Line Up, Strip Down, Fade Out: Polaroid Photographs and Videos by Andy Warhol, Grant Worth, and David Horvitz (August 28 – October 10, 2008)
On February 8, 2008, the Polaroid Corporation announced that it had decided to gradually cease production of its trademark line of instant film. For many artists, the “retirement” of this medium signals the end of an era for one of photography’s most important and iconic forms. In honor of this occasion, the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery presents Line Up, Strip Down, Fade Out, an intimate survey of three artists whose use of instant film defines an important part of their practice.
Nearly a half-century on, Andy Warhol’s Polaroids are still as timely as ever. Created quickly, en masse, and in service of larger commissioned portrait paintings, they are regarded as preparative asides by many art historians. However, when reconsidered as a series, the casualness and immediacy of their execution connotes a kind of faux documentary truth. Much like contemporary reality television, the ambitious poses of Warhol’s patrons read as alternately true and false—a freeze-dried vanitas of status anxiety for the grandparents of modern-day bling culture.
Grant Worth and David Horvitz are two young New York-based artists who build on this existential aspect of Warhol’s myth-making legacy. Worth’s photographs and kaleidoscopic videos lead the viewer into a baroque, almost occult meditation on classic Pop themes of sexuality, glamour, and urbanity, while Horvitz’s stark documentation of his own life provides a quieter and more prosaic counterpoint. These works defy and reflect one another, much like Warhol’s public and private personae. And in a sense, picking up where he left off, they stride farther down paths of loneliness and gold.
Line Up, Strip Down, Fade Out is curated by Joseph Whitt.
The photographs by Warhol that are included in this exhibition are part of a larger gift to the Fine Arts Gallery by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Photographic Legacy Program.
American, b. 1979 Nico and Elaine Mayes, 2008
Polaroid 600 photograph
Jules De Balincourt
(October 23 – December 5, 2008)
The work of Jules De Balincourt straddles a difficult line between the raw necessity of folk art and an unexpected mastery of abstraction’s compositional complexities. Recently dubbed by ArtForum as “one of the most challenging painters working today,” the French-born, California-raised artist specializes in marrying a sophisticated yet anarchistic approach to color with deceptively uncomplicated political and social concerns. Drawing from several important private collections, this exhibition will present an overview of De Balincourt’s artistic practice from 2002 to today. It will include his earliest meditations on post 9-11 New York, later works which seem to widen the artist’s concern for the increasingly disjointed nature of “free” society, a rare sculptural centerpiece, and his most recent and previously unseen nonfigurative paintings.
This exhibition is curated by Joseph Whitt and is co-organized by the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery and Zach Feuer Gallery, New York.
Jules De Balincourt (b. 1972)
American Blind Faith and Tunnel Vision, 2005
Oil and enamel on panel
78" x 58"
Courtesy of Zach Feuer Gallery,
Harmony Korine: Pigxote
(January 8 – February 26, 2009)
Harmony Korine is one of the most significant artists of his generation. After emerging onto the world stage in the 1990’s as a screenwriter (Kids) and director (Gummo; Julien Donkey-Boy), his intuitive, open-ended approach to realism created a polarizing fervor amongst critics. Lesser known but no less relevant are Korine’s experiments outside the world of cinema. A Crack-up At The Race Riots, his first book, adapted the possibilities of his brand of montage to text. Numerous collaborations with other artists (such as Christopher Wool, Brian DeGraw, Gus Van Sant and Mark Gonzales) further stretched Korine’s imagination into realms of formalized abstraction, vaudeville, black metal nihilism, and ambient soundscapes.
This exhibition will bring together forty-nine photographs from Korine’s private archive in order to reveal a side of the artist’s creative process that remains largely unexamined. Depicting a mysterious young girl moving through a televised landscape of shifting contexts, Pigxote further illustrates Korine’s interest in replacing plot lines and other narrative tropes with intuitively arranged “experiential moments.” They also provide a unique insight into the poetic mind of Nashville’s most compelling prodigal son.
This exhibition is co-organized by Joseph Whitt and O'Salvation Cine Ltd.
Harmony Korine (b. 1973)
11” x 8-1/2”
Courtesy of the artist
The Printed Page: Selections from the Anna C. Hoyt Collection
(March 12 – May 8, 2009)
In 1956, Vanderbilt University’s Permanent Collection was founded by a generous gift of 105 Old Master and Modern prints from renowned collector Anna C. Hoyt of Boston. Since this gift, the Collection has grown in number and depth to now include over 5,500 works of art. In honor of Ms. Hoyt’s founding patronage and its constructive impact on the arts at Vanderbilt, while marking the last exhibition in the Old Gym before the Gallery moves to the Cohen Memorial Building in the fall of 2009, Director Joseph Mella has assembled this survey drawn exclusively from her gift.
Highlights include an exquisite woodcut by Albrecht Dürer; Honoré Daumier’s lithograph from his series, Les Beaux Jours (Life’s Great Moments)—a model study in 19th-century Realism; and a delicate lithograph portrait by Pablo Picasso completed in 1948. Other works of note are an 18th-century still life mezzotint engraving by Richard Earlom, an etching by Giovanni Piranesi from his Carceri d'invenzione (Invented prisons) suite; and a 17th-century woodcut by Dutch artist Christoffel Jegher based on a work by Peter Paul Rubens that is often considered one of the great prints in the history of the medium.
The Printed Page will be the Fine Arts Gallery’s final exhibition in its current space. A new gallery space is under construction in Vanderbilt’s Cohen Building, located at the western edge of the University’s Peabody Campus bordering 21st Avenue.
This exhibition is curated by Joseph S. Mella.
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)
German The Lamentation, 1511
15-1/2” x 11-11/8”
Gift of Anna C. Hoyt