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'Lori Nix,' 'War' Exhibitions Open Sept. 25 at ODU's Gordon Art Galleries

The Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries at Old Dominion University will open two exhibitions on Saturday, Sept. 25: "Lori Nix: The City and Other Stories" and "War: Armed Conflict and Its Legacy in Contemporary Self-taught Art." A combined reception will be held from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3, in the galleries in conjunction with ODU's 33rd Annual Literary Festival: Hard Times in America. The exhibitions and reception are free and open to the public.

Nix constructs complex and fanciful dioramas that she photographs to create a thinly veiled illusion of reality. Working in series, these photographs reveal a world that is curious, beautiful and often disturbing. Her series "The City" appears to document the slow disintegration of a not too recently but suddenly abandoned city. Though there is much foreboding in these images, Nix is able to imbue them with humor, such as in "Natural History," an apparently self-referential image of a deteriorating museum, with its dioramas partially intact, being invaded by the real world.

Included in the exhibition, which continues through Nov. 7, are selections from her well-known series "Accidently Kansas," "Lost," "Some Other Place" and "The City." ("Library," from the "Lost" series, is pictured here.)

Nix has received numerous awards, including a New York Foundation for the Arts Individual Artist Grant. Her work has been shown extensively throughout the United States and Europe, and is in the collections of the George Eastman House, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and Smithsonian American Art Museum.

"War: Armed Conflict and Its Legacy in Contemporary Self-taught Art" will be on display through Feb. 20. The myths and realities of wars past and present are often subjects for self-taught artists. Art of the 20th century chronicled two world wars and artists of the 21st century continue this practice. Self-taught artists also offer both intimate and epic views on the subject and an important commentary on the foibles of humankind and the horrors of war. Included in the exhibition are works by Anderson Johnson, Aaron Birnbaum, McKendree Long, Ned Cartledge, Howard Finster, Clinton Ford, Pervis Young, Jim Bloom, Zelle Manning and Montu Chitrakar. (Pictured here is Finster's "War of Channel Norsin Nolla," 1984.)

"War and Its Legacy in Contemporary Self-taught Art" draws on works from the Baron and Ellin Gordon Self-taught Art Collection. The following institutions and individuals also made loans from their collections: Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, George and Sue Viener of the Outsider Folk Art Gallery, Baron and Ellin Gordon, Dr. Allen and Barrie Huffmann, Barbara and Richard Moeller, Dr. William and Ann Oppenheimer, and Randal Lott.

The Gordon Galleries, located at 4509 Monarch Way, between 45th and 46th streets, are open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. For more information call 757-683-6271 or visit http://al.odu.edu/art/gallery/index.php.

This article was posted on: September 23, 2010

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