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Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

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Between Words and Images

April 29 through July 09, 2017

Rolling easily off the tongue or jotted down quickly on paper, words are a part of our daily existence and it is easy to forget the power they actually hold. The artists in this exhibition combine their imagery with text, the building blocks of communication, as the foundation for visual works of art. In these pieces, the artists eloquently reveal how, as British statesman L. S. Amery declared in 1949, “Language has been the master tool, which man, in his endless adventure after knowledge and power, has shaped for himself, and which, in its turn, has shaped the human mind as we know it. Language, indeed, has been the soul of mankind.”

The shifting nature of text intrigues and engages the artists whose works are included in Between Words and Images. For example, Lesley Dill, Faith Ringgold, and Carrie Mae Weems, examine the use, influence, and incalculable capacity of words to weave stories or confront ideas while artists such as Robert Cottingham (pictured to the right) and Ed Ruscha investigate the physicality of texts and their formal qualities. Savoring words and examining them as tools, all of the included artists deal with the transformative nature of language.


Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.

Robert Cottingham (American, born 1935), Star, 1985, color lithograph on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, 1996.10.1