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2003-2004

Oscar Bluemner: A Daughter's Legacy
Selections from the Vera Bluemner Kouba Collection, Stetson University

May 13, 2004 - June 30, 2004

Bluemner Painting of Montville, NJ
Oscar Bluemner, Montville (Movement of Space and Form, New Jersey)

Landscapes of everyday modern society - mills, factories, small farms, unkempt suburbs - portrayed in brilliant colors and a variety of media, will fill the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery beginning May 13, 2004 for one of the most comprehensive exhibits of the work of Modernist painter Oscar Bluemner ever presented.

The exibit comes to The George Washington University from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. The works were selected by the Curator Roberta Smith Favis from the more than 1,000 pieces of Bluemner's work bequeathed to Stetson University in 1997 by his daughter, Vera Bluemner Kouba. The included pieces represent every period of Bluemner's production, ranging from pencil and charcoal studies, annotated by the artist, to major works in watercolor and oil. They were chosen by Favis to demonstrate the depth and breadth of the Vera Bluemner Kouba Collection, as well as of the beauty and quality of the artworks.

Often overlooked in his lifetime, Bluemner now is widely acknowledged as a key player in the creation of American artistic Modernism, with better-known colleagues such as Georgia O'Keeffe and John Marin. Through modern artistic language, his depictions of the industrial hinterlands of New Jersey and Massachusetts combine political and social sympathy for the workers who toiled there with the most modern artistic language. The characteristic touches of glowing red in his paintings and his interest in color theory earned him the nickname "The Vermillionaire."

Annual Awards Show

April 8, 2004 - April 30, 2004

Approximately 40 works by emerging student artists are featured in the Annual Awards Show at GW's Luther W. Brady Art Gallery. The exhibition juxtaposes traditional pieces alongside more innovative works. For example, the paintings display a range of styles from the colorful dabs of paint in Anne Letterer's Bench People, to the sweeping application of oil stick and collage on paper in Valentine Wolly's Memories. The featured photographs also demonstrate different styles through an exploration of the technical possibilities of photography. Pamela Nabholz's images are painterly and ethereal, while Danielle DiRosariošs photographs of the human body border on abstraction. Particularly remarkable is the variety of ceramics in the exhibition. The works in clay are sculptural and engaging. Shelley Stevens' work, for example, plays off the relationship between found pieces of wood and complementary ceramics.

Awards have been given for work in aquarelle painting, ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture. This year's judge is George Hemphill, owner of Hemphill Fine Arts, who also selected the works for inclusion in the exhibition.

Tunisian Paintings: A Cultural Perspective

January 29, 2004 - March 5, 2004

Collage of Tunisian Paintings
Maurice Bismouth, Man At Prayer; Pierre Boucherle, Interior of Synagogue; Jellal Ben Abdallah, Woman with Doves

This exhibit brings to Washington nineteen works of art on loan from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Leisure of the Republic of Tunisia. This is a unique opportunity to see famous Tunisian artists in an unprecedented exhibition representing the masterful works of Jellal Ben Abdallah, Ali Bellagha, Maurice Bismouth, Pierre Boucherle, Brahim Dhahak, Abdelaziz Gorgi, Jules Lellouche, Victor Sarfati, and Gouider Triki.

A celebration of Tunisia's traditions of tolerance and openness as depicted through a century of Tunisian art, the exhibition introduces Washington area audiences to the "Pioneers" and the next generation of painters, L'Ecole de Tunis (School of Tunis), who were born in the 1920s and 1930s and worked together under the established trends in Tunisian painting. They paved the way over the past century for the emergence of new waves of artists. On the occasion of his visit to Washington, DC, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Leisure of the Republic of Tunisia, Dr. Abdelbaki Hermassi attended the opening ceremony of this exhibition where he was introduced by President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president of The George Washington University in the company of Ambassador and Mrs. Hatem Atallah. The Minister remarked on the camaraderie shared by artists of different cultural backgrounds in Tunisia, and how the paintings illustrate that shared yet diverse heritage.

Tunisia, a country of about 10 million people, located in the heart of the Mediterranean, at a crossroads with Africa, Europe and the Middle East, has always been, despite its limited natural resources, the land of original encounters. Tunisia's witnessing, over the centuries, the Carthaginian, the Roman and the Arab-Islamic conquests, together with its absorption of the three monotheistic religions bear testimony to its receptive capacity, and paved the way for its creatively inclusive modernist painting. Through the appreciation of the visual arts, we broaden our understanding of Tunisia's diversity of cultural perspectives such as folkways, decorative arts, spirituality, topography and history.

Arresting Images

November 20, 2003 - January 16, 2004

Evidence of Wind
Sally Gall, Evidence of Wind

In planning for about three years, the exhibition "Arresting Images" has been curated by a professional philosopher (Peter Caws, University Professor of Philosophy) working hand in hand with a professional photographer (Nancy Breslin, M.D., M.F.A.). Pivotal to the experience of viewing art in a gallery is being stopped, "arrested" by the power of the image. The photographs assembled in this exhibit share this ability to hold the viewer.

In addition to a sampling of photographs selected from the nearly 1000 in the George Washington University Permanent Collection, the curators have also drawn from the collection of the University Gallery Teaching Collection of the University of Delaware and from private collections. Photographers represented include Louis Faurer, Sally Gall, Philippe Halsman, Paul Strand, N. Jay Jaffee, Nancy Breslin, and others.

In the illustrated catalogue written by Peter Caws which accompanies the exhibition, he writes, "Works of art that seem intended to contain meaning tend to be less interesting than those that are occasions of meaning, whatever anyone's intention; the dialogues that the latter provoke are not mainly between author and reader, between photographer and viewer, but between readers, between viewers." By combining approaches to the disciplines of philosophy and photography, the curators have brought up many provocative and unorthodox approaches to art appreciation, which stimulate discussion and encourage visitor interaction with the exhibition.

Hannelore Baron: Works from 1969-1987

October 18 - November 14, 2003

Using materials that felt familiar from use - scraps of fabric, wood, string, wire, pieces from children's games, printed labels and other discarded items - artist and Holocaust survivor Hannelore Baron (1926-1987) constructed intimately scaled works that offer glimpses into history, the human condition and the artist's past.

Approximately 40 collages and five box assemblages are presented along with quotes from Baron regarding her artistic inspirations and creative processes. "Hannelore Baron: Works from 1969 to 1987" is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in cooperation with the Estate of Hannelore Baron and the Manny Silverman Gallery in Los Angeles. The exhibition is curated by art historian Ingrid Schaffner. Additional information about this exhibit can be found at the SITES website.


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