Paul Rusconi: Emanations

April 1 – May 7, 2016
Opening Reception, Friday, April 1 | 6 – 8 pm
Preceded by the artist’s lecture, "Emanations: The Radiation of Language," 5 pm, Hess Family Lecture Hall

The lecture is sponsored by the UAB Department of Art and Art History and the Friends of the Department of Art and Art History. The exhibition is supported in-part by AEIVA’s generous members and is curated by Lisa Tamiris Becker, Director, AEIVA.

Paul Rusconi, Untitled (Bill)Paul Rusconi, "Untitled (Bill)," 2015; Nail polish and acrylic on plexiglas; 71 x 96 inches; Collection of the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, UAB; Gift of Caroline D. Taylor

Paul Rusconi: Emanations is comprised of paintings of artists who have transformed their fields. Subjects include Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Agnes Martin, and Chuck Close. Rusconi’s investigation and interest in the portrait begins with his own photo-based images as well as found or sourced materials. This body of work is a process of hand applying nail polish onto Plexiglas. His concern with the portrait is not only the conveyance of likeness, but the subtlety of emotion and expression that is found somewhere between the light and shadow of one’s face. Closely observing the surface, one can see that his works are comprised of patterns that recall the Benday dots of Roy Lichtenstein. Unlike Lichtenstein’s use of the Benday dot, which is uniform in size, Rusconi uses different sized dots to create the illusion of convex and concave shapes on a two-dimensional surface.

Works by Rusconi are included in numerous private collections and public art institutions, including the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, The Jumex Foundation, The Batonga Foundation, The Castilla Foundation, The Carnegie Art Museum and The White House.

The exhibition features a major work, Untitled (Bill), recently gifted to AEIVA’s permanent collection. This potent diptych features two subtle yet powerful portraits of seminal video artist Bill Viola. Comprised of glowing blue and green nail polish dots, the double portraits are tonally reversed and mirror images of each other — ghost-like emanations that seek to capture both the likeness as well as the soul of this enigmatic artist.

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