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Artists explore the past and present, movement and transformation in Moss Arts Center’s fall exhibitions

August 29, 2017

Radcliffe Bailey sculpture
A detailed view of artist Radcliffe Bailey's installation, "Windward Coast - West Coast Slave Trade" (2009-2011), composed of piano keys, a plaster bust, and glitter. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

The Moss Arts Center ushers in its 2017-18 season with an exhibition of paintings and prints by Pia Fries and a sculptural installation along with a selection of paintings by Radcliffe Bailey. While distinctly different in concept, media, and technique, the work of both artists is powerful and visceral in impact while delving into connections between the past and present, as well as concepts of movement, transition, and transformation.

The center’s fall exhibitions open with a reception on Sept. 14 from 5-7 p.m. in the Grand Lobby of the Moss Arts Center, located at 190 Alumni Mall. The evening will also feature a conversation with Bailey, beginning at 6 p.m.

The galleries and all related events are free and open to the public.

Bailey is a painter, sculptor, and mixed media artist based in Atlanta, Georgia, who layers found objects, materials, and imagery in profound works that explore the rich heritage of African Americans. In the installation “Windward Coast‑West African Slave Trade” (2009-2011), Bailey references historical and ancestral communities and migrations, including enslaved African people escaping through Virginia’s Great Dismal Swamp, while examining concepts of identity, race, culture, and the mnemonic power of objects.

Bailey’s work will be on view in the Moss Arts Center’s Miles C. Horton Jr. Gallery and Sherwood Payne Quillen ’71 Reception Gallery.

A Swiss artist based in Dusseldorf, Germany, Fries’ paintings integrate silkscreened fragments of 17th century Baroque and Mannerist prints into a hybrid fusion of figuration and abstraction, art historical tradition, and adventurous innovation. Characterized by audacious color and thick pigment vigorously applied with brushes, spatulas, and palette knives, her abstract works represent a hybrid fusion of painting and printmaking. Intense color and paint advance across expanses of empty white surfaces in a statement about the intersection of movement and stasis, past and present, and art and life.

pia fries
A detailed view of artist Pia Fries' "fahnenbild b" (2012). Oil on panel, 48 7/8 x 66 7/8 inches, from the collection of Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz.

Fries’ exhibition presents a selection of paintings and prints from two collections – the Pizzuti Collection and Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz Collection – and from the CRG Gallery in New York; Christopher Grimes Gallery in Santa Monica, California; and Crown Point Press in San Francisco, respectively. The work will be on view in the Moss Arts Center’s Ruth C. Horton Gallery and the Francis T. Eck Exhibition Corridor.

The fall exhibitions are curated by Margo Ann Crutchfield, the Moss Arts Center’s curator at large.

The Moss Arts Center’s galleries are regularly open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

The center offers many opportunities for students, faculty, and community members to engage with artists and their work. To arrange a group tour of the galleries, contact Meggin Hicklin, exhibitions program manager for the Moss Arts Center.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email kmcallis@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to an event.

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