Akron Art Museum Opens Two New Shows Reflecting on the ’80s

Hollis Sigler “She Wants What She Wants”

Thu 2/18-Sun 9/19

Remember the 80s? We know you’re hiding a picture of yourself with the sprayed bangs standing up straight up, the stone-washed jeans with ruffles on the bottom, and the turquoise-and-hot pink Flashdance sweatshirt!

Looking back, the Reagan era seem at first glance to have been a cultural and political wasteland, but in reality there was a lot of creative and civic ferment. That’s the topic of the two shows opening at the Akron Art Music this week, on display through Sunday September 19.

Totally Rad: Bold Color in the 1980s looks at the freewheeling approach artists took toward color, exploring neons and Day-Glo colors, pastels, and black-and-white contrasts. Video games, graffiti, fashion and MTV music videos all fueled this explosion as the increasing glut of media fed the jostle for attention.

On the other hand, Totally Radical: Art and Politics in the 1980s delves into the dark side of the era, with the ongoing push for racial justice and women’s rights spurring increasing demands for minorities and women to be represented in art; the approaching dissolution of the Soviet Union reshaping international relations; and the dark shadow of AIDS which hung heavily over the arts community.

Both shows are drawn from works in the Akron Art Museum’s own collection. The museum is open 11am-8pm Thursday and 11am-5pm Friday and Saturday. Admission is free.

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