LEXINGTON, Kentucky (April 12, 2022) — the University of Kentucky Museum of Art opens four art exhibitions starting today.
- “Acquisitions, Donations, Connections”, symbolizing the link between historical periods and artists.
- “Cohorts” by Guy Mendes, with photographs by some artists.
- “Los Disparates” by Francisco de Goya, depicting creatures that represent humanity and cruelty.
- The “re:museum” exhibition, which showcases the UK’s permanent collection and showcases the museum itself.
All four exhibitions run until July 30 and are free and open to the public. Learn more about each exhibition below.
This exhibition presents many works that have entered the permanent collection of the museum in recent years and reveals their relationship with other works already present in the museum. The museum’s goal is to add examples of underrepresented artists to fill gaps in historical periods, media, and subject matter. Building on existing strengths and expanding the collections of specific artists and fields is also a strategic goal of the museum. Using funds dedicated to the collection, art is acquired from temporary exhibits and by renowned photographers who have lectured as part of the Robert C. May Photography Lecture Series.
The museum has also tried to catch up for decades with neglected works by women and artists of color. The addition of new works recognizes the ability to form deeper connections between individual artists and historical periods, while providing broader curatorial opportunities for thematic groupings.
Artists Clifford Amyx, Craig Drennen and LeRoy Neiman present examples of how to document basketball culture. Judy Ledgerwood’s visceral painting from 2010 finds kinship with a 1961 canvas by Michael Goldberg and a 1964 lithograph by Andy Warhol. Generational peers William Baziotes and Reuben Kadish depict the female body in watercolor and bronze. Eric Renner’s pinhole camera prints and Joel Feldman’s Polaroids investigate moody experimental landscapes. LaVon Van Williams, Jr. sculpts wood and Robert Morgan combines recycled plastics into figurative sculptures. Many other chords are also explored in this exhibit.
In this survey of portraits, Guy Mendes documents a network of his friendships and the range of creative practitioners he spent time with and visited. The photographs are imbued with a sense of warmth and confidence, illustrating the statement his teacher, Hames Baker Hall, would tell Mendes: “A portrait is given as much as it is taken.
Images by Wendell Berry, Jay Bolotin, Guy Davenport, Harlan Hubbard, Bobbie Ann Mason, Ed McClanahan, Ann Tower, Jonathan Williams and others portray Mendes’ precise eye for his subjects and his sense of self. His compositions frame them in domestic and outdoor environments with natural light, comfortable in the act of being photographed. “Each visit to a home or studio was a little celebration, a chance to see their work and learn more about them,” Mendes said.
Mendes’ work has been featured at the New Orleans Museum of Art, the University of Louisville Photographic Archives, Churchill Downs Racetrack, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Maker’s Mark Distillery, and Fidelity Investments. His books include Local Light (1976), Light At Hand (1986), 40/40 — Forty Years Forty Portraits (2010) and Walks to The Paradise Garden (2019). He was a writer, producer and director at KET, Kentucky’s PBS network, from 1973 to 2008, and currently teaches film photography at the School of Art and Visual Studies in the UK.
Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) is considered Spain’s most important artist of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He produced royal portraits for generations of kings and their families for fifty years as a court painter. “Los Disparates” represents his last major series of etching and aquatint prints. Rather than reflecting the career of a famous artist, they are the work of a tortured individual. Goya survived a near-fatal illness that left him deaf, and he lived through a seven-year war that devastated the Iberian Peninsula.
Considered his darkest and most mysterious work, “Los Disparates” is also among his most inventive works. Its fantastical and menacing combination of humans, animals, goblins and supernatural creatures satirizes the cruelty of mankind. The word disparate is often translated as “follies” today, but the meaning in his time was much harsher, on the side of stupidity, madness or lack of reason.
The museum portfolio of Goya’s “Los Disparates” once belonged to Vincent van Gogh, who was fascinated by Goya’s techniques, as well as the expressive and emotional content of his work.
This exhibition focuses on the museum’s permanent collection and the UK Art Museum itself through artwork, educational instruction and other incisive exhibits. The artwork comes from the Digital Learning Gallery, an online resource created through a UK Arts Extension Outreach grant that connects art lovers across the Commonwealth to our collection. “re:museum” offers visitors the chance to see objects up close and complements online engagement with unique in-person opportunities. Each item includes background information, contemplative prompts, and activities for a variety of ages and levels of artistic experience.
‘re:museum’ also features an overview of the history of the UK Art Museum as well as details of the installation of exhibitions and how the museum maintains a permanent collection of over 5,000 works of art.
The UK Art Museum’s current opening hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The museum is closed on Sunday and Monday.
The mission of the UK Art Museum, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art in order to enhance the quality of life for the people of Kentucky by collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 5,000 objects, including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, and sculptures, the art museum features both special exhibits and exhibitions of works from its collection. permed.