Raised on a farm in northeastern Mississippi during the years of the Great Depression, George Wardlaw emerged from humble beginnings to become an artist—at Ole Miss—and a member of the avant-garde scene in New York City during the 1950s and ‘60s. He flourished as an important figure in American art and an influential teacher at Yale University and University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he continues to live and work.
This exhibition features thirty-four quintessential works, many large in scale, from among the hundreds created by Wardlaw over the course of more than six decades. They were selected by Dr. Roger Ward, the MMA’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator, to illustrate the trajectory of Wardlaw’s artistic development from his roots in Abstract Expressionism through the era of Color Field painting, Pop Art, and Minimalism to the individualistic and personally expressive character of his contemporary work. The exhibition will include Wardlaw’s drawings, paintings, and sculptures from the collections of other museums such as the de Cordova Museum and Sculpture Park, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Wichita Art Museum in addition to works from the MMA’s own collection.
The exhibition will bring to life the important book published in 2012: George Wardlaw: Crossing Borders, the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s long career. The critical essays in this book offer an extended look into the unfolding of a lifelong dialogue between abstraction and spirituality, played out on canvas, forged in metal, constructed in objects, sculpture, and installations.
Mississippi Museum of Art - George Wardlaw, A Life in Art: Works from 1954 to 2014 - 29.05.2015 - 30.08.2015
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