U.Va. Art Museum Presents 'The Reflected Word: Prints, Drawings and Photographs from the Collection'

November 01, 2006

Nov. 1, 2006 -- The exhibition, “The Reflected Word: Prints, Drawings and Photographs from the Collection,” will be on display at the University of Virginia Art Museum beginning Saturday, Nov. 4 and running through Thursday, Dec. 21. In the exhibition,  guest curator Stephen Margulies explores the significance of words within works of art and their visual power as part of the image.

Since the invention of writing there has been a kind of love/hate relationship between words and images. And yet words can be seen as drawings — that is, they are graphic in the sense of the original Greek word graphikos. In selecting the artworks in the exhibition Margulies chose works that highlight the questions: Are words, as used in prints, drawings and photographs, mere signs, adding to the much stronger impact of the image? Are they images in addition to their use as signs? Or are they meant to undermine or strengthen the image they accompany?

“The image is a reflection of the word and the word is a reflection of the image — ‘the reflected word’ — to use the phrase of the great American poet Hart Crane,” Margulies said.

Visual artists may subordinate the verbal meaning of the word to its visual impact, or play word and image against each other, or create a kind of dance between them. In the last two hundred years or so, according to Marguiles, Western art has come closer to Asian art in its realization of the reflected word, of the word as a powerful, sometimes independent image.

The exhibition includes prints by Andy Warhol, R. B. Kitaj, Stuart Davis, Howard Finster, Herman Muller, Don Freeman, Georges Braque and Juan Gris; photographs by Walker Evans, Ben Shahn, Eugene Atget and Marion Post Wolcott; and drawings by Larry Rivers, Robert Indiana and Roy De Forest.

In conjunction with the exhibition Margulies will give a Gallery Talk on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m., in the museum.

The exhibition is sponsored by Art$.

The museum is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information call (434) 924-3592 or visit the museum Web site www.virginia.edu/artmuseum.