French artist Orlan attends a ceremony as she is awarded the Order of Merit by French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterand in this September photo. The artist will be in Lincoln next week. (AP Photo)

In the late 1990s French artist Orlan became internationally known for a series of cosmetic-surgery performances in which she reconfigured her face and body, creating a living critique of standards of beauty imposed on women.

In 2008, Orlan disappeared from her work entirely, turning to the Italian Renaissance's commedia dell'arte trickster hero to create "The Harlequin Coat."

That installation, which is now on view at the Sheldon Museum of Art, uses the harlequin's patchwork motif to "explore the fragmented, multicultural performance of the self." Her most collaborative work to date, "The Harlequin Coat" includes work with artists from the worlds of fashion, design, film and technology.

Orlan is in Lincoln this week in conjunction with the exhibition and will be speaking twice at Sheldon about her work and "The Harlequin Coat."

Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Orlan will give a demonstration and lecture at Sheldon. Friday at 5 p.m., she'll take part in a "round chair" discussion of her work with show organizers Sheldon director J. Daniel Veneciano and Rhonda Garelick of UNL's Interdisciplinary Arts Lecture series and three scholars in the gallery space. Both events are free and open to the public.

Look for more on Orlan and "The Harlequin Coat" in Thursday's The (402) section of the Journal Star.

Rembrandt scholar to speak at Joslyn Tuesday

Omaha's Joslyn Art Museum owns a painting that has been attributed to the great Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn. This week, Ernst van de Wetering, the chairman of the Rembrandt Research Project, is in Nebraska studying "Portrait of Dirk van Os" to try to determine its authenticity.

While he's in Omaha, he'll deliver a lecture on Rembrandt on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the museum's Witherspoon Hall.

Considered the world's leading expert on Rembrandt and his work, van de Wetering has been part of the research project's team of scholars charged with tracking down and authenticating the artist's work since 1968 and has been its chair since 1992.

In his writing and lectures, Van de Wetering portrays Rembrandt as a painter who struggled to create as many marketable works as possible and whose studio turned out a large number of paintings with varying amounts of work by Rembrandt and his apprentices.

The lecture is free to college students with ID and Joslyn members. General public admission is $10.

Arts and Humanities Focus Program First Friday show

First Friday is this week and there's a notable addition to the venues putting work on view.

Lincoln Public Schools Arts and Humanities Focus Program will be having a First Friday show at the school from 5 to 7 p.m. This is the first First Friday show by students under the tutelage of teacher Gerardo Meza, a painter and the leader of rockabilly band the Mezcal Brothers. "There's some really talented students this year, and some of the work is amazing," Meza said in a Facebook message.

I'll take him at his word and plan to check out the show in the building at 643 S. 25th St.

"The American Landscape" at Kiechel Fine Art

I got a paintings-leaning-against-the-wall sneak preview of "The American Landscape," the new show that's going up at Kiechel Fine Art, and it's going to be well worth checking out.

Included in the exhibition are a couple of new large paintings by Lincoln's landscape master Keith Jacobshagen (find the heron above the trees on one of the horizons), some very strong new work by Barry Monohon and Wolf Kahn and, from the midcentury, a Dale Nichols Southwestern piece with a pink stripe that runs horizontally dead in the middle of the image.

I'll have more on this show in upcoming weeks. Its opening reception is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 12.

Reach L. Kent Wolgamott at 402-473-7244 or kwolgamott@journalstar.com or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/KentWolgamott.


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