The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts announced its recent acquisition of a painting by American artist Virginia Jaramillo: Time Fractal,1973.
Virginia Jaramillo spent her formative years in California and studied at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. When she began working in her Watts, Los Angeles studio in the early 1960s, her paintings were dominated by single textural plains of color inspired by the rough, cracked terrain seen in the southwest. Following the Watts riots in 1965, Jaramillo and her family moved to New York.
Jaramillo’s Curvilinear painting series, created between the late 1960s and early 1970s, features large canvases, filled with vivid fields of color surrounding thin, contrasting, and undulating lines. VMFA’s newly acquired work, Time Fractal, is from this series and features two dark lines against a saturated red background.
“We are working diligently to reconstitute the often disparate narratives that the art world creates. In acquiring this work we are able to provide a more accurate picture of the art world in the 1970s, a time that arguably offers the most immediate understanding of today’s contemporary art landscape,” said Valerie Cassel Oliver, VMFA’s Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. “The fact that Jaramillo is a woman and of Latin descent working amid the amazing artists emerging from the West Coast at that time is extraordinary.”
Jaramillo was the sole female artist to have her work included in the De Luxe Show by the Menil Foundation in Houston, TX. Held in 1971, during a time when exhibitions focused on the work of Black artists were controversial, the De Luxe Show was one of the nation’s first racially integrated shows featuring major contemporary artists of color.
“VMFA is actively working to better add to the representation of women artists and artists of color in the museum’s collection,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO. “Virginia Jaramillo succeeded in crossing societal boundaries during the 1960s and 70s, and her work has established her as a significant American abstract artist.”
Jaramillo, whose career has spanned six decades, continues to work in New York. Several international solo and group exhibitions have featured her paintings and her handmade paper and linoleum works including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA (1959–61); Whitney Annual, NY (1972); Mexican Museum, San Francisco, CA (1980); MoMA PS1, NY (2012); Brooklyn Museum, NY (2017); the Tate Modern, London, UK (2017); and the Menil Collection, Houston, TX (2020). Her work is also included in prestigious collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Menil Collection in Houston, TX — and now VMFA in Richmond, VA.
“Virginia Jaramillo’s Time Fractal provides a more expansive look into abstraction in the 1970s and speaks so beautifully with the other works on view in our collection,” said Cassel Oliver.
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New VMFA exhibition portrays the majestic beauty of Virginia’s Natural Bridge
The exhibition, free to visitors, will be on view at VMFA from February 6 to August 1, 2021.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) has announced its upcoming exhibition, Virginia Arcadia: The Natural Bridge in American Art, an exploration of the artistic portrayal of this spectacular and seemingly miraculous natural landmark. The exhibition, free to visitors, will be on view at VMFA from February 6 to August 1, 2021.
The majesty of the Shenandoah Valley’s Natural Bridge, a 400-year-old geological formation, has inspired artists, writers and explorers over the centuries. It has served as an ethereal example of the American landscape, an icon of natural history and a witness to human civilization. One of the most depicted sites in American 19th-century landscape painting, this formation captured the imaginations of artists like Frederic Church, David Johnson, Edward Hicks and Caleb Boyle, as well as many decorative artists.
“VMFA is pleased to recognize Virginia’s very own natural landmark through this exhibition,” said VMFA Director and CEO Alex Nyerges. “We hope Virginia Arcadia inspires appreciation for and interest in rediscovering the wonderful natural world here in our state, and also recognizing that the environment is a precious source of inspiration.”
“Consider a time when our very landscape sparked wonder and inspired myth,” said the exhibition’s curator, Dr. Christopher C. Oliver, VMFA’s Assistant Curator of American Art. “Artists were moved to not only capture its picturesque splendor and breathtaking sense of place, but also all that the Natural Bridge represented and idealized — the sublime divinity of the natural world, the excitement of discovery, the harmony between nature and civilization and the abundance of pastoral beauty.” The Natural Bridge is also historically relevant to western expansion, slavery, natural history, tourism and ecological conservation.
Virginia Arcadia examines the Natural Bridge through more than 60 paintings, prints, decorative art objects and photographs made between the late 1700s and the early 1900s. Highlights of the exhibition include works from VMFA’s collection including one of the earliest illustrations of the Natural Bridge, an engraving from 1787 by Baron De Turpin, a French engineer sent to document the site, one of three such engravings featured in Volume 1: Travels In North-America in the Years 1780, 1781 and 1782. Joshua Shaw’s oil painting Natural Bridge No. 1 (ca. 1820) captures the view from atop the arch of the bridge looking down into a nearby creek in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Several works in the exhibition are on loan from institutions across the country including the Chrysler Museum, the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, and the Yale University Art Gallery, as well as from private collections.
More information about Virginia Arcadia: The Natural Bridge in American Art can be found on the museum’s website.
Photos: Preview of Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter
November 23rd is when you can check out the lights at Lewis Ginter but last night we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek.