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Knoxville Museum of Art KNOXVILLE MUSEUM OF ART
Knoxville, TN


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A Lasting Imprint: Rendering Rhythm and Motion in the Art of Black Mountain College
Through May 2, 2021

The Knoxville Museum of Art presents A Lasting Imprint: Rendering Rhythm and Motion in the Art of Black Mountain College now through May 2, 2021. More than 50 prints, textiles, drawings, paintings and sculptures drawn from the extensive holdings of the Asheville Art Museum document a particularly rich and creative moment of radical experimentation with ways to integrate music, movement, and the visual arts. The exhibition includes work by the most adventurous and influential artists associated with Black Mountain College including Josef and Anni Albers, Ruth Asawa, Ilya Bolotowsky, John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, Lorna Blaine Halper, Kenneth Noland, Robert Rauschenberg, Marianne Preger-Simon, and Kenneth Snelson.

Black Mountain College, an experimental school in the North Carolina mountains near Asheville, was active from 1933 to 1957. The secluded environment fostered a strong sense of individuality, inter-disciplinary experimentation, and creative intensity, and served as a key setting in which artists revolutionized a broad range of modern art forms. Movement and music—both time-based activities—can be difficult to express in static media such as painting, drawing, and photography, yet many artists feel called to explore them. Movement serves as inspiration—either to capture it or to create it in entirely different media. Similarly, music is driven by rhythm, patterns, and variations that are enticing departures for visual artists. In few places did movement, music, visual arts, and myriad other disciplines intermingle with such impact as they did at Black Mountain College, which profoundly influenced the course of American modernism.

A Lasting Imprint is organized by the Asheville Art Museum (AAM), Asheville, North Carolina and features key works from the museum’s Black Mountain College Collection. The AAM has been collecting works of art and materials related to Black Mountain College for over 25 years in recognition of the college's importance to Western North Carolina and to the development of American art. In addition to collecting works produced by key BMC artists during the years the school was active, the AAM also seeks to acquire works by those artists from other periods in order to represent a broad spectrum of their development. The Museum has been fortunate to continually grow its Black Mountain College Collection through gifts from students, faculty, and their families and strategic Museum purchases. Noted scholar and author Mary Emma Harris of the Black Mountain College Project provided essential guidance to the development of the Asheville Art Museum’s Black Mountain College Collection.

Presenting sponsor is The Guild of the KMA

A View of the City: Knoxville & Vicinity
May 21-August 1, 2021

A View of the City: Knoxville & Vicinity offers a complex and compelling portrait of the area over the course of the past century. Paintings by Marcia Goldenstein, Joanna Higgs Ross, Tom McGrath, and Karla Wozniak present local roadside imagery from a variety of artistic perspectives and compositional strategies. Color photographs by David Hilliard and David Underwood offer multiple views of local subjects in order to underscore the notion of movement and elapsed time. Black and white silver prints by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Danny Lyon represent key moments in Knoxville’s everyday life as captured by artists making their first visit to the city. Knoxville 7 artists Robert Birdwell and C. Kermit Ewing use prominent urban locations as points of departure into bold, angular abstractions. Figurative canvases by Joseph Delaney and Charles Farr offer nostalgic views of Knoxville’s inner city painted years after the artists left town, while descriptive architectural works by George Galloway and Joe Parrott depict local historic structures, many of which face an uncertain future. Together, these works offer a diverse portrait of Knoxville and its environs, and underscore the area’s importance during the last century as a source of creative inspiration.

Nocturne I by Karen LaMonte.
Ongoing

Nocturne I (2019), a cast-iron sculpture by Karen LaMonte (b. 1967), was commissioned with funds provided by KMA patrons Nancy and Stephen Land. LaMonte is celebrated internationally for her elegant, life-sized draped “figures” in which the body is absent but its volume and mass convincingly suggested by the skillful arrangement of drapery. Nocturne I was modeled and cast in Prague, Czech Republic, where LaMonte maintains her studio. The KMA work represents a new direction for the artist, who made her reputation with sculptures cast in transparent glass, a medium that cannot stand up to year-round exposure to the outside elements. The KMA’s LaMonte sculpture is made of cast iron, which can withstand the rigors of weather. Nocturne I is the second work by the artist to enter the collection: the museum also owns a LaMonte cast-glass sculpture, Chado, a favorite of KMA visitors, donated by Washington D.C. collector Mary Corkran.

Nocturne I has been installed on the north side of the museum’s Clayton Building in the Land Family Sculpture Garden. This outdoor exhibition space, created as part of the comprehensive 2014 renovation of the KMA, honor Nancy and Stephen Land’s generous contributions to the museum renovation project. The sculpture stands on a solid block of pink Tennessee marble, the same material that sheathes the Clayton Building. The base was quarried locally and fabricated by the Tennessee Marble Company in Friendsville.

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