Friday, January 11, 2008
Pieces from UNT art gallery’s permanent collection emerge from the shadows
Mining of the gallery's hidden art holdings leads to placing the works in their proper context.
Thanks to a semester of behind-the-scenes research and study carried out by graduate students at the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design, a large number of previously unknown (by the public) and poorly understood (by everyone) works of art in the permanent collection of the UNT Art Gallery will now be both widely seen and placed in context.
Scholarly research carried out by the students into the artists and the art itself will be on display at the gallery from Jan. 22 through March 1; the gallery is in the Art Building, a block west of Mulberry and Welch Street. There will be a reception from 4 - 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8 in the gallery foyer; admission is free.
Dr. Jennifer Way is associate professor of visual arts and one of the two faculty members who led the class projects. According to her, students involved in the project "lived through the real world situation that daily confronts art historians in academia and museums -- where to start understanding the creation, distribution and significance of a work of art about which nothing has been written. They were amazed to realize that art historians thrill to be able to work on art that is undocumented, as it was difficult for them to figure out not only how to start but also how to proceed."
One of the products of the students' work is an online module shedding light on the art of Ilona Granet, Graham Ovenden and the Polish Solidarity Movement of the 1980s. The module incorporates interviews with artists, student art historians, viewers and collectors, and also makes use of interactive blogging capability. This online module is expected to be web accessible by the end of April.
Students composed essays on the works they spent time studying and researching, with the text from their essays being used as a starting point for interpretive gallery labels that were eventually associated with the works on display in the show. As Dr. Way commented, "this collection is undocumented, meaning we don't have measurements for the objects, we are unsure of some of the media, and we have little to no information about how most of the works arrived in the collection."
Works of the following specific artists are held in the collection and received study by the students: Mondrian, Carlos Merida, Georges Rouault, Philip Pearlstein, David Hockney, Patrick Caulfield and Karel Appel.
For additional information regarding the upcoming exhibition, contact the UNT Art Gallery at 940-565-4316.
posted by JM
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