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Personal Forms/Universal Content shows abstraction’s contemporary vitality, diversity

August 14 – October 6, 2007

Reception and panel discussion:
Thursday, September 27, 5 – 9 p.m.

Personal Forms/Universal Content shows sophisticated, diverse works of contemporary abstraction in a new exhibit opening August 14.

Curated by MIAD Professor of Fine Arts Fahimeh Vahdat, Personal Forms/Universal Content includes the work of four internationally renowned artists: Julie Shapiro, Glenn Goldberg, Chong Keun Chu, and Marla Ziegler. The exhibition, in MIAD’s Frederick Layton Gallery, runs through October 6 with a reception and panel discussion on Thursday, September 27, 5 – 9 p.m.

"The artists selected for this exhibition," said Vahdat, "arrive at exquisite form through elaborate processes of construction and application. The resulting images, some fully abstract and some referential to nature, are in a sense ’causes’ generated by ‘effects’ – the hand leads the mind, generating forms which become content.

"In each artist’s work, the form is put forth like played notes, with the resulting ‘music’ an interaction between the viewer and the image – compelling and mysterious, yet open like a story partially told, inviting response and starting a resonance. At the same time, the works in the show are universal, exceeding the artists’ personality, gender and nationality as well as time."

Julie Shapiro is a widely published, honored and exhibited artist whose paintings involve shifts from familiar formal constructs toward particularity. She has exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Drawing Center and Elizabeth Harris Gallery in New York, and has taught as a tenured professor at Southern Methodist University and at Hampshire College. Based in Massachusetts, Shapiro is represented by Francine Seders Gallery in Seattle.

New York-based painter Glenn Goldberg uses vibrant shapes in meditative compositions that evoke the image of natural objects, such as birds, flowers, cells or water. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, his work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Art and Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, among many others, and has been exhibited nationally and internationally.

Artist, author and educator Chong Keun Chu is a professor of art in the Dallas County Community College system who during the summer teaches university art students in his native Korea. His column on art is published monthly in "News Korea Texas," and his work is exhibited frequently in art galleries across the United States and Korea. In addition to his canvas works, he and his artist wife have designed one light-rail station in Dallas and are working on another.

A Texas artist working in ceramics, Marla Ziegler‘s forms stretch the media’s identity as a three-dimensional contemporary material. She is a widely published and exhibited artist whose work is in numerous collections. Educated at Southern Methodist University and Mexico’s Instituto Allende, Ziegler is represented by Craighead-Green Gallery in Dallas and by Goldesberry Gallery in Houston.

Goldberg and Shapiro will join MIAD Professor of Fine Arts Michael Howard in a panel discussion on Thursday, September 27, 6 p.m. in the Layton Gallery. The discussion on contemporary abstraction will be moderated by curator Vahdat, installation artist/activist whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at Encuentro 2007 at the Centro Recoleta in Buenos Aires and at the IWSF conference (Iranian Women’s Study Foundation) at The University of Maryland. She has been invited to participate in an exhibition on violence against women in Naples, Italy, and in a future exhibition on the same topic in New Orleans. She is also creating a set for "Dreams of an Undemolished Home," a play by Milwaukeeans Deborah Clifton and Peggy Hong, and will curate an exhibition at Milwaukee’s Woodland Pattern in spring 2008.

Note: In addition to the panel discussion on September 27, Shapiro will give a free public lecture on Tuesday, September 25, 7 p.m., at MIAD as part of the Guido Brink Visiting Artist Lecture Series. For more information, visit

MIAD’s galleries, directed by Mark Lawson, are committed to the exposition of critical issues in art and design and to critical discourse on an array of cultural issues.