Mt. Vernon, IL
Both artists explore how skepticism may be put to good use when unpacking or reading works of art for meaning and significance. Both artists encourage us to suspend our disbelief, while compelling us to question the real and the imaginary. Diane Fox explores the social and cultural values we place in museum dioramas featuring taxidermied animals. In Fox’s portraits of taxidermied animals, the artist honors their lives while also raising issues about our moral and ethical relationship with the animal kingdom. For more than three decades, as the Director of the Hokes (pronounced “hoax”) Archives, Beauvais Lyons has made art that parodies the form of the museum itself. For this exhibition, he presents The George and Helen Spelvin Folk Art Collection, an imaginary collection of art by eleven fictional self-taught artists. Like most works of parody, this exhibition is both a tribute to self-taught art while also being a critique of its scholarship, history and economics. Fox and Lyons are on the faculty of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where Fox is a Senior Lecturer in the College of Architecture and Design and Lyons is a Chancellor’s Professor in the School of Art. Fox and Lyons have been married for the past 25 years.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website