The Art of Poland at UT Gallery

“Art of Poland,” UT Downtown Gallery, Knoxville, April 2011 

“Art of Poland,” UT Downtown Gallery, Knoxville, April 2011 (Last Supper on left)

It’s easy to overlook the UT Downtown Gallery on the 100 Block of Gay Street. The entrance is nondescript and it nestles up to the Emporium where I, and I think many people, have come to see as the center of the downtown art scene. Still, it often warrants a closer examination. I’ve been to a couple of notable exhibits there, particularly the powerful Dali prints of Dante’s “Divine Comedy.”

Daliesque Painting in the “Art of Poland” exhibit, Knoxville, April 2011

“Art of Poland,” UT Downtown Gallery, Knoxville, April 2011

Their recent exhibit, “The Art of Poland,” featuring original works from the collection of Victor and Joan Ashe, didn’t initially excite me. I’m not sure why, but I missed it when it open on First Friday in April and I didn’t make it into the gallery until it was almost ready to be replaced. My impression of it is that was fun. Much of it almost seems whimsical, with a Daliesque feel due largely to the prominence of disproportionate bodies in the portraits.

“Art of Poland,” UT Downtown Gallery, Knoxville, April 2011

“Art of Poland,” UT Downtown Gallery, Knoxville, April 2011

Not limited to works on canvas, the exhibition included three dimensional ceramic and glass art. Some of the pieces reminded me of folk art in this country and I’d be hard pressed to explain why any of it would be likely to be unique to Poland. My favorite works were the less whimsical, more contemplative and geometric works on canvas.

“Art of Poland,” UT Downtown Gallery, Knoxville, April 2011

“Art of Poland,” UT Downtown Gallery, Knoxville, April 2011

Today is First Friday for May and I’m sure many good exhibitions will be mounted to open all around downtown. As always, you can get the best listing of First Friday events here. I can post pictures on my blog of the events and exhibitions downtown, but there’s nothing like being a part of it, so come on down. Just get here early, because if there is one complaint I have about First Friday it is that many of the events close the doors at 9:00 PM, which is so small town, but that’s a blog for another time.

“Art of Poland,” UT Downtown Gallery, Knoxville, April 2011

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