August 20, 2019

Focus on the Collection: “Wood Collage: Landscape”

An image of Morrison's "Wood Collage: Landscape," which includes pieces of driftwood of various colors, sizes, and shapes placed together into a single frame.

To make Wood Collage: Landscape, George Morrison collected driftwood and fit the pieces together to form what he described as a “painting made of wood.” He assembled a loose grid structure, with the smaller fragments seeming to coalesce into squares, divided by beams that stretch across the composition. In places, the texture of the wood…

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May 2, 2019

Focus on the Collection: “The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand”

Severed heads roll on the ground, whips swirl through the air, men are forced off a cliff, and a bishop’s eye is gouged with a hand crank, right at the feet of a group of richly dressed noblemen. Albrecht Dürer’s The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand revels in displaying brutal methods of torture and execution….

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September 13, 2018

O’Brien Curatorial Fellowship Celebrates Ten Years at WAM

Lisa and E. Gerald O’Brien in front of Douglas Argue’s oil canvas work, Untitled, affectionately known as the “chicken painting.” Jerry O’Brien was an undergraduate art history major at the University of Michigan when he got some thrilling news from Sotheby’s in New York City. The venerable auction house had awarded him one of its…

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May 9, 2018

Focus on the Collection: “Hannah (Mood)”

  A woman in pin curls and a gauzy blouse sits before a landscape, gazing into the distance. Her expression is pensive. The black, cloud-like forms edging the scene suggest a gathering storm or impending misfortune. The scrawny tree on the right is stripped of its foliage, and it stands in an expanse of fields…

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February 7, 2018

Focus on the Collection: “Repellent Fence”

Postcommodity, Repellent Fence, 2015, photograph. Gift of Russell Cowles.

Swaying slowly in the wind, a line of bright yellow balloons extends in a diagonal line over the desert scrub. The concentric circles emblazoned on four sides of the inflatable surface resemble staring eyes, encouraging sustained eye contact with these objects that seem both alive and inanimate. The repeated patterns on the floating spheres contribute…

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May 22, 2017

The “Chicken Painting” Returns to WAM!

Ever wondered what 198 square feet of chickens looks like? Wonder no more, because you can see them in person at WAM. WAM is excited to announce the return of the famous “chicken painting” (officially titled Untitled) by Minnesota artist Doug Argue. Argue’s work was on prominent display at WAM’s grand re-opening in 1993, and…

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February 14, 2017

Focus on the Collection – Tishan Hsu’s Liquid Circuit

It is garish. It is massive. It, at times, protrudes. It seduces its viewer into examining every pulsating, changing inch of its black and yellow acrylics and it generates a subconscious, encompassing buzzing not unlike a pervasive television static. No sound is literally produced. The canvas remains still. Thus is the power of Tishan Hsu’s…

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December 21, 2016

Artist Feature: Jim Denomie

Jim Denomie was a University of Minnesota art student when he began the work of re-claiming his tribal heritage and re-connecting with his Native identity. Nearly twenty years later, he is nationally known for his humorous, critical depictions of United States history and religion. His paintings address colonization, assimilation, white washing, and other violences that the Native population has…

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November 6, 2016

WAM Collection Feature: José Clemente Orozco

José Clemente Orozco was a Mexican painter known for his political frescoes that, together with Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros, launched the Mexican Mural Renaissance. Known as the most important 20th century artist to work in fresco, Jose Clemente Orozco was born in Mexico in 1883. His interest in art began at the age…

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February 14, 2016

Focus on the Collection – Richard Barlow’s Pixelated Bromide

  Upon entering the Weisman Art Museum one immediately sees WAM’s iconic 1964 World’s Fair Mural by Roy Lichtenstein, greeting each visitor as she enters through the front doors. The mural portrays a young and radiant woman who (from a Minnesotan’s perspective) seems to be overcome with the joy of feeling winter melt away. Her…

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