University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

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New Foster Gallery Exhibit to Feature
Drawings, Paintings, Fiber Sculptures

 MAILED:  Oct. 30, 2003

EAU CLAIRE — An exhibit titled “Crossing Dimensions: Differing Views of Power and Solitude” will open Nov. 6 in the Foster Gallery of the Haas Fine Arts Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The exhibit runs through Nov. 26 and features the work of two renowned artists: the drawings and paintings of Robert Stackhouse and the fiber sculptures of John McQueen. An opening reception will be held from 7:30-9 p.m. Nov. 6 in the Foster Gallery. McQueen will be on hand at the opening reception and will give a short talk at 8 p.m.

According to exhibit curator Jane Herrick, this show brings together two differing views on power and solitude. Strength and feelings of being overpowered are often sensed by viewers of Stackhouse’s work, said Herrick, while the strength of McQueen’s sculpture is more subtle. Soft and fragile materials evolve into solid and resilient forms in McQueen’s work.

Herrick notes that both Stackhouse and McQueen are in the business of transforming, and that these transformations help to evoke feelings within the viewer.

“Robert Stackhouse transforms three dimensional sculptures to two-dimensional images to enhance feelings we all feel as part of the human voyage,” Herrick said. “McQueen transforms a visually fragile but physically solid sculptural image into the hard lessons we all must experience in the course of life.”

McQueen will present a slide lecture about his work at 10:15 a.m. Friday, Nov. 7, in the Foster Gallery. He also will collaborate with six UW-Eau Claire art majors on an installation piece in the commons area of the Haas Fine Arts Center, tentatively beginning at 1:30 p.m. Friday and continuing through Saturday.

From upstate New York, McQueen is often credited as one of the artists who revived traditional basketry in the 1960s and 70s and transformed it into a contemporary art form. He is a four-time recipient of the National Endowment of Arts Visual Artist Fellowship and also received the prestigious Louis Comfort Tiffany Award. In 1992 he had a solo exhibition, “The Language of Containment,” at the Renwick Gallery of the American Art Museum, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and his work is in the collections of many other national and international museums and galleries. He was trained as a sculptor and received his bachelor’s degree at the University of South Florida and earned a master’s degree from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in 1975.

Stackhouse, a native New Yorker, is noted for his enormous drawings, paintings and prints, as well as his monumental public sculptures commissioned by major cities in the United States, Canada and Australia. Although by the early 1980s he was regarded as one of the country’s most prominent sculptors, since the early 90s he has moved increasingly towards monumentally scaled paintings as his primary form of expression. He has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and his work is included in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago; the Australian National Gallery, Canberra; the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minn. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Herrick said she is still trying to arrange a possible campus visit with Stackhouse, tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in the Foster Gallery.

Foster Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays, 6-8 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4:30 p.m. weekends. For more information about the show, contact Jane Herrick at (715) 836-4622. For more information about gallery exhibits, call Tom Wagener at (715) 836-2328.

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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
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Updated: October 30, 2003