New exhibit pays tribute to text as art

Publication Date

This winter, the Mandeville Gallery presents a three-part exhibition celebrating the humanities
and newly renovated Karp Hall by exploring intersections between the humanities and the visual arts.

“Mot Juste” is subtitled, “a celebration of text and language in contemporary visual arts,” and it features contemporary artists working in video, drawing, installation, film, bookmaking, photography, sculpture and printmaking.

The shows – on view in three separate campus locations – are: “Textual,” Artists’ Books” and “Distracted Reading.” All events are free and open to the public.

Mandeville Gallery
Jan. 3 - March 15
Curated by: Julie Lohnes, curator of Art Collections and Exhibitions
Opening reception: Jan. 15, 5-6:30 p.m.

“Textual” showcases contemporary artists who use letters and words to convey satirical humor, voice political opinion, question linguistic meaning and examine communication. The diverse pieces on view include a desktop calendar, diary entries, movie script and Chinese scrolls. They also reference such specific texts as the U.S. Constitution, New York Times and authored books.

Artists’ Books: Where to put the apostrophe?
Lally Reading Room, Schaffer Library
January – April 2015
Curated by: Sarah Mottalini, curatorial assistant, Art Collections and Exhibitions

This exhibition looks into the confusion and controversy surrounding the medium of artists’ books, a fairly recent addition to the art world. In addition to works from the Union College Permanent Collection and Special Collections, it features a number of pieces from private collections, including works by Joseph Kosuth, Dieter Roth, Edward Ruscha and Lawrence Weiner.

“Distracted Wreading (From Structural Film to Digital Poetics)
Karp Hall, First Floor
Curated by: Jenelle M. Troxell, assistant professor of English
Multimedia event/discussion with artist Tony Cokes: Feb. 17, 6-8 p.m.

This event explores the linguistic turn art has taken since the 1960s, when language became a primary material for artists in such movements as Pop, Fluxus, Minimalism and Conceptualism, and it also looks at how a new appreciation of the materiality of language fueled unparalleled experimentation in literature and poetry. Tony Cokes, artist and professor of modern culture and media at Brown University, will present his video work at 7 p.m. Several media stations will offer additional word films by avant-gardists, structural filmmakers and contemporary video artists, including Mona Hatoum, Peggy Ahwesh, Michael Snow and Bob Dylan. Karp Hall is home to the departments of English and Modern Languages and Literatures.