On Friday, January 17, 2014, we kicked off events for our spring semester with an opening for Landscape: Another Dimension, four one-person exhibitions by artists from near and far.
Filling the Ruth C. Horton Gallery with her incredible works is Blacksburg artist Joni Pienkowski. Pienkowski takes a very “athletic” approach to her works, laying her birch panels on the floor and hovering over and around them while painting. Because she doesn’t paint her works from just one angle, the works come alive from all different angles. Given that, her exhibition will receive a fresh spin as the paintings are literally rotated and rearranged in February to offer viewers an entirely new experience.
Joining Pienkowski as part of Landscape: Another Dimension is New York-based artist Adam Cvijanovic with his immersive installation, “A woods I did not know,” in the Miles C. Horton Jr. Gallery. Cvijanovic traveled to Blacksburg a year ago to get a feel for the area and gather inspiration for his exhibition. What struck the big city dweller the most was, unsurprisingly, how many trees there are around here. Drawing inspiration both from the original story of Beauty and the Beast, as well as one line in particular from Dante’s Inferno (which became the title of the work), Cvijanovic aimed to completely surround the viewer with his painted forest, done on pieces of Tyvek paper (the material used to wrap homes while they’re under construction). Cvijanovic also added a collection of full length mirrors so that viewers literally may see themselves in the artwork.
Rounding out the exhibition are works from Dutch artist Jacco Olivier, offering an inventive fusion of painting with filmmaking that immerses traditional painting subjects—bathers and landscape—into amorphous, almost fluid scenes that move in and out of abstraction, and Japanese artist Chiho Aoshima, creating a five-channel video installation that traces the cycles of nature in a surreal, vibrantly colored landscape full of fantasy and wonder. Olivier’s pieces are on view in the Sherwood Payne Quillen ’71 Reception Gallery, and Aoshima’s video installation fills the Cube.
Check out photos from the incredibly well-attended opening reception for Landscape: Another Dimension, including the two fascinating artist talks by Pienkowski and Cvijanovic. An enormous thank you to each and every person who made the opening night such a success.
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What was your favorite part of the opening? If you haven’t visited yet, are you planning to come see these extraordinary works in person?