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American Tableaux: Selections from the Collection of Walker Art Center

 

American Tableaux: Selections from the Collection of Walker Art Center, an exhibition featuring works by 55 20th-century American artists, opened Feb. 8, 2004 at the University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA). The exhibition inaugurated a new 6,000-square-foot special exhibition gallery at the UIMA. (right: Installation view, American Tableaux: Selections from the Collection of Walker Art Center in the University of Iowa Museum of Art's new 6,000 square foot gallery (center: Dorit Cypis, My Father's Nudes, 1989, mixed media, 78 x 114 x 36 inches, T.B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 1983; right: Barry McGee, untitled, 1998, mixed media, 25 x 280 inches, Miriam and Erwin Kelen Acquisition Fund for Drawings, 1998)

American Tableaux consists of 62 paintings, sculptures, installations, prints and photographs on loan from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The exhibition will run through April 25, 2004

The works in the exhibition reflect a diversity of viewpoints about the American experience, the peoples of the United States, and what constitutes Americans' collective identity. Artists represented include Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keefe, David Hockney, George Segal, Edward Ruscha and Kara Walker. (left: Installation view, American Tableaux: Selections from the Collection of Walker Art Center in the University of Iowa Museum of Art's new 6,000 square foot gallery (center: Sherrie Levine, La Fortune (after Man Ray: 3), 1990, wood, felt, resin, 33.25 x 115 x 65.25 inches, T.B. Walker Acquisitions Fund, 1992)

A number of trends can be discerned in American Tableaux. For example, many of the artists featured in the exhibition broke with the conventional representational approach to their art and explored modern ideas and modes of expression. In addition, the pervasive influence of 20th-century mass media led many of these artists and their audience members to see the circumstances of their lives in new and imaginative ways.

Along with the new gallery where American Tableaux is on display, which will be used for changing exhibitions, is the new 1,000-square-foot Hoover-Paul Gallery, named for donors H.D. and Myrene Hoover and Douglas and Linda Paul. Set to open in June, the Hoover-Paul Gallery will feature a series of exhibitions drawn from the museum's collection of over 5,000 works on paper as well as special loan exhibitions.

When the seven-month renovation project is complete, the UIMA will have increased its gallery space by 30-percent to total 29,000-square-feet. The renovation also includes new areas for public events, educational programming and the care and study of the museum's collections. The entire museum now encompasses 75,000-square-feet.

One new public area at the museum is the Nancy and Craig Willis Atrium, named for the donors whose gift made its renovation possible. The atrium will provide a new venue for public programs at the museum, including the monthly "Know the Score" radio broadcast produced by UI public radio KSUI, FM 91.7. Plans are also underway to use the atrium as a venue for regularly scheduled jazz concerts. (right: Installation view, American Tableaux: Selections from the Collection of Walker Art Center in the University of Iowa Museum of Art's new 6,000 square foot gallery (foreground: Mark Tansey, Constructing the Grand Canyon, 1990, oil on canvas, 85 x 126.5 inches, Gift of Penny and Mike Winton, 1990)

In addition, the renovation has allowed the UIMA to expand the presentation of its permanent collection and its Museum Store merchandise. The museum's expanded displays include European and American paintings and Art of Ancient Americas. An expanded display of the museum's ceramics collection will also open this summer.

American Tableaux was organized by Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

The UIMA will present a series of events in connection with American Tableaux throughout the months of March and April, including lectures and musical programs.

 

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