Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum

Wausau, WI




Water: A Contemporary American View


The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum invites guests to come in because the water is fine - "Water: A Contemporary American View" that is. This new exhibition, opening on Saturday, April 22, 2000 features 65 oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings; etchings; and bronze, glass, and wood sculptures. All work is based on the broad concept of water as interpreted by 22 American artists.

The artists in "Water" see more than a basic element of nature when they look at a raindrop or an ocean. For them, this protean, ever-changing substance is a vehicle to interpret and express a depth of physical and emotional associations. Their views from above the surface bring to mind the simple pleasures of water such as viewing a pond dappled with water lilies, while those from the deep may transmit the terror that water can elicit. (left: Mark Innerst, Water Lily, No.16, 1998, acrylic on board)

Ships and icebergs, fish and birds, sand pebbles, sailboats, and cascading waterfalls. These and other elements join with water in vast landscapes and seascapes - and in tiny drop-like images - that shift between realism and surrealism to capture the essence of this clear, colorless, odorless, and tasteless substance.

Whether represented as a solid as in Dale Chihuly's shimmering glass seaforms and Jack Zajac's bronze waterfalls, or a liquid as in Joseph Raffael's "Water Reflections" or Deborah Brown's "Aquarium," water in the hands of contemporary artists is absorbing.

Andre von Morisse, who is represented by three works in "Water," will present "Patterns in Nature" on Wednesday, May 10, from 7-8 p.m. This Norwegian-born painter is enamored with the natural world and its mysteries, and often paints from a below-the-surface perspective of a fish while also depicting the calm surface where water meets earth or sky. During his free public talk, von Morisse will use slides to explore his images of nature and tell the stories he sees in them. His talk and a one-week artist residency in local schools are supported by the Community Arts Program of the Wausau Area Community Foundation, with funds provided by the Wisconsin Arts Board and the Foundation.

"Water" was organized by the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina and is presented locally through the generous support of USFilter and its Zimpro Products and Enviroscan Services divisions. See our earlier articles: Water: A Contemporary American View (10/11/99) at the Gibbes Museum of Art and Water: A Contemporary American View (1/14/00) at the Mobile Museum of Art.

Read more on the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.in Resource Library Magazine

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