Land, Sea, & Air: Works by Andrea V. Uravitch
Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature, University of Richmond, February 17 through July 1, 2001
Fruit flies, wild boars, fish, lizards, and crows will be invading the Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature this February as part of the exhibition Land, Sea, & Air: Works by Andrea V. Uravitch. Uravitich’s mixed-media sculptures will reside in the museum’s display cases, uniting the themes of design and nature through her unique artwork.
For this installation, Uravitch has utilized the twenty-foot length of one of the museum’s permanent collection glass cases to simulate an enormous “aquarium” holding approximately fifty of her fish sculptures. A mixture of salt and fresh water fish, the mixed-media works include catfish, salmon, smelt, trout, red snapper, and even goldfish, all ranging in size from six to twenty-six inches long.
Her one-person exhibition also includes other non-domesticated species such as insects, wild boars, lizards, and crows — animals that, along with fish, live in the realms of land, sea, and air. Some of the creatures are life-size whereas others, such as the fruit flies are much larger, thus allowing for the artist and viewer to be engaged in the details and patterns found in these natural forms.
Uravitch uses different media to suggest the strength and fragility of her subjects. A fly’s legs are made of both steel armature and crochet covering. This duality replicates the attempt to portray the dual nature of our reactions to certain animal forms, sometimes seen as beautiful yet to some people repulsive and threatening.
Not surprisingly, Uravitch is influenced by her surroundings outdoors. “My ideas for work come from seeing an insect, bird, fish, animal, or a natural phenomenon that inspires me. Sometimes I just like the patterning of nature; such as a lizard’s skin,” she states. Once she has decided on a subject she researches the animal in the library and in museums and nature centers.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1949, Uravitch received her undergraduate degree in fine arts from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Currently residing in Arlington, Virginia, she has had numerous one-person exhibitions and public installations at museums and galleries in the mid-Atlantic region, including The Textile Museum in Washington, DC, and The Arlington Art Center in Arlington, VA. She also teaches art for the Arlington County schools and has served on the Board of Directors for the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum.