German Expressionism comes to UNT in exhibition running Jan. 21-Feb. 20

Monday, January 11, 2016 - 17:36
"Selbstbildnis" by Conrad Felixmüller (Self-Portrait), ca. 1921, Woodcut

What: Collections, Cultures, and Collaborations: German Expressionist Prints from the Collection of Gus Kopriva, an exhibition featuring German modernist prints from the Kopriva collection in Houston as well as film screenings.

When: Jan. 21 (Thursday) ­­– Feb. 20 (Saturday). Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Where: Main Gallery, UNT Art Gallery, University of North Texas, 1201 West Mulberry Street, Denton

Cost: Free

More information: More information about the UNT ArtSpace Dallas gallery and exhibitions, and other UNT art galleries, can be found on the UNT Galleries website.

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Strong contrasts and the distortion of shapes will be attributes for the recurring Collections, Cultures and Collaborations exhibition held by the UNT Art Gallery.

Collections, Cultures, and Collaborations: German Expressionist Prints from the Collection of Gus Kopriva will run from Jan. 21 (Thursday) – Feb. 20 (Saturday) at the UNT Main Art Gallery, 1201 West Mulberry Street, Denton.

The exhibition will include films, prints from prominent artists and a public lecture from Kopriva, who is lending the collection. Kopriva, who had a career as an engineer, curates, researches and collects various art, especially Texas art and German Expressionist prints.

German Expressionism is a movement that began in the early 20th century and peaked during the 1920s. The development began with painters challenging the culture of Germany before World War I.

"The fact that these pieces have survived history is nothing short of miraculous," said Victoria DeCuir, assistant director for the UNT Art Galleries. "So when you think about it, it's very generous for the collector to allow us to have these prints on site for as long as we've had them and not even on view yet."

The prints have been on loan since September 2015.

German Expressionism would later grow to include plays, films and various styles of portraitures. It's a style that Kopriva has a particular connection as a native of Germany, having come to America as an immigrant in the 1950s. His wife, artist Sharon Kopriva, first introduced him to German art, and eventually he started his art collection.

Exposure to this collection is a learning experience for a graduate studies methodology class, under the direction of art history professor Jennifer Way, who co-founded the CVAD Collections Series in 2007. Students have had an opportunity to do individual research and interpretations of a piece during the fall semester. Students will contribute panel text and gallery talks to the exhibition.

"We're providing professional experience in a safe environment," DeCuir said. "One of the missions of the gallery is to collaborate with the faculty and enable student work to be an inherent part of the exhibition, so this is one of the ways that it is manifested."

DeCuir came to UNT's College of Visual Arts and Design in 2007, after working in contemporary galleries and museums in curatorial and registration roles. For DeCuir, the ability to curate this collection is personal.

"German expressionism was my first love, in terms of art history, so I am over the moon that these items are here and that they are going to be on view," she said.