Blackbird an online journal of literature and the arts Fall 2007  Vol. 6 No. 2



Selections from Gerald Denato: Reinventing the Game

Published here are three essays and selected images from Gerald Donato: Reinventing the Game, the catalogue produced in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name that showcased forty years of the artist’s paintings, drawings, and prints. The exhibition was organized and curated by the Anderson Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University and ran in Richmond from January 26 to March 4, 2007. A slightly abbreviated version of the exhibition is on view at Staniar Gallery at Washington and Lee University from November 7 through December 14, 2007.

Gerald Donato standing in front of Untitled (Mask), 1987

In any print or online presentation of these paintings and drawings, we lose the immediacy with which they confront us on the gallery wall. Any impression of scale, texture, and correspondence become moot as a factor in our reading of the work. However, we can accumulate a sense of a forty-year journey and the particular concerns and decisions that have shaped that journey. Instantly apparent is Donato’s almost celebratory application of color, a choice that gives the work a quality of visual brilliance that underlines a life spent in art as an ultimately affirmative act. We can also accrue a sense of Donato’s abiding totemic images, Mr. Man and Moonface, and studying them and their placement provides that other pleasure of viewing a long career—the company of a specific visual sensibility and voice that speaks with its own singular tenor and air.  

We are grateful to the Anderson Gallery and Amy Moorefield for allowing us to publish some part of their undertaking.

The paintings appear under “Selected Work” below. This menu will appear on every page in the Donato suite.

   Reinventing the Game: Curator's Introduction  
   Gerald Donato: Against the Grain    
   Wary Subjectivity    
   Gerald Donato: Selected Work    
   Contributor’s Notes: Amy Moorefield    
   Contributor’s Notes: Richard Roth    
   Contributor’s Notes: Stephen Westfall    
   Contributor’s Notes: Gerald Donato    

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