Upcoming Exhibits

Burnham Brothers, Essex, MA (detail), 1962, printed later, Carl Chiarenza (American, born 1935), gelatin silver print. Gift of Carl Chiarenza, 2016.516
October 26, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

Carl Chiarenza

On loan from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Sponsored by Jill and Jay Dickens, Anne and Eric Smith, Barbara and Guy Stanley, King's Grant, Books and Crannies and Lynwood Artists

Born to Italian immigrant parents and raised in Rochester, New York, Chiarenza’s interest in photography developed early in his childhood. From 1953 to 1957, Chiarenza studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology under the direction of Minor White and Ralph Hattersley. Since the late 1960s, Chiarenza has been a leading figure in a movement that seeks to expand the conceptual boundaries of photography. Chiarenza’s photographs have been included in more than 80 solo and 250 group exhibitions since 1957. His black-and-white photographs, which often contain elements of collage, have continued to challenge notions of landscape, abstraction, visitor perspective, and the very medium of photography itself.

Chiarenza is inspired by both the beauty of and human connections to landscapes, but has been continuously dissatisfied with his outdoor nature photographs. In acknowledging that traditional depictions of landscapes in paintings are constructed, he began to approach his photographs as abstract and emotional constructions that allow us to examine nature in relation to the self.

The key characteristic that came to dominate Chiarenza’s style was nyctophilia, or a preference for and comfort in darkness. His photographs do not offer familiar faces or landscapes; there is no evident cultural or psychological framework for the viewer to build their response. Rather, the lack of specificity and sense of timelessness reminds us that all photographs are constructions of reality that produce various interpretations relative to each viewer. Chiarenza’s work invites individual reflection by forcing us to examine the subliminal workings of the mind. In these photographs, nothing is absolute, leaving all realities subject to each observer.

This exhibition is curated by VMFA Director and CEO Alex Nyerges. These works were all a generous gift of the artist.

Admission Free

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October 26, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

Tools of Happiness

Sponsored by Jill and Jay Dickens, Anne and Eric Smith, Barbara and Guy Stanley, King's Grant, Books and Crannies and Lynwood Artists

George Ray Shelton's painting style shows influences ranging from classic masters to contemporary media. Whatever the subject, one thing is clear: his brushes and spatulas are indeed his "tools of happiness."

Admission Free

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Omens, 2017, Georgia Deal, screen print on handmade paper
October 26, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

Print/Imprint: Asheville Printmakers

Sponsored by Jill and Jay Dickens, Anne and Eric Smith, Barbara and Guy Stanley, King's Grant, Books and Crannies and Lynwood Artists

Asheville Printmakers is an independent alliance of artists working out of the Asheville, NC area, who express themselves through the medium of print. The group's work encompass a wide range of processes and content, from traditional to experimental and classic to contemporary. Their printing methods vary from relief printing such as woodblock, linocut, and wood engraving, to intaglio methods such as drypoint, etching, collagraph and photogravure. Some use alternative photographic printing processes such as platinum-palladium and gum biochromate; others employ monotype and variable editions in their work. A common thread is a hands-on involvement in making prints.

Featuring work by Bobbi Allen, Dona D. Barnett, Bette Bates, Anne Battram, Bridget Benton, Anne Bessac, Lisa Blackburn, Kristalyn Bunyan, Laurie Corral, Georgia Deal, Gwen Diehn, Claudia Dunaway, Lisa June Eames, Casey Engel, Martha Ensign Johnson, Maria Epes, Sheryl Gruenig, Clay Harmon, Heather Hietala, Dave Ladendorf, Carol Lawrence, Denise Markbreit, Lauren Miko, Angela Modzelewski, Martha Oatway, Lynn Allison Starun, Jo A. Taylor, Jessica C. White, Chris Whiteman and Ani Volkan.

Admission Free

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Ironing Board Sam, Tim Duffy, wet-plate collodion photography printed with the platinum/palladium process
January 22, 2022 - March 12, 2022  

Our Living Past: A Platinum Portrait of Music Maker

On loan from Music Maker Relief Foundation

For 35 years, photographer Tim Duffy has forged a unique vision immortalizing Southern musical heroes and the world in which they live. This compelling collection of images was made with the wet-plate collodion process, which Duffy has explored with the assistance of Aaron Greenhood. These photographs were then taken to breathtaking heights with platinum/palladium printing, sponsored and produced by 21st Editions. Music Maker Relief Foundation partners with Southern musicians to keep our cultural heritage alive. 

