Dark Rococo / Ruth Bolduan
October 8, 2009 - November 15, 2009

In Dark Rococo, Ruth Bolduan finds a correspondence between 18th century painting and current aesthetic ideas, particularly the renewal of interest in the concept of beauty. Her works are linked to history, to the feminine, and to an unbroken lineage of artistic creation. These paintings reveal a sense of global and political malaise beneath their light-hearted façade, just as the splendid flowering of the Rococo contained the seeds of its own collapse. The paintings in Dark Rococo were created shortly before, during, and after the economic collapse of September 2008.

In his catalogue essay for Dark Rococo, Art in America Corresponding Editor J.W. Mahoney writes: “Ruth Bolduan is aware of a revolution, of vast consequences, ahead, for both her historicized, painted personalities, and also, very likely, for ourselves, in coming years. These are covertly and insistently, dangerously revolutionary paintings, reflecting, quietly, the sad beauty of a deep impermanence.”

The Ripple Effect
Paintings by Matthew Fisher, Maya Goldweber, Theresa Pfarr, and Jonathan Weston

The Ripple Effect, curated by Ruth Bolduan, runs concurrently with Dark Rococo. The Ripple Effect presents four young figurative painters, all former students of Bolduan, who are recent graduates of the Painting and Printmaking Department of the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The Ripple Effect reveals the subtle interplay between teacher and student, fragments and moments of perception, occasional anger, insight, and awe, which has characterized the relationship between older and younger artists throughout the history of art. The artists in The Ripple Effect reflect a Rococo sensibility: a love of lush color, a sense of frivolity and highly erudite game playing, a certain whimsical reflection, and an identification with the great tug of war between male and male, male and female, and female and female that has engaged the metaphor of figurative painting. History lives in these paintings as a significant paradigm, which retains the permanent allure of great art.

Opening Reception
Sunday, October 11, 4–6 pm

Gallery Talk
The Ripple Effect: Influence and Inspiration
Sunday, November 1, 3 pm