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A Trio of New Exhibitions Open at the Fine Arts Center
South African artist William Kentridge during the bestowal of the 'Oskar Kokoschka-Award' for visual arts he got in Vienna. EPA/HELMUT FOHRINGER.

COLORADO SPRINGS< CO.- The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center welcomed three new exhibitions. The artists, Earl Biss, Gib Singleton and William Kentridge, are each masters of their own distinct disciplines.

Biss, a Native American, is a major contributor to the explosion of Southwestern Art in the last half of the 20th century through oil painting; Singleton is a master sculptor of religious figures; and Kentridge is one of the world’s most compelling contemporary artists, featuring charcoal drawings and stop-motion videos.

In 2010, Kentridge was involved in two major events in New York City. In March Kentridge directed The Nose for the Metropolitan Opera and co-designed the sets. At the same time, the Museum of Modern Art presented what The New York Times called, “A gargantuan traveling retrospective of the artist's work.”

“Having the work of William Kentridge at the Fine Arts Center is a rare and wonderful opportunity,” said Sam Gappmayer, FAC President and CEO.

“The paintings by Earl Biss bring a modernist attitude to the subjects and scenes of the American Southwest in a way that is sure to resonate with our visitors,” said Gappmayer. Singleton’s religious sculptures have equally wide appeal. “It is an amazing thing that Gib Singleton is represented in such collections as the Vatican Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Cowboy Hall of Fame, and the State of Israel.”

Gib Singleton: Religious Works
Singleton is considered a modern master in the tradition of Rodin and Donatello, and he is perhaps the only artist to be represented in the collections of the Vatican Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Cowboy Hall of Fame, and the State of Israel, among many others. Born in 1936 in Kennett, Mo., Singleton studied at the Art Institute of Chicago before receiving a Fulbright Fellowship to the Accademia di Belle Arti in Italy. His study of the Italian Masters then led to work in the Vatican art studio, where he assisted in the restoration of Michelangelo’s Pieta. He designed the bronze crucifix on the crozier carried by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, and another of his crosses rests beside the Shroud of Turin. The exhibition at the FAC will feature 20 sculptures.

Earl Biss: Between Sky, Earth and Water
Biss is nationally recognized for his compelling depictions of Plains Indian horsemen, landscapes and changes in seasons. Distinctive textured and energetic brushwork reflects the artist’s study of Abstract Expressionism, and the sensuous atmospheric light of his paintings is reminiscent of the French Impressionists. Biss’s signature painting language, shaped by a combination of art styles, changed preconceived notions about 20th century Native American art. The exhibition at the FAC will feature 27 paintings, some of which are quite small (19” x 15”) to the monumental (84” x 60”).

William Kentridge: The World is Process
South African artist William Kentridge creates works that exist somewhere between film, drawing, and theater – sometimes as a combination of all three. This exhibition centers upon drawings from the collection of Brenda R. Potter and Michael C. Sandler. This collection “is one of the outstanding groupings of works by the artist in an American collection” writes Gary Garrels, a Senior Curator from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

“William Kentridge’s art has been among the most internationally recognized of the past three decades and has been a transformative aspect of video art,” said FAC Museum Director Blake Milteer.

This original exhibition at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is the first in Colorado devoted to this internationally important artist’s work. The exhibition centers upon 35 drawings and prints.

“I believe that in the indeterminacy of drawing – the contingent way that images arrive in the work – lies some kind of model of how we live our lives,” said Kentridge. “The activity of drawing is a way of trying to understand who we are and how we operate in the world.”

The exhibition also features several three-dimensional works and four of the artist’s renowned films.

The New York Times describes his famous stop-motion animation technique this way:

“He makes a charcoal drawing, films it, alters it by adding or erasing marks, and then films the drawing again, repeating this procedure so that an entire scene can unfold, unscripted, on a single sheet of paper. In the process viewers can witness the elemental act of artistic creation: the transformation, say, of a female figure into an electric tower with a few simple lines.”

Said Milteer, “The drawings are related to Kentridge’s films in that they are literally the very last frames of the individual scenes from the films, yet they also stand alone as beautifully crafted and powerfully evocative representations of the artist’s personal and cultural experience.”

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center | Earl Biss | Gib Singleton | William Kentridge |

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