Guy Ben Ner: At Home

Widely admired for his humorous, ingeniously inventive videos starring himself and his children, Israeli artist Guy Ben-Ner draws inspiration from literary classics, silent movies, documentaries, television sitcoms, survival shows, instructional videos, and Hollywood blockbusters. In his latest work, Soundtrack (2013), Ben-Ner borrows the soundtrack from a chaotic, eleven-minute scene in War of the Worlds, Steven Spielberg’s alien apocalypse, and pairs it with new footage shot in the kitchen of his Tel Aviv apartment, where family and friends enact a domestic drama. The exhibition also includes Stealing Beauty (2007), in which IKEA showrooms serve as settings for another family performance, and Treehouse Kit (2005), an interpretation of the classic castaway tale, Robinson Crusoe, featuring a large-scale sculpture with video projection. Combining the comedic with philosophical insight, Ben-Ner considers the relationship between family life and art-making, social responsibility and individual desire.



While Jack Wax is well known as a sculptor who uses glass to make contemplative abstract works, this exhibition surveys his drawings, a parallel activity and means of artistic discovery begun eight years or so ago. Like many of Wax’s sculptures, his drawings reveal a preoccupation with imbrication—that is, the overlapping of elements seen, for example, in roof tiles or fish scales. This term applies not only to his rendering of pattern and form, but also to the overlap of ideas and sources of inspiration that fuel his work. It extends as well to the exhibition’s method of presentation. Two walls of the artist’s studio, chockfull of layered drawings, sculptural components, and found objects, will be transposed to the gallery for the exhibition, appearing in tandem with a formal presentation of his large-scale drawings. Jack Wax is Professor in the VCUarts Department of Craft/Material Studies, where he heads the glass program.

Both exhibitions continue through August 3.


Winter 2014 Offerings at VCUarts Anderson Gallery

RICHMOND, VA- Opening in January at the Anderson Gallery, exhibitions by two artists examine urban transformation and the experience of place. In A Haunted Capital, photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier explores the effects of deindustrialization on the lives of individuals and communities from an intensely personal and socially activist stance, grounded in the particulars of locale. Ester Partegàs, on the other hand, approaches these themes from a conceptual point of view. Viewing the city as a provisional and packaged phenomenon, she interrogates the certainty and singularity of the urban spaces we occupy in You Are Here. Both exhibitions will open with a free public reception on Friday, January 17, from 5-7 pm and will remain on view through March 9.

Additionally, Sponge, a project by artist Hope Ginsburg housed on the Gallery’s third floor, will offer visitors the opportunity to see student work on January 17.  Twelve Five, a night of performances and other activities by students from the Ginsburg-led Fall 2013 course Live Art Workshop, will be ongoing from 5-7 pm.

The public is also invited to attend two related programs. A Conversation with LaToya Ruby Frazier and Dean Daderko, curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, will take place on Thursday, January 16, at 5:30 pm at the Grace Street Theater, located at 934 West Grace Street. The program is cosponsored by the VCUarts Department of Photography and Film. Ester Partegàs will give a gallery talk on Wednesday evening, January 29; refreshments will be offered at 5 pm, followed by the program at 5:30 pm. Both events are free.

LaToya Ruby Frazier: A Haunted Capital

Combining elements of portraiture and social documentary, Frazier’s photographs and videos portray her family and her hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania, a working-class suburb of Pittsburgh. The site of Andrew Carnegie’s first steel mill, Braddock is one of many Rust Belt communities decimated by the rise of deindustrialization and the relocation of manufacturing oversees. Frazier’s portrayal of this American landscape is in stark contrast to images from a recent corporate ad campaign set in Braddock, which she felt not only erased the troubled realities of her endangered town but also excluded the community to which her family belongs.

As Frazier focuses her lens on her grandmother, her mother, and herself, collaboratively addressing issues of self-representation, she illuminates how personal and community history intertwine. Each generation of her family represents a different period in Braddock’s evolution, from its early twentieth-century prosperity to its steep decline in the wake of governmental abandonment. Braddock’s few remaining inhabitants, many of them African American, now struggle economically with little access to health care. Though intimate in scope, Frazier’s images powerfully draw attention to larger social issues pertaining to class and the environment. Among a number of other recent exhibitions, Frazier’s work was featured in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, Greater New York at P.S.1 MoMA in 2010, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art’s Younger  Than Jesus triennial of 2009. She is Associate Curator for the Mason Gross Galleries at Rutgers University and Critic in Photography at the Yale School of Art.

