Jean-Joseph Bernard, called Bernard de Paris, French, 1740–1809 Portrait of a Young Woman in Profile, 1785
Pen and ink with watercolor on paper
Fine Arts Gallery Acquisition
Five Centuries of Drawing: A Selection from the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery Collection
(June 3–September 23, 2010)
Drawing has long played a central role in the practice of visual artists. While in some cases the act of drawing served as a means to solidify an artist’s ideas in preparation for paintings, sculpture, and other works of art, drawings were in many instances distinct, independent artistic statements.
Five Centuries of Drawing explores both aspects of the medium in more than fifty drawings by a wide range of European and North American artists. Beginning with late-Renaissance works by Giacomo Cavedone, Alessandro Turchi (called Orbetto), and Giovanni Guerra, the exhibition also features drawings—many on exhibit for the first time—by Jean-Joseph Bernard, Eugene Biel-Bienne, Isabel Bishop, Jan de Bisschop, Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, David Burliuk, Jacques-Philippe Caresme, Cécile Chennevère, Gloria De Arcangelis, Chaim Gross, Benjamin Haydon, Augustus John, Wolf Kahn, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Hans Laabs, David Levine, Martin Lewis, George Luks, Jean-Baptiste Mallet, Creighton Michael, John Opie, Giuseppe Raffetto, Antonio Mari Ribas, George Romney, Charles Shannon, Abbott Thayer, Jacques de Tonnancour, Feliks Topolski, Paul Weber, Susan Wilkes, and Meyer Wolfe.
The Eskind Biomedical Library supplemented this exhibition through the loan of two medical illustrations from their collections by Susan Wilkes.
Five Centuries of Drawing was organized by the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery and curated by Joseph S. Mella, director.
Histories Are Mirrors: The Path of Conflict Through Afghanistan and Iraq
Work by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Tyler Hicks
(August 16–October 10, 2010)
Histories Are Mirrors features award-winning images of the conflict-filled regions that have come to define our national policy today, taking us from September 11 through Afghanistan and into the streets of Iraq with Tyler Hicks, one of America’s greatest talents in photojournalism and a recent recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.
From the devastation of the World Trade Center in 2001, through the mountains of Afghanistan, to the battle for Iraq, Tyler Hicks’ images have made history as well as recorded it. His pictures became internationally known in the pages of the New York Times as well as in Paris-Match, Stern, the Sunday Times (London), and more. Featured here are fascinating images, including rarely seen personal photographs of Saddam Hussein as a young man, looted hand-colored renderings of his fantasy palaces, assassinations, and acts of salvation. This extraordinary compilation of documentary photographs taken in the first half of the last decade shows us war up close—soldiers from all sides, in battle and its bloody aftermath, destroyed cities, palaces and archaeological treasures, refugees and battered civilians, and the shocking images of reprisal that bring home the savagery of emotion that characterizes the continuing confrontation. Hicks shows how the stark but dignified realities of everyday life coexist with pathos and grace during conflict and its aftermath.
Histories Are Mirrors: The Path of Conflict Through Afghanistan and Iraq is an Umbrage Editions exhibition.
Curator: Nan Richardson, Umbrage Editions
This exhibition is presented in collaboration with the 2010 Commons Reading, Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson, and is supported, in part, by the Office of the Provost, the College of Arts and Science, and The Commons.
What Are They Doing In There?
Recent Work by the Department of Art
(October 21 through December 9, 2010)
Artist Gallery Talks, Friday, October 22, 1-2 p.m. Opening Reception, Thursday, October 28, 5-7 p.m.
Marking the first Department of Art exhibition at Vanderbilt in over five years, What Are They Doing in There? Recent Work by the Department of Art provides a window into the art practice of twelve accomplished artists working today in a broad range of media. Unique to this exhibition is that, for the first time, it will include art by the department's staff in addition to that of the faculty. The twelve artists include Diane Acree, Michael Aurbach, Susan DeMay, Thomas Lowell Edwards, Don Evans, Mark Hosford, Adrienne Miller, Marilyn Murphy, Vesna Pavlović, Ron Porter, Amelia Winger-Bearskin, and Mel Ziegler.
