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About The Fralin

Director's Welcome

Elizabeth Wright

Springtime in The Fralin’s galleries encourages you to look closely and to expand your perspectives!

Our new spring exhibitions at The Fralin offer opportunities for meaningful engagement with important contemporary issues as well as historical lessons through a wide array of media.

Erik Harrington, our 2018–2019 Barringer-Lindner curatorial fellow, explores modern notions of seriality through a thoughtful selection of prints in The Print Series in Bruegel’s Netherlands: Dutch and Flemish Works from the Permanent Collection. This exhibition provides the opportunity for close study and teaches us about the use of prints to expand an artist’s reach. Our Barringer-Lindner fellows spend a year working with the collection and always broaden our understanding so that both the fellow and the Museum are enriched by the study. This exhibition is a particular treat in that a number of these works have never been on view at The Fralin.

Professor Bill Wylie, well known to our community, explores the contemporary landscape of one of Western civilization’s most renowned ancient ruins in Pompeii Archive. Taking as a starting point the photographs of Giorgio Sommer, one of the first to document the excavation, Bill explores the formal capabilities of his medium while juxtaposing the ancient with the contemporary. This evocative work provides a space for contemplating the passage of time as well as calling our attention to the fragility of the human experience, as we gaze upon the casts of bodies which stand as monuments to lives cut short.

In our J. Sanford Miller Family and Octagonal galleries, you will find sometimes.we.cannot.be.with.our.bodies., an installation by “citizen artist” Vanessa German. Harnessing the power of everyday objects, German makes a powerful, personal statement on the horrific violence experienced by African American and LGBTQ+ communities. Calling us to memorialize the lives lost to brutality, her installation conveys a sense of heartbreak and anger while also reclaiming the exuberant, creative power of people too often dehumanized.

Her work comes to Charlottesville at a pivotal point in our city’s history as it takes stock of its past and forges its future identity. While Vanessa confronts many of the most pressing issues—of violence and bigotry and division—facing our communities today, she comes from a belief in the power of empathy and love as the way forward. sometimes.we.cannot.be.with.our.bodies. provides a critical platform for important conversations to begin. For me, this is what great museums work to accomplish; it is an essential role which The Fralin must play within our community.

So join me on this journey, as we challenge ourselves to expand our perspectives through art. I look forward to seeing you in the galleries soon!

Matthew McLendon, J. Sanford Miller Family Director 
 
 

(Photograph by Daniel Perales)