Day With(out) Art: December 1

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is proud to be participating in the 2013 Day With(out) Art this Sunday, December 1.

Day Without Art began on December 1st 1989 as the national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis.

Day Without Art began on December 1st 1989 as the national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis.

If you visit the UMFA this Sunday, you will see a sculpture by Minimalist artist Carl Andre–rather, you won’t see it, because it will be cloaked in black fabric in recognition of Day With(out) Art, which coincides with the World Health Organization’s World AIDS Day.

Yards and yards of black fabric waiting for Day With(out) Art

Yards and yards of black fabric waiting to touch Carl Andre’s “Fermator”

Andre’s sculpture, “Fermator”–made of crossed, pre-cut columns of red cedar– is a bold presence in our Modern and Contemporary gallery. Resting directly on the ground, visitors can experiment with their own perspective on viewing the piece.”Working with hard-edged geometric forms, Minimalist artists aimed to avoid the overbearing presence of personality and expressionistic displays of individuality that they perceived in much of abstract painting of the preceding decades,” reads the label.

But this Sunday visitors will see something else: its absence. Day With(out) Art, and the UMFA, hopes that this act of erasure will help draw attention to the tremendous loss due to this epidemic. Our exhibition designer, Sarah Palmer, plans to drape the piece in 10 yards of black fabric. Made of cotton/satin, the whole measurement weighs about 1.5 pounds.

The whole 10 yards!

The whole 10 yards!

The fabric will be draped in an X-shape, allowing the contours of the work to remain visible. The shape will be a nod to crossing out–elimination– as well as recall the symbol of the Red Cross. It is here–at the X–that we mark both the loss of life to HIV and AIDS and the worldwide humanitarian efforts made to alleviate suffering caused by the disease.

Day With(out) Art acknowledges the complex issues surrounding the lives of individuals living with HIV or AIDS. The UMFA joins thousands of other institutions on this day to honor individual legacies, to commemorate personal loss, and to underline the necessity of increased awareness and action to combat the ongoing, world-wide AIDS epidemic.

You can read more about Day With(out) Art and Visual Aids here.

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