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COLLECTOR LENDS 20TH-CENTURY MASTERPIECES TO THE MIA
December 15, 2006
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Collector Lends 20th-Century Masterpieces to the MIA in Time for Holiday Viewing
Minneapolis, December 15, 2006—A new display of important twentieth-century painting and sculpture is on view at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Located in the contemporary painting and sculpture galleries in the museum’s new Target Wing, all ten works are on extended loan from the collection of Gordon Locksley, of Fort Lauderdale, and George Shea, of Palm Springs, former Minneapolis residents who have amassed extraordinary holdings of contemporary art since 1960. The installation includes works by modern and contemporary masters such as Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, Claes Oldenburg, Ellsworth Kelly, Carl Andre, John Chamberlain, Brice Marden, Andy Warhol, Louise Nevelson, and Roy Lichtenstein.
“This is an incredibly generous loan,” said William M. Griswold, Director and President of the MIA. “Displayed alongside works from the same period in the museum’s permanent collection, these works represent some of the most important artists of our time and provide a compelling overview of American painting and sculpture of the later twentieth century. We are especially thrilled that they will be on view during the MIA’s busiest time of the year.”
“The Locksley Shea Gallery owes its very existence to Minneapolis,” said Locksley. “Recognition and support from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts was crucial to our survival and success. We cannot overstate our affection for this great institution and its importance to America’s cultural life.”
“Gordon Locksley and George Shea are long-time friends and benefactors of the museum,” said Patrick Noon, Chair of Paintings and Modern Sculpture at the MIA. “Mr. Locksley was so impressed with the MIA’s recently expanded galleries for modern and contemporary art, he offered to lend the museum some of their remarkable artworks to further enhance the MIA’s permanent collection.”
The ten objects, in brief: Louise Nevelson’s Sky City I (1957) Claes Oldenburg’s Cash Register (1961) Roy Lichtenstein’s ART (1962) Brice Marden’s Flesh (1967-68) Ellsworth Kelly’s Two Panels: Red White (1968) John Chamberlain’s Whitmore Wash (1969) Andy Warhol’s Portraits of the Locksley Shea Gallery (1975) Carl Andre’s CRUX (1978) Agnes Martin’s Untitled #7 (1984) Donald Judd’s Untitled (Red Floor Box) (1991)
The ten objects, in detail: Sky City I is one of Nevelson’s painted wood constructions. Nevelson is best known for her wall pieces constructed of boxes, which are almost always painted in a single color, further drawing the objects together into a unified whole and imbuing them with an aura of mystery.
Oldenburg, a leader of the Pop Art movement, specializes in skewing our perceptions about the seemingly innocuous objects we encounter in our daily lives. Cash Register was part of a seminal artistic environment created by the artist in 1961.
In 1962, when Pop Art attained notoriety in New York, Lichtenstein was exploring a range of subjects from war comics to imitations of works by earlier modern artists. Isolated words, like ART and IN, provided another thematic idea Lichtenstein examined in his effort to present the viewer with common images in a new way.
Flesh is one of seven works from the “Back Series” that were exhibited at Marden’s second solo exhibition at the Bykert Gallery in New York. In his early work, Marden often used simple means, typically monochrome canvases, to create emotional and subjective representations. Kelly is known for his experiments with positive and negative space whereby the large, simple, hard-edged forms he favors are derived from nature rather than geometry. He applies his pigments in a flat, uniform manner, using bright colors or variations of black and white. In Two Panels: Red White Kelly uses discrete colors and modular forms to create a poetic vision.
Chamberlain began making sculptures from metal pipes in the early 1950s, influenced by the artist David Smith (1906–1965). By 1959, he was working almost exclusively in an assemblage method to create crumpled and twisted sculptures, including Whitmore Wash.
Warhol’s portraits furnish a brilliant graphic account of his personal and artistic circle, which included many of the most talented and glamorous public figures of the twentieth century. Portraits of the Locksley Shea Gallery was executed in 1975, the year of Warhol’s solo exhibition at their former Minneapolis gallery.
Andre often begins with a single type of material, such as wood, brick, or steel, which is then arranged or stacked on the floor or ground. His approach draws attention to the site and the material, rather than the object itself. CRUX is an iconic example using western red cedar.
Working primarily in a palette of pale pinks, blues, and whites, Martin became known for paintings that explored the abstract and reductive possibilities of squares and grids. Untitled #7 conveys the expansive and serene qualities often found in her work.
Believing that “a shape, a volume, a color, a surface is something in itself,” Judd uses metal, wood and Plexiglas to create conceptual sculpture. In Untitled (Red Floor Box), two elements are made to engage with each other, although they differ in material, shape, and form.
About the Minneapolis Institute of Arts The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA), home to one of the finest encyclopedic art collections in the country, houses nearly 100,000 works of art representing more than 5,000 years of world history. Highlights of the permanent collection include European masterworks by Rembrandt, Poussin, and van Gogh; modern and contemporary painting and sculpture by Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Stella, and Close; as well as internationally significant collections of prints and drawings, decorative arts, Modernist design, photographs, and Asian, African, and Native American art. General admission is always free. Some special exhibitions have a nominal admission fee. Museum hours: Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Closed Monday. For more information, call (612) 870-3131 or visit www.artsmia.org. # # #