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Bradbury Gallery hosts Judith K. Brodsky and Larry Edwards of 'True Grit' exhibition

September 17, 2010 -- The Bradbury Gallery invites the public to meet two artists in whose work appears in the exhibition "True Grit" Wednesday, Sept. 22, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The artists, Judith K. Brodsky and Larry Edwards, will discuss their work currently on exhibit at the Bradbury Gallery.

"True Grit" features the work of five American artists with exceptionally long and productive careers who continue to make thought-provoking work. Also included in the exhibition are Peter Campus, Warrington Colescott and Lee Friedlander.

Brodsky's work is in the permanent collections of over 100 museums and corporations such as the Library of Congress; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Stadtsmuseum, Berlin; the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, University of California at Los Angeles; the Rhode Island School of Design Museum; the New Jersey State Museum; and the Fogg Museum at Harvard.  She has a Master of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, where she majored in art history.

In her prints and drawings, Brodsky works with an early 21st century iconography, reflecting the intellectual, political, and social issues of our time as filtered through her own individuality. Her images of the environment, women, and family become metaphors for her feelings about life, decay, death, and possible salvation.  

Very active in policy-making positions in the art world, Brodsky presently serves on the boards of ArtPride/New Jersey, Jersey City Museum, International Print Center New York, and the New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as chairing the board of Philagrafika, a global contemporary fine art print festival that took place in Philadelphia in 2010 at over 70 venues including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Fabric Workshop and Museum, the Print Center, Moore College Art Galleries, Tyler School of Art galleries, and University of Pennsylvania Museum.  

Brodsky is also co-coordinator of the Feminist Art Project, a national program to celebrate the contributions of Feminist artists to contemporary art practice and co-principal investigator and co-director of WAAND (Women Artists Archives National Directory). With a grant from the Getty, Brodsky and her co-investigator, Dr. Ferris Olin, conducted an online survey to locate the papers of American women artists active since World War II. The end result of the project is the establishment of a website directory for scholars and students to use. This survey and website directory was planned is in conjunction with the formation of an Archive of Women Artists at Rutgers University, another initiative of Brodsky's and Olin's.

She is Distinguished Professor Emerita in the Department of Visual Arts at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She is the Founding Director of the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, renamed the Brodsky Center in her honor in September 2006. The Brodsky Center will have its 25th Anniversary exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2012.

Edwards received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Mississippi at Oxford and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.  His work has been exhibited in numerous locations throughout the United States such as the Alternative Museum, Allan Frumpkin Gallery, and the Sherry French Gallery in New York City, as well as the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; the Memphis Center for Contemporary Art; Madams Organ Art Cooperative in Washington, D.C.; the Arkansas Art Arts Center in Little Rock and the Museum of Fine Arts in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He has received several grants including a fellowship from the Penny McCall Foundation, Art Matters Inc. in New York and a Tennessee Arts Commission Fellowship.

Commenting on some of the work in "True Grit," Edwards said, "The "hellmouth" was a favorite idea in medieval paintings and writings. I relate the violence of the "dark ages" to our own world. There is an element of dark humor in much of my work." He continues, "What I observe is uncomfortable. There are uncomfortable things in life in spite of what we try to cover up. Hypocrisy, ignorance, complacency. If my work is a reflection of what I see in life then it has to be uncomfortable. What salvages it is humor, which I admit, may be sardonic and edgy, and the materials-- the lush textures and colors are a way of easing the pain for the viewer."

Edwards has lived and taught art at schools and universities in five states. Since his retirement, he spends nearly every day working in his studio, making wonderfully strange and sagacious work with the energy and enthusiasm of a teenager.

"True Grit" was curated by Les Christensen, director of the Bradbury Gallery and John Salvest, professor of Art at Arkansas State University and was previously on view at the Salina Art Center in Salina, Kansas, from January 29 through April 18, 2010.

Bradbury Gallery hours are 12 noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2-5 p.m. on Sunday. The exhibition and the gallery talk are free and open to the public. For additional information, contact the Bradbury Gallery at (870) 972-2567.

Judith K. Brodsky
"Stella by Starlight, 1999-2003"
From "The Memoir of an Assimilated Family" series
Photo etching
25 x 20 inches
Courtesy of the artist.

Larry Edwards
"Hellmouth No. 1, Imps and Sinners," 2006
Gouache, pastel, and ink on paper
30 x 22 inches
Courtesy of the artist.

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