Spring 2008

Blown Away
January 25 through March 30, 2008

Guest Curators: Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox


Serving as the visual focus of Hollywood blockbuster films and television news stories pertaining to the current war in Iraq, explosions have become a part of popular culture. This exhibition featured work in a variety of media by artists expressing an interest in explosions—from the intensity of an impending event to the sensation of the release and the reverberations of the ensuing shockwaves. 

Artists in the exhibition included Michael Bell-Smith, Boym Partners Inc., Adam Cvijanovic, E. V. Day, Heide Fasnacht, Barnaby Furnas, Carlos Garaicoa, John Gerrard, Penelope Gottlieb, Fabrice Gygi, Jone Kvie, Pia Lindman, Stefana McClure, Cornelia Parker, Sarah Pickering, Michael Rakowitz, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Ruff, Charles Sandison, Eduardo Santiere, and David Svensson.

Image credit: Michael Bell-Smith, Action Hack (Crystal), 2007, 9-sec. loop, single channel video loop, edition of 5 + 2AP, Courtesy of the artist and Foxy Production, New York © Michael Bell-Smith

View information sheet and online checklist

Exhibition programming

February 7
4:30 pm: IPRH/KAM Exhibition Tour, Film Screening, and Panel Discussion
A gallery tour of Blown Away given by curator Judith Hoos Fox, followed by the film screening of Blowup (1966) and a panel discussion on "Rupture in Film" featuring U of I faculty members

arcadia   Children of Arcadia
     January 25 through March 30, 2008

     Curator: Damon Baker

     To coincide with Blown Away, the  Intermedia Gallery featured a new work  by Mark Skwarek (with programmers   Joseph Hocking and Arthur Peters)  entitled Children of Arcadia. This panoramic view into a living-electronic world was realized using technologies from online video games and KAM's CANVAS (Collaborative Advanced Navigation Virtual Art Studio). While the tools used to create this artwork are cutting-edge technology, the visual inspiration is allegorical paintings that were popular during the Baroque period, such as Laurent de La Hyre's Death of the Children of Bethel (1653). The project overlayed downtown Manhattan's financial district with a lush virtual Arcadia. The virtual overlay carved away at the physical space of the financial district leaving behind the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Hall Memorial building, and the Federal Reserve.

Image credit: Mark Skwarek, Children of Arcadia, 2007, interactive virtual world, Courtesy of the artist © Mark Skwarek

Jay Ryan: Animals and Objects In and Out of Water
January 25 through May 11, 2008

Guest Curators: Jennifer Misuzu Gunji-Ballsrud and Mary Antonakos

jay ryan

Ryan’s posters, bedecked with quirky characters falling, bicycling, battling, or staring blankly are a staple of many fine art poster galleries. He has created posters for his own band, Dianogah, as well as for dozens of underground U.S. indie bands, such as Fugazi, Shellac, Built to Spill, The Flaming Lips, Stereolab, and Sonic Youth. Ryan’s distinctive illustrations and handwriting grace his work and give his posters that edge, the kind that makes you want to tear down and steal, just so you can have a piece of his work.

This exhibition featured a wide range of Ryan's posters from the past several years. More about Jay Ryan can be found at his website.

Image credit: Jay Ryan, Murky Waters, 2007, seven screens on found posterboard © Jay Ryan

Exhibition programming

February 8
10 am–12 pm: Artist Demonstration
"It's Fun to Hang out with Jay Ryan, Sometimes: Monotonous Lecture and Confusing Printing Demonstration." Sponsored by the Lorado Taft Lectureship on Art Fund/College of Fine and Applied Arts

musiverse   MusiVerse
     April 4 through June 1, 2008

 Curator: Damon Baker

     Benjamin Smith's "MusiVerse" was a
     3-D virtual environment for the
     algorithmic creation of music that
     draws on the same technology that
     makes elaborate multi-person online
     games and virtual worlds  possible.
     This software was presented using
     KAM’s CANVAS.

