Ruffin Gallery Archive, 2011-2012 Schedule
A Mid-Atlantic MFA Exhibition
Untitled is a unique traveling exhibition of mfa work from around the mid-Atlantic region that pairs up-and-coming artists with emerging scholars, critics and curators. The exhibition emerged from our shared realization that while the art-world offers an increasingly robust support system for emerging artists, there was no substantial framework in place to connect these early career artists with peers engaged in critical or curatorial practice. We recognized that our position within the University of Virginia's (U.Va.) Graduate Program in the History of Art and Architecture enabled us to create singular moments of interpretive dialogue between young artists and scholars.
The exhibition catalogue explores these invisible currents in the context of each artist's work in interpretive essays written by seven art history graduate students at U.Va. from a broad rangeof academic specializations. For example, a graduate student specializing in medieval German culture discusses its re-examination in contemporary painting, and an emerging scholar investigating Byzantine icons as sites of performance and transformation explores the work of an artist situating the modern home in parallel terms.
Touched by Virginia
Group Sculpture Exhibition
October 3 - 7, 2010
Download poster (pdf) >
Daniel Heyman: Bearing Witness features portraits of individuals who have endured great personal hardship - former Abu Ghraib detainees, homeless veterans, African American fathers who have been in and out of jail, and new immigrants to the United States. Heyman incorporates the subject's own words into his compositions.
If There Be Such Space: Michael Lundgren and Aaron Rothman
a collaborative installation of photography
The Photography Department in Studio Art will mount an exhibition of contemporary photography in January and February 2012 in Ruffin Gallery featuring a collaborative installation by Michael Lundgren and Aaron Rothman. Lundgren and Rothman have spent the past decade engaged in a common photographic exploration of landscape. Sharing ideas, experiences and experiments, they have each created unique bodies of work investigating the complex connections between photography, perception, and the space of the natural landscape. At times, their work has been very similar in approach and process and at other times has diverged to opposite ends of a continuum representing a shared vision of photography as an essentially transformative medium. Occasionally they discover that they have each taken photographs from virtually the same vantage point in some vast landscape; these twin images reveal overlapping visions, but also very distinct sensibilities.
Lundgren's photographs express a visceral connection to a primal landscape. The deep history of our instinctual human consciousness is embedded in images that combine a profound sense of mystery with the clarity of desert light. Rothman's photographs immerse the viewer in spaces that are both anonymous and highly specific. The landscape becomes a place of presence--a perceptual field anchoring a sense of basic existence. Whether pushing the edges of photographic processes to create obviously altered images, or creating images that are apparently clear windows onto the space of the world, both Rothman and Lundgren are acutely aware of the gap between the photograph and the thing it pictures. In their work, this gap becomes a potent metaphor for the limits and possibilities of our perceptions and capacity to understand our place as individuals within the space of the natural world. Additionally, we are planning to bring both artists to Grounds for the installation process and a public lecture during the Ruffin exhibition.
Michael Lundgren is a faculty associate at Arizona State University. He has shown his work in numerous solo and group shows including Photo 21 in Tokyo and the History of Photography at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. He has worked on collaborative projects for the city of Phoenix and on the historic Third View project documenting the American West. Radius Books published his book, Transfigurations, in 2008.
Aaron Rothman is a project specialist for the Urban Research Laboratory in the School of Architecture at Arizona State University. He is the photography editor for Places journal and received a Professional Development Grant from the Arizona Arts Commission for his work in 2008. His recent solo exhibits include the Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville and the Gitterman Gallery in NYC.
The Brooks Natural History Museum, c 1900; A Creative Interpretation
This year, 2011 - 12, The University of Virginia Arts Board presents New York artist, Tom Burckhardt.
All school year, students have been working under artist Tom Burckhardt's direction to construct an artistic replica of the once Brooks Hall Natural History Museum, ca. 1900 out of nothing but brown corrugated cardboard, black paint, their research and imagination. This group of students, known as "The Cardboard Company", include Bridget Bailey, Hannah Barefoot, Marie Bergeron, Susannah Cadwalder, David Cook, Carmen Diaz, Shiry Guirguis, Margaret King, Brendan Morgan, Agnes Pyrchia, and Cherith Vaughan. Their creations so far include a wooly mammoth, a glyptodon, a doodoo bird, a squid and more. The entire Ruffin Gallery will be transformed in February into the Natural History Museum with a fantastic bent.
The installation, titled "The Brooks Natural History Museum, c 1900; A Creative Interpretation" will be on view at the Ruffin Gallery from Feb 24 - March 30, 2012. The opening reception will be Final Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 5:30. There will be a gallery talk with Tom Burckhartd and The Cardboard Company before the reception @ 4:30.
Tom Burckhardt was born in New York City where he presently resides. He has been the recipient of such prestigious art awards as The Guggenheim Foundation Grant, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and the New York Foundation for the Arts. His work has been exhibited international and has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America and The Village Voice. He is represented by Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, where his last solo exhibition, "Louder Milk" was installed this April 2011.
The University of Virginia Arts Board is a student-run board at the University of Virginia whose mission it is to feature an outstanding artist, attraction, performance, or exhibition each year in a three-year rotation that includes music, visual arts, and drama.
First annual Painter-in-Residence
Ms Abbassy is an Arab-Iranian artist who will be in residence and creating her own work from April 1 - 29, 2012 in Studio 323 at UVa's Painting department. She will present a public lecture on her work Wednesday, April 4 at 5:30 in Campbell Hall, Room 158.
Samira Abbassy is a painter whose work deals with women, war and identity. Born in Ahwaz, Iran, she moved to London as a child where she eventually attended the Canterbury College of Art.
In 1998, she moved to New York to help set up the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. Her work is shown internationally and has been acquired for private and public collections including the British Government Art Collection and The British Museum. She was awarded a Joan Mitchell Painting/Sculpture Award in 2010 and a Yaddo Residency in 2006.
In a review of her exhibition at the Anthony Giordano Gallery at Dowling College, NY, critic Benjamin Genocchio of The New York Times writes;
Ms. Abbassy has said in an artist's statement that she uses self-portraiture as 'a way of defining myself in a constantly shifting cultural context.' Perhaps, then, these pictures are best approached as the embodiment of psychic, spiritual and emotional states. They are about the uncomfortable experience of trying to mold an identity from life's events and influences.
At the end of her UVa residency, Ms. Abbassy will have an Open Studio on Friday, April 27 from 5:30 - 7:30 in Ruffin Hall, Studio 323. The public is invited to both her lecture and open studio.