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Published gems by Salvador Dali and Frank Lloyd Wright on display

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Visitors to the William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library may view fine examples from the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room this spring. The library’s exhibit cases are filled with important texts from one of the greatest American architects, as well as a recently acquired performance piece by Salvador Dali.

Nine works on and by Frank Lloyd Wright are on view through May, including a 1938 exhibit catalog produced by the Museum of Modern Art, drawings from his published portfolio, and a very rare paint catalog featuring colors personally selected by Wright. Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was one of the most important architects of the 20th century, as well as a respected author and architectural philosopher.  He began his career as a residential architect, who introduced to his unique “Prairie Style” idealism to American architecture.  His career slowed considerably after scandals involving his marriages and a mass murder that took place in his home.  This downturn encouraged him to reinvigorate his career by publishing an autobiography and other works, culminating with Testament, one of the books on display in the Jenkins Library.

Visitors may also view a book, libretto, and audio recording of Salvador Dali’s little-known opera Être Dieu: opéra-poème, audiovisuel et cathare en six parties [Being God: a Cathar Audiovisual Opera-Poem in Six Parts], libretto by Manuel Vazquez Montalban and music by Igor Wakhevitch.  Salvador Dali and his collaborators composed this performance art piece in 1974.  It is based on mystery plays and inspired by Catharism, a 12th century Gnostic revival movement.  Dali plays the role of God in this rare recording.  The William R. Jenkins Library recently purchased Être Dieu with funds from the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Book Endowment.

Welcome Edith Villasenor, Architecture & Art Library Supervisor

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I’m pleased to announce that Edith Villasenor has joined the William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library staff.  Edith earned a BA in in Art History from UH and worked in the Jenkins Library as a student shelver from 2014-2016.  While a student she served as Vice President of the Blaffer Student Association and the Treasurer of the Jenkins Library Ambassadors.  Edith has worked as a docent at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and as a volunteer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Lawndale Art Center.  She interned in the Blaffer Art Museum’s Education Department and as an archival and curatorial assistant at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum.  In her new role as library supervisor, Edith will supervise the student shelvers as well as the Jenkins Library Student Ambassador program.  She will also be heavily involved in outreach activities and research instruction targeted at visual arts students enrolled in the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts.  Edith may be reached at evillasenor@uh.edu or at 713-743-2340.  Please join me in welcoming her back to UH.

Survey on weekend hours

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The William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library is currently open from 10-5 on Saturdays and closed on Sundays during the fall and spring semesters.  We are considering whether to adjust and extend these hours to better meet our students’ needs. Please answer this two question survey about hours of operation, so we can determine what schedule is most useful to art and design students.

Drawn Superstition by Angel Castelán on view in the Architecture & Art Library

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The William R. Jenkins Architecture & Art Library presents four untitled paintings by second-year graduate student Angel Castelán.  His exhibit, Drawn Superstition draws upon his Mexican ancestry and its animal mythology.  “Being of Mexican heritage,” he writes,  I grew up listening to all sorts of superstitions, and naturally, the majority of these were about animals. Brujas turn into lechuzas to carry you off at night. Don’t let the cara de niño bite you, or you’ll die. The urutau and black witch moths are harbingers of death; don’t let them get you. Thus, it is no surprise that certain animals are rejected or even feared to the point that they are killed when encountered. However, when these animals, who are either endemic or have ties that date back to the Aztecs, are pushed into being endangered or even extinct in the wild, it becomes a major issue. Through this series of drawings, I aim to capture these animals as they would normally be encountered; without the corruption of superstitious lens.”

On view through December 2017.

Jasper Johns Catalogue Raisonné of Painting and Sculpture recently acquired

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This comprehensive five-volume set from Yale University Press is now part of the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Collection in the William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library.  Patrons may contact cwessinger@uh.edu to schedule a time to view this definitive work.

New Works by Isaac Farley

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On view in the William R. Jenkins Architecture & Art Library until November 2017.  The artist, Isaac Farley, is now in the third year of an MFA program in painting.