LaToya Ruby Frazier: A Haunted Capital is organized by the Brooklyn Museum.

Ester Partegàs: You Are Here

Ester Partegàs often addresses the most banal aspects of the urban landscape with a keen eye for telling details that otherwise would be overlooked or dismissed. She focuses especially on the psychological dimensions of indeterminate spaces, reflecting not only on how their anonymity can unmoor us, but also on the sense of possibility that can arise when considering anew the commonplace and discarded.

At the Anderson Gallery, in an exhibition organized by Director Ashley Kistler, Partegàs uses the format of a wrap-around installation, as she has previously, to situate the viewer in the kind of no-man’s-land that infiltrates the contemporary landscape to an ever greater degree. Black-and-white wallpaper encircling the gallery depicts a weed-choked expanse of a boarded-up structure—perhaps the wall of a former factory, now long abandoned.  This imagery reflects Partegàs’s longstanding fascination with borderlines and margins and the potential for transformation they represent, “where one thing is starting to become something else,” she notes.

The visual allure of several large-scale color photo-transparencies, illuminated in light boxes, offers a striking contrast to the surrounding backdrop. Upon closer inspection, these scenes of nature and freshly minted urban views reveal glitches—a rip, a fold, or a slice of background or foreground—indicative of their actual point of origin. Twice removed from reality, Partegàs’s photographs document images appearing on vinyl barriers around construction sites, as well as a point where the fictional subsumes any trace of the real. In You Are Here, her layering of image and space calls into question the meaning and certitude of this familiar phrase, challenging us to reexamine how we understand the world and our place within it.

Originally from La Garriga, Barcelona, Ester Partegàs is Assistant Professor in the VCU Department of Sculpture + Extended Media, where she began teaching in 2011. A new artist book will accompany her exhibition:  You Are Here designed by Alex Gifreu + Ester Partegàs, published by CRU, Figueres and Barcelona, Spain; hardcover, 80 pages, price TBA.

Ester Partegàs: You Are Here is made possible in part by generous support from Keith Fabry Reprographic
Solutions, Richmond.

GALLERY HOURS:  Tuesday-Friday, 10-5; Saturday & Sunday, noon-5; closed Monday.

The Anderson Gallery is the exhibition facility for VCU’s top-ranked School of the Arts,
located at 907½ West Franklin Street, in Richmond, Virginia, on the university’s Monroe Park Campus.

For more information and directions, please visit our website: http://www.arts.vcu.edu/andersongallery

For a PDF of the press release, click here.

Image: LaToya Ruby Frazier, Momme Portrait Series (Shadow), 2008; gelatin silver photograph, 15½ x 19½ in. Brooklyn Museum, Emily Winthrop Miles Fund, 2011.63.2. © LaToya Ruby Frazier. Photo by LaToya Ruby Frazier.

VCUarts Anderson Gallery 2013 Fall Exhibitions

The fall season brings an array of exhibitions to the Anderson Gallery representing diverse approaches to material, form, and content. Visitors will encounter works on paper by the groundbreaking artist and anti-war activist Nancy Spero, and new works by two VCUarts faculty members—Bohyun Yoon, a newly appointed professor in the glass program of the Craft/Material Studies Department, and Hilary Wilder, an associate professor in the Painting + Printmaking Department. The Gallery will also screen an international selection of videos by 35 artists that reinforces the far-reaching importance of this medium around the globe.

All exhibitions will open on Friday evening, September 6, from 5-7 pm, with a free public reception. They continue through December 8.



Nancy Spero
The Underworld, 1997
Handprinting and printed collage on paper
63 x 19 inches (160 x 48.3 cm)
© Estate of Nancy Spero. Licensed by VAGA, New York. Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

One of the first opportunities in the U.S. to revisit Spero’s work since her death in 2009, this exhibition features two dozen rarely seen collages from the 1980s and 90s. These works reveal the artist’s innovative approach to printmaking in scroll-like expanses of paper, as well as her lifelong engagement with contemporary political, social, and cultural issues.

