Rocks, Paper, Memory: Watercolor Paintings of Ancient Sculptures

by Wendy Artin

Wendy Artin Phrygian Cap, 2010

Come to see ROCKS, PAPER, MEMORY at the Kelsey Museum, or
TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR by clicking HERE

Phase II of the Exhibit has now opened in the Newberry Hall Gallery
from September 25 – October 25, at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology,
434 South State Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Telephone: 734.764.9304. The Museum is open from 9-4 Tuesday through Friday, and 1-4 Saturday and Sunday, closed on Monday.

EVENTS:

Conversation between Wendy Artin and Curator Christopher Ratté
Friday, September 25th, 6:00 pm, Stern Auditorium, University of Michigan Museum of Art.  Reception follows at the Kelsey Museum.  All are welcome!

Academic Workshop
Wednesday, October 21st, 4 pm, in the Multipurpose Room University of Michigan Museum of Art, there will be a Workshop on Wendy Artin’s Engagement with the Classical Past.  Art historian Richard Neer will talk about the Parthenon frieze, art historian Alex Potts will talk about creative representations of Greek sculpture from the Renaissance to the present day, literary critic Gillian White will talk about Seamus Heaney and ekphrasis, and artist Jim Cogswell will talk about Wendy Artin’s work in relation to contemporary art.

An Evening of Poetry
 Tuesday, September 29th at 5:00 p.m. in the Kelsey Lecture Hall there will be a Poetry Reading: Seamus Heaney and the Art of Ekphrasis: Poets Read Heaney’s Poems. Poets on the University of Michigan faculty will read selected works of Seamus Heaney amongst the watercolor paintings of Wendy Artin. Reception to follow. Poets who will be reading include Amy Carroll, Tarfia Fazullah, Linda Gregerson, Tung-Hui Hu, Laura Kasischke, Thomas Lynch, Airea Matthews, Raymond McDaniel, Benjamin Paloff, and Keith Taylor.

Drop-in Tour Lead by Exhibition Curator Christopher Ratté
Sunday, June 28, 2:00 pm, Kelsey Museum Upjohn entrance

Sketching in the Galleries
Saturday, June 6, 1:30-3:30 pm, Kelsey Museum, for all ages
Create your own sketches of the ancient objects found in Rocks, Paper, Memories, with Heather Accurso,  Ann Arbor Art Center

Painting with Water
Saturday, June 13, 1:30-3:30 pm, Kelsey Museum Upjohn entrance
Create your own sketches of the ancient objects found in Rocks, Paper, Memories, with Heather Accurso, Ann Arbor Art Center

All events are open to public unless otherwise noted

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This museum exhibition reunites 50 of my best watercolor paintings: the full-scale, monochromatic Parthenon friezes; Aphrodites, Maenads, Orpheus and Actaeons from the Stone from Delphi project; my personal collection of Roman ruins; figure paintings, large and small. These watercolors are set in dialogue with objects drawn from the Kelsey collections, including works of Greek art inspired by Egyptian precedents and examples of figure types such as Aphrodite rising from the sea. The beautiful Arion Press book of Seamus Heaney’s classical poetry, Stone from Delphi, is on display.  There is also a video documentary, as well as interactive iPads, and a catalogue of all of the works in the show.

Great thanks to all of the collectors for their support in making the exhibition possible by lending their paintings!

“Painting statues has been a bit like living in a foreign country or learning to use watercolors: at first you arrive and see the superficial, then bit by bit, with immersion, you become more and more interested, refined, curious, enamored.

“Sitting in the stillness of a museum and drawing is a long, slow and tactile process, while everyone else ducks in and out, takes a snapshot. Painting is a way of taking possession, while watching 
the image emerge from the materials. Like seawater lapping at the edge of the beach, if the sea is total illusion and the sand is blank paper, I like to be right at the water’s edge, between illusion and materiality.

“A couple of years ago I was speaking with the poet Jessica Fisher at the American Academy in Rome, who said that she wanted to write about Rome but that so many people had written about Rome, she did not simply want to fall into their well-worn tracks. People have already written about the parasol pines, the ruins, she said.

“I said, what about Nostalgia? Revisiting what you love, over and over again. There can never be enough pictures of the loved one: originality is not the point. Each new image is another moment of reliving that beautiful thing that is not present. The pictures, or poems, are like the key that you take away with you instead of all of your weighty possessions.”

(writings for the catalogue to the exhibition)

Image:  Wendy Artin, Phrygian Cap (Parthenon north frieze slab XXXVII), 2010, watercolor, 103 x 130 cm

For Bruno.

The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Ann Arbor, Michigan

2. Wendy Artin: Rocks, Paper, Memory exhibit, Ludovisi Throne

3. Wendy Artin: Rocks, Paper, Memory exhibit, Roman Landscapes

Stone from Delphi, collection of classically themed poetry by Seamus Heaney, published by Arion Press

Stone from Delphi, collection of classically themed poetry by Seamus Heaney, published by Arion Press

Lively Conversation between director and curator Christopher Ratté and Wendy Artin

Lively Conversation between director and curator Christopher Ratté and Wendy Artin

3. Wendy Artin: Rocks, Paper, Memory exhibit, Drummer and Aphrodite figurine7. Wendy Artin: Caroline Squiggle, Caroline Upside Down

4. Wendy Artin Rocks, Paper, Memory Exhibit Head Augustus

Kelsey museum director Christopher Ratté gives tour of exhibition

Kelsey museum director Christopher Ratté gives tour of exhibition

15. Wendy Artin Rocks, Paper, Memory Exhiibit