This exhibition gives viewers the opportunity to enjoy a selection of animal-centric works of art. From the chicken-people of Francisco Goya to the horses of Walter Piehl, a variety of land and sea creatures have come together to tell a tale of how they have each been employed by artists across the centuries to illustrate stories, create allegory, and demonstrate their relationships with humankind.
Animals and imaginative animal creations like the griffin occupy a major presence in art, language, and literature. The history of animals in artwork is significant, perhaps beginning with Paleolithic cave paintings such as those found in Lascaux, France. As civilizations progressed globally, animal depictions evolved beyond the documentation of animals as a food source. Their roles in spirituality, religion, story telling, labor, and companionship have become richly engrained within works of art around the world.
The artworks featured in Fables, Insults, and Reverence span more than two hundred years of time. The themes included throughout the exhibition draw attention to the humor and adoration employed by a diverse selection of artists through their individual depictions of animals. Each piece of art tells a unique visual story, encouraging the viewer to study the themes represented in this exhibition while contemplating their own personal associations made with each animal.
Sarah M. Heitkamp, UND Art Collections Manager and Curator
Exhibition Dates: Jan. 22 - March 31, 2019
UND Art Collections Gallery at the Empire Arts Center, Grand Forks, ND