Warhol Polaroids, work of Isabel Barbuzza featured in Coe art exhibits

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2009-10-09 07:31:25 - General

Polaroid photographs taken by famed pop artist Andy Warhol and mixed media/installation by Isabel Barbuzza are featured in upcoming Coe College art shows. The works will be on display in the Marvin Cone and Eaton-Buchan Galleries of Sinclair Auditorium on the Coe College campus. An opening reception will take place in the Sinclair lobby on Friday, Oct. 16, from 5 - 7 p.m. Both the reception and the exhibitions are free and open to the public, with gallery hours from 3 - 5 p.m. daily from Oct. 17 through Nov. 8.

Details of the exhibits are as follows:

Polaroid photo of Mohammad Ali by Andy Warhol
Polaroid photo of Joan Collins by Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol Polaroid photography exhibit
Andy Warhol rose to prominence in the pop art world in the 1960s following a successful career as a commercial illustrator. A multi-faceted artist, Warhol was renowned worldwide for his work as a painter, filmmaker, record producer and author. He was also a popular social figure, with friendships across the spectrum of well-known people of the time.

Warhol purchased a Polaroid Big Shot camera in 1970, and soon tried it out on everyone from the famous to the anonymous. Most of these Polaroids were taken in preparation for Warhol's production of large silkscreen portraits.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Andy Warhol Foundation, approximately 28,000 such photos worth more than $28 million were given to 185 institutions across the country. As part of this distribution, the foundation provided a generous donation of Andy Warhol Polaroids to the Coe permanent art collection in early 2009, with the stipulation the photographs be publically displayed at least every 10 years.

A total of 156 photographic prints were given to Coe, 106 of which were Polaroids taken during the 1970s and 1980s. The portfolio consists mainly of casual shots of celebrities such as actress Joan Collins, boxer Muhammad Ali and singer Neil Sedaka, as well as common people and other objects like toys and shoes. Please note a few of the Warhol exhibition photos contain sexual content and nudity that may be offensive to some viewers and which may not be appropriate for those under age 18.

Coe Gallery Director Mariah Dekkenga has produced a colorful, 60-page catalog of the college's Warhol Polaroid collection. It includes an essay by Dekkenga introducing Warhol's work, and is available at the exhibition for $18.

Isabel Barbuzza mixed media/installation exhibit
Isabel Barbuzza was born in Argentina and studied art and art history at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza. During that time, her training was traditional and focused on drawing, printmaking and sculpture. However, as a young student living in a time of extreme censorship and repression, her work was influenced by the social and political atmosphere. In 1978, she moved to California and earned an MFA from the University of California in Santa Barbara.

Barbuzza's current work speaks from formal, sensorial, conceptual and aesthetic references and encompasses the use of mundane elements such as corn husks, chile peppers, mussel shells, books, razor blades, etc. For her, everyday materials convey a reality which provides a context to create objects and installations that point to the perceptual qualities of intimate space, identity and labor. In addition, her work is attentive to the female voice that encompasses diverse references. The works evolve as "process" from a mixed media approach that in many cases includes sawing, sculpture, printmaking, gluing and book arts.

"My area of specialization can be consolidated into three sectors: objects, book works and installations," noted Barbuzza in her artist's statement. "I used discarded objects, materials that are part of everyday life as the raw material for production. Partially, my work relates to the transformation of discarded materials, which operates as evidence for consumption, collection and accumulation. Everyday materials convey a reality, a vocabulary that I uncover and recover, providing the context to create objects and installations that point to their perceptual and sensorial qualities."

Barbuzza lives in Iowa City and is an associate professor at the University of Iowa.

For more information on the exhibit, call 399-8581.

Artwork by Isabel Barbuzza