Curiouser and Curiouser—Avant-garde Polish Theater Posters from the 1970s
(June 19 - September 11, 2014)
The Gallery will be closed May 24 - 26, 2014 for Memorial Day.
Presented in honor of the late Don Evans, who for much of his professional career taught art at Vanderbilt University, Curiouser and Curiouser—Avant-garde Polish Theater Posters from the 1970’s features over twenty posters from a particularly rich period of Eastern European graphic art design. Some artists went on to receive significant notoriety for their work, such as Jan Sawka, whose theatrical posters had provoked the polish government to expel him in 1979. Many of the posters reflect an aesthetic begun in the 1960s under the influence of Pop art and experimental theater of the period. These posters, as well as those from the 1960s, influenced a wide range of creative figures, including the filmmakers, the Quay Brothers who this past year were featured in a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art New York where several similar posters from the period served as a context for their innovative film
Curiouser and Curiouser—Avant-garde Polish Theater Posters from the 1970s is organized by the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery and curated by Joseph S. Mella, director.
Horse with Rider, Western Han dynasty
(206 BCE - 9 CE)
Earthenware with pigment
13-1/2" x 11-3/4" x 4-1/2"
Gift of Chauney P. Lowe
From Tomb to Temple: Unearthing Ancient China through the Vanderbilt University Fine Art Collection
(June 19 - October, 2014)
History of Art Alumni Lecture and Gallery Talk: "Chinese Funerary Art in its Cultural and Architectural Context"
October 9, 2014 at 4 p.m. in Cohen 203
In distant times, the universe, according to popular Chinese legend, was an enormous egg. One day the egg split open; its upper half became the sky, its lower half the earth, and from it emerged Pangu, primordial man. Every day he grew ten feet taller, the sky ten feet higher, and the earth ten feet thicker. After eighteen thousand years, Pangu died. His head split and became the sun and moon, while his blood filled the rivers and seas. His hair became the forests and meadows, his perspiration the rain, his breath the wind, and his voice the thunder – and his fleas our ancestors.
-Michael Sullivan, An Introduction to Chinese Art (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1961) 25.
A people’s origin legends generally give a clue as to what they think is most important. The above legend is no exception. It expresses a typically Chinese viewpoint – namely that man is not the culminating achievement of creation, but is integral to the natural world. Spirituality is found in nature, from the circular dome of heaven wherein celestial bodies revolve, to the earth below on which mountains and rivers were formed. Objects on display in this exhibit represent the divine forces of heaven and earth, gods and ancestors.
China looks back upon the oldest continuous artistic tradition existing in the world today. Other civilizations predated the Chinese, but only in China does a current civilization extend back in unbroken continuity for well over four thousand years. Many characteristics of ancient Chinese art have persisted or recurred throughout centuries. This exhibition samples two concentrations that distinguish the gallery’s holdings: the personalized sculpture of the tomb, and universalized objects of the temple. It is arranged with respect to these subcategories, while emphasizing the relationship between tomb, temple, and divine mountains.
From Tomb to Temple: Unearthing Ancient China through the Vanderbilt University Art Collection is organized by the Department of History of Art in conjunction with the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery. This exhibition is curated by students of the course “Exhibiting Historical Art: The Sculptural Traditions of Imperial China” : Hana Betts, ’15; Corey Bowen, ’15; Jessica DeAngelo, ’15; Lucy Gonzalez, ’16; Emily Grant, ’16; Jenna Lindley, '14; MingYang Lu, ’15; Elisa Marks, ’14; Laura Payne, ’14; and Alex Penn, '15.