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Aaron Douglas Gallery + Carl Van Vechten Gallery

March 16, 2012

Press Release
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Exhibition: Leon Hicks: The Ingenious Line! ! ! ! ! Location: Carl Van Vechten Gallery, Fisk University! ! ! Dates: April 14 June 30, 2012 ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Opening Lecture: Free, April 14, Jubilee Hall, Appleton Room, 4p.m. Opening Reception: Free, April 14, 5p.m. - 7p.m.

! The Carl Van Vechten Gallery at Fisk University is pleased to announce that it will present the exhibit Leon Hicks: The Ingenious Line. The exhibition will open on Saturday, April 14, 2012 during the universitys 86th Annual Spring Arts Festival. An opening reception will take place from 5p.m. to 7p.m. at the Van Vechten Gallery. The reception will be free and open to the public. Mr. Hicks will also deliver a public lecture in the Appleton Room at Jubilee Hall on April 14, 2012 at 4p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a rst come, rst serve basis. Leon Hicks: The Ingenious Line will be on view through June 30, 2012. ! An acclaimed engraver and draughtsman, Leon Hicks explores intimate subjects portraits and daily life around him and the fundamental language of engraving itself in his art. Organized by Fisk University Galleries, Leon Hicks: The Ingenious Line will bring together important early works, like his Black Boy (1961), from the 1960s with elegant abstractions created since the 1980s, most notably, panels from his epic Virtualscape installation (1993-95). Over 50 works spanning his career will be exhibited. Leon Hicks: The Ingenious Line will offer an intimate, rare opportunity to view works that span nearly ve decades of this American masters career. ! Since the sixties, Mr. Hicks has distinguished himself as an artist and educator. He emerged during the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, producing powerful images rooted in self-discovery and social consciousness. By the late 1970s, he was preoccupied with autonomous form and giving his full attention to investigating the language of engraving. Since the 1980s, elegant abstractions born out of his deep interest in computer graphics theory, namely Generative Aesthetics, have held his attention. Throughout, Mr. Hicks has remained a committed student of art history, learning and mastering engraving techniques pioneered by giants like Albrecht Drer (1471-1528), Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijin (1606-1669), and Mauricio Lasansky (b.1914), with whom he studied at the State University of Iowa. Prints created by Mr. Hicks over the

Fisk University Galleries,1000 17th Avenue North, Nashville, TN, 37208, (615) 329-8720,

past ve decades are, at once, aesthetically beautiful, conceptually complex and inextricably grounded in the traditions of the medium. ! The 1960s also mark the start of Hicks teaching career. He assumed his rst post in 1964 at Florida A&M University, where he taught for a year. From 1965, he taught for three years at Concord College (now University) in Athens, West Virginia. He spent three years at Lincoln University, in Jefferson City, Missouri and four years at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Mr. Hicks joined the faculty at Webster University in Webster Grove, Missouri in 1974 and remained there for 25 years until his retirement to Florida in 1999. He remans active today as an artist, teacher, lecturer and inventor. Mr. Hicks is currently a professor emeritus in the Art Department at Webster University and an adjunct instructor at Florida A & M. He has presented engraving workshops and served in artist residences at Illinois State University (Normal, IL), Carleton College (Northeld, MN), Jackson State University (Jackson, MS), the University of Missouri (Columbia, MO) and other places to numerous to mention here. ! Mr. Hicks has exhibited widely in solo and group shows throughout the United States and around the world. His prints were featured in the Pacic States Biennial (University of Hawaii), Made by Hand III Prints & Artists Books (Minneapolis College of Art and Design), and the Brandywine Workshop Collection: Mali, West Africa and Fourteen African Nations (Florida A & M University). Prints by Mr. Hicks were also included in Impressional Expressions: Black American Graphics (Smithsonian Institution, The Studio Museum in Harlem) and at the United States Embassy Art Exhibition in Ankara, Turkey. ! Several public and private collections across the United States permanently house his work. The University of Florida, the 7UP Company, The Oakland Art Museum, Atlanta University, Southwestern Bell Corporation, and the Charleston Art Gallery have his works in their collections. They can also be found in the collections of the Tuskegee Institute, Brandywine Graphic Workshop, Albrecht Art Museum and the Library of Congress. Fisk University Galleries includes among its permanent holdings Hickss dazzling Virtualscape installation, which is made up of 31 large copper plate burin engravings, including the largest engraving of this type in the world. ! He has been given numerous awards and honors. Mr. Hicks received the Missouri Arts Award in 2000 and was awarded the Elizabeth Catlett Mora Award of Excellence in 1978. He is also the recipient of two NEH Grants (1969, 1974) and other honors too numerous to mention here.

Fisk University Galleries,1000 17th Avenue North, Nashville, TN, 37208, (615) 329-8720,

! His works have been discussed and reviewed widely. It is included in Directions of African-American Art, Herbert F. Johnson Museum (Ithaca, New York) and Prints by American Negro Artists (Cultural Exchange Center of Los Angeles). Similarly, critical essays on his work can be found in Black Artists on Art (Samella Lewis and Ruth Waddy, authors), Art News, The New Art Examiner, and in American Artists: A Bio-Bibliographical Directory (editor Theresa Dickinson/ Holm Cedar). ! Mr. Hicks graduated with the B.S. degree in painting and sculpture from Kansas State University. He earned the M.A. in painting and the M.F.A degree in printmaking from the State University of Iowa. He also studied art history at Stanford University (Paolo Alto, CA), La Romita School of Art (Italy), and at Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA). ! For information regarding regular admissions to the Carl Van Vechten and Aaron Douglas galleries at Fisk University, visit or call (615) 329-8720. Questions can be sent via email to Keep up with activities at the galleries on Facebook. The Carl Van Vechten Gallery is located on Jackson Street at D.B. Todd (18th Avenue North). ! Fisk University Galleries operates the Aaron Douglas and Carl Van Vechten galleries. The galleries provides a welcoming environment and foster an appreciation and understanding of art through exhibitions, educational programs and research. The art galleries at Fisk maintain a world renown permanent collection with over 4000 objects that span three centuries of art history. Paul Czanne, Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Henry O. Tanner, Elizabeth Catlett, Diego Rivera, Aaron Douglas, Winold Reiss, Georgia OKeeffe, and Alfred Stieglitz are just a few of the acclaimed artists represented in the permanent collection, along with signicant examples of African, Oceanic, and Asian art. Works from the collection are exhibited regularly in permanent and temporary installations at the Douglas and Van Vechten galleries. ! Fisk University is a nonsectarian, private institution of higher education founded in 1866. Fisk provides a rich, academic experience steeped in the liberal arts tradition and a passion for learning and personal growth.

Fisk University Galleries,1000 17th Avenue North, Nashville, TN, 37208, (615) 329-8720,