What brain space would you like to inhabit during the last few weeks of summer before a new school year begins? How would you like to feel just before the first day of classes?

How about: Cool, calm, collected.

Students and faculty seeking to regain their focus before the start of a bustling fall semester should look no further than UNC Greensboro’s Weatherspoon Art Museum, and “Double Edged: Geometric Abstraction Then and Now.”

For “Double Edged,” Curator of Exhibitions Emily Stamey selected historic 1960s and ’70s pieces from the Weatherspoon’s collection that emphasize line, shape, and color and paired them with contemporary loaned pieces that she says display “the same visual rhetoric but infused with personal content.”

Many large-scale designs in the show evoke a meditative feeling as they display those qualities intrinsic to the style of work – “rational, measured, and simple.”

abstract painting

“To Feel the Warm Sun on My Face,” 2018, by Jeffrey Gibson.

“Their meaning, however,” Stamey adds, “is rarely so singular and straightforward.”

Jeffrey Gibson’s “To Feel the Warm Sun on My Face,” combines the modernist painting tradition with traditional Native American powwow regalia designs, trading post blanket patterns, and contemporary international fashion. His work reflects on his own Choctaw and Cherokee heritage and his experience living all over the world, from Germany to Korea.

abstract painting

“Untitled (Missing Doses, 2 Opioid Addition, 1 ADHD),” 2018, by Beverly Fishman.

Beverly Fishman’s “Untitled (Missing Doses, 3 Opioid Addiction, 1ADHD)” uses shapes of pills in her work, to contemplate the pharmaceutical industry, the desire for “quick fixes,” and the marketing of prescription drugs within the context of the opioid crisis.

While the pieces in “Double Edged” sometimes focus on serious issues, their clean, crisp designs are definitively “eye yoga” (leave the candy behind.)

A trip to the Weatherspoon could be the artistic antidote to the sweltering heat that greets North Carolinians in August, and the artwork may just put you in the right frame of mind to close out the summer in peace. Breathe in, breathe out. And enjoy the art.

“Double Edged” is open through August 18, and also on view are “Here We Are: Painting and Sculpting the Human Form,” “Interwoven: Natural and Illusory Textiles,” and the 2019 UNCG School of Art Faculty Biennial.

See all four exhibitions during the summer’s last Tours & Treats event on Thursday, August 15, at 6 p.m.

The Weatherspoon will hold a reception for the Faculty Biennial Thursday, August 22, at 5 p.m., and faculty gallery talks Wednesday, August 28, at 12 p.m and Wednesday, September 4, at 4 p.m.

The Weatherspoon Art Museum is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday. See the hours here.

 

Story by Susan Kirby-Smith, University Communications
Photography courtesy of the Weatherspoon Art Museum