The Young Mother

University of Iowa Museum of Art--"New Forms"

The University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA) was established in 1969 and is considered one of the best university art museums in the country. It has a collection of over 15,000 objects which includes the Stanley Collection of African Art and Jackson Pollock's Mural (1943). Although the UIMA lost access to its building in the 2008 flood, its collection can be seen at the following temporary locations: Black Box Theater and Visual Classroom at the Iowa Memorial Union, Old Capitol Museum, the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, and throughout the state of Iowa through its Legacies for Iowa Collections Sharing Project.

The Daily Palette is celebrating "New Forms: The Avant-Garde Meets the American Scene, 1934-1949", the UIMA's current exhibition at the Black Box Theater in the Iowa Memorial Union. The show, which is on view September 14, 2013 through December 4, 2013, presents works of art from the museum's collection of 20th century American art. The exhibition explores the complicated relationship between American Scene painting and avant-garde art, with a special focus on Iowa as "a hotbed of controversy and innovation."

This week the Daily Palette is celebrating "New Forms" by featuring four paintings by Iowa-affiliated artists that are included in the exhibition. Stay tuned for next month's week-long feature on this exciting show!

The Young Mother, oil on canvas, 39 7/16" x 29 1/2", 1944

Gift of Dr. Clarence Van Epps, 1947.24

(c) The Estate of Philip Guston, Courtesy McKee Gallery, New York

Image courtesy of University of Iowa Museum of Art

Philip Guston (1913-1980) was born in Montreal and grew up in Los Angeles where he attended Manual Arts High School with Jackson Pollock.  After his expulsion from school, which marked the end of his formal arts education, Guston became a self-taught artist.  In 1935 he moved to New York where he painted murals for the Works Progress Administration.  After a few years he removed himself from the urban art scene by moving to Woodstock, New York and later to Iowa City where he taught at the University of Iowa from 1941-1945.  Guston spent most of the rest of his career teaching at various universities throughout the country and working in New York City and Woodstock.  While he is best known for the non-objective art he created as a member of the New York School, he created figurative art as well--at the beginning of his career and again when he painted his controversial canvases of the 1970s.

Guston painted The Young Mother (1944) when he was living in Iowa and had the time to create personal imagery of his family and friends.  The painting depicts his wife and daughter in the foreground with recognizable Iowa City architecture in the background.

This page was first displayed
on October 09, 2013

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