Progression: The Evolution of Dance

*** Event is Feb. 21 not Feb 19 as poster indicates.

The event will feature the WMU student groups Ebony Vision and Hip Hop Connection. All of the students are either dance majors in the College and have a true passion for the art of dance. The program will trace the evolution of dance in the Black culture from the 1800’s until present. The students have worked together conceptualizing, choreographing and preparing for this event. The evening promises to be both informative and educational.

*** Event is Feb. 21 not Feb 19 as poster indicates. Event was rescheduled to Feb 21. Same time, same place.

ART21 @ The Richmond Center 10/18


On October 18, 2007 the Frostic School of Art will participate in Art21 Access ‘07 by previewing Season 4, Episode 4: Paradox, of the PBS Art21 series. Episode 4 will be on running on the plasma panels on the 1st and 2nd floor of the Richmond Center for the Visual Arts from 10am – 5pm. The event is free and open to the public.

This event is part of Art21 Access ‘07, a celebration of contemporary art and creativity at over 300 museums, schools, libraries, art spaces, and community centers, presented by Art21 in partnership with Americans for the Arts during National Arts and Humanities Month.


Episode 4: Paradox
Artists: Artists: Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, Mark Bradford, Robert Ryman, and Catherine Sullivan

EPISODE DESCRIPTION: How do contemporary artists address contradiction, ambiguity, and truth? The artists in this episode investigate the boundaries between abstraction and representation, fact and fiction, order and chaos. Creating juxtapositions that are at times disorienting, playful, and unexpected, these artists engage with the uncertain and plumb accepted assumptions of meaning in art.

Mark Bradford. Production still © Art21, Inc. 2007.

“My practice is both collage and décollage at the same time,” says Mark Bradford. “Décollage you take it away, and then collage, I immediately add it right back.” Using a combination of signage from the city streets, including business advertisements and merchant posters, twine, and glue, Bradford produces wall-sized paintings and installations that are a reflection of “the conditions that are going on at that particular moment at that particular location,” he says. Bradford describes for viewers the concepts behind his many works, from Daddy, Daddy, Daddy (2001), for which he used materials used in his mother’s hair salon, to Black Venus (2005), a map-like painting relating to the primarily African-American Baldwin Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, and Game Recognize Game (2004), which combines a painting and a sculpture of soccer balls. In one installation, Bradford uses video to juxtapose two events – a celebratory Martin Luther King Day parade in Los Angeles, and a busy Muslim marketplace in Cairo. Though worlds apart, Bradford points out how both spaces simultaneously portray a celebration yet also present an undeniable political condition, as the African American and Muslim communities have become “politically charged.” Likewise, through his video Practice (2003), Bradford “wanted to create a condition, a struggle.” For the film, Bradford attempts to dribble and shoot a basketball while wearing a Los Angeles Lakers uniform to which he has added a make-shift antebellum hoop skirt. Shot on a windy day, the piece captures his struggle with the billowing skirt – as he falls and gets back up time and time again – in an effort to make the shot. “It was about roadblocks on every level, cultural, gender, racial, regardless that they’re there,” he says. “It is important to continue. You keep going…And I made the hoop…Sometimes it takes me a little longer to get there. But I always make the shot.”

Catherine Sullivan. Production still © Art21, Inc. 2007.

Despite a family background in the visual arts (her mother worked at the famous Los Angeles-based Gemini G.E.L. print studio), Catherine Sullivan was drawn to acting and the theater. “I was always interested in the body’s capacity for signification,” she says. “What was this kind of potential for infinite transformation?” Her interests turned to stagecraft, and eventually evolved into the merging of live theater and filmmaking. “I really enjoyed the pleasure of the eyes to look where they wanted to look,” says Sullivan. “In an installation context, there’s actually opportunity for different kinds of content to be present in different ways. At some point it’s a direct engagement with one single image. Other times, it’s an engagement with a lot of different images all competing for your attention.” Viewers follow Sullivan from a workshop with actors and students in Poland, to an exhibition space in Avignon, to a Polish-American social hall in Chicago to observe her performance-based films, many of which are influenced by popular film, real-life conflict, or ritual. The actors and performers in Sullivan’s works create behavioral and emotional states through quick transitions between gestures. As Sullivan describes, “the content itself suggests other kinds of oppressive cultural regimes that I would like the movement to be analogous to. It really is in this kind of calculation of character, action, setting, context that the work ultimately happens.”

