Date of this Version
SHELDON MEMORIAL ART GALLERY AND SCULPTURE GARDEN, November 24, 1999-January 16, 2000
The history and development of the pictorial tradition in the West is punctuated by many formal and conceptual tensions, among them the tension between representation and abstraction, between mimesis and personal expression, between objectivity and subjectivity, between the artist and the viewer. The Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden is pleased to present Judith Burton: Visual Nuances, a solo exhibition featuring twenty-four paintings and two monotypes by an important Nebraska artist whose aesthetic expression succeeds in celebrating these many tensions and formal subtleties that are such an important part of our visual arts tradition.
However, much attention-perhaps too much attention-has been paid by the contemporary artworld to works of art that have tried to "resolve" these tensions and subtleties. Some contemporary art screams or shouts its meaning, intimidating the viewer into a passive "receptive" role for fear that the artist's message won't be heard. Others sit mute, begging (or daring) the viewer to speak on behalf of them.
In refreshing contrast, Burton's work celebrates the tensions, subtleties, the "visual nuances" that lie at the core of the unique act of image making. Further, Burton's visual imagery is a whisper, the still small voice of the aesthetic in a visual culture that is often drowned out in the sea of aesthetic screaming or amid the "sophisticated" white noise or cynical silence of art institutional brinkmanship.