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VMFA's "Postcards from the Real" Opens October 23 at Richmond International Airport

October 23, 2009

RICHMOND, Virginia (October 23, 2009) - "Postcards from the Real," an exhibition of paintings by Virginia artist Josephine Haden, opens today at Richmond International Airport. The show will be on view through Feb. 15.

Haden lives in Arlington, Va., and was the winner of a 2009 VMFA Fellowship. Her paintings are included in public and private collections in the U.S. and France, including the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum in Little Rock, Ark.

"The magic moment is to finish a piece and like what you see," says Haden. "Starting with landscapes, I found myself creating mysterious and distant places that hovered on the edge of reality," Haden says. "Filling the canvas with lush vegetation and dense forests, I played with scale and space while relying on a base ground of gestural abstraction."

She calls her latest series of works "Globalization," meaning that everything is fair game when she composes a painting, and she says she "beams them in" from some other place, from some other story or scene. "My intention is to create delight and intrigue."

Critic Donald Kuspit calls Haden an "eloquent" painter and a realist of sorts. "I say ‘of sorts' because there's an aura of eeriness to her reality, however precisely (always precisely) rendered - but her images are also abstract, which no doubt adds to their uncanniness." Kuspit is the distinguished professor of art history and philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and professor of art history at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

Earth, sky and water dominate Haden's vast, open landscapes that are populated with evocative figures and objects from contemporary culture - an impossibly blue lagoon surrounded by wildlife, people relaxing, a motorcyclist and a vivid rainbow; a man holding his left hand up as if to say "stop" to six galloping horses, and in the distance a cowboy, a Native American and a totem pole; a mounted man, executed in black-and-white, pictured along a stream with colorful horses and a wolf, while an automobile heads toward them from a distance.

Haden studied art and art history as an undergraduate at Georgetown University and earned a master's degree in art history from George Washington University. Both schools are in the District of Columbia.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is an educational institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia. For additional information about exhibitions and programs, telephone (804) 340-1400 or visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Web site,

Richmond International Airport is the gateway for Virginia's Capital Region and offers more than 180 daily, non-stop flights on Air Canada, AirTran Airways, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and their regional affiliates to 19 domestic and international destinations.


Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Suzanne Hall
(804) 204-2704


Richmond International Airport
Troy Bell
(804) 226-3022