Spero decided to make women the sole subject of her artwork from 1976 onwards, drawing from different cultures, histories, and mythologies to create a heterodox pantheon of female archetypes. During the period addressed here, she continued to pay special attention to women as victims of war, furthering the investigation she began so powerfully in her War Series (1966-1970). In one group of works, she unflinchingly probes the torments resulting from oppressive regimes in Argentina, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and South Africa. Spero’s work from the 1990s, however, acquires a greater sense of agency and optimism as she removed her figures from historical contexts of suffering and subordination, transforming them into resilient, celebratory protagonists through color, rhythm, and humor.

Special thanks to Mary Sabbatino and the staff of Galerie Lelong for their generous assistance.


Bohyun Yoon: Neighbors

Bohyun Yoon uses the special properties of glass and the play of light and shadow to create installation, sound, and video works that often incorporate performance and the body. His fascination with cultural diversity, sparked by his 2001 move to the US from Korea and Japan, gave rise to Neighbors. Silkscreened onto individual glass panels, the 150 portraits that populate the installation depict individuals in the artist’s former Philadelphia community. Here, Yoon reinforces such formal aspects of his medium as transparency, refraction, distortion, and reflection, as he also seeks to evoke a deeper sense of human connection that supersedes physical, political, and social distinctions.

Project 35: Volume 2

This exhibition presents an eclectic compilation of 35 works, selected by an international group of 35 curators, exploring video as a contemporary art medium. The series will be presented in four parts, changing every three weeks, with eight or nine videos featured in each installment. Individual works range in length from two to 26 minutes.

The videos presented in this volume, produced between 2001 and 2012, explore such wide-ranging topics as protests in South Africa, youth culture in Ho Chi Minh City, news broadcasts in China, and street crime in Bogotá. Recurrent themes focus on memory and change, performance and documentation, fiction and history, and notions of place and identity, as well as the power of images and the role of the media in shaping collective experience. The series also explores the diverse approaches used by video artists, including documentary, YouTube, and digital animation.

Screening Schedule: Part I, September 7-29 / Part II, October 1-20 / Part III, October 22-November 10 /Part IV, November 12-December 8


Hilary Wilder in the Cool Spot Lounge

In an occasional series that features new, often site-responsive works by VCUarts faculty, Hilary Wilder will unveil a large-scale painting created for our gallery lounge. With this project, she continues to investigate the role of place, memory, and desire through the genre of landscape.

While Wilder’s spectacularly rendered, apocalyptic landscape imagery alludes to familiar, often picturesque visual languages, particularly the Romantic depictions of nature painted by Caspar David Friedrich, J.M.W. Turner, and the Hudson River School artists, she also remains skeptical of the romantic ideals they exalted in their sublime visions of an untamed America. By applying her own considerable arsenal of “painter’s tricks,” she brings into sharp relief the tension between fact and fiction, order and disorder, stability and chaos, and the real and the ideal that shapes human experience.

Project 35: Volume 2 is a traveling exhibition produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. The exhibition is made possible, in part, by grants from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Foundation for Contemporary Art, 

The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation; the ICI Board of Trustees; and donors to ICI’s Access Fund.



GALLERY HOURS: Tuesday-Friday 10-5, Saturday & Sunday noon-5, closed Monday


The Anderson Gallery is the exhibition facility for VCU’s top-ranked School of the Arts,

located at 9071⁄2 West Franklin Street, in Richmond, Virginia,

on the university’s Monroe Park Campus.


For more information and directions, please visit our website: http://www.arts.vcu.edu/andersongallery

It’s Summertime at the Anderson Gallery!

perfect cloud








An Anderson Gallery summer to-do list:

1. Visit us and see our summer exhibitions (on view through August 4):

Sanford Biggers: Codex
Jacob Lawrence: The Harriet Tubman Series
A new work by painter and VCU professor Ron Johnson in the Cool Spot Lounge

2. Come to a Happy Hour at the Anderson Gallery event (or two, or three, or eight!). Cash bar + free (amazing) programs, every Wednesday evening in June and July from 5-7. Find out what’s happening by visiting the events page on our website.

