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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Arizona Biennial’s great divide

    The artwork in Tucson Museum of Art’s Arizona Biennial ’09 will be putting some of the Arizona’s premier artists in the public eye this Friday at 5:30 p.m. But don’t expect to see walls filled with repetitious paintings of cowboy and cacti nostalgia. Expect to see a wide variety of art at this opening that will represent many different facets within Arizona’s regional and contemporary artistic landscape.

    A legion of different modern sources influence 21st century art, so it can seem as if this year’s biennial selection, handpicked by juror Dr. Tim Rodgers, chief curator at the New Mexico Museum of Art, is split between various aesthetic preferences and methods of execution. This divide is intentional, however, as Rodgers said in a statement about the biennial, “”This visual information is not in conflict, it is in contrast.””

    Don’t understand the difference? Rodgers said 20th century modern art and artistic thought are often portrayed as binary opposites: surrealism vs. abstract expressionism, abstract expressionism vs. pop, pop vs. minimalism. However, one art form can be used not to disprove another, but to give both sides greater meaning in a symbiotic relationship. According to Rodgers, one artwork not only stands for the cultural idea it is portraying, it can also take on a deeper significance in what it chooses not to address.

    That is, enemies in art can become allies in a collaborative effort to create dialogue and subsequently a better understanding of the general conversation of contemporary art.

    Tucson is lucky to have many talented artists represented in the show that will house more than 40 Arizona artists. UA faculty such as Lawrence Gipe will be shown along with such UA alumni as Jeejung Kim, adding to the creative conversation.

    Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave., July 10, 5:30 p.m., $10, (520) 624-2333, Free next-day informal gallery tour museum admission, Saturday, 1 p.m. The exhibition runs until Sept. 26.

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