The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin is one of the foremost university art museums in the country, and has the largest and most comprehensive collection of art in Central Texas. The Blanton’s permanent collection of more than 17,000 works is recognized for its European paintings, an encyclopedic collection of prints and drawings, and modern and contemporary American and Latin American art.
The Blanton is considered one of the university’s many Gems along with The Harry Ransom Center, the Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas Press, UT Libraries, the Graduate School, and the Michener Center for Writers. Located at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Congress Avenue, the museum is across the street from the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and is adjacent to downtown Austin.
With surgical blades and a meticulous hand, Kim Rugg (b. 1963, Canada) dissects and reassembles newspapers, stamps, comic books, cereal boxes and postage stamps in order to render them conventionally illegible. The front page of the LA Times becomes neatly alphabetized jargon, debunking the illusion of its producers’ authority as much as the message itself. Through her re-appropriation of medium and meaning, she effectively highlights the innately slanted nature of the distribution of information as well as its messengers. Rugg has also created hand-drawn works alongside wallpaper installations, both of which toy with authenticity and falsehood through subtle trompe l’oeil. In her maps, Rugg re-envisions the topography of various states, countries, continents, and even the world without borders, featuring a staggeringly precise hand-drawn layout with only city names and regions as reference points. In own sense of abstracted cartography, Rugg redistributes traditional map colors (or eliminates them entirely) in order to nullify the social preeminence given to constructed territories, and highlight the idea that our attention is manipulated to focus on the powerful few instead of the physical many.
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