Robert Ryman. Production still © Art21, Inc. 2007.

Growing up in Nashville, Robert Ryman had a strong interest in music, particularly jazz. A bebop musician in his youth, Ryman’s musical knowledge influenced his work as a painter. His approach to learning an instrument was applied to painting, and, like music, “I thought the painting should just be about what it’s about…” He says. “In all of my paintings, I discover things. Sometimes I’m surprised at the result, but I know what I’m doing.” Ryman does not use assistants and prefers to work alone. Using white paint on square forms, he creates works such as Philadelphia Prototype (2002) — which he makes on camera — highlighting the subtle nuances of a surface and exploring the role that context and perception play in a visual experience. “I think of my painting as not really as abstract because I don’t abstract from anything,” he says. “It’s involved with real visual aspects of what you really are looking at…and how it’s put together and how it works with the wall and how it works with the light…I don’t use any illusion. It’s the real thing that you see. It’s a real experience.”

Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla. Production still © Art21, Inc. 2007.

“It’s kind of an excuse to research something,” says Jennifer Allora of the work with her collaborator since 1995, Guillermo Calzadilla. “It’s this chance to learn more about something in the world and be able to formulate some kind of response.” Their public installation, Chalk (1998-2002), is an example of their approach to visual art as a set of experiments. The artists placed large pieces of chalk outside of government buildings in Peru, providing protestors with an opportunity to write out their demands publicly. “That piece has the potential to actively disrupt what are the norms of a particular setting,” says Allora. Adds Calzadilla, “A police squad…they arrested the sculpture…they took all the chalk away. It shows the limits of free speech in a so-called democratic society.” In their segment, the pair, often arguing and questioning each other’s ideas in order to reach common ground, explain two projects that took place on the island of Vieques, previously used as a bombing range by US military forces and only recently returned to the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico. For Returning a Sound (2004), Allora and Calzadilla used a horn attached to a motorcycle exhaust pipe to create a unique “anthem” for Vieques. In Under Discussion (2005), the pair created a new meaning for the discussion table to represent the islanders’ disagreement about how the island should be run and the “re-patriated” lands used. In addition, the artists describe the metaphor behind other works, including the video project Sweat Glands Sweat Lands (2006), which uses the video image of pork cooking on a spit turned by a car motor to portray the violence and vulgarity of a status-obsessed society. “For us it’s very important, the idea of having a work that has all these contradictions in itself. How can you put all these things that have nothing to do with the other one?…You use an ideological glue. This frustration with absurdity, this nonsense, this paradox, all these things constitute part of the meaning of the work.”


MARK BRADFORD was born in Los Angeles, California in 1961. He received a BFA (1995) and MFA (1997) from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. Bradford transforms materials scavenged from the street into wall-sized collages and installations that respond to the impromptu networks – underground economies, migrant communities, or popular appropriation of abandoned public space – that emerge within a city. Drawing from the diverse cultural and geographic makeup of his southern Californian community, Bradford’s work is as informed by his personal background as a third- generation merchant there as it is by the tradition of abstract painting developed worldwide in the 20th Century. Bradford’s videos and map-like, multilayered paper collages refer not only to the organization of streets and buildings in downtown Los Angeles, but also to images of crowds, ranging from civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s to contemporary protests concerning immigration issues. Mark Bradford has received many awards, including the Bucksbaum Award (2006); the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2003); and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2002). He has been included in major exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2006); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2003); REDCAT, Los Angeles (2004); and Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2001). He has participated in the XXVII São Paulo Bienal (2006); the Whitney Biennial (2006); and inSite: Art Practices in the Public Domain, San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico (2005). Bradford lives and works in Los Angeles.

