Art=Text=Art: Works by Contemporary Artists from the Sally and Wynn Kramarsky Collection

Mel Bochner: If the Color Changes…, 2003
Sep 04, 2012 - Jan 06, 2013
Voorhees Gallery

Celebrating the dynamic dialogue of art and language from 1960 to 2012, Art=Text=Art presents more than 100 American drawings, prints, conceptual works on paper, and artists' books selected from the internationally respected collection of Sally and Wynn Kramarsky. In this major exhibition, 48 artists explore the form, function, and multiple interpretations of language. Juxtaposing both the verbal and the visual aspects of individual words, passages of text, numbers, and symbols, these works prompt insights into wide-ranging subjects: from daily "to do" lists to literature, from individual identity issues to mapping nature's phenomena or the universe of mathematics. 

Art=Text=Art begins with key examples of modern and contemporary text art of the 1960s by pioneering Conceptual and Minimal artists, notably Carl Andre, Mel Bochner, Sol LeWitt, and Lawrence Weiner. Their art offers direct visual engagement with profound, verbally expressed ideas. Works by William Anastasi, Jane Hammond, and Ed Ruscha examine the structure of language, individual words, or symbols as a means to explore their effectiveness as tools of communication. Richard Serra’s landmark Verb List (1967–68) presents columns of verbs emphasizing them as “actions to relate to oneself, material, place and process," serving as the artist’s manifesto. Jasper Johns masterfully explores number shapes and series, prompting contemplation about numerical meanings. The Garden of Scripts (Villandry) by Alice Aycock resembles a landscape architecture design, yet it is a metaphorical topiary labyrinth comprising ancient languages and letterforms. Other featured artists include Suzanne Bocanegra, Jill Baroff, Trisha Brown, Annabel Daou, Stephen Dean, Elena Del Rivero, Christine Hiebert, Mark Lombardi, Stefana McClure, Karen Schiff, and filmmaker John Waters. An online catalog features essays, works of fiction, and sound pieces by more than 35 guest contributors.

The majority of the works in the exhibition are lent by Sally and Wynn Kramarsky, noted New York collectors of modern and contemporary drawings. Portions of their collection have been exhibited at major museums throughout the United States and Europe. In addition, the exhibition includes loans from the Museum of Modern Art and the Yale University Art Gallery.  

Art=Text=Art was organized by the University of Richmond Museums, Virginia, and curated by N. Elizabeth Schlatter, Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, with Rachel Nackman, Curator, Kramarsky Collection, New York.

This exhibition was made possible in part by the generous support of the University of Richmond's Cultural Affairs Committee and funds from the Louis S. Booth Arts Fund. The presentation at the Zimmerli is organized by Marilyn Symmes, Director of the Museum’s Morse Research Center for Graphic Arts and Curator of Prints and Drawings.

The exhibition and related programs at the Zimmerli are made possible in part by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and donors to the Zimmerli’s Annual Exhibition Fund: Sustainer/Voorhees Family Endowment; Supporter/Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation, Inc. Stephen Cypen, President. 

Mel Bochner

If the Color Changes…, 2003

Monoprint with engraving and embossment on hand-dyed Twinrocker handmade paper

Published by Two Palms, New York

Collection of Sally and Wynn Kramarsky, New York

© Mel Bochner