Posted on January 31st, 2011

Vitrine Project

Memento Mori: Memorial Objects of the United States

"Popular 19th Century American Memorial Print"

Curated by seniors Daniel Peacock and Rachel Heidenry and  sponsored by the Art History Program the upcoming exhibit on view in the lobby of the Stevenson Library presents Professor Susan Aberth’s diverse collection  of memorial objects from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. With a focus on memorial hairwork jewelry, postmortem photography, and the Victorian experience of death, this exhibit explores the meaning and function of these mementos while tracing a history of how Americans have lived with the specter of death.

It will be on view in the Stevenson Library lobby vitrines from January 29th to February 27th.

Student Opportunities

Arts and Humanities Summer Institute—Track in Art Conservation June 5 – July 1, 2011

The Arts and Humanities Summer Institute
at the University of Delaware provides
highly motivated students with a unique
opportunity to explore their interests in pursuing graduate studies. The 2011 Institute in Art Conservation will examine the fundamental properties of artists’ materials as they relate to preventive conservation through a combination of
hands-on activities, seminars, and field trips to area conservation labs.

Art Conservation is an interdisciplinary field that builds upon a strong foundation in chemistry, studio arts, art history, history, and anthropology. The chemical properties of pigments, polymers, glass, and natural fibers influence the use of such materials as artistic media; understanding the role of these same properties in art and artifact deterioration helps to ensure
Undergraduate students in all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Participants selected for the Institute will receive a stipend; housing, transportation to an from the University of Delaware, and course
materials are covered by the program.

Application Deadline: February 14, 2011

For more details, any questions, and application instructions, visit the AHSI
website at .

Around Town with Tom Wolf

Tom’s Picks

Stephen G. Rhodes, Untitled, 2010

You could have a rewarding contemporary art viewing trip to New York city this month and just see shows by artists affiliated with Bard.  One of the hottest rising art stars on the scene at the moment is Stephen G. Rhodes (BFA 1999) whose current show at Metro Pictures (519 West 24th, through March 5) is an exhilarating mixture of chaos and control, ostensibly inspired by the philosophy and biography of Emmanuel Kant.  You enter through a ramshackle hallway festooned with crudely nailed and propped up pieces of wood, hanging vitrines with graffitied clown posters, assorted books, and shelves supporting found objects.  They lead to and from the central gallery that houses four projectors.  Fast cut sequences are projected on each wall, featuring, among other things, two guys in long blonde wigs engaged in various acts of creation and destruction:  typing on an old fashioned electric typewriter with porn images attached, dragging mugs noisily along rocky paths, setting strips of substance on fire on the floor, walking angrily on the side of a road, etc., etc.  The anarchic randomness and destruction has a wild sort of humor, and is accompanied by a loud sound track that amplifies the chaotic action on the screens.  The show is accompanied by a translation of a passage from Kant “by” Rhodes which reads as if he ran the passage through a shoddy internet translation program and printed the results:  “Doctors and logicians have for some time the opinion of the human head table is simply a drum sound that’s like nothing there.”

On the Lower East Side another Bard alum rising art star, Zak Kitnik, (Studio Art ’07), has 3 pieces in the front of a 3-artist show at Rachel Uffner Gallery (Orchard Street, through Feb. 20).  Cooler and more ironic than Rhodes, Kitnik loves to rephrase modernist geometric abstraction in post-modern ways.  The dominant work here is a construction hanging from the ceiling almost to the floor.  It’s made of thick rectangular pieces of transparent plastic suspended horizontally in tension by a complex set of wires and anchors; the support mechanism is more visually present than the material it supports.  Two other Kitnik pieces, a collage and another 3D work, are significantly different from this one, but share its purist geometry.

Across the street at the Lesley Heller Gallery (54 Orchard Street, through Feb. 20) is a 4 person show, Fractured Earth, that features Bard’s two graphic arts instructors:  Nicola Lopez exhibits dynamic printed constructions of angular modernist architecture, and Lothar Osterburg shows spooky scenes of imaginary architecture rendered in gorgeous photogravure.  While at Lesley Heller don’t miss the back gallery, which usually features a stunning, coloristically vibrant painting by Ken Buhler.

Not angry enough for you?  Walk down a couple of blocks and see/read the Readykeulous show of art and text pieces by the lesbian collective at Invisible-Exports (14A Orchard Street, through Feb. 13), including works by Bard painting prof Nicole Eisenmann and former Bard prof Louise Fishman.