Mark Bradford. Black Venus, detail, 2005. Mixed-media collage, 130 x 196 inches. Courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

CATHERINE SULLIVAN was born in Los Angeles, California in 1968. She earned a BFA from the California Institute of Arts, Valencia (1992) and an MFA from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California (1997). Sullivan’s anxiety inducing films and live performances reveal the degree to which everyday gestures and emotional states are scripted and performed, probing the border between innate and learned behavior. Under Sullivan’s direction, actors perform seemingly erratic, seizure-like jumps between gestures and emotional states, all while following a well-rehearsed, numerically derived script. Unsettling and disorienting, Sullivan’s work oscillates between the uncanny and camp, eliciting a profound critique of “acceptable” behavior in today’s media-saturated society. A maelstrom of references and influences – from vaudeville to film noir to modern dance – Sullivan’s appropriation of classic filming styles, period costumes, and contemporary spaces such as corporate offices draws the viewer’s attention away from traditional narratives and towards an examination of performance itself. Sullivan received a CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts (2004) and a DAAD Fellowship (2004-2005). She has had major exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2007); Tate Modern, London (2005); Vienna Secession, Austria (2005); Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland (2005); Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut (2003); UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2002); and the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (2002). She has participated in the Prague Biennial (2005), the Whitney Biennial (2004), and La Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon, France (2003). Sullivan lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

Catherine Sullivan. Ice Floes of Franz Joseph Land, production still, 2003. Five channels shot on 16 mm film transferred to video, projected from DVD, 21 min 48 sec per channel, black and white, silent. © Catherine Sullivan, courtesy the artist.

ROBERT RYMAN was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1930. Ryman studied at the Tennessee Polytechnic Institute and the George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, before serving in the United States Army (1950-52). Ryman’s work explodes the classical distinctions between art as object and art as surface, sculpture and painting, structure and ornament – emphasizing instead the role that perception and context play in creating an aesthetic experience. Ryman isolates the most basic of components – material, scale, and support – enforcing limitations that allow the viewer to focus on the physical presence of the work in space. Since the 1950s, Ryman has used primarily white paint on a square surface, whether canvas, paper, metal, plastic, or wood, while harnessing the nuanced effects of light and shadow to animate his work. In Ryman’s oeuvre, wall fasteners and tape serve both practical and aesthetic purposes. Neither abstract nor entirely monochromatic, Ryman’s paintings are paradoxically ‘realist’ in the artist’s own lexicon. Robert Ryman was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1994) and has received many awards, including a Skowhegan Medal (1985) and a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (1974). He has had major exhibitions at the Tate Gallery, London (1993); Museum of Modern Art, New York (1993); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1994); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1994); Dia Art Foundation (1988); Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland (2006); and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (2006-07). He has participated in Documenta (1972, 1977, 1982); the Venice Biennale (1976, 1978, 1980); the Whitney Biennial (1977, 1987, 1995); and the Carnegie International (1985, 1988). Ryman lives and works in New York and Pennsylvania.

Robert Ryman. Untitled, 1958. Casein, colored and charcoal pencil on manila paper, 9 1⁄4 x 9 1⁄4 inches. Private collection, New York. Photo by Ellen Page Wilson, courtesy PaceWildenstein, New York.

