition curator Wolf Bolz will speak at the reception, which will be held May 2, from 6-9 p.m., with the exhibition continuing through May 24. Call them at 828-7834 for more.
And to see American artists combining the techniques of the past with the sensibilities of the present, check out Art Quilts: Encrustations, at Page-Walker Arts & History Center Gallery in Cary. Fifty-two artists show 57 quilts, all gussied up not only with the expected buttons and bows, but also embellished with sequins, beads, embroidery, paper, glass, rocks, shells, wood and more. Opens May 3, with reception May 4, from 2-4 p.m. Call 460-4963 for info.