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"Walter Inglis Anderson: Everything I See Is New And Strange" opens at the LSU Museum of Art
Walter Inglis Anderson (American, 1903-1965), Two Blue Crabs, c. 1960. Watercolor on paper. From the collection of the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

BATON ROUGE, LA.- The LSU Museum of Art presents Walter Inglis Anderson’s unique observations of the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s flora, fauna, and landscape in the exhibition Walter Inglis Anderson: Everything I See Is New And Strange. Highlighting more than 60 watercolor and oil paintings, prints and printing plates, pen and ink drawings, and pottery, the exhibition is on display on the fifth floor of the Shaw Center for the Arts in downtown Baton Rouge August 2 through October 13, 2013.

Walter Inglis Anderson (American, 1903-1965) illustrated the natural world vividly and with passion. Anderson’s paintings, drawings, prints, pottery, and sculptures capture the flora and fauna of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and continue to captivate the imaginations of viewers over sixty years after their creation.

Born in New Orleans, Anderson studied at the Parsons School of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and art schools throughout Europe. He was familiar with the aesthetics and ideas that influenced his contemporaries, but his passion for nature led him away from the art centers of New York and Paris to the natural setting of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. From the 1940s until his death in 1965, the “artist who preferred nature to art” lived a life of solitude and discovery, making frequent trips to Horn Island, a narrow barrier island that lies between the coast of Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico. Today Horn Island is preserved and protected by the Gulf Island National Seashore. It was this natural world that most imbued his art.

Anderson lived for weeks at a time on Horn Island equipped with only artist’s tools, paints, paper, a small boat and enough food to survive. Alone and without shelter, he weathered the elements and several hurricanes, while keeping journals and documenting his natural surroundings. “This morning I drew bulrushes while the flies stung,” Anderson remarked in his journal. “Later I made a watercolor under my boat while the rain poured. Such is the life of an artist who prefers nature to art. He really should cultivate art more but feels his love of art will take care of itself as long as it has things to feed upon.”

“Walter Anderson spent most of his life exploring the wonders of nature along the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” remarks executive director, Jordana Pomeroy. “He absorbed the environment around him, recording a fresh – and often strange – vision of the world.”

Anderson portrayed a strange and beautiful environment with a passion that resulted in thousands of works of art. Lawrence Campbell, art critic for Art in America, recognized Anderson as a significant southern artist, writing, “Originality merits [Anderson] an honored place in the history of American twentieth-century art.” His significance as an artist lies in the visual way Anderson conveyed the precarious balance of nature, a theme that is relevant to the Gulf South today.

Walter Inglis Anderson: Everything I See Is New And Strange was developed by the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in conjunction with the family of Walter Anderson.

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