JENNIFER ALLORA was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1974. GUILLERMO CALZADILLA was born in 1972 in Havana, Cuba. Allora received a BA from the University of Richmond in Virginia (1996) and an MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2003); Calzadilla received a BFA from Escuela de Artes Plásticas, San Juan, Puerto Rico (1996) and an MFA from Bard College (2001). They have collaborated since 1995; approaching visual art as a set of experiments that test whether concepts such as authorship, nationality, borders, and democracy adequately describe today’s increasingly global and consumerist society. Believing that art can function as a catalyst for social change, the artists solicit active participation and critical responses from their viewers. The artists’ emphasis on cooperation and activism have led them to develop hybrid art forms – sculptures presented solely through video documentation, digitally manipulated photographs, and public artworks generated by pedestrians. Major exhibitions include the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (2007); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2004); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2004); Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2002); and Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan (2001). Awards include the Korea Foundation Award (2004); Penny McCall Foundation Grant (2003); Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (2002); and a Cintas Fellowship (2000–2001). Residencies include P.S. 1 Contemporary Arts Center, Long Island City, New York (1998–99); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2003–04); and Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California (2004). Allora & Calzadilla were short listed for the Guggenheim Museum’s Hugo Boss Prize (2006). They live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla. Under Discussion, video still, 2005. Single-channel video with sound, 6 min 14 sec. © Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, courtesy the artists.

ART21 @ The Richmond Center 10/11


On October 11, 2007 the Frostic School of Art will participate in Art21 Access ’07 by previewing Season 4, Episode 2: Protest, of the PBS Art21 series. Episode 2 will be on running on the lcd panels on the 1st and 2nd floor of the Richmond Center for the Visual Arts from noon – 5pm. This will be followed by a screening in room 2008 on the second floor of the Richmond Center at 8pm. Discussion and comments to follow screening. The event is free and open to the public.

This event is part of Art21 Access ’07, a celebration of contemporary art and creativity at over 300 museums, schools, libraries, art spaces, and community centers, presented by Art21 in partnership with Americans for the Arts during National Arts and Humanities Month.


Episode 2: Protest
Artists: Jenny Holzer, Alfredo Jaar, An-My Lê, and Nancy Spero

EPISODE DESCRIPTION: How do contemporary artists engage politics, inequality, and the many conflicts that besiege the world today? How do artists use their work to discuss or oppose misery, turmoil, and injustice? This episode examines the ways in which contemporary artists picture and question war, express outrage, and empathize with the suffering of others. Whether bearing witness to tragic events, presenting alternative histories, or engaging in activism, the artists interviewed in Episode Two use visual art as a means to provoke personal transformations and question social revolutions.

For decades, Nancy Spero has drawn from the political to create compelling works of art that make a statement against war, the abuse of power and our male-dominated society. Regarding her paintings made during the Vietnam War, Spero says: “I guess maybe my art can be said to be a protest…The War paintings are certainly a protest because it was done with indignation.” Spero further explains how the politically-inspired work of her late husband, Leon Golub, not only stimulated, but also posed a challenge for her own work. “It was pretty damned difficult contending with someone who was so…brilliant,” she says. In contrast to Golub’s large-scale paintings, Spero began to work with small, almost microscopic figures, which she describes as “a retort to the large works of the mostly male New York artists.” Viewers observe Spero as she modifies pieces from her previous paintings and prints – including images of severed heads from her War paintings – to produce such works as Cri du Coeur (2005), for which she employs repetition of the image of an ancient Egyptian woman to create a funeral-like procession along the walls rimming her New York gallery.

Nancy Spero
Production still © Art21, Inc. 2007.

Landscape photographer An-My Lê is fascinated by military war exercises. Traveling around the world, she uses a wooden Deardorff camera to capture black and white images of various military exercises, and explores their connection to the surrounding landscape. “I think my main goal is to try to photograph landscape in such a way so that history could be suggested through the landscape, whether industrial history or my personal history,” she says. Lê discusses her return to Vietnam, where she grew up amid the violence of the Vietnam War, to photograph people’s activities, revisit childhood memories, and reconnect with her homeland, as well as her experience photographing military re-enactors, whom she found on the Internet. Unable to travel to Iraq to document current U.S. incursions in the Middle East, Lê worked with marines training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California photographing the end stages of preparatory war activities. “I think I’ve always tried to understand what is the meaning of war and what does it really mean to live through times of turbulence,” says Lê. “I think a lot of those questions sort of fuel my work.”

