Virginia Overton Exhibit
January 20 – February 16 (Part I); January 20 – March 9 (Part II)
Virginia Overton, Untitled (sign), 2018. Light box.Installation view,
The Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art,
Memphis, 2018. Photography: Chip Pankey.
This exhibition features new work and site-specific installation by internationally recognized artist and University of Memphis alumna Virginia Overton. Known for large-scale installations and sculpture spanning the natural and manmade worlds, Overton is interested in the past, present, and future lives of her repurposed materials and how they exist in space and time. The importance of place is central to her work, as she intuitively responds to a site—whether the architecture of a gallery space or the environs of a vast field.
For this exhibition, a kind of homecoming for the Brooklyn-based artist, Overton returned to U of M where she received both her MFA in 2005 and BFA in 2002. The exhibition space, the Fogelman Galleries, did not exist when Overton was a student but was refashioned from the old Law School library in 2013. Thus, it is a place that is at once both old and new to the artist. Typical of her practice, Overton foraged for material locally, using old, wooden window frames found in her former advisor Greely Myatt's studio and overturned pedestals from the gallery's storage room. Often minimalist in form, her work playfully extends beyond its structural limits into other realms, as experienced in the chorus of trickling water in Untitled (Water Feature for Gallery B) (2018) and in the uncertain sway of the fan in Untitled (oscillator) (2018). The exhibition also includes a lightbox sign—a feature that has now become customary for the artist's solo exhibitions.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Overton worked with current U of M graduate students from various disciplines housed in the Department of Art to produce an illustrated catalogue. The publication includes a collaborative essay by Samira Rahbe and Olivia Wall (both MA, Art History), a written piece by artist Ellen Dempsey (MFA, Studio Art), and was designed by Chad Malone (MFA, Graphic Design). The catalogue, will be released at a book signing and exhibition walkthrough with the artist on February 15th from 5 to 7 PM in the Fogelman Galleries.
The exhibition catalogue was generously supported by The University of Memphis Graduate School and the Alumni Association—a testament to student work both past and present.
Virginia Overton was born in Tennessee and currently lives and works in New York. She earned a BFA in 2002 and an MFA in 2005, both from the University of Memphis. Solo exhibitions have been presented at the Museum Of Contemporary Art, Tucson, The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (Ridgefield), White Cube (London), All Rise (Seattle), Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Storm King Art Center (Mountainville), Westfälischer Kunstverein (Münster), Kunsthalle Bern, Mitchell-Innes & Nash (New York), The Kitchen (New York), The Power Station (Dallas), Freymond-Guth Fine Arts Ltd. (Zürich), and Dispatch (New York). Recent group exhibitions and projects include MAY68 (New York), Maisterravalbuena (Lisbon), Lever House (New York), The David Ireland House at 500 Capp Street (San Francisco), Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia), Parcours (Art Basel), Contemporary Art Museum (St. Louis), High Line Art (New York), White Columns (New York), MoMA PS1 (New York), White Flag Projects (St. Louis), and SculptureCenter (New York). Her work is collected by The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, Kunstmuseum Bern, and Kunsthaus Zürich. In the spring of 2018, her work will also be presented in a solo exhibition at Socrates Sculpture Park (New York) and through a record release with Future Audio Graphics.