Aug. 17, 2007 -- The University of Virginia Art Museum will showcase four exhibits on Friday, Aug. 31 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for the Final Friday reception.
The first exhibit, “A Decade of Collecting,” is a celebratory overview of works collected by the museum since 1997 that epitomize the museum's strengths in the following areas: painting and sculpture from the Age of Jefferson; American art in a range of media; Old Master prints and drawings; and contemporary art. “With more than 1,500 works acquired over the past 10 years, and more than 100 currently on loan as promised gifts, the museum’s collections continue to grow at a steady pace in both breadth and depth,” said Jill Hartz, museum director and exhibition curator.
The next exhibit, “Sculpture from the Collection,” focuses on late 20th century works from the museum’s collection. During this period, artists began to use materials other than marble and explored more in-depth, conceptual ideas such as light, sound and weight. Organized by Andrea Douglas, curator of collections and exhibitions, ”Sculpture from the Collection” highlights this experimentation in three dimensions by such artists as Isamu Noguchi, John Chamberlain and Claes Oldenburg. Their work, like others in the exhibition, suggests the importance placed on the unbounded exploration of materials and subject matter by post-1945 sculptors.
“Arshile Gorky: Drawings, The Early Years” is the third exhibit, consisting of selected works of Gorky from the late 1920s through the 1930s. It features about 15 drawings and one painting — mainly still lifes and figures — from a private collection courtesy of Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, a Los Angeles gallery. “As a group the drawings and paintings mirror Gorky’s stylistic evolution up to the point in the late 1930s when he began to truly digest and synthesize so many of his early influences on the verge of finding his own unique language and style,” writes the late Gorky scholar Melvin P. Lader in the catalogue essay. “Examples of his absorption of Analytic Cubism, Synthetic Cubism and aspects of Surrealism are plentiful in these works.” Gorky, who escaped the Armenian genocide and came to the United States at the age of 16, studied at the Rhode Island School of Design. By the end of his career, he was an undisputed master of modern art and a seminal member of the Abstract Expressionists. The exhibition is made possible with the support of the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust, Acquavella Galleries and the Hans Burkhardt Foundation. The exhibition was originally produced by the Los Angeles gallery Jack Rutberg Fine Arts in 2005, which also put together the catalogue "Arshile Gorky, the early years." This exhibition is sponsored by the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust, Acquavella Galleries, the Hans G. & Thordis W. Burkhardt Foundation, Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles, and the University's ART$ Dollars program.
The final exhibit is “Iconic Photography,” which is drawn entirely from the collection of the University of Virginia Art Museum. The exhibit ranges from 19th century work by Nadar (pseudonym of artist Gaspard-Félix Tournachon) through 20th century masterpieces by artists such as Eugène Atget, Ansel Adams and Edward Steichen, to very contemporary works by Lorna Simpson and Joel-Peter Witkin. Ranging from serious to lighthearted, the works on view also represent the breadth of the museum’s photography collection.
Final Friday receptions are free to students and museum members. Students only need to give the museum their e-mail addresses to become complimentary members. Visitors who are not students or members will be charged a $3 admission fee.
For information about the museum, call (434) 924-3592 or visit its Web site at www.virginia.edu/artmuseum.