Posts Tagged ‘Elaine Gustafson’

Dan Graham Gets a Temporary Design Face Lift

 
Christopher Thomas with Design I students

Christopher Thomas with Design I students, installing their project on the covered Dan Graham sculpture "Triangular Solid with Circular Inserts". Photo: Myra Scott

If you visited the Weatherspoon this Fall, you probably witnessed the tell-tale signs of roof repairs, scaffolding and noise. As excited as we were for our twenty-three year old building to get a new roof, we knew we would need to be extra vigilant about protecting works of art in the Sculpture Garden, especially Dan Graham’s Triangular Solid with Circular Inserts. Graham’s glass and mirror sculpture was purchased by the museum for its permanent collection in 2006 and is a favorite with school groups.

Dan Graham, "Triangular Solid with Circular Inserts", 1989

Dan Graham, "Triangular Solid with Circular Inserts", 1989, two-way mirror, clear glass and aluminum, 72 x 72 x 72 in. Museum purchase with funds from the Jefferson-Pilot Endowment, the Burlington Industries Endowment, the Weatherspoon Art Museum Acquisition Endowment, the Frances Stern Loewenstein Acquisition Endowment, the Louise D. and Herbert S. Falk Acquisition Endowment, the Lynn Richardson Prickett Acquisition Endowment, the Jane and Richard Levy Sculpture Fund, the Judy Proctor Acquisition Endowment, the Melanie H. and Robert C. Ketner Family Acquisition Endowment and the Weatherspoon Guild Acquisition Endowment, 2006.

Protecting the sculpture required the construction of a special on-site crate consisting of particle board and strengthened by 2x4s that were bolted directly into the courtyard surface. With roof repairs taking longer to complete than planned, WAM staff thought it would be a good opportunity to work with UNCG design students to dress up the temporary wooden cube and give visitors something to experience (rather than weathered particle board) when entering the Sculpture Garden. We approached UNCG faculty Christopher Thomas and Lee Walton about a design competition with participants from their Design 1 and Art 140 classes.

Christopher Thomas adds:

“Responding to a call for proposals from the Weatherspoon to ‘make use’ of the plywood box currently in place over the Dan Graham sculpture protecting it from construction debris, Design I students from my class and Lee Walton’s wrote in. (Cambrin Culp, Lydia Flores, Tiffany Hutchens, Shannon Keller, Lily Musai and CJ Toomer are from my class).

One of the student entries. Design proposed by Cambrin Culp, Courtney-Nachè Toomer, Lydia Flores.

Design proposed by students Cambrin Culp, Courtney-Nachè Toomer, Lydia Flores.

WAM Curator of Collections, Elaine Gustafson, provided us with information on the artist and his work so that students could better understand what his sculptures were about…the idea was to make images in response to the themes in Dan Graham’s work while exploring some basic Design I value and shape problems.  So, issues of fragmentation, social disconnect, reflection and environment were some of the departure points for the students’ designs.

Final installation was done using ink jet prints and wheat paste on a gorgeous Fall Friday followed by ham and bean soup in the museum courtyard!”

Students participants from Lee Walton’s Art 140 class:  Jenny Bennett, Miguel Cervera, Janelle DeRobertis, Chandler Field, Dray Fountain, and Logan Ritchey.

Visit the museum’s Event Photo page for more images.

Roof construction is finally winding down as work completes after Thanksgiving break. The final detail to complete is the re-installation of the speakers for the Bill Fontana sound work “Spiraling Sound Axis“—which is also a part of the museum’s Sculpture Garden experience.  Fontana’s work had to be de-installed during construction.  As soon as the Fontana speakers are re-installed our preparators will be able to remove the plywood protection from the Graham sculpture.  Visitors will once again be able to enjoy both the Graham sculpture and listen to the Fontana sound installation.

Kids playing inside the Dan Graham Sculpture at the Weatherspoon

Kids playing inside the Dan Graham Sculpture at the Weatherspoon

Thank you to the Design 1  and Art 140 students for all their work on this project.

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Tom Burckhardt Gift

 
"Whiteout" by Tom Burckhardt

Tom Burckhardt, "Whiteout", 2006, ink and digitized image on paper, 36 x 80 in. Gift of Lysiane Luong Grooms and Red Grooms, 2012.

The Weatherspoon Art Museum is pleased to announce that it just received a gift of a work on paper by the artist, Tom Burckhardt.  Burckhardt was a Falk Visiting Artist last semester, and his solo exhibition closed on Jan. 8th.  The new acquisition, entitled Whiteout, is unlike the works that were on display.  More narrative and descriptive, but equally conceptual, it features the artist in a snow-covered, Asian-inspired landscape contemplating an easel painting and by extension, the act and purpose of painting.

The work on paper was donated by the artist Red Grooms, whose work was recently on view in Altered States & Visions and for whom Burckhardt worked for many years as a studio assistant, and his wife Lysiane Luong.

