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University Museum of Contemporary Art

University Museum of Contemporary Art
Fine Arts Center University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003

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University Museum of Contemporary Art

Jennifer Williams
Summer Art: Jennifer Williams
July 23 - December 13

Nationally known artist Jennifer Williams was chosen to create artworks on two large scale banners for the prominent South facade of the Fine Arts Center at UMass Amherst. The University Museum of Contemporary Art convened a committee of students, staff, and faculty who selected Jennifer Williams of Brooklyn, NY, to create the 12-foot by 24-foot works. The site specific project consists of a two-part photographic collage of the UMass Amherst campus. The fragmented images span a century of the campus’ architectural expressions, referencing UMass history from agricultural college to research university. 

Williams, whose work was most recently on view at the celebrated Highline Park in New York, describes her approach to using photography:

…not as a tool to stop time, but to control time passing. My work engages traditional photographic languages while simultaneously questioning its "truth dimension," exploiting photography’s ability to represent what is both true and what is false simultaneously. Modern printing technologies and graphic arts materials allow me to push the imagery’s object quality into a painterly realm, while the work’s interaction with space describes a scale and syntax belonging to the twentieth century sculptural tradition.

The Summer Art Project, in collaboration with the UMass Summer Program, celebrates the academic activities on campus.

Walid Raad | Preface to the third edition _ Version française _ Plate III (detail), 2013
Walid Raad
Walid Raad | Preface to the third edition _ Version française _ Plate III (detail), 2013
Postface by Walid Raad
September 11 - December 7

One of the most influential artists from the Middle East, Walid Raad explores the experiences and representations of war through video, photography and performance. His work plays on the blurred boundaries between fact and fiction.

The Atlas Group (1989 2004) was a project Raad initiated in 1989 ─ or so his title suggests ─ and concentrated on the political, social, psychological and aesthetic dimensions of the wars in Lebanon. The Atlas Group (1989 – 2004) comprises an archive of found and created documents Raad attributes to historical and imaginary characters.

Since 2007, Walid Raad has been developing another project titled Scratching on things I could disavow. His project in part engages the emergence of a new infrastructure for the arts in the Arab world (museums, galleries, foundations, histories, among others). Moreover and by leaning on Lebanese author Jalal Toufic’s writings, and more specifically his concept of “The withdrawal of tradition past a surpassing disaster,” Raad also considers the short and long-term material and immaterial effects of the various wars that have consumed the Middle East over the past few decades. 

White Knight (detail)
Ronnie Cutrone
White Knight (detail)
Given in memory of Risa Gerrig '81 by the Gerrig-Peterson family
The Art of Collecting: Contemporary Prints from the Risa Gerrig Collection
September 11 - December 7

 A donation of 48 contemporary American prints, representing special processes and innovative techniques in printmaking, was given to the UMCA collection by Richard Gerrig in memory of his sister Risa, a UMass alumna. UMass undergraduate students, receiving course credit, curated the exhibition.

Lasting Impressions - Contemporary Printmaking, October 22, 4:30 - 6 PM

The practice of printmaking over the last decades is no longer considered the poor cousin to painting, sculpting, or photography but is coming out of the shadow as an individual art form. In fact, creating prints offers a wide range of approaches and techniques that are both demanding and stimulating, stretching artistic explorations and processes. In conjunction with the exhibition The Art of Collecting: Contemporary Prints from the Risa Gerrig Collection, the University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMass Amherst invited Lyell Castonguay, Liz Chalfin, and Mikael Petraccia to discuss contemporary approaches to printmaking.          

UMCA maintains a Permanent Collection of approximately 2,600 objects with an emphasis on drawings, prints and photographs from the second half of the 20th century. Selections from the Collection are regularly incorporated into the exhibition program and frequent use is made of the Collection for purposes of study and research by classes from the Five College area. Please visit the home page of the University Gallery for more information about our current exhibition and upcoming events.


is the visual arts showcase of the Fine Arts Center on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Located in the Fine Arts Center complex, which was designed by the architectural firm of Roche and Dinkeloo, the Gallery opened to the public in 1975 with the mandate to contribute to the cultural vitality of Western Massachusetts by presenting exhibitions of contemporary art in all media. In addition to welcoming student, regional and national viewing audiences, the Gallery encourages the creative process by providing artists with opportunities to explore their ideas in a highly supportive environment.


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