Admission Free

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January 22, 2022 - March 12, 2022  

Dear B.J.: Postcards from the Pandemic

Imagine stumbling upon a timeworn box of postcards. Maybe you are exploring a flea market, a museum archive, or even a dusty attic. A sense of voyeurism compels you to look closer and to read the one-sided correspondence on the cards. Perhaps you wonder about the writer, the addressee, and the images themselves. And maybe, just maybe, you find yourself time-traveling as you experience the life witnessed in these intimate missives. 

The Postcards

This is the premise behind Dear B.J.: Postcards from the Pandemic. This series is a creative non-fiction interpretation of life in Appalachia during the COVID-19 pandemic, as imagined through intimate postcard-sized images and one side of written correspondence. Each card features a black-and-white photograph with a backside written to a mysterious B.J. and signed by “ME.” Through these vagaries, King invite the viewer into a shared world. Perhaps you wonder who B.J. is, or maybe you know. Perhaps you relate to the “ME,” who signed the cards. And as you think about it all, perhaps you overlay King's visual narrative over your own. 

The Images

King began photographing her neighborhood during daily walks in March 2020, when social isolation became the normal way of life. These images are purposefully reminiscent of the photography prevalent during the 1918 pandemic, specifically Pictorialism. This turn-of-the-20th-century art movement employed photographic manipulation to heighten grain and increase shadows to enhance an image’s emotive and atmospheric qualities. Such images read like poetry to King and are what she envisioned when working with these photographs. 

Much like the end products of Pictorialism and early tourism memorabilia, King chose to print her artwork using a photo-mechanical process. She finished these as photopolymer gravure prints, a modern incarnation of the historic photogravure practice. Photopolymer gravures involve transferring an image to a light-sensitive printing plate, which is then developed, hardened, inked and paper is pressed onto the plate to create the end photograph.

 


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March 24, 2022 - March 26, 2022  

VMFA On the Road

at Piedmont Arts

VMFA on the Road is a traveling art museum from Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, that brings art to remote corners of Virginia by way of the museum's Statewide Partners program.

Tour A View from Home: Landscapes of Virginia, featuring paintings, photographs, woodblock prints and engravings from the VMFA's permanent collection representing various styles and periods. Featured artists include Adele Clark, Hullihen Williams Moore, George H. Benjamin Johnson, Miwako Nishizawa, and others. A View from Home takes the place of VMFA on the Road’s first exhibition, How Far Can Creativity Take You: VMFA Fellowship Artists, which included works by Sally Mann, Cy Twombly, Dennis Winston and others.

Admission Free

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Hawks Nest Overlook, Fayette County, West Virginia, Roger May
March 26, 2022 - May 7, 2022  

Looking at Appalachia

Roger May is an Appalachian American photographer and writer based in Alum Creek, West Virginia. He was born in the Tug River Valley on the West Virginia and Kentucky border, in the heart of Hatfield and McCoy country. His work explores the complicated history of place, faith and identity in the coalfields. In 2014, he founded the crowdsourced Looking at Appalachia project. He lectures about his work and about the visual representation of Appalachia.

Admission Free

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Eastern Panthea (Panthea Furcilla), Deborah Davis, acrylic on canvas
March 26, 2022 - May 7, 2022  

Out of the Darkness

Moths are the shamen of the night forest, hidden until we seek them. Deborah Davis brings to light the true character of these nocturnal creatures in paintings that are at once expansive and intimate. Capturing the intricate patterns and colors of moths—which are rarely observed in casual encounters at the porch light—in grand scale, Davis lifts the veil of mystery surrounding these nighttime visitors. 

Admission Free

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May 28, 2022 - May 31, 2022  

Expressions 2022

Expressions is an annual exhibition of work by artists from southern Virginia and the surrounding regions. This showcase of regional talent features an eclectic mix of work from more than 90 artists, including watercolor, oil and acrylic, 3D, mixed media and drawing.

Admission Free

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