3. Submit your picture of a perfect summer cloud to our tumblr page (http://andersongallery.tumblr.com). All of the images will be gathered and printed on fabric. And, then, that fabric will be turned into a quilt at the final Happy Hour of the summer (July 31). Participate by submitting a pic or sewing a stitch and you can win the finished quilt!

4. Hang out in the Cool Spot Lounge. Kick off your shoes, read a magazine and enjoy the air conditioning. We’re open Tuesday-Sunday, noon-5 (noon-7 on Wednesdays); closed on Monday.

5. Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our latest goings-on.


Next Up: Installations at the Anderson Gallery Will Offer Immersive Experiences

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RICHMOND, VA- The Anderson Gallery’s winter exhibition, The Nameless Hour: Places of Reverie, Paths of Reflection, will open on Friday evening, November 19, with a public reception from 6-8 pm. The Anderson Gallery is located on VCU’s Monroe Park campus, at 907½ West Franklin Street.

Featuring video, sound, and sculptural installations by some of the most prominent artists working today, the exhibition will explore reverie as a complex phenomenon of human nature, characterized by solitary reflection and complex imagination. Works by Janine Antoni (New York), Stephen Cartwright (Champaign, IL), Spencer Finch (New York), Sigalit Landau (Tel Aviv), Paul Pfeiffer (New York), Pipilotti Rist (Zurich & Los Angeles), and Stephen Vitiello (Richmond) will fill all three floors of the gallery, as well as a 19th-century carriage house next door. The exhibition will continue until February 20, 2011.

The Nameless Hour—a title derived from French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s book The Poetics of Reverie—is co-curated by Ashley Kistler, gallery director, and Dinah Ryan, an art critic, independent curator, and creative writing professor at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. “Each artist in this exhibition turns an extraordinary and precise attention to physical elements of the world and of landscape,” note the curators, “opening spheres of thought that produce the receptive quiet, free play, and deep reflection associated with reverie.”

In Sigalit Landau’s video projection, DeadSee—one of two works by Landau included in the show—buoyant salt water serves as a cushion on which the artist’s body is gradually loosed from within a coil of watermelons, leaving, as the coil is pulled from view, a blank field of tranquil blue water. For over twelve years, Stephen Cartwright has recorded his exact latitude, longitude, and elevation every hour of every day, using this data to create large-scale sculptures that physically manifest time and our place in it.Spencer Finch plays with images of covering and uncovering, revealing and concealing, in a series of sixty photographs that he took at one-minute intervals of shifting fog over a densely wooded landscape.

Viewers of Janine Antoni’s video installation, Tear, encounter the image of a giant watchful eye, which scrutinizes an actual wrecking ball and blinks in concert with its deafening sound, heard on the accompanying audio track. In a pair of new installations, sound and media artist Stephen Vitiello creates immersive soundscapes based on his extensive audio recordings made this past year of animal life and the movement of water in the Australian Outback. Paul Pfeiffer’s video installation, After the Deluge, brings a sense of illumination and expansive insight by combining references to both the history of art and representations of the sea and the sky. Finally, Pipilotti Rist’s video and sound installation, features lush landscape imagery projected onto a large ceiling-mounted screen, which is best viewed by reclining on the carpet sculpture below.

The exhibition catalogue, designed by graphic designer and VCU professor Sandy Wheeler, will include essays and contributions by author and philosophy professor Kathleen Dean Moore; Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Wright; artists Janine Antoni, Stephen Cartwright, and Stephen Vitiello; and both curators. The exhibition and publication are made possible, in part, by generous support from the Office of the Dean, School of the Arts.

Gallery hours: Tuesday–Friday, 10-5; Saturday & Sunday, noon-5. Please note that the Anderson Gallery will close for the holidays on December 18, 2010, and reopen on January 4, 2011.

Slideshow images:

Janine Antoni, Tear, 2008, lead, steel, and HD video projection with surround sound (4182 lb wrecking ball, 33” diameter; 11 x 11’ projection). Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

Sigalit Landau, DeadSee (from Cycle Spun, 2007), 2005, video. Courtesy of the artist and kamel mennour, Paris.

Pipilotti Rist, Gravity Be My Friend, 2007, audio video installation: 1 projector pointing to the ceiling, 1 player, 1 sound system, 1 wild carpet sculpture. Sound by Anders Guggisberg & Pipilotti Rist. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.