The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art is pleased to present Am I Your Type, an exhibition centered around the communicative possibilities of text and typefaces. Here, artists, designers, and Las Vegas history come together to illuminate a variety of intersections between written language and the visual arts. The exhibition features art from the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art’s permanent collection along with archival materials from UNLV Special Collections and Archives and works by local artists, some of whom are showing at the Marjorie Barrick Museum for the first time.
By presenting language as an optical phenomenon, this exhibition opens up alternative ways to understand its potential for absurdity as well as force and concreteness. Words in art can be divorced from their usual settings in books or in blocks of on-screen text, and brought into new contexts where their unexpected possibilities become apparent.
A visual presentation of language can give a conceptual artist like Robert Barry an opportunity to exhibit words as semi-isolated collections of lines and angles, suggesting an ambiguous gap between these familiar shapes and their meanings. On the other hand, it can manifest itself as the proactive firmness of the words “No Contract. No Peace” printed on the signs carried in a rally on Fremont Street by members of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, or through the handmade posters of Latinos Unidos Contra El Sida saying yes to life and no to AIDS at a Gay Pride parade in Sunset Park. Incorporating text in objects can give them additional dimensions, as it does when Danielle Kelly uses fabric printed with aggressive words like “Wack!” and “Bam” to make a soft stuffed form.
Visual language can be used to tell stories, to create legal documents, to offer us food, wine, or entertainment, and to assign names to the places and objects around us. Sometimes it allows an artist to pass on information about their lives, cast light on historical events, or tempt the viewer with a fictional narrative. But language is also slippery, and the artists who use it are aware of the power of redaction, elision, distortion, and onomatopoeia. Using words means choosing which ones to leave out, exploring new ways in which letters can be reversed, altered, and cropped, and then finding out how these decisions will shape the viewers’ reactions.
Am I Your Type features artworks in a range of mediums, including painting, sculpture, video, printmaking, and drawing. These works share space with other materials such as casino promotions, vintage menus, and photographs of public gatherings around Las Vegas. The exhibition includes a continuation and expansion of Elena Brokaw’s celebrated 2021 exhibition, Human Resource Exploitation: A Family Album, with five new panels that did not appear in the original curation.
This exhibition includes work by China Adams, Stephen Antonakos, Robert Barry, Erik Beehn, Anthony Bondi, Catherine Borg, Elena Brokaw & Ramiro García, Eugenia Butler (feat. Eve Aschheim, Rod Baer, Elizabeth Grier, Julia Lohmann, John O’Brien), JW Caldwell, Carole Caroompas, Adriana Chavez, Michael Childers, Caralea Cole, John Connell, Matthew Couper, Justin Favela, Ben Denzer, Ashley Hairston Doughty, Dan45 Hernandez, Jean Giguet, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Darren Johnson, Martin Johnson, Danielle Kelly, Lel Kihm, Candice Lin, Mary Corey March, Toshie McSwain, Chris Mempin, Jung Min, Jerry Misko, Tom Pfannerstill, Lucian Octavius Pompili, Krystal Ramirez, Laurence Myers Reese, Larry Rivers, Mandolyn Wilson Rosen, Kim Rugg, Ed Ruscha, Andrew Schoultz, Sean Slattery, Joyce Straus, Laurens Tan, Geovany Uranda, Marty Walsh, and others. It was organized with help from UNLV Special Collections and Archives. Special thanks to Su Kim Chung, the head of Special Collections Public Services, and Aaron Mayes, the Curator for Visual Materials.
Am I Your Type will be on view at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art at UNLV from March 14 - July 8, 2023, with an opening reception on March 24 from 5 - 8 p.m. Entry to the Museum is free. Masks are recommended.
All of the museum’s galleries are accessible to wheelchair users and other visitors who cannot use stairs. Services such as sign language interpretation can be arranged. Please contact the museum to discuss your needs: email@example.com
About the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art believes everyone deserves access to art that challenges our understanding of the present and inspires us to create a future that holds space for us all. Located on the campus of one of the most racially diverse university in the United States, we strive to create a nourishing environment for those who continue to be neglected by contemporary art museums, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ groups. As the only art museum in the city of Las Vegas, we commit ourselves to leveling barriers that limit access to the arts, especially for first-time visitors. To facilitate access for low-income guests we provide free entry to all our exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and community activities. Our collection of artworks offers an opportunity for researchers and scholars to develop a more extensive knowledge of contemporary art in Southern Nevada. The Barrick Museum is part of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).
All of the museum’s galleries are accessible to wheelchair users and other visitors who cannot use stairs. Services such as sign language interpretation can be arranged. Please contact the museum to discuss your needs: firstname.lastname@example.org, 702-895-3381.
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art is located in the heart of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. The museum is easily accessed from the west side of campus at the intersection of Harmon Avenue and University Center Drive. Drive east on East Harmon Ave until the road enters the campus and terminates in a parking lot. The Museum will be on your right, next to a desert landscape garden. Directions here.
Visitors may park in metered, staff, and student spots free of charge after 7 pm on weekdays, 1 pm on Fridays, and all day Saturday.
Daily, weekly, or monthly permits can be purchased from Parking and Transportation Services.
Metered parking spaces for visitors can be found in the parking lot outside the Barrick’s entrance, along East Harmon Ave, and in the lot behind the Lied Library. Other metered green zones are available in the Cottage Grove Avenue Parking Garage and parking areas throughout campus. Download the “PayByPhone Parking” app from Google Play or the iTunes app store.