In the 1830s, art galleries in Paris began boldly showing works of art that were rejected by the jury of the Académie des Beaux-Arts from its official annual exhibition known as “The Salon.” The most famous of these small-scale, private alternative exhibitions occurred in France in 1863 after the official Salon jury rejected nearly 3,000 works of art. The rejected artists put together a separate show known as the Salon des Refusés. While many individuals mocked this show, several of the artists who were involved grew in public respect and eventually became wildly revered. In fact, negative attention from critics and viewers actually helped to legitimize the surfacing avant-garde in painting. Today, the term Salon des Refusés can be used to refer to any selection of works put on display after they are denied entry from a juried art show.
Opening on May 4 at Eckhaus, there will be a Salon des Refusés inspired show, featuring works that are not accepted to the official Fine Art Senior Exhibition. KU senior and Eckhaus intern, Michelle Heller, will curate this show. Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery intern, Emily Shetromph assisted in making curatorial decisions. This will be a more informal exhibition, and will mostly be hung salon style. There is going to be a public reception at Eckhaus on Sunday afternoon, May 5, the same day as the reception in the Miller gallery. The work will remain on display at Eckhaus until finals week.
The Salon des Refusés 2013 evolved from the question of what to do with the pieces that are not chosen for the official Fine Arts Senior Exhibition. Every curator views works of art differently and even the most informed opinion ultimately represents a large degree of subjectivity. Salon des Refusés 2013 does not intend to criticize official Senior Exhibition curator Kim Levin’s decisions; rather, it offers an additional view and an alternate opinion regarding the variety of ideas, methods and manifestations presented by this year’s Fine Art Seniors. This exhibition provides students with a second opportunity to exhibit their artwork. Acknowledging the 150th Anniversary of the most famous Salon des Refusés in history, our exhibition at Eckhaus Gallery celebrates the neglected, the rejected and the excluded by giving public light to those who were not invited to grace the wall of the Miller Gallery at Kutztown University.
Eckhaus is located at 157 West Main Street, in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. The gallery hours are Tuesday to Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m. Any questions or comments can be directed to the gallery via e-mail at eckhausgallery.com.
By Michelle Heller