Gibbes Museum of Art

Charleston, SC



Water: A Contemporary American View

October 1, 1999 through December 12, 1999


In celebration of the opening of the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, the Gibbes Museum of Art is hosting a traveling exhibition based on the theme of water as interpreted by 22 contemporary American artists. Organized by guest curator Thomas H. Garver and the Gibbes Museum of Art, Water explores the emotions its viewers can experience as they contemplate a seemingly basic compound. This exhibition in the Alice Smith, Garden, and Balcony Galleries features 65 works of art consisting of watercolor, oil, and acrylic paintings, as well as etchings and sculpture. Artists include Joseph Raffael, Richard Estes, John Alexander, Wade Hoefer and Robert Stackhouse.

Images from left to right: Joseph Raffael, Water Reflections III, 1994, watercolor, 68 x 44 1/2 inches, Courtesy of Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York; Richard Estes, Lake Champlain III, 1996, oil on paper, 19 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches, Courtesy of Marlborough Gallery, New York; John Alexander, Atlantic Beach, 1997, oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches, Courtesy of Marlborough Gallery, New York; Wade Hoefer, Sacrastrium, 1999, oil on canvas, 72 x 72 inches, Courtesy of Patricia Faure Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Robert Stackhouse, On the Deep, 1995, watercolor diptych, 119 1/4 x 80 3/8 inches, two panels, Courtesy of Robert Stackhouse and Morgan Gallery, Kansas City, MO.

Water is accompanied by a catalogue featuring an essay by the guest curator and beautiful illustrations of each artist's work. In the forward to the exhibition catalogue, Paul Figueroa, Director, Gibbes Museum of Art, writes: "The answer to "Why Water?" is that the presentation of this special loan exhibition coincides with an important current event for our city and state, the City of Charleston's vision for an aquarium. The South Carolina Aquarium has taken form along the waterfront near the Cooper River Bridges. It will be a cornerstone for future civic development expanding our community's access and enjoyment of the harbor and our connection to water. Over seven years ago, the concept for a visual arts exhibition to celebrate the opening of the South Carolina Aquarium was shared by the Gibbes, and the staff of the Aquarium. This was not an original idea, but one that was discovered through communications with The Hunter Museum of Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee. There, residents celebrated their city aquarium with an exhibition of art-water imagery by Joseph Raffael."

Water: A Contemporary American View will travel to the Mobile Museum of Art January 14 through March 15, 2000 and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum from April 22 through June 25, 2000.

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