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Paul Villinski: Farther

Paul Villinski: Farther

The Taubman Museum of Art is pleased to present the mid-career retrospective Farther by New York-based sculptor Paul Villinski (American, born 1960). Villinski’s sculptures and installations engage with subjects both sublime and neglected. Influenced by a lifelong concern for environmental issues, his work reinvisions seemingly useless and discarded materials, often trash found on the streets of New York City, into uplifting and humanizing works of art. Thirteen major sculptures and installations created over the past few decades explore recurrent themes in the artist’s work: flight, community, the environment, and more intimate narratives such as addiction and recovery, all united by Villinski’s central preoccupation: transformation. He states, “I’m fascinated by the simple alchemy of transforming humble, discarded materials into things of beauty and layered meaning. This speaks to the idea of potential, of the surprising things that can be done with imagination, commitment, risk, and hard work — with enough love.” Villinski’s work is quietly reverent and reflective. Flocks of reclaimed aluminum-can butterflies in Arcus and Gyre, and wings feathered with gleaming knives in Aerialist evoke motifs of flight, metamorphosis and rebirth. His progressive installation, Castaways, features an accumulating flock of birds made in conjunction with the Roanoke community. Molded from pulped junk paper, Castaways speaks to the excessive and frivolous waste of our natural resources. In Quilt and Comforter, Villinski grapples with the topics of addiction and recovery using symbolic materials such as belts, liquor bottles, and gloves to evoke feelings of chaos, fear, protection, and communal healing. Throughout the exhibited works, a sense of magic and otherworldliness pervades commonplace objects. Elements of nature perform quasi-heroic acts and offer benedictions: butterflies levitate and swirl from doors, ladders and chairs, while birds morph from obsolete LP records, taking flight like musical notes. Created with acute mechanical finesse, Villinski’s deft creatures astound and lead the viewer to, in the artist’s words, “an exploration of the possible, at the heart of which is hope.” The traveling exhibition Paul Villinski: Farther is available from September 2018 through January 2023. For more information please call Kimberly C. Piland, Exhibition Coordinator, at 540.204.4126 or email

Taubman Museum of Art
Every week through Jan 30, 2022.
Sunday: 12:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Thursday: 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Event Supported By

Taubman Museum of Art
(540) 342-5760

Artist Group Info

Paul Villinski

Taubman Museum of Art

110 Salem Avenue SE
Roanoke, Virginia 24011