In collaboration with the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, the Sheldon Museum of Art
at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will present "Dan Christensen: Forty Years of Painting," a survey of paintings by the Nebraska native post-painterly abstract artist, opening Oct. 23.
Christensen (1942-2007) was described by art critic Clement Greenberg as "one of the painters on whom the course of American Art depends." The exhibition documents Christensen's quest to understand the possibilities of color, paint and pictorial space. Though long associated with the Color Field movement, Christensen's relentless experimentation with tools and techniques, while making him resistant to any one label or category, places him among this country's most ambitious abstract and gestural painters.
Born in 1942, Christensen was raised in Cozad, Nebraska. A 1964 graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, the artist moved to New York in the 60s after a brief stop at the University of Indiana. Once in New York, he found immediate critical acclaim for the originality of his ribbon and loop paintings, created by using a spray gun. His works were featured in the Whitney Museum of American Arts annual exhibitions in 1967, 1968, 1969, and in its first biennial in 1973. In 1968, he was awarded a National Endowment Grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1969.
During the 1970s, he began experimenting with new tools, paints, and techniques, and created the geometric color-field plaid paintings. His style continued to evolve with the scrape and calligraphic paintings of the 80s, and spot paintingssome of the most celebrated of his careerof the 90s. His later work reveals a return to fluid, rhythmic loops that pulse and whir with life.
Christensens works of art are in public and private collections around the world, and paintings for this exhibition were culled from his estate; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; Saint Louis Art Museum; Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE; and private collections.
The exhibition, which will be on view through Jan. 31, includes approximately 35 canvases, many of them large-scale, from 1967 to 2007.