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Slow Looking/Deep Seeing

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  • William Bailey
    United States, 1930-2020
    Still Life with Bottle, Bowl and Eggs, 1970
    Oil on canvas
    36 x 42 in.
    Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Museum purchase with funds from North Carolina National Bank and the Smith Richardson Foundation, 1971.1778


    At first glance, this still life of domestic items arranged on a tabletop appears exact. However, Bailey’s interest in the subject is more metaphysical than descriptive. The artist does not paint directly from life or photographic sources, preferring to rely on his imagination and/or memories of observed things. As a result, he invented rather than viewed the still life’s arrangement. In addition, he stylized and delineated the objects in such a way that they appear detached from time and place.

    © William Bailey

  • Peter Campus
    United States, born 1937
    red fence, 2013
    Videograph, edition 1/5
    21:07 minutes
    Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Museum purchase with funds from the Ketner Family Acquisition Endowment, the Louise D. and Herbert S. Falk Acquisition Endowment, and the Maud Gatewood Art Acquisition Endowment, 2016.5


    Peter Campus is widely considered a seminal figure in the realm of video and new media art, beginning with his now-landmark works in the early 1970s. In this video, the artist continues his exploration of perception as he translates a red construction barrier fence found along the shoreline into a moving image that appears digitally pixelated but, in fact, is made up of numerous filtered layers fused together in different ways.

    © Peter Campus

  • George Ault
    United States, 1891-1948
    The Cable Station, 1944
    Oil on canvas
    23 ⅛  x 31 ⅛ in.
    Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Museum purchase with funds from the Blue Bell Foundation and NCNB, 1974.2173


    George Ault made this painting during World War II using as his inspiration a photograph published in the New York Times of a cable station then in use on the French coast. However, the dreamlike landscape and the strange cloud form are so nondescript that they could denote any location. The overall mood of the painting reveals Ault's anxiety over the current state of the world.

    © Estate of George Ault

  • Jo Baer
    United States, born 1929
    Grayed Yellow Vertical Rectangle, 1964-65
    Oil on canvas
    60 x 48 in.
    Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Gift of Anne and Benjamin Cone, 1966.1462


    Jo Baer likes to work in series in order to study the effect of subtle variations. This painting is from a group of twelve that differ in size (large and small), shape (square, rectangle, vertical, and horizontal), color (blue, green, purple, and yellow), and hue (intense, pale, grayed, and bright). Although at first glance the canvas might seem void or blank, its “imagery” in point of fact consists of a vertical rectangle of white surrounded by a thin black border, and just within that border, a slim line of grayed yellow. Despite its austerity, the painting offers viewers an immersive experience.

    © Jo Baer

  • Arthur Dove
    United States, 1880-1946
    Lehigh Water Tower, 1938
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    7 x 5 in.
    Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Museum purchase with funds from the Mary Alice Rose Wildman Art Acquisitions Fund in honor of her children, Mary Rose Wildman Czysz and John Wildman, 2017.17


    Lehigh Water Tower depicts an industrial water tower in Geneva, New York, surrounded by telephone poles and deep snow. As an artist Dove believed that all things—both natural and manufactured—possess a spirit or energy that animates them and sought to depict those unseen rhythms and powers in his art. Here he imbues the scene with energy by concentrating on its atmospheric conditions and “essence” over its physical details. Its potency comes from Dove’s energetic brushwork and expressive use of line and color. Washes of blue denote the winter sky while broad expanses of brown suggest factories or other urban buildings. At the same time, the artist left much of the paper’s ground bare to indicate snow, light, and icy conditions equally.



  • Sharka Hyland
    United States, born Czech Republic, 1954
    Thomas Wolfe, Of Time and the River (Chapter IV), 2018
    Pencil on prepared paper
    12 x 16 in.
    Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Museum purchase with funds from the Dillard Fund for the Dillard Collection, 2019.9 


    Sharka Hyland examines how literary language transcends the distinction between the verbal and the visual, becoming an amalgam of the two. She recreates texts using historically and culturally appropriate typefaces in a size and format one might encounter while reading a book. The resultant drawings fuse the author’s words with the reader’s imagination. Thus, the “true” subject of the drawings is intangible, being whatever the viewer conceives.

    © Sharka Hyland


  • Edward Laning
    United States, 1906-1981
    Coney Island Beach Scene, 1938
    Oil on canvas
    37 ¼ x 43 ⅛  in.
    Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Gift of his family in honor of Mr. Benjamin Cone's 80th birthday, 1980.2675 


    The figures on the edges of this composition—a potbellied man wearing a hat, a man sitting in a lounge chair, and a woman rummaging in her beach bag—are oblivious to the sexually charged struggle happening in the center of the painting. The atmospheric turbulence of the sky and rippled surface of the sand likewise mirror the unsettling narrative. The deliberately limited range of pigments gives coherence to the crowded, complex composition, a pictorial metaphor for the social turmoil that roiled society during the Great Depression.

