Raised on a farm in northeastern Mississippi during the years of the Great Depression, George Wardlaw emerged from humble beginnings to become an artist–at Ole Miss–and a member of the avant-garde scene in New York City during the 1950s and ’60s.
He flourished as an important figure in American art and as an influential teacher at Yale University and University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he continues to live and work.
This exhibition at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson features 34 quintessential works, many large in scale, from among the hundreds created by Wardlaw over the course of more than six decades. They were selected by Dr. Roger Ward, the MMA’s deputy director and chief curator, to illustrate the trajectory of Wardlaw’s artistic development from his roots in Abstract Expressionism through the era of Color Field painting, Pop Art and Minimalism to the individualistic and personally expressive character of his contemporary work. The exhibition includes Wardlaw’s drawings, paintings and sculptures from the collections of other museums such as the de Cordova Museum and Sculpture Park, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Wichita Art Museum in addition to works from the MMA’s own collection.
Support for George Wardlaw, A Life in Art: Works from 1954 to 2014 is provided by The Bernice Flowers Hederman Fund and through the Meyer and Genevieve Falk Endowment Fund for Culture and Arts of the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson.
A second George Wardlaw exhibition, George Wardlaw: Recent Works, opens in tandem with the Museum’s showing at nearby Fischer Galleries in downtown Jackson, Mississippi.
For more information visit msmuseumart.org.
Story and photos courtesy Legends magazine