Mot Juste:

A celebration of text and language in contemporary visual arts

Michael Scoggins, Dog Fight, 2003, marker, colored pencil on 67 x 51 inch sheets of folded archival paper

Celebrating the humanities and the newly renovated Karp Hall, the Mandeville Gallery presents a three-part exhibition exploring intersections between the humanities and the visual arts during winter term 2015.  The show features contemporary artists working in video, drawing, installation, film, bookmaking, photography and printmaking.

The Mandeville Gallery is extremely grateful for the co-sponsorship of Mot Juste from the Modern Languages and Literature Department, the English Department, and the Schaffer Library, which has made this project and the related project programming possible. For more information on the events associated with this exhibition, please see our Events page.


January 3rd – March 15th, 2015

Curated by Julie Lohnes, Curator of Art Collections and Exhibitions

Textual features contemporary artists employing letters and words within the visual art context to convey satirical humor, voice political opinion, question linguistic meaning, and examine communication.

The pieces on view in this exhibition represent a diverse range of iconic word-based arrangements including a desktop calendar, diary entries, movie script, and Chinese scrolls, while referencing specific texts such as the Constitution of the United States of America, The New York Times, the Periodic Table, Twitter and authored books, all dovetailed with an array of artistic mediums from fine art prints, painting on paper, and collage; to installation art, aerial sculpture, and video art.

Artists: Alex Gingrow, Michael Scoggins, Bang Geul Han, Cui Fei, Amanda Tiller, Shanti Grumbine, and Sujin Lee, as well as a piece from the Union College Permanent Collection by William Powhida.

Opening Reception

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

5:00 – 6:30 pm

At the Nott Memorial

Distracted Wreading: Multimedia Event & Discussion

February 17th, 2015

6:00 – 8:00 pm

Karp Hall

Tony Cokes, artist and Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, will present and discuss his video work.

Artists’ Books: Where to put the apostrophe?

January 3rd – August 6th, 2015

In the Lally Reading Room at Schaffer Library

Curated by Sarah Mottalini, Curatorial Assistant, Art Collections and Exhibitions

A fairly recent addition to the hierarchy of the art world, the medium of artists’ books has been surrounded by controversy since its induction in the 1970s: defying definition, classification, and the gallery. This exhibition will feature artists’ books from the Union College Permanent Collection, Special Collections, and private collections, including works by Joseph Kosuth, Dieter Roth, Edward Ruscha, and Lawrence Weiner.


Distracted Wreading [From Structural Film to Digital Poetics]

February 17th, 2015, 6-8 pm

A Multimedia Event & Discussion with Tony Cokes, including a short film screening and video viewing areas in Karp Hall

Curated by Jenelle M. Troxell, Assistant Professor of English

This multimedia event and discussion seeks to explore the linguistic turn art has taken since the 1960s when language became a primary material for artists in such movements as Pop, Fluxus, Minimalism and Conceptualism. At the same time that artists began exploring language as medium, a new appreciation of the materiality of language fueled unparalleled experimentation in literature and poetry.

Tony Cokes, artist and Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, will present and discuss his video work. In addition, there will be media stations presenting additional word films by avant-gardists, structural filmmakers, and contemporary video artists including Peggy Ahwesh, D.A. Pennebaker, Hollis Frampton, Mona Hatoum, Tan Lin, Paul Sharits, Michael Snow and Brian Kim Stefans.