Jim Dine arranges tools within his composition to create larger symbols, allowing his work to be both moderately autobiographical and open to interpretation. Untitled (2000) uses a hammer, wrench, pliers, blow torch, drill and bolt cutters which create what looks like a phoenix rising from ashes. The bolt cutters serve as its legs and the drill, handle, and blow torch as its wings. At this time in his career, Dine was creating different bird motifs. The phoenix—a symbol of rebirth—relates to themes in Marcus Jansen’s work that respond to a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from his time in the United States Army. He used painting as a therapeutic release and as a way to re-emerge from the challenges and suppression of PTSD.
Fallen Angel (1959)
Oil on canvas
“A prime example of Abstract Expressionism, Fallen Angel (1959) features a gestural scene of an abstracted angel-like figure. This work showcases his signature style of organic abstract shapes with his studies from nature. Byron Browne was a founding member of the American Abstract Artist, an association to promote and understand Abstract art. Browne and Willem de Kooning (American, 1904-1997), another founder, whose work is also featured in this exhibition, use a range of techniques, from gestural mark making to more detailed brushstrokes and figural abstraction. Jansen echoes both Browne and de Kooning’s painterly gestural strokes in the collaged squares and pavement in Streets, attesting to Jansen’s contemporary conversations with Abstract Expressionism.”
Soldier with Death before a Carousel
Graphite and oil on poster board
‘Artist Arthur Kraft’s experience in World War II influenced Soldier with Death before a Carousel (ca. 1947-51). In this painting, a skeleton wearing a helmet and boots holds a champagne flute. This image likely symbolizes the alcohol abuse many veterans face as a result of their traumatic experiences at war. Both Kraft and the artist Marcus Jansen utilize symbolism in their works. Kraft uses the champagne flutes, figures representing death, and white doves; Jansen depicts empty dishes and a few coins in Empty Plates (2007) to emphasize the economic effects of war on communities, families, and individuals. These signs and symbols reveal personal and universal reflections on war across generations.’
Oil on canvas
"Helen Torr’s Impromptu dates to the most prolific period in her career. It is, believe it or not, one of Torr’s larger paintings. The small but engaging composition exemplifies a balance of rhythm, control, and formal contrasts. A grid of squares, vertical bars, and ray-like dashes enliven overlapping circular forms and animate the painting. Carefully arranged and floating above the light-colored background, these elements demonstrate Torr’s interest in abstraction."
At the Risk of the Sun
Oil on canvas (1949)
"Strange, organic forms appear in this dramatically illuminated, desolate landscape. A heart form can be seen on the right. To the left is an imaginative array of stacked shapes, referencing parts of human and animal bodies. Yves Tanguy and other Surrealist artists sought to reveal the contents of the unconscious mind. Inspired by Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theories, they depicted images from their dreams, nightmares, and memories. Tanguy based this image on the prehistoric stone monuments he saw as a child in Brittany, France."
Buste d’homme (étude pour les demoiselles d’Avignon), Pablo Picasso
"The first half of life is learning to be an adult-the second half is learning to be a child." - Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso – 1907 Buste de femme ou de marin (Bust of a woman or sailor)