Organized by Roanoke’s Taubman Museum of Art, Bill Rutherfoord: Allegory of No Region features 11 large-scale, incredibly detailed paintings that are a provocative blend of folklore, history, and art. The stories and symbolism in Rutherfoord’s work are inspired by a variety of artistic and literary figures, such American artist Jasper Johns, French poet Jean Cocteau, and folklorist Joel Chandler Harris—who is best known for his collection of Uncle Remus stories. Cultural and historical references in the paintings range from the Civil War to the BP Gulf oil disaster. In Allegory of No Region, Virginia artist Bill Rutherfoord uses the character Brer Rabbit to lead the viewer on a journey across three centuries of heroism and trickery, both comic and tragic, ultimately creating a social commentary that is both personal and public, regional and national, high and low. On view now through January 12, 2020 in the MSV Changing Exhibitions Gallery. Read the exhibition press release HERE.
BILL RUTHERFOORD. Born in New York City in 1950, Rutherfoord spent his earliest years in Mt. Kisco, New York, before his family moved to Alexandria, Virginia. This was followed by a series of relocations as his father, an Episcopal clergyman (and former professional illustrator) presided over numerous parishes across the Southern United States. Rutherfoord earned a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Rutherfoord first exhibited in New York in 1984 and over the years has been included in gallery and traveling exhibitions alongside artists such as Rodney Allan Greenblat, Keiko Bonk, Raymond Pettibon, William Eggleston, and William Christenberry. His work is represented in numerous public and private collections throughout the country including the Taubman Museum of Art. Rutherfoord lives in Roanoke with his wife, the painter Beth Shively.