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"Speed" Exhibition From Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to Focus on How Artists use Movement
"Roadside," 1990, is an oil on canvas by Stephen Fox (American, born 1957). The painting measures 24-1/4 by 40-1/8 inches. (Photo by Travis Fullerton, © 2007 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)

RICHMOND.- "Speed," the third of three Virginia Museum of Fine Arts exhibitions in a special statewide outreach initiative, will open in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia Art Museum May 10 and continue through July 13.

"All over the world and throughout history, speed and motion in art can mean much more than just going fast," says Sandra Rusak, one of the exhibition's two curators and VMFA's associate director for education and outreach.

"From the sleek beauty of a racing yacht to the energetic brushwork of the abstract expressionist painters, expressions of speed in art can communicate motion and emotion," she says.

The exhibition's other curator, Aiesha Halstead, who is VMFA's coordinator of exhibitions planning, says artists take advantage of people's innate ability to see motion not only in real time but also in static art.

"By observing simple brush strokes, we are able to calculate potential movement. 'Speed' will encourage an exploration of how artists of many cultures and through various media have dramatically conveyed speed and motion in their work," Halstead says.

Among the paintings and objects to be shown in "Speed" are American artist James E. Buttersworth's 19th-century painting "A Racing Yacht on the Great South Bay," Virginia native Stephen Fox's 1990 painting "Roadside," a 19th- or 20th-century Eshu dance hook made by a Yoruba artist and an 18th-century Tibetan "Dakini" sculpture made of bronze with gold leaf.

Halstead says the exhibition is "an experiment in cross-cultural art interpretation, following a single concept down several avenues of discovery and rediscovery."

"Speed" is part of VMFA's special "Look Here" series highlighting its own collections and making them accessible to all Virginians. Since the series' start in 2006, more than 75,000 Virginians - from Abingdon to Fredericksburg and from Norfolk to Winchester - have experienced a "Look Here" exhibition in their community.

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