UA Little Rock to Host Exhibit Exploring Poet William Blake’s Views on Femininity and Masculinity

Liz Noble's "Deluxe Graffiti." Photo courtesy of Historic Arkansas Museum.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host an exhibit that explores William Blake’s, the English poet, painter, and printmaker, views on femininity and masculinity.

The exhibit, “Jordan Hancock: William Blake and the Fallen Binary,” will be on display from Monday, May 16, to Thursday, May 26, the Maners/Pappas Gallery in the Windgate Center of Art and Design.

The exhibit explores Blake’s views on the morality of masculinity and femininity as shown in his 1795 large print series. The exhibit is based on research by Jordan Hancock, who is graduating from UA Little Rock with a bachelor’s degree in art with an art history track.

Through six reproductions of Blake’s own paintings and art from more contemporary artists, we can see how Blake’s views on gender are reflected in the modern world. Blake believed both masculinity and femininity to be equally a part of Original Sin, hoping to deconstruct these concepts in pursuit of moral purity.

The other artists shown also play with gender in ways that contradict traditional divisions of masculinity and femininity, often blurring the lines between the two and promoting some form of androgyny. Blake and these other artists all use gendered visual language as a way to comment on moral failings of the human condition.

The exhibit features work from the UA Little Rock Permanent Art Collection by artists Surjit Akre, Marianela de la Hoz, Benito Huerta, James McCartney, Preyawit Nilachulaka, and Oeur Sokentevy. Additionally, the exhibit also features work by the Historic Arkansas Museum by artists Louis Freund, Lily Kuonen, Doris Mapes, Liz Noble, Bob Sherman, and Howard S. Stern.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Windate Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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