Department of Art and Art History Faculty

Troy Brauntuch, Andy Coolquitt, and Jeff Williams present work at Lora Reynolds Gallery

Tue. August 11, 2015

sculpture on floor in front of black painting in gallery space

Professor Troy Brauntuch, alumnus Andy Coolquitt, and Assistant Professor Jeff Williams present work in a three-person exhibition at Lora Reynolds Gallery. The exhibition will be on view July 25 – September 5, 2015. The exhibition was featured in the Austin American-Statesman.

John Yancey presents solo exhibition at The George Washington Carver Museum

Mon. August 3, 2015

painting of cross cocvered in clothing in front of buildings
Sacrifice at the Baron's Cross. Image courtesy of the artist.

John Yancey presents CAN U SEE at The George Washington Carver Museum. The exhibition will be on display July 30 – October 17, 2015.

David Stuart decifers newly discovered stela at La Corona, Guatemala

Wed. July 29, 2015

white overlapping hexagon and cube forms on green background

David Stuart was called to decipher a newly discovered stela, reported in National Geographic. Stuart describes the inscriptions on his blog.

Eddie Chambers in conversation with Morgan Quaintance at Ikon Gallery

Wed. July 29, 2015

white overlapping hexagon and cube forms on green background

Eddie Chambers and Morgan Quaintance will be in conversation at Ikon Gallery (Birmingham, United Kingdom) on July 30, 2015.

Read an excerpt from Ann Reynolds’ essay for the catalog Joan Jonas: They Come to Us without a Word

Sun. August 30, 2015

two women look up at painting
Ann Reynolds and Joan Jonas at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice, looking at Jacopo Tinotetto’s Massacre of the Innocents of 1582-87. Image courtesy of Ann Reynolds.

Professor Ann Reynolds wrote the main essay for the catalog accompanying Joan Jonas’ exhibition at the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The essay commission comes after more than a decade of her work with Jonas and the following is an excerpt from her essay, How the Box Contains Us.


Brilliantly lit by a world located outside the primary interior space depicted in the painting, this rectangle competes for attention with other, equally well-lit portions of the foreground and middle ground and seems to suggest not only another space within the painting or alter¬nate interpretations of the internal logic of the painting’s space, but also, perhaps, opportunities to consider Tintoretto’s painting in space. One might imagine Tintoretto’s bright rectangle as a discrete picture of an alternate event, time, or place, hovering like an apparition in an ambiguous relation to the space occupied by the biblical story of the Massacre of the Innocents. Or it could be a mirror reflecting a space beyond the physical confines of the painting. In any sense, Tintoretto’s painting may be experienced as a more open, fluctuating palimpsest of spaces that don’t always coalesce even as they coexist within a shared set of physical limit terms: the length and width of the canvas and the three dimensions of the room in the Scuola Grande.

It is quite a simple gesture, one that Joan Jonas often makes in her performances. She stands in front of a large, prerecorded video pro¬jected onto a wall or screen and holds up a piece of white paper or cloth, sometimes shifting it from side to side, tipping it slightly left to right, then right to left, shaking it, or using it to track or momentarily frame the movements of something in the projection behind her. Some¬times she makes drawings on the paper or holds it close to her body and traces her body’s contours onto it with a marker or crayon. The visual effects are subtle. Just a slight change in the distance or angle between the projector and the surface of the projection brings the por¬tion of the video image Jonas is capturing a bit closer and isolates, frames, and magnifies it slightly, in or out of focus, transforming the rest of the projected image into background. If the paper she holds up is black, Jonas’s gesture produces the opposite effect; it almost obliter¬ates part of the projected image and substitutes a black void or a white-on-black drawing for this temporarily “lost” portion.

During these actions, Jonas wears simple white or light-colored clothing, across which the projected video image also visibly extends, simultaneously absorbing her into it as she extends parts of it, her drawings, and herself outward. Through her gestures and these visual transformations, she subtly disrupts the internal logic of the prerecorded, projected image’s space and its figure/ground relationships by weaving them into her space and into the present, a space and time she also shares with her audience. These spatial effects are quite fleeting, as eventually Jonas drops the paper or cloth to the floor and moves on to something else, but during those moments, she is self-consciously challenging the viewer’s reflexive relation to viewing images of space in a manner that is similar to the potential experiences that Tintoretto’s paintings allow.

A few days after visiting the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Jonas asks: “Why do we make these spaces?”


Ann Reynolds, “How the Box Contains Us,” Joan Jonas: They Come to Us Without a Word. United Sates Pavilion, 56th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia. Edited by Jane Farver. Cambridge: MIT List Visual Arts Center, New York: Gregory R. Miller & Co. and Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2015, 18-27.

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