Bostic’s exhibition at the Flood Gallery (opening September 17) is not necessarily new work, rather it is a forty-year exploration of female sexuality.
The need to appear desirable is so great that it often exceeds desire itself, which indicates that female sexuality is so powerful it is intimidating. It encompasses issues of body image and self esteem that is affected by all kinds of social, cultural, political and religious opinion or input.
“Growing up, people of my generation didn’t talk about female sexuality,” says Bostic, “and it was still awkward for people of the generation following mine. It’s like you almost have to get to a certain age to be able to comfortably discuss it.” Historically there has been a sort of ‘purity standard’ recognized by American Culture that inevitably left many young women coming of age with feelings of shame. In Bostic’s youth things like spaghetti strapped tank tops, and bikinis were frowned upon, and remaining sexually pure for marriage was encouraged, even expected. Today, while things have progressed, the rape culture and slut shaming that is still overwhelmingly evident indicates that much work remains to be done.
“Red, the color of blood is a color frequently used to depict women. It’s a color of exposure and as such it’s a very vulnerable color,” says Bostic, “think red lipstick, red lingerie, red shoes, do you see? Red almost indicates sex, if nothing else it’s at least a connotation of the word,” she finished.
So where does today’s generation fit into this conversation? Is female sexuality culturally relative anymore? Is the work that has been done to dispense with negative stigmatisms by Bostic’s generation been effective? Does the conversation today, between genders and generations shed new light on this intriguing subject matter? Is there an openness today that never existed in the past, in discussing other types of sexuality?
Linda Larsen, artist and friend of Connie Bostic says this: “Throughout the years I have unsuccessfully tried to explain the power Connie Bostic’s painting holds. In her latest, and possibly oldest body of work, RED, it is finally becoming clear that she is, and always has been, a symbolist; an eloquent, fearless one, not the romantic or sentimental sort. Throwing formalism to the winds, Bostic reaches deep into her feminist roots and offers, for those of us who care to look, another complex human conundrum with which to grapple.”
Due to the sale of the Phil Mechanics Building and the gentrification of Asheville, The Flood Gallery Fine Arts Center, The Courtyard Gallery and the Black Mountain Press have joined together in the their new Fine Arts Center in the Swannanoa Valley East Asheville. On Saturday, September 17th, beginning at 3:00pm, you are invited to join in this conversation. Bostic’s work, RED, will be on display at the Flood Gallery and Fine Arts Center in it’s new location at 2160 Hwy 70, along with other activities throughout the day at this new media arts and fine arts center.
Flood Gallery: The Modern Day Hero Exhibit features two pieces from each artist, one depicting a national hero, and another featuring a local hero.
The artists showing are:
The Exhibition opens November 1st from 6pm to 9pm. There will be refreshments and food served.
Pump Gallery: The Jose Guadalupe Posada’s limited edition prints on display, November 1-December 19th, are print from the original plates. Sixty-Two prints are limited edition 944 of 1500, print in 1960 at the Museum of Graphic Arts in Mexico City. Twenty-Three other limited prints are from the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes print in 1943. There will also be several original prints on display from the collection of the Courtyard Gallery of the Flood Fine Arts Center.
Jose Guadalupe Posada, the father of Mexican printmaking, born in Aquascalientes, Mexico in 1852. In 1868, he was apprenticed to a local printmaker and publisher, Jose Trinidad Pedroza, who specialized in lithography, Posada’s first prints are in this medium. In 1872 Pedroza opened a second shop in the city of Leon and left Posada in charge of it. Posada bought the shop in 1876 but moved to Mexico City in 1888 to perfect his art and escape the politicians who were now back in power in his home city and upset with Posada’s satires of them.
A short lecture will be given during the opening November 1st, at 7pm by Volker Frank, PhD from UNCA who teaches Latin American Studies there.
This lecture and exhibition is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. All events are free and open to the public. For more information call 828—273-3332.
