Recent News at Kluge-Ruhe
For its summer exhibition the Kluge-Ruhe Collection has partnered with Cicada Press to showcase the work of Australia’s leading Aboriginal artists working in the printmaking medium.
Cicada Press is an educationally focused printmaking workshop in the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales in Sydney (COFA UNSW) that places emphasis on open dialogue and the importance of lived experience in learning. Since 2006 Michael Kempson, director of Cicada Press, and Tess Allas, curator of Black Prints, have invited emerging and established Aboriginal artists to explore printmaking as an artistic practice in the form of workshops and residencies. Some of the artists were established printmakers, while others explored the medium for the first time. The result is an eclectic but meaningful exhibition addressing the contemporary Aboriginal experience of ‘blackness’ in Australia today, by artists such as Vernon Ah Kee, Reko Rennie and Brett Nannup.
The title Black Prints is a word play on the Australian child’s summer obsession of collecting cicada carcasses. While ‘greengrocers’ are the most common species, many of them can be traded for just one of the rarely found, but highly prized ‘black prince’ cicada. Fittingly, May 2013 is the Year of the Cicada for the tri-state area, when periodical cicadas that only surface every seventeen years are expected.
The exhibition is part of the Kluge-Ruhe Collection’s celebration of NAIDOC week. NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) week is a national Australian celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognize the contributions of Indigenous Australians in various fields. Details on programs celebrating NAIDOC week will be released in late May.
The public is invited for a reception to celebrate the opening of Black Prints from Cicada Press, along with the reopening of the museum’s permanent exhibition Past Forward >> Contemporary Aboriginal Art, on Friday, May 31 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
Artist Frank Buffalo Hyde (Onondaga/Nez Perce), who visited the Kluge-Ruhe Collection in 2011 to collaborate on a mural with Aboriginal artist Reko Rennie, has been chosen as the resident artist of the Tom Tom Founders Festival April 11 – 14, 2013.
The Tom Tom Founders Festival is in its second year in Charlottesville, Virginia. It is coordinated by the Tom Tom Foundation, a not for profit that educates the public about innovation and entrepreneurship through the events of the Festival. This year the participating individuals, organizations and sponsors have been community and University-wide, and all of the events at the festival are free and open to the public.
Hyde will give a Make Your Own Stencil Workshop on Friday, participate in Urban Sketching at Tom Yum and the Picnic Day in Lee Park on Saturday, and will be at the Bridge PAI block party on Sunday, in addition to doing live painting throughout the weekend in various locations. His mural with Reko Rennie at the Bridge PAI is one of the first stops on the Public Art Bike Tour that Piedmont Council for the Arts is sponsoring on Sunday, and Hyde will give a brief talk about the project as part of the tour. He will also have works on paper for sale throughout the weekend.
While in Charlottesville, Hyde will also lead a flash seminar at U.Va. titled IN-APPROPRIATE: Native American Stereotypes in Popular Culture. The seminar is also free and open to the public, but please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out Frank’s schedule for the weekend below. All events are free and open to the public.
THURSDAY, APRIL 11
5:00 pm Flash Seminar – IN-APPROPRIATE
Brooks Hall Commons, U.Va.
FRIDAY, APRIL 12
10am-12pm Live Painting and Paper Show
McGuffey Art Center (Starnes Classroom)
2:00pm WORKSHOP – MYO Stencils – McGuffey (Starnes Classroom)
Email email@example.com to sign up – space is limited!
3-5pm Live Painting and Paper Show
5:00 pm McGuffey Block Party begins
SATURDAY, APRIL 13
9-11am Urban Sketching at Tom Yum
12-5pm CITY AS A CANVAS and PICNIC DAY AT LEE PARK
Live Painting in Lee Park
2:30pm Gallery Tour will stop at Lee Park for a brief talk with Frank Buffalo Hyde
SUNDAY, APRIL 14
1:00pm THE BRIDGE PAI BLOCK PARTY starts
Live Painting at The Bridge PAI
Public Bike Tour begins at CitySpace
Tom Yum, CITY AS A CANVAS, PICNIC DAY AT LEE PARK, and the Block Parties are all events of the Festival. For more information on these events, see the Tom Tom Founders site.
Aboriginal artist Yhonnie Scarce’s work will be included in the exhibition Personal Structures, an official satellite project of the 55th Venice Biennale. Scarce was a resident artist at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection in September 2012. See details of her residency on our special projects page.
