12432 - 20170702 - University of Richmond Museums presents four new exhibitions - Richmond, VA - 17.08.2016-02.07.2017


Jackie Battenfield (American, born 1950), James River Spring I, 2003, screenprint with pigmented linen and pulp painting on handmade abaca paper, 20 x 36 inches, Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, University of Richmond Museums, Gift of the artist, H2011.23.03 © Jackie Battenfield.
The Beauties: Print Series by Willie Cole is on view August 17 through December 4, 2016, in the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, Modlin Center Booth Lobby. Contemporary artist Willie Cole (American, born 1955), is known for using domestic objects, such as shoes, steam irons, and now ironing boards, as content in his work. His newest series is The Beauties, which features prints created by flattening ironing boards to become printing plates, inking them as the matrix of the image, and printing them using the intaglio method, running each “board” through an etching press. The works in the exhibition are selected from his series of twenty-seven prints, each labeled at the bottom in letterpress with a female name that hints at an earlier time. For the artist, the names are a metaphorical link to his African American lineage, from slaves to domestic servants, connoting his ancestors and giving the ironing boards a compelling narrative.

This series continues his exploration of the cultural and aesthetic associations embedded in images using common, everyday objects. As arts writer Mary Abbe wrote, “Cole’s genius is in conveying the spiritual potential of the most ordinary domestic objects, finding beauty in the mundane, and honoring these otherwise forgotten individuals and their histories.”

Annual Student Exhibition is on view August 17 through September 18, 2016, in the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art. Selected by the studio art faculty, this exhibition features works by visual media and arts practice majors and minors along with non-majors enrolled in beginning through advanced studio art classes during the University’s 2015-2016 academic year.

Night and Day the River Flows: Waterscapes from the Harnett Print Study Center Collection is on view from August 17, 2016 to July 2, 2017, in the Modlin Center Atrium and Booker Hall Lobby, University of Richmond. The exhibition presents a selection of artworks that offer a variety of interpretations and depictions of waterways, from abstract to realistic and from topographic to contemplative. The works are presented with quotes from novels, books, songs, and poems that complement the pieces by reflecting on the common theme of the relationship between humanity and water.

Bodies of water have populated artistic creations throughout history, acting as descriptive features of landscapes and as metaphors of life and spirituality. While the artworks in this exhibition are primarily from the 20th and 21st centuries, they capture the timelessness of the subject matter, along with its grace and vitality. The diversity of the accompanying quotes, which range from the mid-1800s to today, underlines the individual nature of how we experience waterways and how we interpret and express those experiences.

To emphasize the meditative and introspective qualities of the screenprint James River Spring I by Jackie Battenfield (American, born 1950), the print is presented with a quote from Herman Hesse’s novel Siddhartha (1922), which reads: “The river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth… in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere, and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past, nor the shadow of the future.”

The luminous spread of water and shore in the nearly abstract aquatint June: Silver Clouds by Bernard Chaet (American, 1924-2012) brings to mind peaceful afternoons, such as those heralded in John Lubbock’s book The Use of Life (1894): “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

An intimate etching juxtaposing a small boat with an expanse of water and reeds, On the Lagoon (In Laguna) by Livio Ceschin (American, born 1962), contemplates stillness and isolation. This print is paired with the quote, “To know you is to have solitude of you and in you to rest of the rest forgetfulness,” from Alfonso Reyes’s poem “River of Oblivion” (1932) for a thoughtful reflection on the stilling of the heart around a massive body of water.

The exhibition is on view in the Modlin Center Atrium and the Booker Hall Lobby in the Modlin Center for the Arts