July 25, 2011

Ernst Josephson

Thanks to the keen eyes and wits of the University Archives staff, we found a trove of posters for University Gallery exhibitions throughout its history. They are beautiful remembrances of the shows, particularly many of the colorful posters from the 1960s. We’ll be featuring some of these posters throughout the next few months, along with images from the gallery and openings.

Ernst Josephson‘s drawings and paintings were exhibited in the University Gallery in 1965. The poster features a stylized image of Josephson himself. He was born in 1851 in Sweden, and in 1887 was diagnosed with schizophrenia—the poster design above seems to hint at his state of mind. During this time his style altered, becoming more abstract (his work was later seen as a pre-cursor to the styles of Matisse and Picasso). One reviewer of the U Gallery show in the Minneapolis Tribune says:

Josephson’s art is full of idiosyncrasy, of drawing things the “wrong” way that turn out to be right…. The drawings are a strange world in themselves. Josephson’s line is quixotic, kinetic, yet sustains an airy delicacy and a fine judgment in filling the rectangle with wiry strength.

Opening for Ernst Josephson in 1965. Sidney Simon, the director of the U Gallery, can be seen in the image on the left.

Areca Roe is a MFA graduate from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Art, with a concentration in photography and minor in Museum Studies. Areca completed her project involvement in Fall 2011, and has subsequently been involved with the University as an artist in residence at the University’s Bell Museum of Natural History.

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