Eugene | “Shades of white”, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

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From September 2 to December 14, 2014, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon presents the new site-specific installation “Shades of white” by artist Geraldine Ondrizek, which explores the many colors of race.

In the installation, Ondrizek, an Oregon artist and professor at Reed College since 1994, as well as the recipient of a 2014 Hallie Ford Individual Artist Fellowship, examines personal and political issues related to genetics, ethnic identity, and disease.

“Rigorously researched and thoughtfully executed, Ondrizek’s installation invites viewers to look through the silk panels, designed to approximate variations of skin pigmentation, and consider their own ideas about race and identity,” says June Black, JSMA Associate Curator for the Arts of the Americas and Europe.

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Using steel and silk, “Shades of White” reinterprets the many colors of the “Gates Skin Color Chart,” a tool used by eugenicists in the mid-20th century to chart race by color gradations from dark to light. These color charts were used for racial classifications and institutionalized discrimination. As a visualization of this data, Ondrizek’s work is a critique of determinist racial labeling as well as a celebration of the natural spectrum of diversity.

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The exhibition was organized by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and supported in part by the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; a Hallie Ford Fellowship from The Ford Family Foundation; and the Stillman Drake Fund at Reed College

Image Captions: Geraldine Ondrizek, Shades of White, 2013-14, silk and steel.
Image courtesy of the artist.

Geraldine Ondrizek, Shades of white
from  September 2 to December 14, 2014
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
1430 Johnson Lane – Eugene, OR 97403
On the University of Oregon Campus

Jordan Schnitzer museum


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