University Museums

Title: Art Scape for ISU
Name: Print with Collage
Date: 2008
Medium: Photolithography, chine collé, metallic leaf in silver, silver glitter, encaustic, blue paper with beeswax, hand finished with Prismacolor
Dimensions: 24 x 16 1/2 in. (61 x 41.9 cm)
Classification: Prints and Printing Plates
Credit Line: Commissioned by University Museums. In the Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Location: Iowa State University, Morrill Hall
Object Number: U2010.14
More Information
In conjunction with the exhibition BodyScapes
& CounterPoints: Prints by Beej Nierengarten-
Smith, the artist has created two prints for the
University Museums’ permanent collection
(cats. 1, 2; figs. 1, 5). These prints feature
sculptures from the Art on Campus Collection
and Program, Stephen De Staebler’s Left-
Sided Angel and Manuel Neri’s Escalieta I.
Iconic and enigmatic, these figures are both
in a state of transformation, vulnerable yet
full of possibilities. Beej’s prints embrace this
expression of the potential in all humanity.
Iowa State University’s purview encompasses
cultures from both East and West, and Beej’s
prints reflect this thematically. Classical
sculptures of Mercury and Aphrodite are
counterpoints to De Staebler and Neri’s
contemporary figures, all of them embedded
in the Western tradition. Hovering amid these
three-dimensional forms are female images
from Japanese prints, representing the East.
“I wanted to include both male and female
figures,” said Beej, “but since my work is
focused on female images, that’s what I used
in both prints to contrast with the sculptural
forms.”
The newly renovated Morrill Hall, one of the
oldest buildings on the Iowa State University
campus and the site of Beej’s exhibition in the
Christian Petersen Art Museum, is a looming
presence in both prints. The University
Museums championed the renovation of this
historical building in the heart of the campus,
and Beej’s prints pay tribute to Morrill Hall’s
role in bringing the art and culture of East and
West together.