October 13 – November 19, 2011
Artists’ Reception: Thursday, November 3, 6 to 8 pm
Artists’ Talk: Saturday, November 5, 2pm
JOANN VERBURG Interruptions
G. Gibson Gallery first started working with JOANN VERBURG in 1995 with a group exhibition. This is now our 4th solo show, with an exhibit of new architectural and portrait work from Italy. A current resident of St. Paul, MN, JoAnn & her husband, poet James Moore, spend much of their time in residence in the Umbrian city of Spoleto, Italy; a location they have been visiting for over 25 years. The new photographs depart from the landscape we have experienced in JoAnn’s previous bodies of work, to explore the narrow streets and passageways of Spoleto, and the humans who wander through.
JoAnn Verburg’s photographs have been exhibited nationally in museums and galleries, and are in the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Los Angeles County Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Art, National Portrait Gallery, International Center of Photography, International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago) Weisman Art Museum, Wellesley College Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Walker Art Center, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York among others. Verburg received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1986.
Verburg began her career working on outreach programs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1972 – 1975) and established an interest in learning and teaching outside of academia that continues today. In 1976, she finished her studies in museum practices in fine art photography at the Eastman House in Rochester New York in 1976.
Verburg was a founding member of The Rephotographic Survey Project in Colorado (later Idaho). In that role, she researched the four great 19th century topographical surveys that ultimately reestablished the boundaries of the United States. In 1977 and 1978, with a team of photographers, she and her partner Mark Klett led expeditions to find the sites where William Henry Jackson and other 19th photographers had exposed their glass plate negatives; by locating their sites, finding camera positions, and rephotographing the same places as they appeared in 1977. Her work was published with Klett and their third partner, Ellen Manchester, as the seminal book, Second View: A Rephotographic Survey.
In 1980 she created the Visiting Artist Program for Polaroid Corporation, which has survived the corporation itself. She introduced most of the artists who first experimented with the camera, including William Wegman, Jim Dine, Linda Connor, Jan Groover, Andy Warhol, & Chuck Close.
In the late 1970s she began her long love affair with 5×7 photography, first black & white, then color, now color negatives that she scans with an old giant Howtek scanner. She has collaborated with dancers, visual artists, and writers on a number of projects over the years.
In 2007, the Museum of Modern Art mounted Present Tense: Photographs by JoAnn Verburg, a solo exhibition of her photographs and video with a catalog of the same title. It traveled to the Walker Art Center in 2008. Of this exhibition, Philip Gefter wrote in The New York Times, “Time doesn’t exactly stand still in JoAnn Verburg’s photographs….Instead, her portraits, still lifes and landscapes generate a state of prolonged experience.” Signed copies of this catalog are available in the gallery.
Her work is included in many other publications, including the current textbook, Photography, by Upton and London and Highlights Since 1980: MoMA. Her most recent publication, Interruptions, from Steidl, showcases the body of work in our current exhibit. Copies of this book will also be available.
JoAnn’s newest project is a book of photographs that will be available later this year as free app for display on an iPad.
THUY-VAN VU New Drawing and Painting
This is our second solo exhibit with painting and drawing by THUY-VAN VU. Thuy-Van received a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1998, and an MFA in painting from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. Her work has been exhibited in Austin, Los Angeles, New York, Rome, and Seattle, including Parallel Lines, at the Wing Luke Museum, Seattle, WA in 2009, and Deconstruct + Reconstruction, Visual Arts Center, Austin, TX in 2010. G. Gibson Gallery was introduced to Thuy-Van’s work in early 2009 on Nancy Guppy’s ArtZone program on the Seattle Channel.
Thuy-Van Vu was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Her father (a pilot in the Southern Vietnamese air force) and her mother (a schoolteacher) were Vietnamese refugees who fled to the United States in the spring of 1975. Thuy-Van was born the following autumn. She left Phoenix shortly after graduating high school in 1994 to study art in Maine, and a year later left Maine to study at the Rhode Island School of Design. In her senior year, Thuy-Van was accepted into RISD’s European Honors Program and lived for a year in Rome, Italy, where she spent the year seeing as much art as possible in Italy and also other parts of Europe. Thuy-Van returned to Providence and worked at RISD until moving to Seattle in 2000. She left Seattle for three years to attend the University of Texas in Austin on a fellowship, receiving her MFA for painting in 2006. When not in studio, Thuy-Van spends time with family and her 2 year-old son, and works for Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism as a graphic designer and the Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine as an academic coordinator.
Thuy-Van Vu – Artist Statement
Much of my work has dealt with the mutability of everyday domestic objects—chairs, beds, electric burners, playground equipment, accumulations of cast-off items; emphasizing the form of the objects by staging them in defamiliarized relations to their intended usefulness.
This interest in the equipment of domestic life that has been abstracted from its use has continued in my recent work, which is based on photographs of abandoned buildings and housing construction sites. These transitional spaces, with their vestigial or inchoate structures of domesticity, exist on the periphery of the ideal of Home; the paintings, dependent on and yet abstracted from this ideal, hold open the opportunity for a formal experience of surface, line and compositional movement. The familiar setting of the home is transfigured, creating a painting in which geometry, readability of image, suggestions of narrative, figuration, and association all negotiate to share the same imagined and physical space.
This new work explores painting as document and how the language of painting can add ‘lyricism’ (after Walker Evans) to the documentary image. The work reflects a muted approach to abstraction, allowing for an interplay between surface, form, and illusion – that I hope will amplify, rather than disrupt a viewer’s visceral experience of the image.