KMA Acquires Important New Contemporary Works

July 10, 2009

The Knoxville Museum of Art announces the acquisition of a painting and seven drawings by Knoxville-based artist Jered Sprecher and a photograph by Israeli artist Ori Gersht.

The museum purchased Jered Sprecher’s painting, A Type of Magic, with the assistance of more than a dozen KMA patrons. In honor of the purchase, the artist donated seven of his drawings. Sprecher, University of Tennessee faculty member, has received widespread national attention for his innovative approach to painting. Using fragments of imagery adapted from art history, pop culture, and everyday life, he creates intricate, elusive works that shift between abstraction and representation. The artist, who has received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship for 2010, has exhibited widely around the United States .

The KMA Collectors Circle, a special membership group, provided funds to purchase Untitled 4, an important photograph by noted Israeli artist Ori Gersht. The photograph is part of a series in which bouquets of flowers are soaked in liquid nitrogen, detonated with explosives, and captured on high-speed film at different micro-seconds of the explosions. Gersht’s unusual approach reflects his interest in traditional flower painting and reverberates with his memories of a Middle Eastern childhood marred by fears of sudden violence. His work has been featured in recent one-person shows at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Yale Center for British Art, Tel Aviv Museum, and Tate Britain, and is represented in the collections of major museums around the world.

Stephen Wicks, Barbara E. and Bernard W. Bernstein Curator, noted that “both acquisitions fit perfectly with the KMA’s overall collecting goals. As an institution, we want to celebrate and support outstanding artists working in East Tennessee past and present, while bringing in important new works by artists of national and international reputation.”