January 2nd – April 10th, 2016
Repetition has been used as a concept in many forms of intellectual endeavor, from Freud’s Repetition Compulsion theory to Gestalt’s grouping principle. The arts have been no less fascinated with ideas of repetition, as heard in Bach’s Goldberg Variations or seen in Eva Hesse’s and Sol LeWitt’s sculptural works.
Historically an artwork was considered a masterpiece and one of a kind. Degas, Monet, and their contemporaries questioned this view by working serially and repeating the same theme or motif. Matisse created many versions of the Dance and Monet frequently painted Chartres Cathedral at varying times of the day. At the same time, the Industrial Revolution furthered conversations that questioned the uniqueness of an original by producing identical images, objects, patterns, and forms on a massive scale.
Modern philosophers such as Walter Benjamin believed in the egalitarian, modern artwork as a democratized object to be seen and used by the masses. Since this time Sherrie Levine, Jeff Koons, and other visual artists have used concepts of reproduction in a contemporary art context, turning a copy into an artwork that is intended to be an original.
In the exhibition Recurrence, artists Kira Nam Greene, Juan Hinojosa, Simone Meltesen, Karen Schiff, Sam Vernon, and Rachael Wren delve into the multitude of ideas surrounding repetition in the visual arts and how these different ideas are represented visually.
– Julie Lohnes, Curator of Art Collections and Exhibitions
This exhibition is co-sponsored by the Department of Visual Arts, the Africana Studies Program, the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program, and Interdisciplinary Studies.