‘Coloring’, the UK Art Museum’s latest installation, contains several works of art highlighting color, and museum curators hope the exhibit will revitalize the experience of viewing art in person.
The arrangement is made up of paintings, drawings, engravings and sculptures by artists of various traditions and eras.
While much of the collection reflects the abstract characteristics of modern art, each piece has distinctive shapes, dimensions and scales. Viewers are presented with an assortment of artistic disciplines, harsh geometries, lush atmospheres, creatively applied painting techniques, and manipulations of scale.
This experience comes as no surprise to the director of the British Art Museum Stuart Horodner, who organized the exhibition alongside curator Janie Welker. While the pandemic has led many art institutions, including the UK Art Museum, to implement virtual museum content, Horodner said viewing art on a screen lacks interaction.
“It’s just information,” he said. “It’s painting [and] what it looks like, it’s the color, it’s the gesture, it’s who made it.
However, when standing in front of a larger-than-self painting or a smaller sculpture, Horodner said people react with their eyes and bodies. This physical response is what separates the admiration of pandemic art from the experiences available today.
“Your commitment with [art] is totally different from what the screen gives you, âsaid Horodner. âFor people who love museums and people who also like to feel like the world is a tangible reality, there is nothing quite like going to a physical space.â
The diversity of shapes and scales in “Coloring” is one of the most apparent aspects of the new exhibition, made possible by the wide range of contributing artists.
Most of the artwork in “Coloring” was selected from the approximately 5,000 pieces that exist in the University of Kentucky’s art collection. Horodner and his team have worked with local artists and collectors to provide the most rewarding experience for guests of the University of Kentucky Art Museum. He said the collaboration created a “dialogue between the things we own [and] things we don’t own.
This dialogue allowed young artists to present their work in a context with more established personalities. “Coloring” is complemented by a neighboring episode of “Temple Days”, an exhibit which, according to Horodner, was “selected as an antidote to the color of this main show”.
âTemple Daysâ brings together the work of artists Avantika Bawa and May Tveit. Both artists use prints, paintings and sculptures to convey their expressions. Following his most recent installation of pink scaffolding in a salt wasteland, Bawa uses âTemple Daysâ to continue the themes of presence and absence of this smaller-scale room, using a 3D printer to create shapes. miniatures.
Tveit creates his prints by pressing graphite-covered cardboard onto a canvas to create shapes. Horodner described Tveit’s pieces as “from another world”, “resembling religious icons” and “geometrically hypnotic”.
These exhibits marked the first time since the pandemic that artists were able to come to the museum and personally install their work. Horodner said the combination of works of art from a wide range of artists allows the museum to “participate in research, ideas and experimentation.”
âWe like that the museum is not a serious place, but a fun place,â he said.
“Coloring” and “Temple Days” will be on display at the University of Kentucky Art Museum, located in the Singletary Center, until December 11 and will remain free to the public.