Spring Exhibition Preview

Georges Rouault, Madame Louison, 1935, color etching and aqua, courtesy of the Syracuse University Art Collection

Don’t miss any of these exciting exhibitions opening this spring at the UMFA:

Georges Rouault: Circus of the Shooting Star
February 3 – May 13, 2012

Artist Georges Roualt was fascinated by the circus, a world where superficial brightness was underscored by overwhelming sadness. The images in his portfolio of etchings, Cirque de l’Etoile Filante (Circus of the Shooting Star), demonstrate Rouault’s attempt to strip away the “spangles” of the clown’s costume and reveal the “reflection of paradise lost.” On loan to the UMFA from the Syracuse University Art Galleries, this exhibition comprises  color etchings that introduce the portfolio and wood engravings illustrating Rouault’s text. Begun in 1926 and published in 1938, the portfolio was the product of Rouault’s collaboration with Parisian publisher and art dealer Ambrose Vollard. Their partnership proved to be one of the most productive in the history of printmaking.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fun-filled family guide.

At Work: WPA Prints
February 10 – May 6, 2012

Organized in collaboration with Matthew Basso, Assistant Professor of History and Gender Studies and Director of the American West Center at the University of Utah, this exhibition features Depression-era prints, with a focus on images of men and women at work.

During the years of the government sponsored Federal Art Project, American printmaking techniques were expanded, and themes of labor were integral to the new print vocabulary of that era. Printmakers, along with other artists, were given an unprecedented sense of purpose when the U.S. government included them in the vast numbers of unemployed workers who could apply for work relief from the Works Progress Administration. Because artists were among the unemployed who were supported by the New Deal relief programs, they viewed themselves as cultural workers and allied themselves with the concerns of labor

At Work speaks powerfully to contemporary questions–underscored by anxieties surrounding the great recession—about the place of labor in our lives. The exhibition places an emphasis on images of women at work, and will be accompanied by a film and video series on issues of women’s labor, as well as by a symposium held at the UMFA in conjunction with Women’s Week 2011. The exhibition will coincide with the publication of the forthcoming book, “Men at Work,” a collection of essays and print illustrations commissioned by the Federal Writers’ Project and the Work Projects Administration in 1940, edited by Basso with a new introduction. It also coincides with the publication of a special edition of the Western Humanities Review and of “Women At Work,” A Red Butte Press Artists’ Book, featuring art from the Salt Grass Collective and an original short story by Judy Blunt, one of the West’s most acclaimed writers.

This exhibition features selections from the collection of Mrs. Marcia Price and Ambassador John Price.


The Faculty Show: Recent Work by The University of Utah Art Faculty
February 17 – May 6, 2012

The UMFA is pleased to present an exhibition of artwork by the acclaimed University of Utah Department of Art and Art History faculty. New works by faculty artists will be on view in the Museum’s Great Hall and first-floor galleries. The exhibition reflects trends in contemporary art as well as traditional practices in a variety of media including: ceramics, painting and drawing, sculpture, photography and digital imaging, printmaking, installation, and new media.


Speed: The Art of the Performance Automobile
June 2 – September 16, 2012

This special exhibition will explore the art of the automobile, featuring antique and vintage racing cars that exemplify the beauty of vehicles designed for speed. Artistry and engineering come together in these functional yet highly crafted works of art.


Photo Finish
June 2 – September 9, 2012

Cars are a pervasive symbol in American art and pop culture. Symbolizing such dichotomous ideas as masculinity and femininity, speed and leisure, industry and nature, the individual and the collective, and the glamorous and the mundane, the automobile lends itself to many interpretations. Photographers have long been inspired by the automobile, attempting to capture and examine its multiple meanings through a lens. This group of photographs from the UMFA’s collection showcases the diversity of ways artists have depicted and interpreted the omnipresent automobile.


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