For Immediate Release

NOTE: High-resolution images available

Ellen Jones Pryor: 615.243.1311, ”, ”
Emily Harper: 615.744.3331, ”

Dean Byington’s Terra Incognita on View in Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery June 26–September 13, 2009

Artists Forum Scheduled June 26 at Noon

NASHVILLE, TENN.—(June 8, 2009)—The Frist Center for the Visual Arts will open Dean Byington: Terra Incognita June 26 in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery.

The San Francisco Bay-area artist explores the paradoxical and often uncomfortable relationship between aspects of the inner realm—dreams, memories, imagination—and the external world through his fantastic landscapes teeming with meticulously rendered imagery ranging from anthropomorphic animals and vegetation to fanciful geological formations.

Using a complex, labor-intensive process that combines painting, drawing and printing, Dean Byington creates views of unknown terrains that are densely filled with such symbols as talking mushrooms, mystical stars, abandoned mining structures and mounds of crystals.

Creating approximately five to 10 works a year, the artist begins by forming a collage derived from 18th- and 19th-century botanical, mineralogical or fairy tale illustrations, to which he then adds his own drawings. He transfers the composition through delicate silk screens to create a fragile matrix of fine graphic lines that confound depth and flatness.

“We are incredibly pleased to be able to present Dean’s first museum exhibition,” said Frist Center curator Katie Delmez. “His work is breathtaking on a number of levels. The meticulousness of his work is staggering, and the overall effect is of a world that is both wondrous and disturbing.”

Ranging in size from four to eight feet in height, Byington’s canvasses are filled with detailed renderings of grass, trees and flowers, inviting the viewer to read them as otherworldly landscapes.

Speaking about his work in an ARTnews review, Byington commented, “What I’m most interested in is telling stories, but you have to look hard inside the paintings to find them.”

Exhibition Sponsor

The 2009 Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery exhibition sponsor is Welling LaGrone and Morgan Keegan.

Related Programs

Friday, June 26 Artist’s Perspective: Dean Byington
Meet at the Information Desk
Free with purchase of gallery admission

Join experimental San Francisco artist Dean Byington in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery for a discussion of his work.

Friday, August 21 ARTini
7:00 p.m.
Meet at the Information Desk
Free with purchase of gallery admission

Join Stefanie Gerber Darr, educator for public programs, as she leads an informal conversation about one or two works of art in this exhibition. Complete your evening by relaxing in the Grand Lobby with beverages from the cash bar or café and visiting with friends.

Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, regional, U.S. and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery features more than 30 interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and younger and to Frist Center members. Frist Center admission is $8.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and military and $6.50 for college students with ID (college students are free Thursday and Friday evenings). Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservation by calling 615.744.3246. The Frist Center is open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. and Sundays, 1–5:30 p.m., with the Frist Center Café opening at noon. Additional information is available by calling 615.244.3340 or by visiting our Web site at

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