Paul Villinski: Farther | Mid-Career Retrospective
Opening Soon at the Taubman Museum of Art
Paul Villinski, Fable, 2010, cello, aluminum (found cans), soot, wire
The Taubman Museum of Art is pleased to present the first, large-scale, solo museum exhibition of sculptor Paul Villinski, (American, born 1960), an artist known for his site-specific installations and transformative use of found materials.
Paul Villinski: Farther will survey developments in Villinski's practice over the past decade, as well as publicly debut multiple new works direct from the artist's New York studio. The sculptures and installations of Paul Villinski engage with subjects both sublime and neglected. Influenced by a life-long concern for environmental issues, his work transforms seemingly useless and discarded materials -- often trash found on the streets of New York City -- into uplifting and humanizing works of art. Flocks of aluminum-can butterflies, wings feathered with lost gloves, and fantastical flying machines evoke motifs of flight, metamorphosis and rebirth. These themes inform a visual language which Villinski uses to explore the many contradictions of human experience.
Bookbirds, a new work featured in the exhibition, will invite viewers to join in the artist's sometimes messy investigation of common experience. Books, found by the artist and donated by visitors, will be shredded into pulp and re-cast into paper birds. Over the course of the exhibition, these birds, each one comprised of a single book, will take flight across a wall of the Carilion Clinic Gallery, flocking together into a kind of winged library. The destruction of well-loved books and their re-animation as creatures of flight speaks to an undercurrent of loss -- and of rebirth -- present in much of Villinski's work. He states: "I'm fascinated by the simple alchemy of transforming humble, discarded materials into things of beauty and layered meaning. This speaks to the idea of potential, of the surprising things that can be done with imagination, commitment, risk, and hard work -- with enough love. My work is an exploration of the possible, at the heart of which is hope."
Paul Villinski: Farther is curated by Amy Moorefield, Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Collections, Taubman Museum of Art. This exhibition will be on display June 16, 2017 – January 21, 2018, in the Carilion Clinic Gallery and is supported in part by the Foundation for Roanoke Valley.