"Roads Taken: 20th-Century Prints and Drawings from the Collection," a selection of work on paper from the University of Virginia Art Museum's print and drawing collections, opens Saturday, Aug 16. The exhibition reflects the diverse artistic inclinations of the works' creators. Over the past 40 years artists have used the processes employed in producing the work to express their aesthetic intents. Whether through Robert Motherwell's sheer joy of ink gestures on a page or Ellsworth Kelly's simple outline of a leaf in lithographic crayon, the artists share their pleasures in making art.
The majority of works in the exhibition reflect the artists' social perspective, such as Jaune Quick-to-See Smith's collage drawing commenting on salmon fishing, Kara Walker's "African/American" linocut, and Luis Jimenez's observation on servitude in "The Mass of Mankind."
Other artists' interests reveal a series of explorations. Joe Tilson created contemporary versions of sacred spaces marked by generations of pilgrims on their journey to the Holy Land and documented them in his prints. In Nancy Graves' hands, geologic maps of lunar orbiter and Apollo landing sites are transformed into abstract lithographs.
Several of the works included in the 20 pieces on view have never been exhibited at the museum and some have rarely been shown.
Also included in the exhibition are works by Chryssa, Jim Dine, John Ferren, Howard Finster, Johnny Friedlaender, Robert Indiana, Sol LeWitt, Tom Marioni, Nathan Oliveira, Alison Saar, Pat Steir and Wayne Thiebaud.
The exhibition was organized by curator Suzanne Foley and reflects her interest in contemporary art and her association with different contemporary artists during her museum career, which began in 1955. Foley joined the U.Va. Art Museum in 1987 and has played a major role in building the museum's contemporary art collection.
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Limited parking is available behind the museum.
Wayne Thiebaud (American, born 1920).
Marina Ridge, 1997.
Drypoint on Gampi paper chine collé, 31/35,
21 x 17 inches (sheet).
Gift of Henrietta Near, 1990.30.
Collection University of Virginia Art Museum.
Image Copyright the Artist.