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Close Readings: American Abstract Art from the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery
Exhibition of American Abstract Art featuring the perspectives and reflections of faculty and students from over twenty different departments and centers across campus.
CLOSE READINGS: AMERICAN ABSTRACT ART FROM THE VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY FINE ARTS GALLERY COLLECTION opens this spring in celebration of recent gifts from the esteemed collections of Sarah-Ann and Werner Kramarsky and Edna and Monroe Kornfeld, while also drawing on the considerable strengths of the permanent collection. The exhibition features the unique interpretations of more than thirty-five faculty and students from disciplines across the university, providing fresh, new insights into how we look at art. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, March 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. in Cohen Memorial Hall. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public. CLOSE READINGS: AMERICAN ABSTRACT ART FROM THE VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY FINE ARTS GALLERY COLLECTION will remain on view through May 26, 2016. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 1–5 p.m. through April 25. From April 26 through its closing on May 26, gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday noon–4 p.m., Saturday 1–5 p.m., closed Sunday and Monday.
CLOSE READINGS will feature a wide range of abstract art by some of America’s most prominent artists, including Josef Albers, William Anastasi, Ross Bleckner, Stuart Davis, Sam Durant, Sam Gilliam, Cheryl Goldsleger, Seymour Lipton, Robert Motherwell, Harvey Quaytman, Martin Puryear, and Mark di Suvero. Shifting away from the traditional exhibition, with its singular “voice” of the curator, participating faculty and students have each chosen a work to “read” closely. Representing diverse disciplines and centers including the departments of Sociology, Physics and Astronomy, History of Art, Art, Philosophy, Anthropology, English, Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience, Mathematics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, and Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, among several others, these responses, often overlapping for a single artwork, give insight into the value of close observation in every field. Their readings demonstrate that abstraction, in fact, can be an excellent entry point into art appreciation and observation. In reflecting on the process of “close reading” in art, Joseph S. Mella, director of the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery and curator of the exhibition, observed that “Once we remove the need to find a narrative more commonly associated with representational art, it frees us to the pleasures of looking for its own sake.” He continued by saying that “the wide-range of ‘readings’ found within the exhibition remind us that abstract art, by its very nature, encourages multiple perspectives in its viewers.”
DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES/ADD 1
All of the submitted close readings, including those in musical format, will be collected in a companion blog to the exhibition, accessible via the gallery’s website. For those unable to attend the program on March 29, the musical compositions will also be available on mobile platforms, such as smart phones and tablets, within the exhibition.
DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES/ADD 2
CLOSE READINGS: AMERICAN ABSTRACT ART FROM THE VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY FINE ARTS GALLERY COLLECTION is supported by a generous gift from the Terra Foundation for American Art on behalf of board member Greg Williamson, with additional support provided by the Ewers Gift for Fine Art. It is organized by the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery and curated by Joseph S. Mella, director.
INDIVIDUAL DATES & TIMES*
Additional time info:
Opening reception Thursday, March 17 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Special Evening of Music Tuesday, March 29 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
All events free and open to the public.
1220 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203