An-My Lê
Production still © Art21, Inc. 2007.

“I strongly believe in the power of a single idea,” says Alfredo Jaar. “My imagination starts working based on research, based on a real life event, most of the time a tragedy that I’m just starting to analyze, to reflect on…this real life event to which I’m trying to respond.” Through his work, Jaar explores both the public’s desensitization to images and the limits of art to represent events such as genocide. For his longest project to date, Jaar spent six years creating 21 different pieces about Rwanda’s horrific realities. Art21 follows and films Jaar in his native Chile during a major retrospective of his work, which he shares for the first time with the Chilean public – a triumphant and moving homage in his homeland after leaving to live abroad shortly after the Pinochet regime’s military coup. Viewers learn about the stories behind such works as The Silence of Nduwayezu (1997), an installation that tells the tragic story of one young boy from a Rwanda refugee camp who witnessed the murder of both of his parents, and Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom (2005), based on a Chinese poem used by Chairman Mao. The piece features 100 flowers being subjected to “contradictory forces” – sunlight and water, but also industrial-strength winds – serving as a metaphor for the suppression of intellectual voices during Mao’s Hundred Flowers Campaign in the late 1950s. Fed by his background in magic, theater and architecture, Jaar’s works create connections that enlarge comprehension of events that are often hidden from the public. “For me, the heart of an exhibition is really the spirit of the artist; the spirit of what he’s trying to communicate.”

Alfredo Jaar
Production still © Art21, Inc. 2007.

Using high-powered projectors, Jenny Holzer projects text (often poetry) onto surfaces ranging from the canals of Venice to the ceiling of the Mies van der Rohe New National Gallery building in Berlin, illustrating the power of language to evoke deep emotion. Holzer discusses the concepts behind some of her most well-known projects, including For 7 World Trade (2006), for which she projected text onto a glass wall of the lobby. Holzer chose words – which appeared to float across the wall – about the joys of living in New York City as opposed to “memorial text” in response to 9/11. However, much of Holzer’s work focuses on devastation and cruelty, and uses the words of others. “I stopped writing my own text in 2001,” she explains. “I found that I couldn’t say enough adequately and so it was with great pleasure that I went to the text of others.” Viewers observe Holzer creating new work as she prepares an exhibition of paintings and prints of declassified, redacted government documents, some of which are letter-size, while others are blown-up to an overwhelming scale “…in hopes that people will recoil,” she says. “I want to be able to continue to work, to pull from good and ghastly text, to offer these to people and to present them in ways that are lovely and exacting.”

Jenny Holzer
Production still © Art21, Inc. 2007.


NANCY SPERO was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1926. She received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1949), and honorary doctorates from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1991) and Williams College (2001). Spero is a pioneer of feminist art. Her work since the 1960s is an unapologetic statement against the pervasive abuse of power, Western privilege, and male dominance. Executed with a raw intensity on paper and in ephemeral installations, her work often draws its imagery and subject matter from current and historical events such as the torture of women in Nicaragua, the extermination of Jews in the Holocaust, and the atrocities of the Vietnam War. Spero samples from a rich range of visual sources of women as protagonists – from Egyptian hieroglyphics, 17th Century French history painting, and Frederick’s of Hollywood lingerie advertisements. Her figures, in full command of their bodies, co-existing in nonhierarchical compositions on monumental scrolls, visually reinforce principles of equality and tolerance. Spero was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2006). Awards include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the College Art Association (2005); the Honor Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art (2003); the Hiroshima Art Prize (jointly with Leon Golub, 1996); and the Skowhegan Medal (1995). Major exhibitions include Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2003); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1994); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (1994); Museum of Modern Art, New York (1992); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1988). Spero lives and works in New York.