Cibele Leonetti: August/Sept. 2013
A native of Brazil, Cibele Leonetti was born in Sao Paulo in the 40’s. When she was 17 years old, she attended the Pan-American School of the Arts. Later on in the late 70’s Cibele Leonetti opened an art school for children. This developed over the years to include classes for adults and special children. She works in water colors, depicting breathtaking images of her homeland. Cibele Leonetti has traveled in France, Italy and Sicily to paint, and her work has been exhibited all over Brazil.
October 2013: In Search of Lost Causes--Images of the Iranian Revolution-Paradox, Propaganda, and Persuasion.
This project is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Lost Causes is an exhibition of Poster Art, Film, Architecture, and Photography from or as a result of the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The 140 never before exhibited posters, courtesy of the Courtyard Gallery Collection are from the period of the late sixties through eighties and have been described as important to the understanding of illustration and poster art: “because the traces of the American, French, Russian, and even Cuban revolutions are all evident it this collection…the significance of this collection is beyond just Iran and reaches a much wider circle.” states Hamid Dabashi, an Iranian Poster Art and Film expert currently at Columbia University.
Images: The complete poster exhibition can be seen online at: http://www.ashevillecourtyard.com/posters.pdf Other high resolution images are available on request.
FLOOD FINE ART CENTER AND UNCA FEATURES IRANIAN POSTER ART, PHOTOGRAPHS AND FILMS FROM THE 1960s AND 1970s
“In Search of Lost Causes: Images of the Iranian Revolution: Paradox, Propaganda, and Persuasion "on view at UNCA and the Flood Fine Arts Centeropening October 16th and 17th
Asheville, NC September 18th, 2013…A groundbreaking exhibition, In Search of Lost Causes examines three discrete but interrelated aspects of Iranian art of the 1960s through 1980. Organized by the Flood Gallery, Courtyard Gallery and UNCA, In Search of Lost Causes presents over 125 never before exhibited works revolutionary posters, film screenings and black-and-white photographsand is on view at UNCA Library and the Courtyard and Flood Galleries at 109 Roberts St, RAD, Asheville from Oct 17th through November 29th, 2013. After opening in Asheville, NC, the exhibit is scheduled to travel in various parts of the US and Europe.
In Search of Lost Causes: Images of the Iranian Revolution: Paradox, Propaganda, and Persuasion introduces American audiences to modern Iranian art while shedding light on the many ways visual culture both reflected and affected the 1960s and 1970s, two decades that saw dramatic changes, including the politicization of Islam and the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
The exhibition features a selection of revolutionary posters by professional and amateur artists who combined calligraphy, graphics, and rhetoric to convey abstract ideologies. Also exhibited are striking black-and-white photographs from the 1970s by anonymous Iranian photographers, and a series of modern Iranian films. These posters, photographs, and films encourage re-examining the notion of modernism in a non-Western culture.
After a North Carolina Humanities Grant brought him to Asheville to examine the posters, Dr. Hamid Dabashi of Columbia University noted,
“The significance of the Courtyard Gallery Collection of the Flood Fine Arts Center cannot be exaggeratednot just because of the actual collection but also because of the serendipitous manner in which history had decided to safeguard these magnificent traces of deeply traumatic episodes in a people’s struggle for freedom and justice. For these reasons alone, it simply must open in Asheville.
“This collection contains a significant number of revolutionary posters (146 items) roughly from mid-1960’s to early 1980’s, namely just about a decade before and then well into a decade in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution of 19771979. This collection has a number of crucial attributes that makes it a treasure trove of both the political and the aesthetic history of Iran in a global context and in multiple and varied dimensions.”
Dr. Dabashi has written a book about this collected titled “In Search of Lost Causes: Fragmented Allegories of an Iranian Revolution, and will be signing copies of the book during events at UNCA and the galleries.
