America Creative: Portraits by Everett Raymond Kinstler

(March 23 – July 14, 2018)

Opening reception March 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. in Cohen Memorial Hall. Lecture and demonstration by the artist on March 24, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in Sarratt Cinema. Tickets are free of charge but must be reserved in advance through the Sarratt Box Office.

Tickets are still available for Vanderbilt students, faculty, and staff. Additional tickets for the general public may become available at a later date. If you would like to be notified if/when more tickets are available, please email gallery@vanderbilt.edu. 

Everett Raymond Kinstler, now 91 years old, is America’s foremost portrait painter. In his career, he has rendered portraits of more than 2,000 individuals—leaders in almost every professional field, including eight United States presidents. America Creative explores how the eye of an artist sees kindred souls whose life’s work is also in the arts, whether visual, musical, performing, or literary. Kinstler’s vibrant, impressionist style imbues an otherwise static medium with the energy and vitality of his sitters, enlivening their personalities for us today and telling the stories of their lives.

Spanning the years from 1952 through 2015, these portraits cover the long career of a successful artist who has truly honed his craft. They also capture a generation of creative leaders in this country. Thanks to loans from the artist and from several institutions, including the National Portrait Gallery and the National Academy Museum, the exhibition features portraits of visual artists such as Norman Rockwell and Alexander Calder, actors such as Katharine Hepburn and Christopher Plummer, musicians and entertainers including Tony Bennett and Marian Anderson, and authors such as Tom Wolfe and Dr. Seuss.

It comes as no surprise that Kinstler is an excellent storyteller with his paintbrush as well as his voice, and the gallery is delighted to host the artist for a demonstration and lecture during the opening weekend, on March 24, 2018, at 3 p.m.

America Creative: Portraits by Everett Raymond Kinstler is the third in a three-part series on portraiture organized by the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery. The exhibition is curated by Joseph S. Mella, director, and Margaret F. M. Walker, assistant curator, with special thanks to the artist, Peggy Kinstler, and Michael Shane Neal.

The exhibition is made possible by Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Brock, Robbie and Hank Davis, Mr. and Mrs. J. Michael Duncan, John and Margarita Hennessy, Mr. and Mrs. B. Frederick Horne, Mr. Michael J. Horvitz, Virginia Cretella Mars, Holly Metzger, Michael Shane Neal, Ms. Trish Savides, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Steiner, Neika Stephens, the Terra Foundation for American Art on behalf of board member Greg Williamson, Westtown Publishing, and Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Williams III.

Additional support has been provided by five anonymous donors, Ms. Betty C. Bellamy, Tony Bennett, Ms. Babette Bloch and Mr. Marc Mellon, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur E. Byrnes, The Honorable Todd J. Campbell and Margaret N. Akers, Mrs. Charles Chumley, Mary Harding L. Cist, Linda Kartoz-Doochin and Michael Doochin, Dr. and Mrs. Roy C. Ezell, Dr. and Mrs. Richard D. Fewell, Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey R. Fisher, Katherine Kinstler Fuertes, Mr. and Mrs. Gary R. Haynes, Ms. Barbara Hobson, Tom and Gail Molen, Patrick and Susan Conway Oliphant, The Honorable George C. Paine and Mrs. Ophelia T. Paine, Joelle and Brant Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. Gustavus A. Puryear IV, Mr. and Mrs. S. Douglas Smith, Kathleen and Mickey Sparkman, and Dana Kinstler Standefer.

Looking Back (Looking Forward): The Black Mountain Experience

(January 11 – March 2, 2018)

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, January 11 from 5 to 7 pm in Cohen Memorial Hall.

From its inception, Black Mountain College was an incubator for experimentation, placing the importance of an integrated liberal arts education at its center. This innovative school, founded in 1933 in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, valued equally the visual arts and the so-called applied arts, along with poetry, music, and dance. Looking Back (Looking Forward): The Black Mountain Experience will draw on the combined visual resources of the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery and Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center.  The exhibition will feature a selection of vintage photographs taken at Black Mountain College of John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and R. Buckminster Fuller, all central figures in mid-twentieth-century avant-garde music, dance, and culture, along with works of art by them and others associated with the groundbreaking school, including Josef Albers, Robert Rauschenberg, and Kenneth Snelson. Additionally, one of the few surviving films from the era, a silent movie of the dancer Katherine Litz performing her work Thoughts Out of Season (ca. 1952), will continually be screened in the gallery.

