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In the Flesh

by Marie Via, Director of Exhibitions

Marlene Hamann-Whitmore and I just returned from a visit to the Frist Center for Visual Arts in Nashville, where we previewed a stunning exhibition that will be coming to Rochester this fall. We are now more excited than ever about Paint Made Flesh, which focuses on three generations of post-WWII artists who exploit the special properties of oil paint to depict the volatility of the human body.

“Flesh was the reason why oil painting was invented,” wrote Willem de Kooning, whose work is included in the exhibition, along with that of John Currin, Jenny Saville, Lucien Freud, Susan Rothenberg, Francis Bacon, Eric Fischl and Alice Neel, and 26 others.

rabell_eat2The brainchild of Frist chief curator Mark Scala, Paint Made Flesh is traveling to only two other venues: The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and the Memorial Art Gallery. Mark and the members of his exhibition team spent most of the day with us, guiding us through the curatorial choices as well as pointing out some of the logistical challenges we’ll have to deal with. Several of these paintings are enormous—just getting the crates into the museum will be a minor miracle . . .

If you’ve never visited the Frist, you must! It occupies a historic building in downtown Nashville—a magnificent Art Deco post office that has been scrupulously restored in the public areas. The spectacular architectural details include a carved marble façade, grand staircases, and aluminum grillwork. Expansive exhibition galleries are all dedicated to temporary exhibitions, as the Frist maintains no permanent collection. For a virtual visit and a sneak preview of Paint Made Flesh, visit


Comment from Bobi
Time: November 2, 2011, 8:30 pm

Thanks Marie,

Its a beautiful place and brought some memories

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