Nancy Spero
Female Bomb, 1966. Gouache and ink on paper, 34 x 27 inches. Photo by David Reynolds. © Nancy Spero, courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York.

AN-MY LÊ was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1960. Lê fled Vietnam with her family as a teenager in 1975, the final year of the war, eventually settling in the United States as a political refugee. Lê received BAS and MS degrees in biology from Stanford University (1981, 1985) and an MFA from Yale University (1993). Her photographs and films examine the impact, consequences, and representation of war. Whether in color or black-and-white, her pictures frame a tension between the natural landscape and its violent transformation into battlefields. Projects include Viêt Nam (1994-98), in which Lê’s memories of a war-torn countryside are reconciled with the contemporary landscape; Small Wars (1999-2002), in which Lê photographed and participated in Vietnam War reenactments in South Carolina; and 29 Palms (2003-04) in which United States Marines preparing for deployment play-act scenarios in a virtual Middle East in the California desert. Suspended between the formal traditions of documentary and staged photography, Lê’s work explores the disjunction between wars as historical events and the ubiquitous representation of war in contemporary entertainment, politics, and collective consciousness. She has received many awards, including fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1997) and the New York Foundation for the Arts (1996). She has had major exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006); Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2006); ICP Triennial (2006); P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City (2002); and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997). Lê lives and works in New York.

An-My Lê
Small Wars (rescue), 1999–2002. Gelatin-silver print, 26 x 37 1⁄2 inches. Edition of 5. © An-My Lê, courtesy Murray Guy, New York.

ALFREDO JAAR was born in Santiago, Chile in 1956. He received degrees from Instituto Chileno-Norteamericano de Cultura, Santiago (1979) and Universidad de Chile, Santiago (1981). In installations, photographs, film, and community-based projects, Jaar explores the public’s desensitization to images and the limitations of art to represent events such as genocides, epidemics, and famines. Jaar’s work bears witness to military conflicts, political corruption, and imbalances of power between industrialized and developing nations. Subjects addressed in his work include the holocaust in Rwanda, gold mining in Brazil, toxic pollution in Nigeria, and issues related to the border between Mexico and the United States. Many of Jaar’s works are extended meditations or elegies, including Muxima (2006) (a video that portrays and contrasts the oil economy and extreme poverty of Angola) and The Gramsci Trilogy (2004-05) (a series of installations dedicated to the Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci, who was imprisoned under Mussolini’s Fascist regime). Jaar has received many awards, including a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award (2000); a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (1987); and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1987); and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1985). He has had major exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2005); Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome (2005); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1999); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1992). Jaar emigrated from Chile in 1981, at the height of Pinochet’s military dictatorship. His exhibition at Fundación Telefonica Chile, Santiago (2006) is his first in his native country in twenty-five years. Jaar lives and works in New York.

Alfredo Jaar
Lament of the Images (Version 1), 2002. Three illuminated texts mounted on Plexiglas and light screen. Text panels: 23 x 20 inches each. Light wall: 6 x 12 feet. Text composed by David Levi-Strauss. Commissioned by Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany. © Alfredo Jaar, courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York.

JENNY HOLZER was born in Gallipolis, Ohio in 1950. She received a BA from Ohio University in Athens (1972); an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence (1977); and honorary doctorates from the University of Ohio (1993), the Rhode Island School of Design (2003), and New School University, New York (2005). Whether questioning consumerist impulses, describing torture, or lamenting death and disease, Jenny Holzer’s use of language provokes a response in the viewer. While her subversive work often blends in among advertisements in public space, its arresting content violates expectations. Holzer’s texts – such as the aphorisms “abuse of power comes as no surprise” and “protect me from what I want” – have appeared on posters and condoms, and as electronic LED signs and projections of xenon light. Holzer’s recent use of text ranges from silk-screened paintings of declassified government memoranda detailing prisoner abuse, to poetry and prose in a 65-foot wide wall of light in the lobby of 7 World Trade Center, New York. She has received many awards, including the Golden Lion from the Venice Biennale (1990); the Skowhegan Medal (1994); and the Diploma of Chevalier (2000) from the French government. Major exhibitions include the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2001); Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (1997); Dia Art Foundation, New York (1989); and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1989). Since 1996, Holzer has organized public light projections in cities worldwide. She was the first woman to represent the United States in the Venice Biennale (1990). Jenny Holzer lives and works in Hoosick Falls, New York.