Looking Back (Looking Forward): The Black Mountain Experience is being presented in conjunction with the course The Experimental Arts of Black Mountain, taught by John Warren, Department of Art, and is supported, in part, by the Department of Art. Additional support is provided by the Dr. and Mrs. E. William Ewers Gift for Fine Arts Fund.

Special Program

Lecture

On Thursday, February 1, at 6 p.m., in Cohen Memorial Hall, room 203, Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and co-curator with Helen Molesworth for the major exhibition Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957, will be the keynote speaker for the symposium, Chance Operations: Experiments in Art and Education at Black Mountain College (1933–1956), to be held January 31–February 2, 2018. The symposium is sponsored by the Department of Art, the Department of Theatre, the Cinema and Media Arts program, The Ingram Commons, and StudioVU: The Department of Art Lecture Series.

Reception/Performance

At a reception following the talk, Intermission Arts and New Dialect will perform Third Voice, a research lab and performance program incorporating newly composed music, video installation, and dance. The collaboration offers an opportunity for emerging composers and choreographers to connect and develop new works, very much in the spirit of the work done at Black Mountain College. Collaborators include New Dialect choreographers Rebecca Steinberg, James Barrett, Curtis Thomas, Spencer Grady, and David Flores, and Intermission composers George Miller, Christopher Bell, Nathaniel Banks (and Arlie), Spencer Channell, and Matt Kinney and Kay Kennedy. All pieces will be performed for the site-specific event at Cohen that evening.

FAMOUS! (and not-so-famous): Polaroids by Andy Warhol

(January 11 – March 2, 2018)

Opening reception Thursday, January 11 from 5 to 7 pm in Cohen Memorial Hall

From 1970 to 1987, Andy Warhol took scores of Polaroid and black-and-white photographs, the vast majority of which were never seen by the public. These images often served as the basis for his commissioned portraits, silk-screen paintings, drawings, and prints. Some began as magazine assignments (many for his editors at Interview), album covers for musical artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Velvet Underground, and Debbie Harry, or advertising campaigns including those for Absolut Vodka. In 2007, to commemorate its twentieth anniversary, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts launched the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program. Designed to give a broad public greater access to Warhol’s photographs, the program donated more than 28,500 of Warhol’s original Polaroids and gelatin silver prints to college and university museums and galleries across the country. Each institution received a curated selection of more than one hundred Polaroids and fifty black-and-white prints.

This January, the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery will present the largest selection of Warhol’s Polaroids exhibited to date from the gallery’s collection of 104 works. A number of black and white photographs that reveal the more private side of Warhol’s life and his circle of friends will be included in the exhibition. In order to help illustrate Warhol’s working methods, a large-scale screenprint, also donated by the Andy Warhol Foundation, and models of Polaroid cameras like the ones that he used, will be on view

As the exhibition’s title suggests, the wide range of subjects including famous people—legends such as Dolly Parton, O. J. Simpson, Bianca Jagger (Mick Jagger’s first wife and a well-known human rights advocate] and Georgia O’Keeffe—and less famous people reveals that anyone who was prepared to pay cash for a private commission could be immortalized by Warhol, many of them attempting to elevate their own status by association with the artist himself. More than simply a record of the sitter, photography was a central tool for Warhol to create identity, with the medium often linked to celebrity in such a way that it became part of the process in validating fame.

The second in a three part series on portraiture, FAMOUS! (and not-so-famous): Polaroids by Andy Warhol is organized by the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery and curated by Joseph S. Mella, director, with support provided by the Dr. and Mrs. E. William Ewers Gift for Fine Arts.

Special Program

Picture Me! 

January 25 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Students: Take a Polaroid, just like Andy Warhol, and become a part of the exhibition itself!

 

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Text adapted, in part, from “Andy Warhol’s Photographic Legacy,” in The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, Vol. III of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Twenty-Year Report, 1987–2007 (New York: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., 2007), 4–5.  View this volume as a pdf.