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Excavating New Ground: New Art in the 1970s

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2/11/2011 - 8/14/2011
Organizing institution: The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia
The 1970s opened with three momentous occurrences: the announcement of the breakup of the Beatles in April, the Kent State shootings in May, and the hijacking of 5 planes by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in September. The decade's close was no less challenging, marked by the meltdown of Unit 2 of the Three Mile Island nuclear generating station in March, the $1.5 billion bail-out of Chrysler Corporation, and the start of the Iran hostage crisis, both in November. These tumultuous ten years also witnessed the maturity of the second wave of the women's movement, the student movement, and the black-nationalist movement, which together irrevocably shifted cultural discourse from the homogeneous center to the heterogeneous peripheries.

Within this fluctuating social topography, artists faced the critically proclaimed end of modernism and plumbed the historic and aesthetic terrain for styles and iconography more relevant to their age. This exhibition, derived from the Museum's collection of abstract and figurative painting and sculpture produced in the 1970s, includes works by painters Power Boothe, Jack Beal, and Larry Poons and sculptor John De Andrea. The exhibition focuses on the development of art practice on the East Coast, considering such ideas as the distinction between figure and figurative painting while highlighting the varied styles characterized as post-painterly abstraction.

Curated by Andrea Douglas, Guest Curator

The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Arts$, The Hook, Albemarle Magazine, and Charlottesville Welcome Book, Ivy Publications LLC.

Exhibition Objects (17)

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