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The Knoxville Museum of Art Opens Two New Exhibitions May 21

May 8, 2021 | Angela Thomas

The Knoxville Museum of Art unveils two new exhibitions, both drawn from the museum’s growing collection, on May 21, 2021:  A View of the City:  Knoxville & Vicinity and Undercurrents: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art.  Both exhibitions are on view through August 1, 2021.

According to KMA Executive Director David Butler, “These outstanding exhibitions demonstrate the growing depth, quality, and range of the KMA’s holdings, which have expanded dramatically in the past decade from gifts and purchases.  These shows amplify and enrich the stories told by the museum’s flagship permanent exhibitions Higher Ground:  A Century of the Visual Arts in East Tennessee and Currents:  Recent Art from East Tennessee and Beyond.  For perhaps the first time in the KMA’s history, the entire building is devoted almost entirely to showing objects the museum owns.”

A View of the City:  Knoxville & Vicinity offers a complex and compelling portrait of the area over the course of the past century. Paintings by Marcia Goldenstein, Joanna Higgs Ross, Tom McGrath, and Karla Wozniak present local roadside imagery from a variety of artistic perspectives and compositional strategies.  Color photographs by David Hilliard and David Underwood offer multiple views of local subjects in order to underscore the notion of movement and elapsed time.  Black and white silver prints by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Danny Lyon represent key moments in Knoxville’s everyday life as captured by artists making their first visit to the city. Knoxville 7 artists Robert Birdwell and C. Kermit Ewing use prominent urban locations as points of departure into bold, angular abstractions. Figurative canvases by Joseph Delaney and Charles Farr offer nostalgic views of Knoxville’s inner city painted years after the artists left town, while descriptive architectural works by George Galloway and Joe Parrott depict local historic structures, many of which face an uncertain future.  Together, these works offer a diverse portrait of Knoxville and its environs, and underscore the area’s importance during the last century as a source of creative inspiration.

Undercurrents: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art features more than 20 paintings and works on paper representing the exciting growth of the KMA’s contemporary collection.  It includes a diverse selection of figurative works by Katherine Bernhardt, Richard Jolley, John Kelley, Marin Majic, Daniel Pitin, and Charles E. Williams; abstractions by Hamlett Dobbins, Michelle Grabner, Howard Hull, Denise Stewart-Sanabria, Josh Smith, and Jered Sprecher; sculptures by John Himmelfarb and Creighton Michael, atmospheric photographs by David Allee and Robert von Sternberg, and works that test the boundary between representation and abstraction by Nathan Hylden and Antonio Santin.  This selection reflects key developments in international contemporary art while also representing the studio practices of a variety of outstanding artists based in East Tennessee.

Because of COVID-related restrictions, there will be no in-person events related to the exhibitions.

The KMA gratefully acknowledges the generous support for both exhibitions of The Frank and Virginia Rogers Foundation, Presenting Sponsor; UBS Financial Services, Leader Sponsor; and the Brewington Family, Amanda and Jason Hall, April and Stephen Harris, Nancy and Stephen Land, Carole and Bob Martin, the Petrone-Speight Family, and Debbie and Ron Watkins.

Henri Cartier-Bresson (Chanteloup-en-Brie, France 1908-2004 Céreste, France), Knoxville, Tennessee, 1947, gelatin silver print, 12 x 16 inches, Knoxville Museum of Art, 2019 purchase with funds provided by June and Rob Heller, Jim Martin, James L. Clayton, Hei Park, John Cotham, Jayne and Myron Ely, Dorothy and Caesar Stair, Ebbie Sandberg, John Trotter, The KMA Guild, Mardel Fehrenbach, Kitsy and Louis Hartley, Sylvia and Jan Peters, Mary Rayson, Alexandra Rosen, John Z.C. Thomas, and Lisa Carroll.

Jered Sprecher (Lincoln Nebraska 1976; lives and works in Knoxville), Technology of Dirt, 2018, oil on linen, 47 x 40 inches, Knoxville Museum of Art, 2020 bequest of Daniel F. McGehee

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