Many of the greatest art museum exhibitions are made possible through the vision and generosity of private collectors. Frederick R. Weisman was just such a collector. In the 1950s, Weisman and his wife began collecting modern and contemporary American and European art for their home. Today, the Weisman collection is considered one of the most important collections in the United States and includes works by iconic artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Ed Ruscha, David Hockney, Keith Haring, Robert Motherwell, Duane Hanson, and Henry Moore among others. But it was in his capacity as a philanthropist that Weisman made his greatest and most enduring contribution. In the 1980s, he established the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation which supports the arts through grants, educational programs, and exhibitions.
The Colorado Spring Fine Arts Center is extremely excited to host The Eclectic Eye: Pop and Illusion, a major exhibition of works from the Weisman Foundation. The works selected for the exhibition draw from Weisman’s great passion for Pop art and illusionistic art from the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s.
In the late 1950s, our society’s increasing inundation with mass media and advertising provided vibrant subjects and techniques for artists who wished to address popular culture’s vitality and its influence on our everyday lives. Pop art has since taken many forms such as Andy Warhol’s images immortalizing popular consumer brands like Campbell’s Soup and celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Roy Lichtenstein’s reinterpretations of comic strip subjects and styles, and Ed Ruscha’s paintings inspired by advertising graphics.
Illusionistic art depicts people, objects, and scenes similarly to the ways our eyes see. We often think of illusionism in contrast to abstraction. Artists have developed illusion throughout history, and its perfection is considered to be one of the greatest achievements of Renaissance painters. In the 20th century, illusionistic painting continued through artists like James Rosenquist and was extended in new and exciting ways to sculpture and photography through artists such as Claes Oldenburg, Duane Hanson, and David Hockney.
The Eclectic Eye: Pop and Illusion spotlights a selection of these artists, images, and ideas that have transformed our cultures in the last half-century and also offers a glimpse into the personal vision of one of America’s most important collectors of 20th century art. The Eclectic Eye is the single-most important exhibition to travel to Colorado Springs. The show also has the distinction of being the inaugural exhibition in the museum’s astounding new traveling exhibition space.
Funding has been provided by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation.