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Volume 68, Issue 143, Wednesday, May 28, 2003 

Arts & Entertainment

Blaffer exhibits help to beat summer heat

By Nick Meriwether
The Daily Cougar

If summertime has rendered you an uninspired sweaty mass, UHis Blaffer Gallery might be just the thing you need. Not only is the gallery air conditioned, it features two survey exhibits featuring some very interesting work.

Bob Knoxis "X," is part of his first solo exhibit titled Non-Fiction Paintings, on view at UHis Blaffer Gallery through Aug. 31.

Photo courtesy of Blaffer Gallery 

The first, Fred Wilsonis Objects and Installations, 1979-2000, is a very ambitious work. Instead of making direct statements, Wilson allows the viewer to conclude his or her own statements. One of his themes is the relation of the pieces in the museum to the museum itself. This realization sneaks up on you when in the gallery. His works also explores race and ethnicity. Both themes are strong and compliment each other.

One work where the museum/object relationship is not so hidden, is titled "Guarded View." It features four mannequins in museum guard uniforms. At first notice, the figures seem militant and could be easily mistaken for the uniforms of the armed forces. 

The second exhibit, Non-Fiction Paintings, is the first solo exhibition of painter Bob Knox. The paintings are apparently derived from photographs of structures from design magazines of the 1950s and i60s. His subjects include the empty rooms of homes and the exteriors of the city. One work, titled "X," shows a city at night from an aerial view. The city lights illuminate the streets forming an "x" and contrasts starkly with the night and shadows on the buildings. 

His works hint at the presence of human life without it being shown. The artifacts are present, and they seem to invoke a feeling of someone having just been there but stepped out for a moment. From a distance, the paintings could be mistaken for photographs, but upon closer inspection, the forms break at times to lines and spots of paint. 

Knoxis technique allows for inflexibility and playfulness, and demonstrates the control of his medium. These two collections of work are not to be missed. The Wilson exhibit runs through July 20th. The Knox exhibit runs through Aug. 31.

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