UMLAUF Prize 2015

Murmurs: Ryan Hawk & Gracelee Lawrence

UMLAUF Prize 2015

UMLAUF Prize 2015

A professor at UT for forty years, Charles Umlauf was an avid competitor who mentored countless students. In that spirit, a decade ago artist and form Board Member, Damian Priour and his wife, Paula, created the Prize to help young artists gain traction in their careers. This year’s Juror, Suzanne Deal Booth, selected Ryan Hawk and Gracelee Lawrence from an impressive group of candidates.

For this exhibition, Ryan Hawk and Gracelee Lawrence created site-specific work in response to Charles Umlauf’s twentieth century sculptures. Hawk’s video installation features a male figure taking the pose of Umlauf’s iconic 1960 Spirit of Flight bronze sculpture. The video captures a dark green/grey colored polymer slowly flowing down the subject’s bound body, with intercuts of the original Spirit of Flight. Lawrence’s work engages both Umlauf’s Lovers V and The Kiss by reinterpreting the figures as enormous fiberglass fruit fountains installed in the Garden near the original sculptures.

Umlauf’s secular and religious sculptures align with the dominant culture’s mindset during the 20th century. Although totally different in execution, Hawk’s and Lawrence’s works function similarly as alternatives to the heterosexual masculine ideology underlying Umlauf’s art. Hawk reinterprets Spirit of Flight through a Queer lens. Lawrence’s installation engages concepts of fertility and fecundity that shed light on Umlauf’s representation of women and his valorization of men. Although the artists take inspiration from perspectives that were marginalized in the last century, Hawk and Lawrence both encourage new possibilities for a variety of 21st century viewers.

UMLAUF Prize 2015 brochure

About the UMLAUF Prize

The UMLAUF Prize honors an outstanding graduate student in Studio Art at the University of Texas at Austin with a cash award and an exhibition at the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum.

© 2015 UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum

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