Clear Seeing Place: The Encapsulating Canvases of Brian Rutenberg
March 10 - June 3, 2017
Special Exhibition Wing
Featuring twenty-four paintings and five works on paper, this exhibition examines the career of New York-based artist Brian Rutenberg. These works, produced between 1993 and 2016, are on temporary loan to the Saginaw Art Museum from Forum Gallery in New York, with a few selections from the Jerald Melberg Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina.
As indicated by the title, Clear Seeing Place serves to illustrate the ideas and themes presented in Rutenberg’s recently published autobiography, Clear Seeing Place: Studio Visits. A self-professed Southern landscape painter, Rutenberg explores the notions of lucidity and authenticity of place, as well as the spatial relationships of one’s surroundings through abstraction. His compositions, constructed as portals which at once compress and accelerate time and space, enable the viewer to interact with the creator through pure intention. Rejecting the idea of his paintings as precious luxuries, Rutenberg embraces the act of painting itself as communicative grandiosity.
The Angst of Alechinsky and Friends: Abstract Expressionist Prints from the Permanent Collection
February 10 - May 20, 2017
Graphic Arts Gallery
This exhibition closely examines the Windows series of angst-ridden lithographic prints produced by Belgian artist Pierre Alechinsky, and highlights a number of additional artists (including Joan Miro, Richard Howard Hunt, Charles Cajori, Georges Braque, Adja Yunkers, and Sister Mary Corita Kent) whose works exhibit equally dissonant imagery. In stark contrast to the equally popular Lyrical Abstraction – a style of art that applied the teachings of Kandinsky, often marked by sumptuous color and harmonious, painterly beauty – the work of Alechinsky and other Abstract Expressionists, as well as that produced by Art Informel groups such as COBRA, incorporated “primitive” design elements and favored restless, fitful compositions.