The beauty of patterns featured in latest Wriston Art Center exhibition

The combined work of five nationally recognized artists will be featured in the new Wriston Art Center Galleries exhibition “An Unnamed Need: Pattern and Beauty in Contemporary Art.”

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Anila Quayyum Agha: “Rights of Passage”, embroidery, screen printing, graphite drawing and beads on paper, 2011.

The exhibition opens Friday, Jan. 15 with a reception at 6 p.m. and runs through March 13. The exhibition and reception is free and open to the public.

Following a decade-long national trend of new works of unabashed beauty, the five artists — Anila Quayyum Agha, Jennifer Angus, Michelle Grabner, Heather McGill and Tony Orrico — have used patterns to create stunning visuals that explore the many intersections of beauty and craft.

Held in all three of Wriston’s galleries, the exhibition features works that challenge the mind while delighting the eye. Celebrating beauty’s many forms, the artists collectively examine complex cultural themes, including ethnic identity, gender and humans’ relationship with the natural world.

A Wisconsin native, Grabner curated the 2014 Whitney Biennial while Agha won the 2014 Public Vote Grand Prize at ArtPrize, the radically open, international art competition held in Grand Rapids, Mich. Angus, who will deliver an artist’s talk Feb. 19 on biodiversity, conservation and art, has earned national acclaim for her 2015 installation in the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery.

Michelle Grabner: “Untitled,” flashe and gesso on canvas, 2014.

As part of the exhibition’s opening, Orrico will perform the final installment of his Penwald 1: 1 Circle series, which features bilateral drawings in which he explores the use of his body as a tool of measurement to inscribe geometries through movement and course. During the 25-minute performance, Orrico will create 1,000 marks with graphite sticks on paper while lying prone.

The exhibition was curated by Lawrence faculty members Rob Neilson, Frederick R. Layton Professor of Art and associate professor of art, and Benjamin Tilghman, assistant professor of art history.

Wriston Art Center Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday noon – 4 p.m.;  closed Mondays. For more information, 920-832-6621.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.