“You will experience all the beauty, intensity, humor, and toughness in Tunson’s work.” — Blake Milteer, Museum Director
For over four decades, Floyd Tunson (born 1947) has been among the most highly regarded and influential artists in the Rocky Mountain region. He has achieved a rich and diverse body of work via media such as painting, sculpture, photography, and printmaking – often combining the language of these various media in single works.
The exhibition reflects the scope of Tunson’s career and work. It will include various bodies of work through which Tunson has addressed concepts such as cultural identity, American social history, pop culture, art history, and the beauty of pure abstraction. The exhibition centers upon the bold installations Hearts and Minds, Delta Queen, Haitian Dream Boats, andPop-up Rodeo. Other works in the exhibition relate to these installations, yet speak of their own aesthetic and conceptual concerns. Included are the Endangered series’ beautifully-rendered portraits of African-American youth, the Nubian series’ abstract dialogue with the crossroads of Africa, and the Synchro-Mesh series’ reflection of Tunson’s travels in the American south. Tunson’s Remix series and other select works look to a synthesis of popular culture and art historical imagery with the artist’s equally critical and reverent eye.
Tunson says that from one direction he sees “the terror of chaos, man’s inhumanity to man, mortality, and the unknown. From another direction, the human condition seems like a magnificent, orderly evolution of extraordinary beauty” and he states that the totality of his work reflects his “quest to comprehend and express these forces and their interconnectedness.”
Tunson received his BA from Adams State College in 1969. Over his career he earned a reputation as one of the region’s most influential art teachers for three decades while simultaneously creating his own work and exhibiting nationally. Tunson’s art is included in the collections of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Denver Art Museum, the Kaiser-Permanente Corporation, the Walter O. Evans Collection of African-American Art, and many private collections nationwide.
This will be Tunson’s first major survey of his life’s work to-date. The exhibition is organized to reflect the confluence of Tunson’s themes and media over four decades, will occupy the entire second floor as well as the main corridor and have an accompanying full-color catalogue with an essay by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa.