The Columns

Exhibit by New York Artist Shirley Irons Opens Nov. 12 at W&L’s Staniar Gallery

— by on November 6th, 2009

Shirley Irons: A Perfect Day, an exhibition of paintings, will be on display at Washington and Lee’s Staniar Gallery from Nov. 12 to Dec. 18. The artist will give a public lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m. in the Concert Hall of Wilson Hall to be followed by a catered reception.

The paintings reveal Irons’ careful consideration of transient spaces such as hallways and conference rooms. She balances realistic details with abstract applications of paint to explore decisions about how much information is necessary to render an image. “It’s noisy in the world,” Irons comments in her artist’s statement. “In painting I can do something to slow it down, edit out, look for the permanence in the transitory, which is really about hope.”

Irons has been exhibiting her paintings for over 30 years and has been featured in numerous exhibitions, including solo shows at the Queens Museum, Postmasters Gallery Project Room and White Columns Gallery in New York. Irons is represented by Gallery Luisotti in Santa Monica, Calif. The LA Times, The New York Times, the Village Voice and Time Out New York have reviewed her work.

Irons currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has taught advanced painting and studio workshops at New York University, CalArts and Claremont College in California and the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Irons was the co-director of the Theoretical Studies in Art seminar series at White Columns, New York’s oldest alternative art space. Washington and Lee studio art students will have the opportunity to work with Irons during her visit to campus.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Staniar Gallery is publishing a catalogue that will include an essay by author Susan Morgan. Susan Morgan is a writer based in Los Angeles and Edinburgh, Scotland. The author of Joan Jonas: I Want To Live in the Country (And Other Romances), Morgan is currently at work on a book about the writer Esther McCoy (1904-1989), the preeminent voice of West Coast modernist architecture. The catalogue will be available at no charge at Irons’ opening reception on Nov. 18.

Staniar Gallery is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For further information, please call 540-458-8861.