The Mennello Museum of American Art



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Bo Bartlett: American Artist

Exhibition Opening January 27, 2017


Bo Bartlett: American Artist
January 27, - May 7, 2017

Bo Bartlett, The American, 2016, oil on linen, 82 x 100 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Ameringer McEnery Yohe, New York.

The exhibition presents large-scale oil paintings that are figurative, psychologically imbued, beautifully rendered, and wonderfully sublime by one of the most significant Realist painters of his generation.  Bo Bartlett is an American realist with a modernist vision whose multi-layered narrative work falls within the tradition of American realism as defined by artists such as Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer to Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth. Like these artists, Bartlett looks at America's land and people to describe the beauty he finds in everyday life. His paintings celebrate the underlying epic nature of the commonplace and the personal significance of the extraordinary.  Of Bartlett’s work, Wyeth wrote, “Bo Bartlett is very American.  He is fresh, he’s gifted, and he’s what we need in this country.  Bo is one of the very few I feel this strongly about.” 

Bartlett was educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where realist principles must be grasped before modernist ventures are encouraged. He pushes the boundaries of the realist tradition with his multilayered imagery―accessible and complex at once. Life, death, transformation, memory, and confrontation coexist easily in his world. Family and friends are the cast of characters who appear in his otherworldly narrative works. Museum director and Columbus, Georgia native states: “Although the scenes are set around Bartlett’s childhood home in Georgia, his island summer home in Maine, his home in Pennsylvania or the surroundings of his studio and residence in Washington State, they represent a deeper, mythical concept of the archetypal, universal home” His work can be found in private collections, public collections, and galleries throughout the United States. These include the Greenville County Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. 

Bo Bartlett: American Artist is organized by The Mennello Museum of American Art and curated by Shannon Fitzgerald, Executive Director, The Mennello Museum of American Art and Public Art, City of Orlando.  It is organized in conjunction with The Orlando Museum of Art’s presentation of the exhibition The Wyeths and American Artists in Maine: Selections from the Farnsworth Art Museum.  This occasion provides the opportunity to follow a distinctive American art history, an artistic legacy and trajectory that continues, and one that is so compelling in Bartlett’s astonishing oeuvre.  This connective examination yields the rare opportunity to position a contemporary artists’ work in the context of his predecessors and peers working in the long-standing tradition of American realism.  Bo Bartlett keeps realism relevant and narrative enthralling in contemporary art discourse. 





Coming Fall 2016


Grounds for Exhibitions - Inaugural Outdoor Exhibitions Series

September 2016 - September 2017

Alice Aycock, Waltzing Matilda, 2014, Reinforced fiberglass, 15' high x 15' wide x 18' long, courtesy Alice Aycock Studio, New York. Photo: Jyoti Srivastava.

The Mennello Museum inaugurates Grounds for Exhibitions with two large-scale works by American sculptor Alice Aycock installed on the Marilyn L. Mennello Sculpture Garden. The beautiful twin works, Waltzing Matilda and Twin Vortexes were originally part of series of seven sculptures in Aycock’s significant outdoor exhibition on Park Avenue in Manhattan, entitled Park Avenue Paper Chase. Inspired by the wind and the frenetic energy of city life, these two sculptures will remain on display in the garden through September 2017. References to nature and industry intermingle as viewers walk around each sculpture sensing the whirling, organic shapes made from aluminum and fiberglass.

Aycock has often focused on creating public art installations, from her pioneering early land art in the 1970s, to these current complex objects made of fiberglass and aluminum. Alice Aycock has lived in New York City since 1968.  Her work is in a number of collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, LA County Museum of Art, Storm King Art Center, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, and the National Gallery, as well as on view in cities across the United States. She has been included in the prestigious global exhibitions The Venice Biennale, Documenta VI and VIII and the Whitney Biennial.

Grounds for Exhibition features year long large-scale sculpture exhibitions by nationally renowned American artists and from American Institutions that bring to Orlando diverse selections of major public art works - on a rotating basis. This new series activates the grounds surrounding the Museum in the Marilyn L. Mennello Sculpture Garden located on beautiful Lake Formosa surrounded by mighty oak trees in Orlando’s Loch Haven Cultural Park.  Seminal works by American artists comprise this series and would otherwise not be presented in our community.



October 14, 2016 – January 8, 2017

Deborah Butterfield Taylor, 1990, found copper, 29.25 x 42 x 15, inches. On loan courtesy of the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Sonia and Stanley Cohen.  

Deborah Butterfield has built horses from many materials, from mud and sticks to rusty scrap-iron and bronze.  This exhibition brings together signature sculpted horses the artist is renowned for from collections in Florida including the beloved Rory from the Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida. Deborah Butterfield’s sculptures are often fabricated from natural or man-made debris. Born in San Diego, California, on May 7, 1949, the day of the 75th running of the Kentucky Derby, the artist attributes the significance of that event in determining her profession. Using found objects and contemporary scraps, as in Taylor,  executed in copper from a storm-destroyed roof, or driftwood or metal which are often cast in bronze as in Big Timber, Butterfield creates sculptures that are strong, grand—yet always gentle—representing grace, gesture,  solitude, and beauty. The artist was trained at the University of California / Davis  and currently lives in Bozeman, Montana  where she is very much involved with horses. She trains horses to compete in the demanding sport of dres-sage. During this sport riders guide their horses through a series of movements without using their hands or reins, directing the horse with their legs and seat. The horses' movements must be smooth, precise, graceful, and performed in a specific order, traits that inspire her works in metal.  Butterfield states:

My work is not so overtly about movement. My horses' gestures are really quite quiet, because real horses move so much better than I could pretend to make things move. For the pieces I make, the gesture is really more within the body, it's like an internalized gesture, which is more about the content, the state of mind or of being at a given instant. And so it's more like a painting...the gesture and the movement is all pretty much contained within the body.