My work is a form of storytelling. I want to tell stories of the lives of everyday people, like my family that is made up of people who were and are workers, either on ranches or in factories, and their desires, struggles, their triumphs, and tribulations.  Stories are rooted in oral traditions and cave paintings and are the basis of human history. When I try to tell a story without words, I think in images.  These images are influenced by movies, photography, and other art, and are most readily translated onto a two dimensional surface.

Often the work deals with America.  Not so much what America is or what it was, but the ideal, and myth of America.  America, the land of equal opportunity, where the truth is spoken, justice is fair and even, and where people live as they choose instead of what others impose on them.

Duality appears often in my work as innate and inborn opposing or balancing forces.  People are simultaneously advanced and primitive, capable of great acts of kindness and cruelty, with the ability to create both great art and terrible destruction.

Camp, acrylic on canvas, 63x72in Jimador Linocut 12x12in (2)

On display in the William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library

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Vietnam Sinfonie oder Desastres de la Guerra by Wolf Vostell

Materials from the German artist Wolf Vostell’s  Vietnam Sinfonie oder Désastres de la Guerra (Vietnam Symphony or Disasters of the War) are on display in the Architecture and Art Library’s upper mezzanine.  This piece was performed at the Galerie Van de Loo in Munich in 1972. Vostell is known for his role in the Fluxus art movement in the late 1950s in Europe. He was the founder of the European Happening scene and was one of the first video and installation artists.

Art Revolution: Women Artists from Around the World

On display in the south wing are books dedicated to groundbreaking women artists from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States.  These women challenge traditional assumptions and engage us in conversations that were previously unthinkable through their creative work in video art, photography, performance art, paintings, textiles, sculptures, room installations, drawings, etchings, collages and beyond. This exhibit highlights many different art movements including Hannah Höch’s work as a Dada artist in the Weimar period, Carolee Schneemann’s Fluxus’ work, Ana Medieta’s involvement in the Body art movement, Helen Marten’s contemporary art earning her the 2016 Turner Prize, Germaine Arnaktauyok’s work stemming from her Inuk childhood, Lorna Simpson’s Conceptual Photography and avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama’s installations.

Solo exhibit by Leah Bydalek in the Architecture and Art Library

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The William R. Jenkins Architecture & Art Library is pleased to present Leah Bydalek’s first solo exhibition.

Fluorescent Lessons is on view from July to August 2017. Bydalek is a senior painting major at the University of Houston. Ms. Bydalek’s color palette was inspired by the pictorial artist Wayne Thiebaud, known for painting cakes. The artist also plays around with her memories and giving them a final twist.

Leah Bydalek's art is on display in the William R. Jenkins Architecture & Art Library through August.

Leah Bydalek’s art is on display in the William R. Jenkins Architecture & Art Library through August.

Artist’s statement:

I love it when the “truth” of a thing can be turned on its head to yield a novel experience.  It shows us that perceptions are malleable and that people have the potential to change.  This is the meeting point of the familiar and the unknown the beautiful and the disgusting the docile and the disobedient.

Art Speaker Day with Curatorial Fellow Javier Sanchez Martinez

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Interested in working for a museum?  Join us for a friendly conversation with museum professional Javier Sanchez Martinez and learn about his career and curatorial research.  Refreshments will be served.

RSVP to library.ambassadorsuh@gmail.com

On display in the Architecture and Art Library…

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geniza with box

A Geniza by Raphael Rubinstein, Professor of Critical Studies at UH’s School of Art, is on display in the upper mezzanine. A Geniza is a limited edition poem in a box inspired by Cairo, Egypt. The poem is fragmented into more than 100 pieces of paper, using various colored paper and different fonts, resulting in an eclectic and visually stimulating display. The poem is meant to be pieced together by each reader to create a distinctive itinerary through Cairo’s history and meaning.

 

On display in the south wing exhibit case: the LEGO Architecture series, curated by Library Specialist Julia Kress (and assembled by her son).  The LEGO structures are based upon great built works, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Villa Savoye, and complimented by books from the William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library collection.  sydney opera house

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