The University of Virginia Art Museum
presents today The Hand and the Soul - LeWitt, Slutzky, Iliescu, on view through April 19, 2009. Conceptual Art (1969) reads: “Once the idea of the piece is established in the artist’s mind and the final form is decided, the process is carried out blindly. There are many side effects that the artist cannot imagine. These may be used as ideas for new works.” Robert Slutzky defines as his aesthetic foundation a theory of transparency in which “the transparent ceases to be that which is perfectly clear and becomes instead that which is clearly ambiguous.” LeWitt’s and Slutzky’s assertions of artistic process are central to The Hand and the Soul: LeWitt, Slutzky, Iliescu, an exhibition that includes a wall and a line drawing by LeWitt, one of Slutzky’s grand canvases, and a set of Sanda Iliescu’s collages. In each artist’s imagery, rational order gives rise to serendipitous glimpses of humanity in a dialogue about form, format, and social context.
Central to this exhibition is the notion of instruction. Slutzky and LeWitt were mentors of Iliescu, now an associate professor of art and architecture at the University of Virginia. Over the years Iliescu has created drawings and collages that pay explicit homage to the two late artists. In her recent edited volume, The Hand and the Soul: Aesthetics and Ethics in Art and Architecture, Iliescu analyzes the two artists’ work, focusing on their shared conviction that aesthetic experiences are enriched through teaching, writing, and collaborative art-making—through the testing and contesting of artistic ideas and processes.The show includes a series of collages by Iliescu produced while she edited the book. Using discarded drafts from the manuscript, scraps of brown paper bag, and other forms of detritus, Iliescu sews, glues, and constructs her surfaces in a process that emulates the methods of her mentors.
In preparation for the exhibition, Iliescu will lead students from her studio class in the rendering of a LeWitt wall drawing.
The exhibition is curated by Sanda Iliescu and Andrea Douglas, curator of exhibitions.