Contemporary Art from the Collection of Hedy Fischer and Randy Shull
Through May 28 (by reservation/appointment)
Hedy Fischer and Randy Shull, founders of the Pink Dog Creative complex, are also well-known collectors of contemporary art. In this exhibit they’ll present self portraits of two dozen artists from their private collection, acquired over the past 25 years. The show includes works by Abraham Cruzvillegas, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Barkley L. Hendricks, and locals Margaret Curtis and Gerri Davis. A variety of mediums are represented, including painting, photography, and mixed media. The couple chose to curate an exhibit of self portraits because during the social isolation of the pandemic there’s been so much self examination.
“It’s a combination of both abstraction and more easily recognizable portraits,” says Fischer. “There’s a piece that’s a mirror, another is a glass door, and one’s a video — so it spans everything. Randy’s father, Don Shull, who is a retired carpenter, did a pair of self portraits carved from wood, and everything he sculpts also works as a bank, with a slot in it for adding coins. One is of him as a Shiva figure with six arms. Hey — having extra arms is every carpenter’s dream.” The other depicts him in a yoga position, with a Band Aid on his knee. His son Randy explains: “He cut himself with his pocket knife while carving one of them.” (Who says artists don’t pour heart, soul, and blood into their work?)
Cruzvillegas, in his piece titled “Blind self-portrait listening to the Beetles while scratching a notched stick so to invoke the universal magic of the power of destruction,” presents himself through the accumulated detritus of his daily life. “You wouldn’t sense it’s a portrait,” Shull notes, “until you examine more closely and see all these different things he pulled from his pockets that have helped shape who he is, like plane tickets and restaurant receipts.”
The exhibit is the fifth that they’ve hosted at 22 London, and they produced their fourth full-color catalog for it, accompanied by text about the artists written from Fischer’s and Shull’s personal perspectives. “We curated and installed all the work ourselves, as a gift to the community,” says Fischer. “One thing about it that’s really important to us is that it’s an educational opportunity for students from surrounding schools and universities to visit a world-class exhibit of art from around the world – South Africa, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Guatemala, and, of course, Appalachia.”