Delineations of Structure: The Grid, Architecture and Perspective
Selections from the Permanent Collection
January - December 30, 2023
About the Exhibit
"We shape our buildings - thereafter, they shape us."
- Winston Churchill.
The need to build is a paramount requirement, a fundamental need to survive; it is also about the drive to leave a legacy of beauty and order. Structures of all shapes and sizes are signatures of culture and society. Like frozen music in space, they play for the viewer a song of age, the hopes of a people, and a record of dreams. They are an art and a requirement. It is through the lens of a culture's buildings and dwellings that helps form historical understanding. Architecture is one way that a society can express itself, presenting a likeness to the world. The foundation of order and beauty that stand the test of time structures define a longing for understanding.
This exhibit brings together objects and works of art from the collection that directly reflect these delineations in conjunction with more abstract and conceptual depictions of structures and the grid. The artwork on display covers multiple periods, cultures, and styles. It is a testament to the excellent and rich assortment contained in the collection. Architectural history is an evolving account of human energy that spans centuries reaching back to ancient times, providing a global perspective. The construction of buildings, structures, and grids is more than the carving of stone or the placement of glass. It is about understanding something bigger than ourselves, our place in the universe. Expressions of this understanding are witnessed through drawings, paintings, sculptures, and photographs of structures. Artists can reflect the spirit of time locked forever through the talent of the hand and the eye.
Through the interaction of realistic depictions, abstractions, and conceptual forms, viewers can survey how the grid, architecture, and perspective have shaped our understanding of history, culture, and society. Structures are physical evidence of human change. The art inspired by this evidence reflects a perspective boundary and is a witness to history.
A MID-CENTURY MIDWESTERN ARTIST
Second Floor Gallery
May 7 - July 23, 2022
Milton Wolsky was born in Omaha, Nebraska in January of 1916. He dedicated his entire life to art. Milton studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and later at the Art Students League of New York under the direction of Julian Levi and Hans Hofmann.
He was drafted into the Army at age 26, and illustrated for the Eighth Army Corp of Engineers during the occupation of Japan. From 1946–1954, he worked from a New York City studio, his work regularly appearing in Time, Redbook, Collier’s, McCall’s and Esquire, to name a few. Post–war America is considered to be the “golden age” for illustrators and Milton was considered to be among the very best; this list includes Norman Rockwell.
Despite his success in New York, he had a longing to come home to the Midwest. In 1954 he purchased "El Paraiso", the J. Laurie Wallace studio and returned to Omaha. He continued to earn his living with illustrative and commercial art. However, his true love remained with contemporary oils. A multi-talented artist, he produced realism, contemporary and abstract art with the same skill and expert results.
Milton befriended several “starving artists” during the years he spent in NYC, and word has it that when they had a birthday, he’d take everyone out to dinner at a swanky restaurant. When it was Milton’s birthday they would all bring pot luck and the gift of a small painting to him…Milton gave his collection of abstract paintings, including Paul Klee, Hans Hofmann and Julian Levi to the Joslyn Art Museum in 1967. The Hans Hofmann painting still hangs in Gallery 15 at the Joslyn.
Milton was a member of the Society of Illustrators, American Watercolor Society and a fellow in the International Institute of Arts and Letters. He was listed in “Who’s Who in Art” from 1956 until his death in 1981. He exhibited his works by invitation at various museums including Joslyn Art Museum, Rochester Art Museum, Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, Walker Art Center, as well as the Smithsonian Institute and the U.S. Air Force Historical Foundation. He was one of two Nebraska artists included in the inaugural “Art in Embassy Program”, a program President and Mrs.Kennedy began in 1963. Despite this recognition, Milton experienced little monetary gain from his art. He personally did little, if anything, to promote his own work.
June 4 - August 27, 2022
I use photography to translate the world around me into a story worth telling. As a trained journalist and experienced marketer, I have always tried to understand a subject’s essence, document it and communicate it to others in a way that engages, challenges and informs.
In the past, I’ve worked with acrylics on canvas and built assemblages with found objects. Only through the lens of a camera, however, am I able to accurately represent the subject accurately, selectively compose its placement in its environment and edit to create art that tells a compelling story.
While I can be found photographing the streets of Midwest cities, I’m more naturally drawn to the rural America and the people, architecture and landscapes that the rest of us often drive right by. I work in color and black and white, equally at home capturing the breadth of the Iowa landscape or an abstract slice of it. Whether people, animals or structures, much of my work features a simple, graphic composition that isolates the subject in its larger, contextual environment. Other images are intimately cropped to draw the viewer into the subject’s world or create an abstract perspective.
I often present my images on canvases, without frames, so the subject matter is not impeded by the unnatural barrier of a frame. Big and expansive as the countryside itself.
Mark True was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but he grew up in Iowa. He was educated in journalism at Iowa State University and has been a professional writer, graphic designer, and brand consultant for more than 30 years.
True’s introduction to art included acrylics and assemblages made of found objects in the spirit of Robert Rauschenberg, but today, he uses photography to create regionalist art inspired by Grant Wood, Charles Sheeler, Edward Hopper, and Georgia O’Keeffe.
Based in Carlisle, Iowa, True’s work captures the rural landscapes and small towns of Iowa and the Midwest. His work has been juried into group shows at the Polk County Heritage Gallery and the Ankeny Art Center, and he was featured in a solo show at the Ankeny Art Center in 2018.
He is the founder and current president of the North River Arts Council, a non-profit organization creating a place for artists and the arts in Warren County, Iowa.
Additional information forthcoming for the following:
Taylor Laufersweiler - "Out of Place" Second Floor Gallery
August 6 - September 17, 2022
Mary Muller - "Garden Walk" East Gallery
September 10 - January 21,2023
Steven Maeck- "Iron Works" Second Floor Gallery
October 1 - December 17, 2022