Tony Albert: Brothers

Tony Albert, Brothers, 2013, Acrylic and gloss medium on pigment print mounted to aluminum.
May 29 – August 16, 2015

Tony Albert’s Brothers on exhibition this summer at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of U.Va. engages with issues of race, police violence, discrimination and identity. These works feature portraits of young Aboriginal men with targets painted onto their chests. Albert has added designs and symbols he associates with strength and resistance. Moving Targets, a film depicting a dance commissioned by Albert from choreographer Stephen Page of Bangarra Dance Theatre, will be shown in the exhibition.

Brothers responds to incidents of police violence toward Aboriginal people. Albert was inspired by events that took place in Sydney in 2012, where two teenage Aboriginal joyriders were shot and injured by police. Following this, a protest was held at Sydney’s Town Hall, and friends of the victims appeared with targets drawn on their chests.

For Albert, the target symbolizes the daily experience of being targeted because of race. It also refers to the blanket stereotypes applied to Aboriginal people as a result of government policies such as the Northern Territory Intervention. “We’re constantly wearing a target as people, but there’s also an optimistic twist about how, or why, or when we wear it or change it.” The target can also be seen as a symbol of empowerment and unity.

Brothers brings an international voice to the ongoing dialogue about race and discrimination surrounding recent events in the U.S. and Charlottesville. Curator Franklin Sirmans from Los Angeles County Museum of Art, wrote an essay for the Brothers exhibition catalogue, placing Tony’s work in conversation with a host of other internationally known contemporary artists.

Visitors will have the opportunity to reflect on the exhibition’s themes in an interactive space at the museum. Prompts like “Write or draw something you feel sorry about” will encourage participants to explore their personal experiences.

Brothers will be on view May 26 – August 9, 2015, and a reception on Friday, May 29 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm will celebrate the opening of Brothers and a new exhibition of works from the Kluge-Ruhe permanent collection. Tony Albert will visit Charlottesville July 8 – 11, and will participate in a youth art program, a panel discussion with other artists, and other public programs.

We wish to thank Tony Albert, Liz Nowell, Sullivan + Strumpf, Carriageworks, Franklin Sirmans and Debra and Dennis Scholl for contributing to this exhibition.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Images: Tony Albert, Brothers, 2013, courtesy of the artist.

Art and Country

Dini Campbell Tjampitjinpa, Tingari Cycle Dreaming at Minyurlpa, 1988.
May 16, 2015 – Summer 2016
Art and Country is a diverse selection of works on canvas, paper and eucalyptus bark drawn from the Kluge-Ruhe’s permanent collection. The exhibition explores the range of ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists develop and maintain relationships with “country,” their homeland. Many artists represent features of the landscape to communicate their ongoing connection to their ancestral land and the Dreaming. Other artists raise awareness about the dispossession of country as a result of colonization or investigate the importance of story and personal memory. Throughout the exhibition visitors are invited to reflect upon their own connections to land and place.

Kluge-Ruhe on Grounds

On view in the lobby of the Fralin Museum of Art are acrylic paintings by Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri, William Sandy, and England Banggala. A selection of seventeen objects, including sculpture, bark paintings and musical instruments are on display in the Fralin’s Object Study Gallery on the second floor.