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Grant Wood fellows open exhibit at CSPS

Fellows have luxury of "space and time to create"

(File photo/The Gazette) Four of the houses that are part of the Grant Wood Art Colony in Iowa City, Iowa, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015.
(File photo/The Gazette) Four of the houses that are part of the Grant Wood Art Colony in Iowa City, Iowa, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015.

CEDAR RAPIDS — Three award-winning artists pushing the boundaries in their fields are opening a monthlong exhibit at CSPS Hall, 1103 Third St. SE, with a free reception from 5 to 8 p.m. today (5/3).

Visitors are invited to view the work and speak with the artists, who are Grant Wood Fellows at the University of Iowa Grant Wood Art Colony in Iowa City. The 2017-18 visual art fellows are Brandon Coley Cox and Joe DeVera, and the theater fellow is Joe Osheroff. All were chosen by a UI faculty committee for their ability to expose UI students to diverse practices and for their commitment to create work during their time at the university.

“The artists’ practices all bring a unique perspective to campus, which they share through teaching and collaborations,” said Maura Pilcher, Grant Wood Art Colony director. “During their fellowship, the artists have experienced time to make work. This is a luxury for most artists — to have space and time to create. (They) have taken advantage of this opportunity and have been quite prolific. Most if not all of the work to be displayed will have been created during their fellowship at the Grant Wood Art Colony.”

Cox is now fusing Eastern and Western traditions of object-making to achieve indeterminable forms. Using gravity as a press and various materials as mark-making tools, he pushes printmaking and painting into areas of both beauty and energetic use.

DeVera’s work examines the experiential concerns of creating objects that function as both biographical/historical signifier and active social instrument.

Osheroff is the artistic director of Homunculus Mask Theater in New York. As an actor, he recently appeared in the Broadway tour of “War Horse.” CSPS visitors can see a recording of the recent performance of “Visual Mixtape,” as well as some of the 40 masks he created for the production.

“Grant Wood Fellows’ Exhibition 2017-18” will display the artists’ variety of work and interest in expanding beyond their disciplines of painting, drawing, printmaking and theater. “Each fellow’s practice veers into other media to accomplish whatever message he wants to achieve,” Pilcher said.

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The exhibit runs through June 3. Admission is free, and hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Grant Wood exhibit in Des Moines

“Sultry Night: Selected Works by Grant Wood,” is on view through June 24 in the John Brady Print Gallery at the Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave.

In 1934, Grant Wood was asked to join the Associated American Artists — a new business venture in New York, whose aim was to sell affordable prints to the masses. Wood accepted the invitation. In 1937, he produced his first lithograph, “Tree Planting Group,” priced at $5 through the AAA. He created 19 lithographs for the program.

“Sultry Night,” one of the prints Wood created during this period, sparked controversy for its depiction of a farm hand bathing nude at a trough by moonlight. The U.S. Postal Service deemed the print pornographic and refused to deliver it. As a result, the lithograph’s edition was limited to 100 impressions and it was only sold in New York. Despite this, Wood completed a painting of the same scene and title. However, after the painting was rejected from an international art exhibition, Wood, in exasperation, burned the section of the painting which featured the male nude and sold the remaining half to a family in Madison, Wis.

The exhibition features the suite of 19 lithographs Wood completed for the AAA, and in addition, the rarely seen “Sultry Night” painting, on loan from Wisconsin. This marks the first time the painting has been publicly exhibited in Iowa. Also on view are early Impressionist paintings of the Iowa landscape Wood produced in the early 1920s.

For details, including a free lecture at 6:30 p.m. May 17, go to Desmoinesartcenter.org

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