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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

"Antiquary" an Exhibition of Monumental Wood Sculptures by Morgan Herrin

This fall, Old Dominion University's Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries will present "Antiquary," an exhibition of monumental works by sculptor Morgan Herrin, who manipulates wood into classical forms flavored with mysticism, fantasy, history, and mythology.

In this endeavor, Herrin transitions objects inspired by his research, fancy and fixations into artifacts that appear to be in various stages of decay.

Often six to eight feet high, his works invite scrutiny, puzzlement and admiration for his skilled technique in accomplishing his vision. The viewer wonders among beautiful, haunting and strange presences, at once familiar in their references and utterly perplexing in their purpose.

"Antiquary" will be on view from Aug. 25 to Oct. 1, with a free reception on Sept. 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. The artist, Morgan Herrin, will be in attendance.

Herrin declares that decay has a profound effect on art. Failed religions, obsolete technologies, extinct cultures and lost knowledge are his subjects. He believes that an understanding of the human story results from the contemplation of such decay. It informs the artist and the viewer of their place in the cosmic scheme; of each individual's part in their personal story; and, over time, of one's part in history through the simple fact that from death springs life.

Herrin accomplishes his works through a laborious process. In this day of fast food, fast cars and fast experiences, and the throw-away consumption of things, the artist wants us to know that the hours of labor that he puts into his works are what gives them value. As for our engaged mystification and confusion with his mesmerizingly melting ancient helmets, tortured classical figures, and wildly bending great swords — all larger than life — Herrin himself states, "'Antiquary' is meant to deliver a strong dose of the unreal."

As adjunct faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University, Herrin was awarded a Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award in 2002. He was also awarded a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts fellowship in 2015. He has had numerous exhibitions of his work and has served as a sculptor on several film projects including Hollywood productions of "The New World" and "Lincoln," the AMC series "Turn," and "John Adams" for HBO.

The Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries exhibit works by nationally and internationally recognized self-taught artists, contemporary artists working in all media, and local and regional artists connected with Old Dominion University. Free and open to the public, with parking in the 45th Street garage. Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. For more information contact Senior Curator Ramona Austin at (757) 683-6272 or raustin@odu.edu.

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