In its latest exhibition, “David Ribar: A Semi-Retrospective,” Belmont University’s Department of Art is celebrating the namesake in a perfectly quintessential way.
Ribar has been producing visual art since arriving in Nashville in 1979. He’s explored drawing across many media, represented a wealth of the city’s cultural institutions and has explored nearly every facet of what visual art can be across four decades. He has written art criticism, served on art juries and curated and consulted for art galleries.
Now that he is retiring from his latest position as a professor at Belmont, the university has assembled a “highly random” selection of his work for the show.
“More specifically, the exhibit explores the three distinctly different ways Ribar likes to create art,” according to a press release from the university. “These include drawing directly and quickly from the figure engaging in the immediate moment; drawing for longer periods from photos and reproductions or with the use of Photoshop, for more calculated ends, which are more abstracted from the real moment; and working without reference to a person or thing.”
The piece Dinosynchlastic appears to be an example of the middle way: a highly elaborated rendering of a classical bust or portrait. With a superimposed grid, spectral bending and radical colors, the figure could have been transported from the classical era to a galactic space age via wormhole. It seems an appropriate representation of work from someone who has spent years considering what art has been, what it is and what it can be.
In addition to serving as a professor, Ribar has chaired the Belmont’s art department. When he first moved to Nashville, he worked as an exhibitions designer for the Cheekwood Museum of Art, then as its curator of exhibits. He has shown his own work in galleries across the country.
Belmont University’s Leu Art Gallery is located in the Lila D. Bunch Library, 1907 Belmont Boulevard.