FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 6, 2007
CONTACT: CHRIS DISSINGER / (802)656-8582
Winter Exhibitions Open at Fleming Museum

BURLINGTON- This winter the Robert Hull Fleming Museum welcomes contemporary artist Ambreen Butt whose site specific installation, I Need a Hero, responds to a recent, celebrated human rights case in Pakistan through the unlikely medium of Indian miniature painting. The exhibition opens on Tuesday, January 16 and runs through June 2, 2007.

Born in Pakistan and trained in miniature painting at the National College of Art in Lahore, Butt has lived and worked in the United States since the mid-1990s. Her paintings are rooted in her bicultural identity and retain the intricate, decorative patterning that characterizes Persian and Indian miniature painting; however, she updates the medium's painstaking technique with an infusion of new materials, such as Mylar, thread, and collage. Her work discards the conventional, passive representations of women circumscribed by romantic or heroic narratives in favor of female protagonists dressed in modern Western clothing, whose actions pose questions about both global and autobiographical issues, including war, cultural values, and identity and sexual politics.

In a recent review of Butt's work, the New York Times wrote, "With flair, wit and uncommon craftsmanship, Ambreen Butt...revives the exquisitely detailed medium of Persian and Indian miniature painting to explore modern issues like self-identity, clashes of cultural values, battles of the sexes, wars between good and evil and other knotty matters."

Ambreen Butt:  I Need a Hero features wall paintings and recent works on paper, including a body of work inspired by Mukhtaran Mai (also known as Mukhtaran Bibi), a young Pakistani woman who was sentenced by the local tribal council to gang rape as retribution for accusations against her brother. Mai gained international attention and acclaim for bravely contesting this sentence by testifying against her attackers and using the compensation she was awarded to build a girls' school.

Also opening on January 16 in the Fleming's Wilbur Room cases is a fascinating look at tourism in the 19th and 20th centuries, in an exhibition curated by UVM's Museum Anthropology class and drawn from the Museum's collections. For centuries, travel has captured the imagination. From the pyramids of Egypt to the islands of the South Pacific, we continue to find a special kind of romance and excitement in travel. Returning with the evidence of our journeys, we present our carefully chosen objects as mementoes of our trip, proof of our visits to distant places. In the exhibition Tourism: Curious Conquests and Unlikely Trophies, the Museum shares this spirit of travel and passion for collecting through the presentation of souvenirs and trophies from the Fleming's collection representing the diverse places tourists have visited over the centuries. The familiar becomes exotic through such items as a pair of Turkish slippers, a marble fragment purportedly from the Parthenon, an ornate souvenir spoon from Philadelphia, and a Japanese doll. Collected as emblems of prestige or simply as mantelpiece adornments, these souvenirs reflect the global nature of tourism and its continuous and evolving appeal. The exhibition runs through June 10, 2007.


Images for Ambreen Butt: I Need a Hero

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Ambreen Butt, Untitled, from the series I Need a Hero, 2005 (detail). Watercolor and goache on wasli paper. Courtesy the artist and Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston (6.5MB, CMYK)

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Image Info:
Ambreen Butt, Untitled, from the series I Need a Hero, 2005 (detail). Watercolor and goache on wasli paper. Courtesy the artist and Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston. (7MB, CMYK)


Images for Tourism: Curious Conquests and Unlikely Trophies

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Objects and photo albums from the Fleming Museum's Permanent Collection to be featured in the exhibition, Tourism: Curious Conquests and Unlikely Trophies. (5.7MB, CMYK)

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Slippers, 19th century, Turkey. Leather, gold thread. Gift of Henry LeGrand Cannon, 1898.1.242 (5.5MB, CMYK)


FLEMING MUSEUM WINTER EXHIBTIONS:
Ambreen Butt, I Need a Hero
DATES: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - Sunday, June 3, 2007

Tourism: Curious Conquests and Unlikely Trophies
DATES: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - Sunday, June 10, 2007

ADMISSION:
$5 adults. $10 family, $3 students and seniors. Free to: Museum members; faculty, staff and students of UVM, Burlington College, Champlain College, Community College of Vermont, and St. Michael's College; Children 6 and under.
For Museum Hours and Directions, click here.