Diane Acree’s contribution to the exhibition—a photograph of a street scene in a Japanese village as preparations are being made for their New Year’s celebration—draws on her professional experience as a photojournalist. Michael Aurbach’s ongoing scathing critique of critical theory is evident in two Plexiglas constructions, one of which incorporates a lock one might find on a safe, and containing virtually nothing. For Aurbach, art historians that “utilize [this] ‘methodology’ dismiss the significance of the object, the artistic processes associated with the making of objects, and what the artist has to say about his/her work.” A sculptural approach to ceramic production by Susan DeMay departs from the functional pottery that she is usually associated with, albeit still with her innovative use of glazes and color. Here, DeMay employs techniques of the potter’s wheel along with hand-building construction methods. Thomas Lowell Edwards creates hand-thrown, high-fired utilitarian stoneware and porcelain components arranged and stacked in various ways to create sculptural objects, challenging the viewer’s preconceived notions of an individual object’s use by placing the objects in new, fresh settings. Documentary photographs and a section of a Mexican-style fireworks tower reflect Don Evans’ ongoing pyrotechnical experiments, all which rely on a collaborative group effort to produce. With aspects of the graphic novel in play, Mark Hosford’s prints and animations expose the dark side of the human experience, one that in the words of the artist, “draw[s] from [his] early influences of fantastic, imaginative worlds and lucid dreams.” Adrienne Miller manipulates found paper objects to create serial-based narratives that explore the role memory plays in our lives. Using old snapshots as source material, these works often contain one or more central characters with overlapping text fragments. Informed by magazines and advertisements from the 1940s and early 1950s, along with an appreciation for the traditions of surrealism, Marilyn Murphy’s two drawings are imbued with a sense of mystery not unlike a heavily cropped vintage movie still in which the action and the players are equally enigmatic. Murphy observes in her artist’s statement that “many of the pieces in this series comment upon the act of seeing, the creative process or some aspect of human experience.” Vesna Pavlović’s work, in many instances taking the form of photographs and installations, mines anthropological practices in order to examine human behavior. As noted by the artist, “[i]ssues of taste, desire and expectation, the friction of performance, set in different contexts, are prevailing themes in my work,” and, in the case of her two photographs included in the exhibition, do so by examining the complexities of stage performance. Often depicting paintings within paintings and drawing on a variety of art historical genres in a surreal, wry manner, Ron Porter’s art is self-referential, in many instances containing elements that function as visual puzzles. Porter tells us in his artist’s statement “the settings [in my paintings] are psychologically open ended. The meaning can be slippery. The ideas present clarity and ambiguity as one. Irony often prevails. It is a state of mind.” Using a series of abstract drawings as visual source material and original lyrics and music sung and performed by the artist, Amelia Winger-Bearskin has created a video work that is her response to events surrounding Lyncoya, the Creek Indian boy who was orphaned on the battlefield and subsequently adopted by Andrew Jackson. This work, not unlike others by the artist, draws on her background as a classically trained opera singer and her interest in performance art and other time-based mediums. Rooted in a tradition of public art that often has taken the form of community-based interventions and social activism, Mel Ziegler, the chair of Vanderbilt’s Department of Art, is also captivated by iconic symbols and, as noted in his artist’s statement, “the question of the hidden historical and social-political manifestations of representation.”
What Are They Doing in There? Recent Work by the Department of Art was organized by the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery and is curated by Joseph S. Mella, director.
American, b. 1955
Four-color offset lithograph
11-7/8” x 17-7/8”
Gift of Peter Foolen
Copyright: Roni Horn
Wide Angle: Photography and Its Influence on Contemporary Art: A Selection from the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery Collection
(January 13–February 27, 2011)
Wide Angle: Photography and Its Influence on Contemporary Art examines the increasingly vital impact of photography on contemporary art production through the pairing of work by photographers who employ a conventional use of the medium with work by artists who use photo-based techniques in order to realize their particular visions. Featured artists and photographers include, among others, Christiane Baumgartner, Paul Berger, Louise Bourgeois, Lucien Clergue, Paul d’Amato, Joaquim Gomis, Harmony Korine, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, Stephen Tourlentes, Andy Warhol, and Carrie Mae Weems. A number of recent acquisitions, on view for the first time, will be highlighted in this exhibition, including works by Donna Ferrato, Roni Horn, Erica Lennard, Caleb Cain Marcus, and Gerhard Richter.
Wide Angle: Photography and Its Influence on Contemporary Art is organized by the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery and curated by Joseph S. Mella, director, and is being presented in conjunction with Bestia contra Bestia/Beast vs. Beast: Photographs by José Luis Raymond. Gallery exhibition student research assistant: Lauren C. Richman.
José Luis Raymond
Spanish, b. 1954
Violencia doméstica / Domestic Violence
Casa de adobe del siglo XVIII, Alcázar de San Juan (Ciudad Real), enero 2010
Adobe house of the Eighteenth Century, Alcazar de San Juan (Ciudad Real), January 2010
Pigment print on inkjet paper
33-1/2" x 41-7/8"
Courtesy the artist
Bestia contra Bestia/Beast vs. Beast Photographs
by José Luis Raymond
(January 13–March 17, 2011)
Bestia contra Bestia/Beast vs. Beast is an exhibition of recent photographs by the Spanish painter, sculptor, and scenic designer José Luis Raymond that explore the human capacity for violence and examine today’s violence as a reflection of the domestic, institutional, and social violence of seventeenth-century Spain’s Golden Age. Informed by Caravaggio’s use of dramatic lighting and Raymond’s own history in the theatre, these arresting depictions of violence illustrate the timelessness of this aspect of human nature and our need to recognize its sources as a means of understanding ourselves.