    © Estate of Edward Laning


  • Roxy Paine
    United States, born 1966
    Dead Amanita No. 2, 2002
    Polymer, oil, lacquer, wood, and glass
    10 ½ x 18 x 14 in.
    Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Museum purchase with funds from the Lynn Richardson Prickett Acquisition Endowment, the Joseph R. Morton Acquisition Endowment, the Louise D. and Herbert S. Falk Acquisition Endowment and the Maud Gatewood Art Acquisition Endowment, 2010.4


    Dead Amanita No. 2  is from a series of rotting plants and fungi that suggests the passage of time. Paine carefully studies his subjects at various stages of decay and painstakingly replicates them in their final state from cast polymer treated with oil paint and lacquer. Encased in a glass vitrine, this flaccid mushroom seems as if it more aptly belongs in the botanical section of a natural history museum rather than in a fine art museum. Paine's presentation addresses the artifice of artmaking, the tradition of trompe-l'oeil (fool-the-eye), and the fine lines between art and artifact, and reality and perception.

    © Roxy Paine


  • Byron Kim
    United States, born 1961
    Sunday Painting, 10/23/05, 2005
    Acrylic and graphite on wood panel
    14 x 14 x 1 in.
    Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Anonymous gift, 2005.17


    Although this painting feels like pure abstraction, it has profound ties to the world. Inspired by the writing of Chuang Tzu, an early Daoist who wrote eloquently about the relationship of the infinite to the infinitesimal, each painting in The Sunday Paintings series depicts a sky-colored field upon which Kim wrote a diary entry every Sunday. (This painting was created while Kim was visiting Greensboro.) In this manner, the artist compares the vastness of the sky with his quotidian, relatively insignificant life. Moreover, the term Sunday painter refers to amateur artists who paint for only a few hours each week and thus to Kim’s indecision and uncertainty about his own career.

    © Byron Kim


  • Patricia Piccinini
    Australia, born Sierra Leone, 1965
    Game Boys Advanced, 2002, from the series We Are Family
    Silicone, polyurethane, fiberglass, clothing, human hair, and video game
    51 ¾ x 27 ¼ x 13 ¾ in.
    Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Gift of The Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, 2014.29.2


    Game Boys Advanced looks straightforward on initial viewing: one boy, named Ollie, plays intently with a hand-held video game, while his identical companion Solly looks over his shoulder at the flickering screen. However, upon closer inspection, the two young boys show signs of aging—grey hairs, age-spots, yellowing teeth, and wrinkles. The prematurely aged twins explicitly reference the scientific creation of Dolly, a cloned sheep who aged quickly and died young. Regarded by some as creepy, Game Boys Advanced examines the frailty of the creations of science and our responsibilities to the new life we create, not to mention the ethical dilemmas associated with cloning and stem cell research.

    © Patricia Piccinini


  • Alfred Stieglitz
    United States, 1864-1946
    The Steerage, 1907, printed 1911
    Photogravure
    18 ¼ x 12 9/16 in.
    Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Gift of Virginia M. Zabriskie, 1977.2495


    Although most viewers interpret this image as immigrants arriving in New York, the scene actually depicts men and women traveling in the lower-class section of the steamer, the SS Kaiser Wilhelm II, going from New York to Bremen, Germany. Some critics have suggested the image records immigrants who were turned away by US Immigration officials and were forced to return home. While this might be true for some of the passengers, it is more likely that most of them were highly skilled artisans, such as cabinetmakers, woodworkers and marble layers, who were traveling back to their homelands upon the conclusion of their temporary two-year visas.



  • John Sonsini
    United States, born 1950
    David, 2012
    Oil on canvas
    60 x 48 in.
    Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Benefactors Choice Purchase, 2019.14


    David belongs to an ongoing series of portraits that focus exclusively on Latino day workers living in Los Angeles, CA. Sonsini paints from the model in his studio, but favors capturing the sitter’s affect/presence rather than his actual likeness. The artist depicted personal items—a backpack, skateboard, and shirt—to further add to the narrative. Although these items may not have actually belonged to David, their presence infuses the portrait with a heightened poignancy and a deeper emotional intensity. On another level, David conjures up social and political issues faced by immigrant workers, giving visibility to people who are sometimes treated as invisible.


    © Courtesy of the artist and Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY




  • Slow Looking/Deep Seeing, Weatherspoon Art Museum, installation photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications, 2021.






  • Slow Looking/Deep Seeing, Weatherspoon Art Museum, installation photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications, 2021.






  • Slow Looking/Deep Seeing, Weatherspoon Art Museum, installation photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications, 2021.






  • Slow Looking/Deep Seeing, Weatherspoon Art Museum, installation photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications, 2021.






  • Slow Looking/Deep Seeing, Weatherspoon Art Museum, installation photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications, 2021.






  • Slow Looking/Deep Seeing, Weatherspoon Art Museum, installation photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications, 2021.






  • Slow Looking/Deep Seeing, Weatherspoon Art Museum, installation photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications, 2021.




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UNC Greensboro
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