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Arts at Virginia Tech traces the evolution of portraiture

BLACKSBURG– The Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech (http://www.artscenter.vt.edu/)’s newest exhibition provides a glimpse into the evolution of portraiture through the lenses of traditional and technology-based art. Featuring the work of American icons such as Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman, as well as emerging artists, “Aspects of the Self: Portraits of Our Times (https://artscenter.vt.edu/Online/aspectsofself)” traces how artists have presented the self not only in painting, photography, and works on paper, but in sculpture, video, and computer generated works of art.

An opening reception will be held on Friday, March 21, from 6-8 p.m. in the Moss Arts Center’s grand lobby, 190 Alumni Mall. The event is free and open to the public.

Traversing a period of over 40 years the exhibition features 25 artists whose compelling, occasionally surprising, and sometimes unexpected work spans a multiplicity of media and uses portraiture as a point of departure to explore concepts of the self. With works from museums, private collections, and artist’s studios, the exhibition features national and international artists, as well as several artists living in Virginia.

The exhibition includes Andy Warhol’s classic 1967 image of Marilyn Monroe, a recent self-portrait screenprint by renowned artist Chuck Close, miniature rubber sculptures by Jeanne Silverthorne, an interactive, computer generated work by Daniel Rozin, and a 19 feet high video projection by Spanish artist Daniel Canogar. Photography is featured prominently, including a monumental portrait by German artist Thomas Ruff.

Acclaimed artists are represented in the exhibition, including three paintings by Kehinde Wiley, who re-contextualizes black individuals from urban streets around the world into positions of dignity and power.Also on view is an intimate yet rigorous self-portrait by Blacksburg artist Janet Niewald, along with work by area artists Nick Vitelli and Mary Kate Claytor.

Artist talk and other engagement activities

Wiley will present an artist talk (https://artscenter.vt.edu/Online/artisttalkwiley) on Monday, April 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall. In this first-ever talk in Virginia, Wiley speaks about the scope and meaning of his work in what has been one of the most remarkable artistic careers of recent times. The event is co-presented by Virginia Tech’s School of Visual Arts in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies (http://www.caus.vt.edu/), with support from the Women and Minority Artists and Scholars Lecture Series.

Complementing the center’s exhibitions is a special series of 15-minute lectures. “My Take Talks” provide community members with the opportunity to share their perspective and exchange ideas about the art in a relaxed, social atmosphere.

The artists and works featured in this exhibition include:

Christopher Baker

“Hello World!” 2008; Multi-channel audiovisual installation

Tara Bogart

“Modern Hair Study,” (2012-2013); Installation of 18 digital prints

Brian Calvin

“Holding Back,” 2000; Acrylic on canvas

Mary Kate Claytor

“Mark: Stands on Head,” 2013; Pencil on paper

“Victoria: She Who Walks,” 2013; Pencil on paper

“Justin: Two Feathers,” 2013; Pencil on paper

Chuck Close

“Self-Portrait Screenprint,” 2012; Silkscreen in 246 colors

Daniel Canogar

“Asalto,” 2012; Video projection

Jim Dine

“Untitled,” 1992; Acrylic, enamel, and oil on paper

Charles LeDray

“Village People,” (1994-2010); Hand sewn miniature hats

Ben Durham

“Robert,” 2010; Graphite and text on handmade paper

“Robert (Four Maps),” 2010; Cut handmade dyed paper

Joan Gaustad (all pieces are mixed media on archival Dura-lar)

“Katz,” 2013

“Double Fight,” 2013

“Headset Girl,” 2013

“WonderGirl,” 2013

“Wonderstruck,” 2013

Elizabeth King

“What Happened,” 1991; Remastered high-definition video (with Richard Kizu-Blair)

“Animation Study: Pose 7,” 2005; Chromogenic color print

Julian Opie

“Verity walking in Overcoat,” 2011; Continuous animation using a computer and 55-inch LCD screen

Suzanne Opton

“Claxton – 120 days in Afghanistan,” 2004; Chromogenic print

Tony Oursler

“Flower Baby,” 1995; Cloth doll, video, projector, tripod and light stand

Janet Niewald

“Self Portrait: Sanguine Eyes,” 2014; Oil on canvas

Daniel Rozin

“Mirror #9,” 2003; Video camera, custom software, computer

Thomas Ruff

“Portrait (A. Piscantor),” 2001; Chromongenic Print

Andres Serrano

“Mary,” 1990; Cibachrome, silicone, acrylic glass, and wood frame

Jeanne Silverthorne

“Under a Cloud,” 2003; Rubber

“Blink,” 2001; Rubber and hair

“Untitled (Self Portrait),” 2011; Rubber, hair, and phosphorescent pigment

Cindy Sherman

“Untitled #119,” 1983; Color photograph

Mickalene Thomas

“Are You That Someone?” 2010; Rhinestone, acrylic and enamel on wood

“Portrait of Lili,” 2012; Rhinestone, acrylic, enamel, and oil on panel

Nicholas Vitelli

“A Mind at Peace: A Past Forgiven,” 2014; Colored pencil on mat board

Andy Warhol

“Marilyn,” 1967; serigraph

Kehinde Wiley (all pieces are oil on canvas)

“Dacia Carter,” 2012

“Mame Ngagne,” 2007

“Casey Riley,” 2012

Zhang Xiaogang

“Brother and Sister,” 2005; Oil on canvas

“Aspects of the Self: Portraits of Our Times” runs from March 21 through April 27. The exhibition will be on view in the Ruth C. Horton Gallery, Miles C. Horton Jr. Gallery, and the Cube, located within the Moss Arts Center.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Event parking for visitors is $5. Event passes may be purchased in advance through the Center for the Arts box office (https://www.artscenter.vt.edu/online/boxoffice) or when entering the garage on event evenings. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

Launched in 2005 as an arts initiative, Virginia Tech Arts encompasses efforts university-wide to expand creative practice and support interdisciplinary learning, engagement, and discovery through the arts. The cornerstone project of Virginia Tech Arts is the Moss Arts Center, which houses the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech (http://www.artscenter.vt.edu/) professional presenting program; the university-level Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology; and television and lab spaces for the Department of Communication.

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