José Luis Raymond has exhibited his photographs in solo and group exhibitions internationally. His work can be found in collections and museums in Poland, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, and Spain. His most recent exhibition was at the Museum of Contemporary Art Fenosa Unión in La Coruña, Spain, followed by a presentation of Bestia contra Bestia/Beast vs. Beast at the International Festival of Classical Theater, in Almagro, Spain, before it traveled to Washington, D.C., to the GALA Hispanic Theatre where it remained during the run of El caballero de Olmedo, the highly recognized Spanish classical play by Lope de Vega, for which Raymond designed the set.
This exhibition is supported, in part, by the Max Kade Center for European and German Studies, the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, the Center for Latin American Studies, and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Additional support is provided by the Embassy of Spain, Washington, D.C. Bestia contra Bestia/Beast vs. Beast: Photographs by José Luis Raymond is being presented in conjunction with Wide Angle: Photography and Its Influence on Contemporary Art: A Selection from the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery Collection.
Scene of Japanese Landing from a triptych of the Sino-Japanese War (detail), 1894
Color woodblock print
Gift of Mrs. Nancibel Williams Rogers
Reflections of War
Selections from the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery Collection
(March 14–May 13, 2011)
Presented in recognition of America’s longest war as we enter the tenth year of fighting in Afghanistan, Reflections of War will examine war, conflict, warriors, and soldiers through more than forty works of art from Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery’s collection. Over 1,500 years of art production will be on view created by American, European, Pre-Columbian, Asian, and Oceanic cultures, culminating in a selection of powerful contemporary prints created by the British artist Sue Coe in response to the horrors of war. Highlights include a vintage monumental rubbing of a stone relief depicting a battle scene from the Wu Family Shrines, Shandon Provence, China; an allegorical engraving of war from 1575 by the French artist Etienne Delaune; a seventeenth-century North African battle scene by Jacques Courtois; a suite of prints by the nineteenth-century French satirist Honoré Daumier that critiques France’s role in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71); four large-format Japanese woodblock prints of battle scenes depicting the Sino-Japanese War (1894), along with examples of other war-themed prints and illustrated books by a variety of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Japanese artists and illustrators; and a selection of vintage American World War I and World War II propaganda posters.
The Little Friends of Print Making Fantômas, 2005
Purchased with funds provided by the Louise Bullard Wallace Foundation
Courtesy The Little Friends of Printmaking
Fit to Print: Contemporary Poster Art from the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery Collection
(May 26–August 13, 2011)
Following in a tradition of collecting poster art established by Peabody College and its art department over fifty years ago, the Fine Arts Gallery has amassed a collection of more than three hundred contemporary posters by local, national, and international graphic artists and designers. The posters to be featured include a number of innovative letterpress posters produced by Nashville's Hatch Show Print, one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America; several examples of poster art by Bryce McCloud and his Isle of Printing print shop, also located in Nashville; music posters advertising performances by such bands as Wilco and the avant-garde metal supergroup, Fantômas by The Little Friends of Printmaking; and a diverse group of posters by members of ADGFAD: the Graphic Designers, Art Directors and Illustrators Association of Spain.
(June 9–August 13, 2011) 10 West Coast Artists is a portfolio of lithographs published in 1967 by an extremely diverse group of artists, many of whom were beginning to receive international attention for their art practice that included painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, and filmmaking, all with a decidedly West-Coast flavor. The artists featured inthis portfolio, on view for the first time since its acquisition in 2003, are Keith Boyle, Bruce Conner, Richard Diebenkorn, Roy De Forest, Sidney Gordin, Frank Lobdell, James Melchert, Manuel Neri, Felix Ruvolo, and Peter Voulkos.
This exhibition is the first in a five-part summer series examining portfolios and serial graphic arts projects. Many of these works have never been shown, and all are from the Fine Arts Gallery's extensive graphic arts collection, which numbers over 3,000 prints and drawings. The series is also a means for illuminating surprising and unusual bodies of work by such prominent artists as Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies, Hans Hartung, and Mimmo Paladino.
10 West Coast Artists is being presented in conjunction with Fit to Print: Contemporary Posters from the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery Collection currently on view in the Galleries in Cohen Memorial Hall, as well as with Vanderbilt University's Central Library's exhibition, The Sixties at 50, onview through August 13. For more information, see: www.vanderbilt.edu/gallery and www.vanderbilt.edu/magazines/acorn-chronicle/2011/03/the-sixties-at-50/. 10 West Coast Artists is organized by the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery and curated by Joseph S. Mella, director.