U.Va. Art Museum Hosts Saturday Special Tour by Jennifer Farrell on March 24

March 06, 2012

March 6, 2012 — Exhibition curator Jennifer Farrell will give a Saturday Special Tour of the University of Virginia Art Museum's new exhibition, "Curator’s Choice: People, Places and Things," on March 24, from 2 to 3 p.m.

After the first purely abstract painting was created 100 years ago, many believed that traditional artistic genres would be abandoned. Such fears were amplified during the postwar period with the rise of gestural abstraction and color field painting, when numerous artists were more concerned with pursuing the exploration of pure opticality and medium specificity in their work than depicting subjects rooted more directly in reality.

Ultimately such fears proved to be unfounded, as throughout the 20th century artists continued to make reference to the visible world, creating work that featured representations of people, places and things – categories known more academically as portraits, landscapes and still lifes. Such classifications, however, expanded to accommodate photography and film, the influence of psychoanalysis, the trauma of multiple wars, the impact of commercial culture, the role of abstraction and an increasingly diverse group of artistic voices.

With approaches ranging from cubism and surrealism to pop and photo-realism on view, "Curator’s Choice" shows the diverse ways in which modern and contemporary artists engage such themes and, by extension, the visible world. Drawn from the museum's collection, the exhibition features work by artists such as Arman, Eugène Atget, Joseph Cornell, Lyonel Feininger, Nancy Graves, Philip Guston, Robert Indiana, Alex Katz, Franz Kline, Sally Mann, Malcom Morley, Pablo Picasso, Dieter Roth, Jean Tinguely, Paul Thek and Andy Warhol.

Farrell joined the museum staff in August as curator of exhibitions. She brought a record of scholarship and curatorial experience gained at the City University of New York, the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and the Yale University Art Gallery. She earned a bachelor's in art history from Smith College and a Ph.D. in art history and a certificate in film studies from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She also studied Gothic and Renaissance art and 20th-century European political history at the L'Institut d'Art et Archéologie (L'Université de Paris IV) and L'Institut des Études Politiques. Her publications include a forthcoming book, "Get There and Decide Promptly: The Richard Brown Baker Collection of Postwar Art," which received a National Endowment for the Arts Award.

"Curator’s Choice: People, Places and Things" is on view through May 20.

The museum offers its Saturday Special Tours on the third or fourth Saturday of every month from 2 to 3 p.m. These tours offer the opportunity to join faculty, curators, and scholars as they explore a variety of focused topics related to museum collections and exhibitions.

Saturday Special Tours are free and open to the public. For information, call 434-243-2050 or e-mail museumoutreach@virginia.edu. The museum is located at 155 Rugby Road, one block from the Rotunda.