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Bellocq’s Storyville: New Orleans at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

 
E.J. Bellocq, "Girl Lying on Grass Chaise Lounge"

E.J. Bellocq, "Girl Lying on Grass Chaise Lounge", c. 1911-13, gelatin silver print, 8 x 9 7/8 in. Museum purchase with funds from the Benefactors Fund, 1973.

Although he was wealthy from a family inheritance and considered a part of the elite of New Orleans, E.J. Bellocq made his living mostly by taking photographic records of landmarks, ships and machinery for local companies.  He gained posthumous fame, however, for his personal photographs of the hidden underside of local life, notably the prostitutes of Storyville, New Orleans’ legalized red light district. Although it is possible that these images were made for commercial purposes—photographs of prostitutes were included in Blue Books, advertisements created by the city’s brothels—it seems more likely that Bellocq personally knew the women in his photographs, given their ease with the camera and their willingness to pose and sometimes even feign for it. Upon his death in 1949, Bellocq’s possessions, along with the disreputable photographs, were given to his brother, Leon, a Jesuit priest. When the photographs were discovered years later, many of the women’s faces had been scratched out. Initially it was speculated that Leon scratched the photos upon receiving them, but this is no longer believed since the damage was done in the emulsion rather than on the glass plate negatives.

The young E.J. Bellocq

Young E.J. Bellocq. photo courtesy of Tulane Special Collections.

The district of Storyville was created in 1897 when Alderman Sidney Story decided that the expansion of brothels in New Orleans needed to stop because they drove down building and family values. Knowing full well that banning prostitution would be ineffective, Story set out to regulate it. He created a thirty-five block area in which prostitution was legal, and banned it in the rest of the city. This area quickly became one of the most scandalous red-light districts in the United States, and much to the ire of Alderman Story, came to bear his name.

Storyville and Bellocq himself, have become infamous symbols of New Orleans at the turn of the century. Several movies, including the 1992 film, Storyville, and the 1978 film starring Brooke Shields and Susan Sarandon, Pretty Baby, focus on this particularly notorious and fascinating part of New Orleans’ history. This photograph by Bellocq will be on display until April 8, 2012 in the exhibition To What Purpose? Photography as Art and Documentary at Weatherspoon Art Museum.

Post written by Stephanie Krysiak, a second year History Master’s student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Thanks to Elaine Gustafson, Curator of Collections, Weatherspoon Art Museum.

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Artist Helen Frankenthaler

 
Artist Helen Frankenthaler

"Snow Pines" by Helen Frankenthaler, from the Weatherspoon's collection; the artist at work in her studio.

During the bustle of the holidays, it’s easy to lose track of important news events. The death of pioneering post-World War II artist, Helen Frankenthaler on December 27 may have been such an event, but her achievements deserve to be acknowledged.

Beginning in 1952 Frankenthaler took abstract art in a new direction by pouring thinned paint directly onto unprimed canvases.  Applauded for its lyricism and luminous color, Frankenthaler’s work not only gave rise to the Color Field movement, but also has remained vital throughout the years.

Frankenthaler was equally talented as a printmaker, and the Weatherspoon is privileged to own a 34-color Ukiyo-e style woodcut entitled Snow Pines, 2004.  The art world definitely has lost a significant talent.

Image:  Helen Frankenthaler, Snow Pines, 2004, 34-color Ukiyo-e style woodcut, Ed. 6 out of 65, 37 1/2 x 26 in. Museum purchase with funds from the Weatherspoon Art Museum Acquisition Endowment, the Louise D. and Herbert S. Falk Acquisition Endowment, the Lynn Richardson Prickett Acquisition Endowment, the Weatherspoon Guild Acquisition Endowment, and a bequest by Hubert Humphrey, 2011.

Read about this new WAM acquisition in our Winter newsletter on page 9 here.

Wikipedia article about Frankenthaler.

More photos of Helen and her work on the blog Habitually Chic.

And more on the site TheArtStory.org.

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Weatherspoon Acquires New Work by Kara Walker

 

Kara Walker, "An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters", 2010, six etchings; edition 5/30, Courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

Thrilled to announce this—the Weatherspoon Art Museum will soon add to its collection a brand new series of six etchings by world-renowned artist Kara Walker! Walker is known for exploring race, gender, and sexuality through her iconic figures and narrative scenes. She uses the traditionally proper Victorian medium of the silhouette to produce disturbing images that explore the legacy of slavery in America. In An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters (2010), Walker mines imagery connected to the lives of female slaves transported across the Atlantic to the ante-bellum South.

Walker’s etchings will join other important works in the Weatherspoon’s collection that explore issues related to identity and civil rights. Her work will be presented in Fall 2011 in an exhibition organized by curator of collections Elaine Gustafson and UNCG associate professor of art history George Dimock titled, Race and Representation: The African American Presence in American Art.

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