LITTLE ROCK, ARK.- The Arkansas Arts Center
, the states leader in international, visual and performing arts, presents the exhibition, The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South, on view February 28 ‐ June 1, in the Jeannette Edris Rockefeller and Townsend Wolfe Galleries.
We are so proud to have collaborated with the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Carroll Cloars birth. This exhibition and accompanying catalogue will offer lucky viewers and readers an escape into Cloars vision of the American South, said Arkansas Arts Center executive director Todd Herman. This project would not have been possible without the support of Pat Sanstead Cloar Milsted, whose generosity has been without measure.
The paintings of Carroll Cloar (1913‐1993), rank among the most haunting and beautiful evocations ever made of the American South. Drawing upon family stories, photographs of ancestors, rural scenery, small town life and memories of his childhood on an Arkansas farm, Cloar captured the quiet richness of a simpler world.
The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South is the largest retrospective exhibition about the artist and the first significant exploration of Cloars work in more than twenty years. The exhibition includes eighty‐five paintings and drawings from both public and private collections, including four from the collection of the Arkansas Arts Center, with additional works drawn from local collectors, Dianne and Bobby Tucker, and not exhibited at either preceding venue. Another unique aspect of the exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center will be the reconstruction of a corner section of Cloars personal studio, providing visitors with a rare glimpse into the artists creative environment.
Cloar was born and raised on his parents cotton farm just outside Earle, Arkansas. In 1930, he moved to Memphis where he attended college and eventually went on to serve his country in World War II as a communications specialist in the Pacific theater of war. After the service, he studied at the Arts Students League in New York. In 1946, a Guggenheim fellowship enabled him to travel through Central and South America. During his travels, Cloar formulated a kind of imagery that has its roots in American regionalism while at the same time incorporating European models such as pointillism, impressionism and surrealism. Cloar returned to Memphis in 1955 and lived there for the rest of his life.