January 25 – May 12, 2019
This exhibition presents the rare opportunity to exhibit the notable paintings of Lawrence Lebduska, one of the most popular modern folk art painters of 1930s America. Lebduskaʼs dreamlands and invented gardens teem extraordinarily with life and optimism in a nostalgic, uncorrupted style that captured the admiration of the American public.
Lebduska was an outsider artist who navigated the intensifying New York art scene without the academic trainings and institutional tenure of his contemporaries. Competing with the rise of the avant-garde modernist movements that seized the art historical world in New York and abroad, Lebduskaʼs intrinsically painted Edens of bucolic farms, city parks, and remote jungles, which propelled the artist and his work to celebrity among galleries, collectors and museums. Lebduska earned his first solo show in 1936 at the Contemporary Gallery in New York City nearly selling out his works, a show known to have ignited the folk art collections of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and Eleanor Roosevelt. Lebduska was also included in the famed 1938 exhibition Masters of Popular Painting shown at the Museum of Modern Art.
This exhibition is curated by Katherine Navarro, Associate Curator of Education. The Mennello Museum is pleased to present paintings from the Fenimore Museum; Cooperstown, NY, as well as those from our permanent collection and local collectors. Lebduskaʼs work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the University of Arizona, The Fenimore Art Museum, and the Mennello Museum of American Art, among others.
June 7 – September 8.
The Mennello Museum of American Art is pleased to present IMMERSION INTO COMPOUNDED TIME AND THE PAINTINGS OF FIRELEI BÁEZ. The exhibition will be on view at the Mennello Museum from June 7 through September 8, 2019, with an Opening Reception on June 7.
This exhibition will explore Firelei Báez’s investigations on the visibility and the construction of complex cultural identities within the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora and how these notions are perceived in today’s global world. Her large-scale and intricate portraits of influential individuals and mythical goddesses of Afro-Caribbean history create a contemporary narrative of a woman’s life, embracing the past, and staking her place in a universal future.
This exhibition will also feature a new installation by the artist to consider the scarring of colonization and time on the landscape, in striking neon and opulent color. Her goal is to immerse the viewer in a space of melted time, to consider themes of interweaving geography and individuality.
Báez is best known through her extraordinary paintings of lush landscaped-figures, intricately patterned tignons, and otherworldly bodies with striking eyes. Here, she considers the reality of ones current social and the historic construction of cultural self in America. These complex, intersectional bodies and symbols alongside large-scale portraits are painted in vibrant, swirling colors, which intermingle time and character. For Báez, “identity is malleable, negotiated,” and given strength by the female body and mythology of her being.
This exhibition is curated by Katherine Navarro, Associate Curator of Education.
Please save the date for the opening reception of IMMERSION INTO COMPOUNDED TIME AND THE PAINTINGS OF FIRELEI BÁEZ
Member Preview & Opening Reception
Friday, June 7, 2019
5:30 – 7:30 pm
Free for members | $10 for Guests