Image credit: Benjamin Smith, MusiVerse, 2008 © Benjamin Smith

Exhibition programming

April 3
5:30 pm: Gallery Conversation
"Intersections Between Games and Art in Virtual Worlds," by Noah Wardrip-Fruin, exhibiting artist

Landscapes of Experience and Imagination: Explorations by Midwest Latina/o Artists
April 4 through July 27, 2008

Guest Curator: Judith Hoos Fox
Research Assistance: Oscar E. Vázquez and David Orta


This exhibition examined the responses of Latina/Latino artists to the natural and built environment. These six, largely Chicago-based artists explored the theme of landscapes through mixed and new narrative media installations, as well as through more traditional means of drawing, painting, and sculpture. Their works addressed the memories or imaginings of a tropical forest, the suburbs, and the density of urban-scapes, as well as the artists' own self-identities or understandings of the Latin presence in the United States.

Image credit: Paul Sierra, Afternoon Landscape © Paul Sierra

Exhibition programming

April 14
4 pm: IPRH/KAM Panel Discussion
"Landscapes and Identity in Latina/Latino Arts," a discussion featuring U of I faculty members

petals    Petals & Paintings
     April 11 through April 13, 2008

     Curator: Rick Orr, member of the American   Institute of Floral Designers

     Innovative floral arrangements inspired by
     works from the museum’s permanent
     collection are created by award-winning
     floral designers for this outstanding annual


     Image credit: Installation view, 2008



School of Art + Design Master of Fine Arts Exhibition: Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear
April 18 through April 27, 2008


This annual exhibition represents the culmination of intense artistic development for graduate students in photography, industrial design, sculpture, painting, narrative media, metals, ceramics, and graphic design. Composed of uniquely varied works, the exhibition formed a visual map that deconstructs, reconstructs, and recontextualizes the perceived environment.

Image credit: Installation view, 2008

Reflections on Rural Life
April 23 to May 18, 2008

Guest Curator: Don Chambers

This exhibition featured over 50 works with an agricultural or rural life theme. The artwork varied from etchings of contemporaries of Rembrandt van Rijn, such as Nicolas Berchem and Stefano della Bella, to modern works by National Artist of the Ukraine Vladimir Lavrenyuk and American artist Andrew Wyeth.

School of Art + Design Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition
May 3 through May 11, 2008


The work of BFA graduates in this fourth annual exhibition displayed a broad range of art and design studio practices that illustrated new and established technologies in material and virtual realms. Participating students specialized in crafts, graphic design, industrial design, painting, sculpture, and photography.

Image credit: Installation view, 2008

Contrasting Architectural Visions:
Piranesi and Brenna in 18th-Century Rome

May 19 through July 27, 2008

Curator: Robert G. LaFrance


Eighteenth-century Rome abounded with artists and amateurs who derived inspiration from the city’s monumental ruins. This exhibition highlighted the contrasting visions of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) and Vincenzo Brenna (1741-1820), architects of overlapping generations who championed ancient Roman architecture and created works of art for foreigners on the Grand Tour.

Image credit: Vincenzo Brenna, Section Reconstruction of the Northwest Wall of the Throne Room in Domitian's Palace, 1777, pen, ink, and watercolor on paper, Art Acquisition Fund

gottlieb   Finding the Self in Abstract    Expressionism: Selections
   from the Permanent Collection

    May 19 through July 27, 2008
Curator: Kathryn Koca
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, artists  living in New York produced a truly American  mode of artistic expression amidst the  influence of European modernist expatriates. Although they would be referred to as the  New York School, the artists would not  consider themselves a cohesive group. Working in diverse styles, Jackson Pollock,  Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and others  responded to the social tension brought on by the Great Depression and the end of World War II by turning inward.  The physical immediacy of their medium became increasingly important, as did the overall process of making art, particularly the expression of the artist’s ideas in the throes of creation.  Instead of depicting representational forms or constructing blatantly political images, they utilized highly abstracted forms and expanses of color to create a visceral experience for the viewer.

This installation presented a collection of works selected from the holdings of Krannert Art Museum that were representative of and influenced by Abstract Expressionist artists. 

Image credit: Adolph Gottlieb, Romanesque Facade, 1949, oil on canvas, Festival of the Arts Purchase Fund