PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University presents Elizabeth King: The Sizes of Things in the Mind's Eye, from Friday, Nov. 7, through Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008. An opening reception on Friday, Nov. 7, 2008, will begin at 5:30 p.m. with an artist’s lecture in the List Art Center Auditorium, followed by refreshments in the List Art Center lobby. The exhibition and opening event are both free and open to the public.
The Sizes of Things in the Mind’s Eye is a mid-career survey of Richmond-based sculptor Elizabeth King, whose work combines sculpture, film, and installation. Her uncanny self-portraits are meticulously crafted in porcelain, wood, and bronze, and are often exhibited with stop-frame film animation in installations that blur the boundary between actual and virtual space. Intimate in scale and distinguished by a level of craft that solicits close viewing, this work reflects her interests in early clockwork automata, the history of the mannequin and the puppet, and a host of literature in which inanimate or artificial figures comes to life.
The exhibition will present 65 sculptures, film animations, installation pieces, drawings, and photography produced since the 1970s, on loan from private and several public collections and from the artist herself. It will feature such seminal works as Pupil, lent by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., as well as her latest pieces, including Bartlett’s Hand, a carved wooden sculpture with movable joints that hypnotically comes to life in an accompanying animated film. Supplementing these works will be other objects from King's studio — her glass-eye collection, wax studies of facial expressions, plaster life casts, and optical devices, for example — that illuminate process and intent.
Born in 1950 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Elizabeth King received B.F.A. and M.A. degrees in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute. In 1985, she joined the faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University, where she currently serves as School of the Arts Research Professor in the Department of Sculpture + Extended Media.
King has been honored with a 2006 Academy Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a 2002-03 Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 1996-97 Fellowship in the Visual Arts at the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute, now called the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, at Harvard University. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
King’s work was included in Brides of Frankenstein at San Jose Museum of Art, Beyond Real: Surrealist Photography and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Endless Love at DC Moore Gallery, N.Y., and All the More Real, curated by painter Eric Fischl for the Parrish Art Museum Southampton, N.Y.
Elizabeth King: The Sizes of Things in the Mind’s Eye was organized by the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, Va., with generous support from the School of the Arts Dean’s Faculty Research Grant Program and the Department of Sculpture + Extended Media at Virginia Commonweath University, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and numerous individuals.
The David Winton Bell Gallery, located on the first floor of List ArtCenter, 64 College St., is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday throughFriday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call (401) 863-2932.