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The Ackland Art Museum Presents Flowing like Water - The Art of Liquidity
Eugene Isabey, French, 1803-1886: Boat Tying Up to a Buoy, 1844; lithograph print. Gift of the Ackland Associates.

CHAPEL HILL, NC.- The Ackland Art Museum presents today Flowing like Water - The Art of Liquidity, on view through August 17, 2008. Our fascination with the movement of water goes back thousands of years. So too does the use of brush and liquid to create designs on pottery, panel, or paper. Flowing like Water: The Art of Liquidity explores how the liquid materials of painting, drawing, and even sculpture have provided analogies to the flow of water. James Abbott McNeil Whistler, Otto Dix, Minor White, Henri Matisse, and Willem DeKooning are only a few of the artists included.

Some works in Flowing like Water depict the behavior of water in the natural world while others make use of the flow of liquid media. The wide variety of works included illustrate how the medium and the message operate in counterpoint, sometimes merging and sometimes working in creative opposition to one another.

The exhibition is divided into three thematic sections. Hard Water consists of images where the nature of water is expressed in media that would seem to be uncongenial: lines, flat opaque patches of color, and hard edges. Flowing shows artists creating works that do not necessarily represent water, but make use of or represent the way that liquid media behave, whether ink, paint, or molten glass. Soft Water shows the artist producing a harmony between the media used to represent water and the yielding, flowing qualities that come to mind when we think of water. All illustrate how liquidity has captured the imagination of artists for ages.

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