Jenny Holzer
Purple Cross, 2004. Electronic LED sign. Installation view: Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris. Photo by Attilio Maranzano. © 2007 Jenny Holzer, member Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York. Text: “Blur”, from MIDDLE EARTH by Henri Cole. Copyright © 2003 by Henri Cole. Used by/reprinted with permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.

“This event is part of Art21 Access ’07, a celebration of contemporary art and creativity at over 300 museums, schools, libraries, art spaces, and community centers, presented by Art21 in partnership with Americans for the Arts during National Arts and Humanities Month.”


Season 4 of Art in the Twenty-First Century premieres in the United States, nationwide, on PBS (check local listings):

Episode 1: Romance – Sunday, October 28, 10 PM (ET)
Artists: Pierre Huyghe, Judy Pfaff, Lari Pittman, and Laurie Simmons

Episode 2: Protest – Sunday, November 4, 10 PM (ET)
Artists: Jenny Holzer, Alfredo Jaar, An-My Lê, and Nancy Spero

Episode 3: Ecology – Sunday, November 11, 10 PM (ET)
Artists: Robert Adams, Mark Dion, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, and Ursula von Rydingsvard

Episode 4: Paradox – Sunday, November 18, 10 PM (ET)
Artists: Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, Mark Bradford, Robert Ryman, and Catherine Sullivan

3/22 Artist Talks


Image Credit: Michael Souter
Portrait. Mixed media on paper, 60”x40”

On Thursday, March 22, WMU Alumni artists Michael Souter, Tom Lollar, Mary King, and Mary Hatch will meet together to speak about their art, and lives after graduating from WMU. The symposia will be held at the RCVA second floor lecture hall, beginning at 5:30 pm. This event, as with all programs scheduled at the Richmond Center for Visual Arts, is free and open to the public. . It is a great pleasure to invite these amazing artists home to open the Richmond Center for Visual Arts.

The inaugural season at the RCVA will feature three exhibitions that highlight the capabilities of this sophisticated cultural center:

March 9 through April 7 — Distinguished Alumni from WMU’s School of Art (Albertine Monroe-Brown Gallery). Organized by the RCVA Director of Exhibitions, Don Desmett, this will be the first in a series of programs focusing on outstanding alumni. Two of the artists, Michael Souter (’76) and Tom Lollar (’73), are enjoying successful careers in New York. Souter works as a cutting edge designer and Lollar as an artist, teacher, and director of the Lincoln Center/List Collection Print Program. Mary King (’70) lives in Chicago where she paints, prints, and produces wonderfully engaging works of art. Mary Hatch (’70) remains committed to the Kalamazoo community while exhibiting her paintings and prints throughout the United States. She has helped keep the local art scene vibrant with her artwork and support of other artists in the community. It is a great pleasure to invite these amazing artists home to open the Richmond Center for Visual Arts.

Also in the Galleries:

March 9 through March 24 — Annual School of Art Student Exhibition (DeVries Student Gallery). Wardell Milan, a recent graduate of the Yale Art School, is the juror for the exhibition. Mr. Milan will also give a public lecture on his work as well as the process of jurying a student exhibition. Mr. Milan’s talk will be at 5:30 p.m. on February 22 in Sangren Hall, Room 2302.

March 9 to April 7 — Contemporary Prints from the University Art Collection (Netzorg/Kerr Gallery). This exhibition has been organized by School of Art Printmaking faculty member Nichole Maury and highlights eighteen major works from the collection, as well as recent acquisitions.