Personal Structures is a project initiated by Global Art Affairs, a Dutch non-profit that aims to heighten awareness about philosophical themes in contemporary art – particularly time, space and existence – and make these subjects more accessible to a wider international audience. In the Venice Biennale, Global Art Affairs focuses on current developments in the international art world and the assembly of artists with different cultural backgrounds in different stages of their careers. The exhibition is held at the Palazzo Bembo in Venice and runs for the entirety of the Biennale (June – November, 2013).
Scarce’s new work for Personal Structures is a freestanding sculpture installation of an acrylic coffin encasing 225 glass bush bananas. Each one commemorates a year of Australia’s colonization and the genocide of Indigenous peoples. This work, displayed as one mass grave, commemorates all who have died as a result of the continually present colonial condition.
Through research into her family’s experiences, Scarce’s glasswork engages with the issue of containment of Aboriginal people, including the forcible removal of these people from their land and the subsequent practice of eugenics. Scarce incorporates her personal histories and research with artifacts from the past, highlighting the legacy of issues related to white settlement in dialogue with the present.
Scarce’s blown-glass Indigenous fruits and vegetables such as bush bananas, bush plums and long yams are metaphoric tools to represent Aboriginal people and their treatment over time. The glass is more than a mere material; the glass acts as a lens and a mirror, which both reflects and exposes the tragedies of Australia’s colonization. Often used to represent the body, the glass has a solid appearance yet is fragile and must be handled with care. Like archaeological objects, Scarce uses her work to tell stories and bear witness.
Previous artists invited to participate in Global Art Affairs exhibitions for the Biennale have included Marina Abramovic (RS), Carl Andre (US), Herman de Vries (NL), Toshikatsu Endo (JP), Johannes Girardoni (US), Peter Halley (US), Joseph Kosuth (US), Melissa Kretschmer (US), Lee Ufan (KR), Ma Jun (CN), Tony Matelli (US), Judy Millar (NZ), Tatsuo Miyajima (JP), Francois Morellet (FR), Hermann Nitsch (AT), Roman Opalka (FR), Thomas Pihl (NO), Miriam Prantl (AT), Andrew Putter (ZA), Arnulf Rainer (AT), Rene Rietmeyer (NL), Yuko Sakurai (JP), Sasaki (JP), SEO (KR), Lawrence Weiner (US), and Maik Wolf (DE).
The Kluge-Ruhe Collection’s newest exhibition, We Bury Our Own, opens today. The opening reception will be held on Friday, February 1st, 2013, 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
In We Bury Our Own, leading contemporary Aboriginal Australian artist Christian Thompson (Bidjara) presents a new body of work that explores the spiritual repatriation of archival materials in the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford.
“this is what art is able to do, perform a ‘spiritual repatriation’ rather than a physical one, fragment the historical narrative and traverse time and place to establish a new realm in the cosmos, set something free, allow it to embody the past and be intrinsically connected to the present…”
Christian Thompson is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy in Fine Art at the University of Oxford. His work is held in numerous public and private collections in Australia, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the National Gallery of Victoria. His work was recently exhibited at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the Aboriginal Art Museum in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He is represented by Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi.
To see a video about We Bury Our Own, click here.
Henry Wiencek, author of Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves, will talk about Judy Watson’s ‘experimental beds’ at the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library on Monday, February 18 at 5:30 pm. Wiencek’s talk, titled “Seeing Jefferson from Australia,” examines Watson’s perspective of Jefferson as a slave holder.
Watson incorporated Jefferson’s architectural drawings of the Academical Village and her own work inspired by visits to Monticello into experimental beds, a series of six prints developed during her residency at the University of Virginia in 2011. In reserching Jefferson, Watson was inspired by stories about slaves that paralleled her own family history in Australia, where her Aboriginal grandmother and great grandmother worked for white pastoralists.
An exhibition of experimental beds, on loan from the Kluge-Ruhe Collection, can be seen in the South Gallery of the Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture through May 11, 2013. Both the University of Virginia Magazine and U.Va Today have featured the exhibition in recent issues.
Master of the Mountain was named as one of the best books of 2012 by Washington Post critic Jonathan Yardley. Another of Wiencek’s books, The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White (2000), won the National Book Critics Circle Award.
The free lecture is open to the public and will be followed by refreshments and a book signing in the South Gallery.