“These posters from the Iranian Revolution were an act of resistance and creation,” says Carlos Steward of the Courtyard Gallery. “It sought out ways in which the arts could engage social and political concern. This period of Iranian visual culture is an archival record of the social and political problems that were emerging. It serves as the artistic pre-history to the Iranian Revolution of 1979. In Search of Lost Causes teaches us more about modern Persian art and helps us understand how a country that was heralded as a paragon of universal modernization underwent an Islamic Revolution with a message steeped in local imagery, demanding an idealized return to the past and to democracy.”
The Iranian revolutionary posters shown with In Search of Lost Causes offer a fascinating glimpse into Iran’s modern visual culture. Composed with bold forms, intense colors, and calligraphy, these posters pervaded Tehran during the uprising. Created between 1978 and 1980, they were used as props in mass choreographed street demonstrations, and covered buildings throughout Iran’s cities, often defacing public monuments built by Shah Pahlavi’s regime as symbols of its authority and grandeur. The posters were replaced almost as fast as the government tore them down.
Art, reportage, poetry, and politics all became entangled in a distinct form of visual culture. Many posters allude to battle scenes from the Koran or classical Persian poems; others proclaim solidarity with Palestine and the Kurds. Vivid red backgrounds refer to bloodshed and the red tulip, an icon of classical Persian literature. Anonymous artists combined various techniques and symbols, from newspaper collages to silkscreened portraits juxtaposed against bright, abstract backgrounds, reminiscent of Andy Warhol whose portraits of the Shah and the Queen hung in the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.
“Iranian modernism, like many of the culturally specific modernisms that emerged around the globe, was not synonymous with the one constructed in the West,” says Jolene Mechanic, director of the Flood Fine Arts Center. “Both nationalist and internationalist, it looked inward as well as outward. In art, its languages included realism and abstraction, but formal issues were not its primary problems: the fundamental questions addressed by Iranian modernism centered on the notion of identity.” In Search of Lost Causes: Images of the Iranian Revolution: Paradox, Propaganda, and Persuasion is co-curated by Jolene Mechanic and Carlos Steward in consultation with Dr. Hamid Dabashi.
The second section of the exhibition features photographs by Iranian photographers that provide critical information about Iran in 1970s. Taken between 1978 and 1980, these photos provide startling and vivid views of Tehran and its citizens caught up in the throes of a whirlwind. Some have become iconic images.
The third section, the films, provide a look at Iran’s modern Cinema that was blossoming during and after the revolution.
This project is important to both our local community and the community at large, as our society becomes increasingly influenced by media and corporations with agendas of keeping us misinformed for their own profit motives. We cannot effectively participate in a democracy if we don’t know the truth and conditions of the other cultures that we have become accustomed to manipulating into what we believe is best for them.
Through exhibition it is anticipated that audiences will begin to question their assumptions about Iran, the negative influences of propaganda, and the power of persuasion by special interest groups.
67:30 p.m. Reception for Dr. Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University at the Ramsey Library Glasshouse.
7:30 p.m. Poster lecture and book signings by Dr. Dabashi
8:30 p.m. Screening of This is Not a Film in the Walt Whitman Room. This is not a Film documents a day in the life of prisoner Jafar Panahi, banned for 20 years from filmmaking in Iran. The film was smuggled out of Iran in a USB stick hidden in a cake.
68 p.m. Receptionposter art lecture and book signings by Dr. Dabashi.
8 p.m. Screening of Chicken with Plums at the Courtyard Gallery. Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, this film adaptation of the graphic novel tells the story of Nasser Ali, a renowned musician who losess all taste for life after his beloved violin is broken.
8 p.m. Screening of Persepolis at the Courtyard Gallery. Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, Persepolis is a poignant coming-of-age story about a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl that begins during the Islamic Revolution.
Posters will be on exhibit at Ramsey Libraby at UNC Asheville from October 1 through October 30, 2013.
Posters will be on exhibit at the Flood Fine Arts Center from October 17 through November 29, 2013.