Her work was first brought to international attention at the 1979 Whitney Biennial and is included in museums and both public and private collections internationally. 



October 14, 2016 – January 8, 2017

Barbara Sorensen, Boat (III9), 20 x 49 x 18 inches, stoneware, stones, and silver leaf, 2009. Collection of the Mennello Museum of American Art.

The Mennello Museum of American Art is delighted to share with the community recent acquisitions from celebrated artist Barbara Sorensen.  Based in Orlando and Aspen, Sorensen has long been inspired by nature and the diverse materiality of our every changing environment.  Distinguished for her work in clay, the exhibition includes Chalice Forest comprised of multiple vessels that rise toward the sky as inverted mountains, in homage as earthly offering. Individually striking in tactile detail and trace, yet collectively the installation is dramatic; simultaneously majestic and awe inspiring while sublimely somber.  The vessels do not contain, but signify nourishment as ritual, primordial and bodily.  The exhibition also includes several ceramic Boats, a series the artist has long been fascinated with as yet another human vessel located between water and sky, quietly distilled, movement frozen.  For this acquisition highlight exhibition, Sorensen is also creating a new, site-specific installation that continues her experimentation with materials, movement and form as located in nature and constantly shifting, in undulating rhythm, pattern, and palette.

Michael A. Mennello has followed Sorensen’s career for over thirty years, has acquired work for his personal collection, purchased work and donated it to Orlando Museum of Art, and is now gifting 14 major pieces to the Mennello Museum of American Art in honor of Marilyn L. Mennello. 

Sorensen’s work is in numerous private collections and  City of Orlando, Public Art Collection, Orlando Museum of Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, University of Central Florida, Florida State Capital Art Collection, Everson Museum of Art, and Museum of Florida Art, among others.




June 10 - September 11

Robert Indiana, "Love"

Robert Indiana, Love, 1967, screenprint on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Louis and Linda Kaplan, © 2016 Morgan Art Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Pop Art took the American art scene by storm approximately 50 years ago. When New York dealer Leo Castelli first showed Pop Art in his gallery in 1962, it was embraced by the audience who responded to the familiar subjects -- flat forms, bright colors and sly commentaries made on the mass culture of the era. Printmaking was an ideal medium for the Pop artists. The commercial techniques of screen printing and lithography were well suited to reproducing the magazine, newspaper and comic-strip images favored by many of the artists. From the commercial viewpoint of the galleries, print editions made this imagery more affordable to a large audience that wanted to buy the art.

Pop Art Prints presents a selection of 37 prints from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s permanent collection. The installation includes works from primarily the 1960s by Allan D’Arcangelo, Jim Dine, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Mel Ramos, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann. The installation is part of a series that highlights objects from the Smithsonian’s collection that are rarely on public view. This exhibition will be the first of only three museum engagements. The prints on display were selected by Joann Moser, deputy chief curator. Pop Art Prints is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go.



January 15 – May 15

Albert Paley, Steneby SevenAlbert Paley Steneby Seven Drawing

Steneby Seven, 2011, Steel, Paley Studios Archive (left); Drawing for Steneby Seven, 2011, graphite, red pencil on paper, Paley Studios Archive

Albert Paley: Forged Works incorporates recent works the internationally acclaimed artist completed in the forged process alongside earlier pieces and drawings. Included in this exhibition are several sculptures completed at Steneby, The School of Craft and Design at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and other smaller works that exemplify Albert Paley’s mastery of the forged technique. Exquisite drawings produced for finished works show the depth of his process, taking the idea from two-dimensional forms to three-dimensional. Albert Paley: Forged Works presents Paley’s commitment to the material, method, form and subject. This gathering of work represents interplay of line and an expressive vitality through the dynamism that exists between rational thought and emotional expression, geometric and organic form, and ancient techniques and art nouveau aesthetics.

Paley has continually pushed the boundaries of his work, its process and materials through several contexts. Forging steel in a form of plasticity and pliability, Paley addresses the transformational change of the material through tapering, swaging, splitting, upsetting and punching. The result is sculpture developed of organic form analogous to processes seen in nature, such as the development of organic form in response to gravity with the emphasis on transition through the quality of line.

Paley emerged in the mid-1960s as an artist goldsmith, and within a decade he became involved with the forging of steel. He is a long-standing leader in the metal sculpture arena, where he is widely recognized for evolving blacksmithing into the realm of public art and commissions. Based in Rochester, New York, Paley has completed more than 60 international public and private site-specific works including the groundbreaking Portal Gates for the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. His work is in several museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museums, London. Paley is the first metal sculptor to receive the coveted Institute Honors awarded by the American Institute of Architects, the AIA’s highest award to a non-architect.

Paley's use of steel can be described as industrial poetry as evident in his large-scale sculptures Interlace and Star in the Mennello Museum’s Sculpture Garden, dedicated in memory of the Honorable Marilyn Logsdon Mennello, the museum’s visionary co-founder. For this exhibition, another of Paley’s large-scale sculptures, Double Twist, will be featured across the street at the Orlando Museum of Art.

“We are delighted to present Albert Paley: Forged Works to our community,” says Shannon Fitzgerald, Executive Director, The Mennello Museum of American Art.Paley is nationally recognized as a forerunner in monumental sculpture, and it is exciting to consider forging in this exhibition – an ancient method where metal is heated and reheated, strengthened and hammered – into such sinuous, extravagant curves that Paley achieves so brilliantly.”


The Mennello Museum of American Art is generously supported by the City of Orlando and Friends of The Mennello Museum of American Art.  Additional funding is provided by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program and United Arts of Central Florida.

Orange County Leaper

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