'Tropes of Objectivity' on Exhibit at U.Va. Architecture School's Dean's Gallery

October 28, 2010

October 28, 2010 — "Tropes of Objectivity," an exhibition of work by University of Virginia studio art professor Dean Dass, is on view at the School of Architecture's Dean's Gallery from Oct. 29 through Jan. 7. The galley is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A Final Friday reception is scheduled for Oct. 29, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Dass, an internationally renowned printmaker and painter in U.Va.'s College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, works in a variety of mediums, often combining them in the same artwork.

"Over the course of some 30 years I have gradually come to a position where drawing, painting, collage, various print media and even paper itself as an expressive medium are all necessary for the creation of a work," Dass said.

For the 25 works in the exhibit, including oil paintings and works on paper, Dass considers the European Renaissance idea of a "cabinet of curiosities" or "cabinet of wonders," comprising objects of natural history, ethnography, geology, archeology, religious relics, paintings and antiquities. The juxtaposition of these diverse objects led to a consideration of the interconnectedness of these objects and the development of a scientific view of the world, he said. He combines "part-objects" or fragments juxtaposed as a metaphor for our times – "for an age consisting of fragments and fragmented knowledge.

"'Tropes of Objectivity' is here used with irony," he said in his artist statement. "I refer to the 'Cabinet of Wonders,' and more generally to the use of scientific data, clinical information. Like so many artists, I appropriate these kinds of images for extremely subjective purposes."

— By Jane Ford