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3rd Floor Mardigian Library

Hours: During exhibitions, Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m

Crossing Borders--Blurring Borders through the works of Ursula Hübner

The Alfred Berkowitz Gallery at the University of Michigan-Dearborn is proud to present a fascinating collection of mixed media works and paintings by the Austrian artist Ursula Hübner. The opening reception will be held on Friday, March 27, 2015 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the Alfred Berkowitz Gallery located on the 3rd floor of the Mardigian Library (4901 Evergreen Road, Dearborn, Mich.). This event is free and open to the public. There will be complimentary hors d' oeuvres and beverages provided.

The exhibition will open as part of the annual Austrian Studies Association Conference with the theme Crossing Borders-Blurring Borders. At the opening reception Hübner will present a lecture at 6:00 p.m. entitled "Bodily Obsessions: The History of Austrian Painting via Egon Schiele, Maria Lassnig, Ursula Hübner, and Other Affinities".

The exhibition consists of collages and paintings from the series The World of Interiors, photographs of her installation the Art Arch of Triumph, and select stage designs. Hübner began working on The World of Interiors in 1996 after she discovered wood as a painting surface during a trip to Japan and she saw the small wooden paintings of Fr. Angelico at the Vatican Museum. In this series of small collages and paintings, Hübner fragments poses found in familiar works of old masters and in popular fashion and film magazines and presents permeable bodies and identities.

Of her pieces from The World of Interiors the artist explains, "In my pictures the space or room is also the psyche or inner world of my figures. The World of Interiors points to the interior design in a metaphorical sense: the figures in the pictures, as well as the observers, see what they want to and what they can see. Atmospheres arise that reflect possible universes. Fragments are put together in new and puzzling ways; the moods of the light, which elucidate or obscure things for us, soft floors that embrace us or let us sink. Sometimes, however, the room becomes a second body which takes up the figures or brutally isolates them."

The examples of Hübner's stage design show how she works deftly and creatively within the constraints of a text, a director's concept, a budget, and defined space to show the characters and the space in a reciprocal relationship.

In her professional life the artist has crossed and blurred many borders. Ursula Hübner studied stage design at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and painting at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. She has been a Professor for painting and graphic art at the University of Art and Design Linz since 1998.

Her extensive body of work includes paintings, mixed media works, installations, and graphic art. She has also designed stage settings for plays by Wolfgang Bauer, Alan Bennett, Flann O'Brian, and Gustave Flaubert as well as film sets for Kurt Palm. One of Hübner's most visible installations was the Art Arch of Triumph as part of the Triennale in Linz in 2010.

She has been awarded numerous prizes, including the "Preis für Bildende Kunst der Stadt Wien" (2008) and the "Internationaler Preis für Kunst und Kultur des Kulturfonds der Stadt Salzburg" (2010).

Featured University Art Collection Piece

Featured collection glass artwork

Untitled, František Vizner (1936 - 2011), cast glass, n.d.
Gift of Robert Loeffler

This stunning, untitled, cast glass piece from the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s permanent art collection was created by František Vizner (1936 - 2011). Vizner, a world renowned, major Czech glass artist, was trained at the famous glassmaking schools in Nový Bor and Železný Brod before completing his studies at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague. This work is a beautiful illustration of the artist’s passion for creating harmonious, geometric objects instilled with internal tension. His luminous art demonstrates elegance, simplicity, remarkable craftwork, and a deep admiration for the material. Vizner created his works on his own, without assistants, through a lengthy process of casting, sandblasting, acid-etching, and hand-polishing.

Vizner’s work is represented in public and private collections around the world including the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y., the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. This piece was generously donated to UM-Dearborn by Robert Loeffler.

---Laura Cotton, Art Curator and Gallery Manager

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