The Kluge-Ruhe Collection is hosting a party and Aboriginal art auction to fund conservation on works in the museum’s collection. Join us for an artful evening to learn about our conservation initiatives while enjoying excellent local food, Australian wine and door prizes. Auction items include works on canvas, paper, bark and glass, as well as local services and gift certificates! Bidding begins November 1st. Explore the catalog and buy tickets on our auction website.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
6:30 – 9:00 pm
Four paintings from the Kluge-Ruhe Collection are on exhibition in Paris at the Musee du quai Branly. Aux Sources de la Peinture Aborigene Australie – Tjukurrtjanu opened October 9 and continues through January 20, 2013. The exhibition, curated by Judith Ryan, Senior Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, and Philip Batty, Senior Curator of Indigenous Cultures at Museum Victoria, premiered at the National Gallery of Victoria in September 2011. It is the most comprehensive exhibition of early Western Desert art ever assembled, including 200 paintings produced from 1971-72 and wooden shields, stone knives and ceremonial regalia. The catalogue was produced in English and in French.
The exhibit includes work by 20 artists who began painting at the remote Aboriginal settlement of Papunya in 1971. Their paintings incorporated traditional symbols used in ceremonial designs yet they were highly innovative and experimental in nature.
Kluge-Ruhe Director Margo Smith attended the opening reception on October 8. “It was thrilling to see four of our works among other distinguished pieces in a city that is famous for its museums.” It was Smith’s first visit to the Musee du quai Branly, which incorporated the work of eight contemporary Aboriginal artists into its building design.
While in Europe Smith also visit the AAMU – Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art in Utrecht, Netherlands. Like Kluge-Ruhe, AAMU is dedicated to the exhibition of Australian Aboriginal art.
A new exhibition, which opened at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection on Tuesday, August 28, features a painting by Yolngu artist Munggurawuy Yunupingu depicting Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landing on the moon. Armstrong passed away on August 25 at the age of 82. The painting was commissioned by Geoff Woods, superintendent at the Weapons Research Centre at Gove in Northeast Arnhem Land at the time of the moon landing. Yunupingu, who was the leader of the Gumatj people, lived in nearby Yirrkala and painted a number of themes including the stars in the night sky.
The painting of the moon landing shows two astronauts in the center of the work. Their space ship is portrayed in the shape of an airplane. A half circle represents the moon. The surrounding figures resemble characters in other paintings by Yunupingu such as the Eaglehawk Men and the Flying Fox Girls, pictured in Helen Groger-Wurm’s Australian Aboriginal Bark Paintings and their Mythological Interpretations (1973).
Yunupingu’s painting is included in a permanent exhibition of work from the Kluge-Ruhe Collection titled Past Forward >> Contemporary Aboriginal Art. The Kluge-Ruhe Collection will celebrate the exhibition opening with a reception on Friday, September 14 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
The Kluge-Ruhe Collection is pleased to announce that it has received a $30,000 grant for its artist residency program from Australia Council for the Arts.
Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body. Each year it delivers more than $160 million in funding for arts organizations and individual artists. Part of Australia Council’s mission is to build new audiences through collaborative initiatives such as this one with the University of Virginia.
The grant will enable recognized and established Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander visual artists to undertake month-long residencies at the University of Virginia from 2013 to 2015. The residencies will provide professional development for the artists, integrating them into the academic life of the university and the Charlottesville community.
Residencies typically include an exhibition at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection, a public artist talk or lecture, teaching and demonstration of work in studio art or other courses at UVa, the production of new bodies of work, and engagement with the general public through tours and receptions.
Artists will apply to Australia Council to become a resident artist at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. An assessment panel will shortlist applicants and submit them to the Kluge-Ruhe Collection for final selections.
Launched in 2011 with seed money from UVa Arts Council, the Kluge-Ruhe artist residency program has brought some of Australia’s leading artists to the University of Virginia including Judy Watson, Ricky Maynard and Vernon Ah Kee. The Australia Council grant ensures the continued success of this program, augmenting the Kluge-Ruhe Collection’s reputation as the premier location for Australian Aboriginal artists to exhibit their work in the United States.
Aboriginal artist Yhonnie Scarce (Kokatha/Nukunu) will visit the University of Virginia for an artist residency September 1 – 15. What They Wanted, an exhibition of her works in glass and other media, is on view at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection September 11 – December 30.
Scarce’s residency will include an Artist Talk on September 5, a guided tour of What They Wanted on September 15 with Aboriginal curator Tess Allas, and a public reception with the artist September 14. In addition Scarce will work on a collaborative project with students in William Bennett’s sculpture courses at U.Va.
Yhonnie Scarce was born in Woomera in South Australia and is a member of the Kokatha and Nukunu peoples. She holds a Bachelors of Visual Arts from the University of South Australia and a Masters of Fine Art from Monash University in Melbourne. Her work has been exhibited throughout Australia and recently travelled to New York for an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art. She has completed several public art projects including a Melbourne Laneway Commission work titled “Iron Cross.” Her work is held in numerous public collections in Australia including the National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of South Australia, and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. She is represented by Diane Tanzer Gallery in Melbourne.
