Illustration Bitter and Sweet' Opens Oct. 30 at Ruffin Gallery

October 14, 2009

October 14, 2009 — The University of Virginia's studio art program at the McIntire Department of Art will exhibit "Illustration Bitter and Sweet" at Ruffin Gallery, Oct. 30 through Dec. 6. A "Final Friday" reception will be held Oct. 30 at 5:30 p.m. Artist Randy Bolton will give a lecture Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. in Campbell Hall, room 153.

The exhibit includes work by Americans artists Bolton and Michael Krueger, Swedish artist Marja Ruta and the Russian Leonid Tishkov, the latter works on loan from the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

"Illustration Bitter and Sweet" brings together the work of four artists who find inspiration in the didactic clarity and social consciousness of children's book illustrations.

"Histories private and public coincide and mutually contaminate each other in works that both charm and dismay," said curator Dean Dass, studio art professor and printmaker.

"These artists are teaching us lessons. It is interesting to see them play with these concepts. At times, with Bolton, there is didactic clarity; other times, as in Tishkov, veiled allegory of life behind the Iron Curtain. Ruta conflates history personal with national. She was born in the midst of Finland-Russia's Winter War and her family evacuated to Sweden. Her father was in the Finnish military intelligence. It is as if she is trying to imagine, then illustrate, her early childhood, through her parents' early photo albums. Krueger is often teaching us histories of Kansas, perhaps other than what we were told in school."

Ruffin Gallery, located in Ruffin Hall on Culbreth Road, is free and open to the public weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Free parking during the Final Friday reception is available in the Culbreth Road parking garage from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

— By Jane Ford