Stars on the Ground: Works by John Torreano

TV Bulge (1969) by John Torreano, acrylic on canvas. Gift of Mary and Weston Naef, in Memory of Frances Marie McNabola and William David McNabola, 2019. UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art Collection.

TV Bulge (1969) by John Torreano, acrylic on canvas. Gift of Mary and Weston Naef, in Memory of Frances Marie McNabola and William David McNabola, 2019. UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art Collection.

Nov. 15, 2019

Stars on the Ground: Works by John Torreano

December 5 - January 11, 2020, Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art

 

Curatorial Research Presentation

Thursday, December 5, 2019  |  4:00 pm 

Artist's Reception & Curator's Welcome

Saturday, January 11, 2020  |  3:00 - 5:00 pm 
Remarks at 4 pm. Meet the artist and Weston J. Naef, Curator Emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Museum
Free parking on the UNLV campus 


If Las Vegas is a city of chance, what are the odds of the seminal painting TV Bulge (1969), by John Torreano, landing at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art at UNLV?  The last time this large-scale work was on view was the Whitney Annual Exhibition of American Contemporary Art in 1969. Join the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art for our new exhibition, Stars on the Ground: Works by John Torreano, curated by Melisa Christ. John Torreano is an internationally recognized artist whose work has continuously evolved over his fifty-plus year career.  He has exhibited work in thirty solo exhibitions and over a hundred group exhibitions at institutions around the world.

Alongside TV Bulge, a second large painting from the series will be on display, as well as a few select sketches relating to these works and the artists process.  Las Vegans already know Torreano from his public sculpture Ghost Gem Garden, installed at McCarran International Airport in 1992.  Every year nearly fifty million travelers pass by these giant gems on their way to Terminal 1.  Stars on the Ground also includes three charcoal sketches of the artists concept of the site, as well as historical photograph and print materials. This is a unique opportunity to view one of Torreano’s best-known paintings alongside works that highlight the artist’s connection to the city of Las Vegas.  

Torreano’s work has been described by fellow artist, Richard Artschwager, “as paintings that stand still and make YOU move.”  Throughout his career, Torreano has incorporated a variety of mediums, yet has remained consistent in creating work that incorporates “viewer location as content”, referring to this idea as “movement-oriented perception”.  In the TV Bulge painting, the figure dots are placed strategically on the ground to create the illusion of spatial depth, winking in and out of view as the viewer moves. The focus shifts between the dots and the painterly space behind them, causing the figures and ground to trade places.  Similarly, as a viewer passes the Ghost Gem Garden, the prismatic forms sparkle and change as light reflects off their glass panes, with the focus shifting between their shimmering transparency and the materiality of their forms.  Torreano creates a unique experience with the viewer in mind.  

Stars on the Ground has been funded, in part, by generous gifts from Weston J. and Mary Naef and made possible by donations of the works of art by John Torreano, Weston J. and Mary Naef, and the estate of William David McNabola.  The exhibition is accompanied by a publication highlighting the exhibited work, including an essay written by Weston J. Naef, Curator Emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Museum and an essay based on interviews with the artist conducted by the exhibition curator, Melisa Christ.  Melisa Christ is a rising senior in the Art History program and a curatorial intern at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. After living and traveling internationally over the last decades, she applies broader life experiences to the study of art.  


Free Admission

The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art believes everyone deserves access to the arts.

Find Us

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 Swenson Street. 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.

Parking

Visitors may park in metered, staff and student spots free of charge after 7 p.m. on weekdays, 1 p.m. 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.