From August 6 – August 27th, four galleries of the Kluge-Ruhe Collection will be closed for an exhibition change. The museum will remain open during this time with the exhibition People of Substance by Jason Wing.
The new exhibition of works from the Kluge-Ruhe Collection for the 2012-13 academic year will open on Tuesday, August 28th.
People of Substance by Jason Wing will close on August 26th and a new exhibition titled What They Wanted, a series of glass works by Yhonnie Scarce, will open on September 11th, 2012.
An opening reception to celebrate both exhibitions will be held at the museum on September 14th, 2012 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
Last March, Reko Rennie (Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay/Gummaroi) and Frank Buffalo Hyde (Onondaga/Nez Perce) collaborated on a mural at the Museum of Native Contemporary Arts (MoCNA) in Santa Fe, NM. The project was sponsored by Terry Snowball, Repatriation Coordinator at the National Museum of the American Indian and a founding member of the Kluge-Ruhe Advisory Council.
Rennie and Hyde worked on the mural, archived on Rennie’s website, over the course of several days, assisted by students from the Institute of American Indian Arts. The title of the work is OA NDN, meaning Original Aboriginal Indian. The mural project coincided with Hyde’s exhibition at MoCNA, Ladies and Gentlemen, This is the Buffalo Show, which concludes at the end of July. On July 21 at MoCNA, Frank Buffalo Hyde will discuss his work in the exhibition and his collaboration with Rennie on the mural project.
Rennie and Hyde met at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection during Rennie’s artist residency in January 2011. They participated in a symposium at the University of Virginia and collaborated on a mural at The Bridge PAI in Charlottesville. The mural was installed and dedicated in July 2011.
NAIDOC was formed in 1957 as the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians. For a week in July each year, Australia celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. For 2012 NAIDOC has chosen the 40th anniversary of the Tent Embassy as its theme.
On Saturday, July 7th at 10:00 am the Kluge-Ruhe Collection will hold a flag raising ceremony of the Aboriginal flag in celebration of NAIDOC week. Also, keep an eye on our facebook page to learn more about NAIDOC week. We’ll be posting celebratory historical tidbits and regular updates on the festivities in Australia throughout the week.
Judy Watson will launch her new work, experimental beds, with a reception and artist talk on Saturday, March 26 at grahame galleries + editions in Brisbane. The work will be on exhibition until June 30, 2012.
This set of six color etchings features Thomas Jefferson’s architectural drawings of the University of Virginia overlaid with images collected and produced by the artist. The work deals with issues of slavery that resonate with Watson’s personal family history.
Watson visited U.Va. in 2009 and saw the exhibition Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village at the University of Virginia Art Museum. Inspired by Jefferson’s architectural drawings, she read a number of books about the slave families at Monticello, Jefferson’s home near Charlottesville. Some of Jefferson’s slaves are believed to be his own children with Sally Hemings.
Watson returned to U.Va. in October 2011 as an artist-in-residence with the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, a project supported by a grant from U.Va. Arts Council. At that time she proofed several prints with Professor Dean Dass and faculty and students in print classes at U.Va. Watson continued to work on the proofs when she returned to Brisbane, adding images from her visit to Monticello and other experiences in Washington D.C. and Charlottesville. The prints were editioned by Basil Hall Editions in Darwin.
The Kluge-Ruhe Collection partnered with the artist and grahame galleries + editions to publish this work.
For more information on experimental beds please contact Noreen Grahame at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On May 18, the Kluge-Ruhe Collection opens a new exhibition of contemporary Aboriginal art titled People of Substance by Jason Wing. This exhibition includes a variety of site-specific installations by the artist, including Blacktown Dreaming, a bed composed of hypodermic syringes.
People of Substance explores the idea that drug and alcohol abuse among Aboriginal people is a by-product of colonization, and addresses the fact that this is often overlooked by mainstream Australia. Rather than reinforce negative stereotypes, Wing aims to openly address the issue of addiction in regards to both Aboriginal Australia and the wider community.
Wing’s visit May 13 – 19 includes the installation of People of Substance, the presentation of an Artist Talk on May 17 at 7:00 pm, and an Opening Reception on May 18 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
Wing is a Sydney-based artist of Chinese (Cantonese) and Aboriginal (Biripi) heritage. In early 2012, Wing launched a major public art commission titled In Between Two Worlds for the City of Sydney, which engulfs a 200-meter lane in the heart of the Chinatown precinct. After leaving Charlottesville, Wing will participate in a seminar presented at New York University by the International Network for Diasporic Asian Art Research (INDAAR) on the future of Asian art. He is represented by Arc One Gallery WING in Melbourne. In addition to his ongoing art practice, he is an art therapist for people with physical and mental disabilities.
