Exhibitions 2014-2015

The Intimate Diebenkorn, works on paper
Richard DiebenkornUntitled 
c. 1988, Guache, pasted paper, graphite and crayon on paper
Courtesy Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

The Intimate Diebenkorn: Works on Paper 1949-1992
September 24 - December 12, 2015 | Paxson and Meloy Galleries

MMAC is proud to be one of only four venues to host this national traveling exhibition of rare works on paper by Richard Diebenkorn which portray a richly intimate glimpse into the artist’s evolution spanning more than 40 years.  The exhibition features 52 pieces, many of which have never been publicly viewed.  The exhibition was curated by Chester Arnold, chair of the Fine Arts Department of College of Marin, courtesy of the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation.  The exhibition includes pencil and ink drawings on paper, collages of torn paper and watercolors, and is accompanied by two volumes: Richard Diebenkorn, Abstractions on Paper and Richard Diebenkorn: From the Model by Kelly’s Cove Press.

Human Condition The Art of Ben Steele
Ben Steele circa 1940

Human Condition: The Art of Ben Steele
June 4- September 12, 2015 | Meloy Gallery

This exhibition honors MMAC’s commitment to sharing the history of the Bataan Death March through the artwork of WWII prisoner of war and Montana artist Ben Steele. Steele created one of the only firsthand visual accounts of this tragic experience. He endured 41 months of starvation, dehydration, hard labor, torture and Japanese ‘hell ships’ while crippled by dysentery, pneumonia, malaria, blood poisoning and beri beri. 

During his internment, he created drawings which record the grim degradation and cruelty to which the prisoners were subjected. Steele’s artwork provides an aesthetic and historical record of an extraordinary account of war, survival, forgiveness and reconciliation. He attributes his survival to his love of Montana and early experiences on his family’s ranch near Roundup. Steele went on to teach art at Montana State University-Billings and was an active member of the Montana Institute of the Arts.

Hometown Images of Missoula from the MMAC Permanent Collection
James DewMansion,
1956, Marker on paper,
MMAC Permanent Collection
Gift of Gilbert A. Millikan

Hometown: Images of Missoula from the MMAC Permanent Collection
June 4- September 12, 2015 | Paxson Gallery

This exhibition brings together images of the Garden City by artists who call or have called Missoula home. City founders C.P. Higgins, Frank Worden and David Pattee started building a sawmill on East Front Street in November 1864, opening the floodgates of commerce and settlement that led to the establishment of Missoula. However, the birth of Missoula is not attributed to a single event.  Celebrations around the city’s sesquicentennial began in 2014 and continue through 2015. Artists include Tu Baixiong, James Dew, Walter Hook, Marilyn Bruya, Carmen Malsch, Heath Bultman and others.

The Art of the State Celebrating 120 Years of the MMAC Permanent Collection
MMAC Publication

The Art of the State: Celebrating 120 Years of the MMAC Permanent Collection
January 22 - May 23, 2015 | Paxson and Meloy Galleries

In 2015, the Montana Museum of Art & Culture Permanent Collection celebrates its 120th anniversary. To honor this important institutional milestone, the museum published the first-ever guide to this unique treasure that belongs to each and every Montanan, The Art of the State: 120 Artworks for 120 Years. The exhibition includes artworks featured in this publication.

Vanessa German Bitter Root

Vanessa German, Stop Crying Already
2012, Mixed Media
Courtesy of the artist

Vanessa German: Bitter Root
October 16, 2014- January 10, 2015 | Paxson Gallery

This exhibition features a new body of work by Pittsburgh-based sculptor, poet and activist Vanessa German. German’s response to her materials references folk art and slavery. In her multi-disciplinary work, she references the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade, or as she describes it, “the western coast of Africa, the east coast of the Carolinas, the east end of Pittsburgh.”  German’s Homewood neighborhood has been called “One of America’s Most Violent Neighborhoods.” Her work is a response to gun violence and prostitution that stands in contrast with the community-building and healing words of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

German fell in love with Montana listening to a book on tape of author James Lee Burke’s novel Bitterroot. She says, “I've been listening to this book on tape for about 5 years. I listen to it over and over again, because it makes me feel like I am in Montana. I love hearing about the landscape…Whenever I need to, I listening to this book [and] I travel to Montana…to a wide place that is almost exactly the opposite from where I am…and it helps me to feel good.”

An accomplished performing artist, German received performance training at the Los Angeles Conservatory of the Performing Arts, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, South West College, University of Cincinnati, and the Los Angeles Theater Academy and received a an Onyx award for her performance in the Pittsburgh premiere of Cassandra Medley’s “Relativity.” In 2007, German was recognized with a Duquesne Light Leadership Award for contributions to Art and Culture. She is also the founding artist of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s, “She Said: words by women” poetry performance series, which brings nationally recognized writers and speakers such as Nikki Giovanni, Erica Jong, and Sonia Sanchez to Pittsburgh. She is the winner of the 2008 Hip Hop Award for best spoken word poet and was selected as a 2012 TEDx Cambridge spoken word performer. She is the 2010 AAP Mendelson Exhibition Award Winner, was included in the 2012 and 2013 Art Basel Miami Beach fairs and recently had a solo exhibition at Pavel Zoubok Gallery in New York City.

Amanda Browder End of the Infinite
Amanda BrowderGood Morning
Quilted fabric
Photo by Lauren Silberman

Amanda Browder: End of the Infinite                       
October 16, 2014- January 10, 2015 | Meloy Gallery

Missoula-born, Brooklyn-based Browder is a fabric artist who is challenging, reviving and redefining ‘soft’ sculpture, which at times delves into the realm of large-scale public sculpture. Her work is about materials and craft, work ethic, community and created spaces. Recent projects include Hello Niagara!, a monumental, quilted waterfall draped over the Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn.

Browder is a former professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and while in Chicago she co-founded the contemporary art podcast Bad at Sports. Browder has exhibited internationally at the Nakaochiai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Lothringer 14, Munich, Germany; White Columns, New York; Gallery 400-UIC, and The Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. Last year, Amanda covered a building in her local neighborhood and received a grant from Brooklyn Arts Council and the NPArt.