C’Ville Weekly has begun their annual “Best of CVille” contest, and have just opened voting for the “primaries.” Click here and answer question 10 with “Kluge-Ruhe Collection” so we can be on the ballot when the contest starts!
If you’re new to the Best of CVille contest, a local Charlottesville newspaper called CVille Weekly opens a forum for Charlottesville area residents to vote for their favorites and beloveds…. of everything. From the best place to look at art to the best optometrist, the winners say a lot about who’s who around Charlottesville.
Help us get into the contest by voting for us now!
Aboriginal artist Vernon Ah Kee will visit the University of Virginia for an artist residency April 4 – 12. Ill-like, an exhibition of his drawings and textual works, is on view at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection through May 10. Ah Kee’s textual works can also be viewed at Brooks Hall Commons and at the International Residence College on UVa Grounds.
Ah Kee’s residency will include an Artist Talk on April 5, a guided tour of ill-like on April 7, and a public reception with the artist on April 12. In addition Ah Kee will be guest lecturing to several courses at U.Va. for the departments of art, architecture, drama and film.
Vernon Ah Kee was born in Innisfail, Queensland in 1967 and is a member of the Kuku Yalandji, Waanyi, Yidinjii and Gugu Timithirr peoples. He holds two Bachelor of Visual Arts degrees and a Doctorate of Visual Arts from the Queensland College of Art. His work has been exhibited widely in Australia and internationally, and he represented Australia at the 2009 Venice Biennale. In 2009 the Institute of Modern Art published borninthisskin, the first major publication devoted to Ah Kee’s practice. His work is held in esteemed public collections including the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney) and the National Gallery of Canada (Ottowa).
Artist Reko Rennie (Kamilaroi/
Gamilaraay/Gummaroi) from Melbourne, Australia returns to the Kluge-Ruhe Collection March 16-20, 2012 to install a semi-permanent exhibition in the museum’s Breezeway. Rennie’s residency at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection in January 2011 involved spray painting the walls of the rotating gallery with his diamond pattern and iconic pink kangaroo “Big red.” This popular exhibit was captured in a video produced by local filmmakers Rob Douglas and JJ Cohoon (formerly Squid and Beard).
“Visitors were dismayed that we planned to paint over Reko’s installation,” says Kluge-Ruhe Director and Curator Margo Smith. “The Kluge-Ruhe Museum is fortunate to have an ongoing relationship with Reko, whose work is in such demand, and to be able to exhibit it for a longer period.” The Breezeway, which housed the Kluge-Ruhe gift shop, is being renovated into a video screening room and lounge.
Rennie has returned to the US to exhibit his work at Scope Art Fair in New York March 7 – 11 and is the first Australian artist to have been invited. Following that, he will participate in a public art project called 5 × 5, where five curators invited five artists to create temporary installations throughout Washington, D.C.
After completing his project at Kluge-Ruhe, Rennie will travel to Santa Fe to meet up with Frank Buffalo Hyde (Onondaga/Nez Perce). Reko and Hyde collaborated on a mural on the side of The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlottesville.They have been commissioned to create a collaborative work for the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts where Hyde’s work will be exhibited April 13 – July 31, 2012.
The Kluge-Ruhe Collection sends congratulations to Arlene Campbell, a Charlottesville local, whose raffle ticket was chosen from hundreds of entries as the winner of an Aboriginal painting from the Kluge-Ruhe Collection’s gfit shop.
In the month of February, the Kluge-Ruhe Collection conducted a contest titled 29 Days to Win Aboriginal Art. Anyone who visited the museum during the twenty-nine days of February qualified to enter a raffle ticket to win an Aboriginal painting from Warlukurlangu in central Australia valued at $750.00.
The Kluge-Ruhe Collection’s current exhibition by Vernon Ah Kee titled ill-like, is a collection of drawings and text works, which explore issues of race and racially motivated violence in conjunction with Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s birthday and Black History Month in February.
The exhibition will run from January 24 – April 8, 2012, with an opening reception on Friday, January 27, 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
Vernon Ah Kee is a member of the Kuku Yalandji, Waanyi, Yidinjii and Gugu Timithirr peoples. He is known for his candid explorations of contemporary and historical mistreatment of Aboriginal people in Australia. His work has been exhibited widely in Australia and internationally, and he represented Australia at the 2009 Venice Biennale.