Drawings include works small and large, unfinished and highly refined, and stylistically range from abstract to representational, Rushing said. Frequent subjects include sculpture studies, portraits, Southwestern landscapes, and themes like scenes of Native life, animals and more.
Rushing said Houser’s sketches provide a level of intimacy with the late artist that is difficult to achieve with his highly polished paintings and sculptures.
“The thing that I like about works on paper and drawings in particular is the immediacy of them. There’s a lot of immediate access for a viewer,” Rushing said. “You can really see the artist’s hand at work and therefore something about their thinking process. The ones that are really quickly done, sort of fast drawings, they show us the mind at work, the spontaneity of the mind. ... I like what they reveal about the process of art itself, about the relationship between mind and hand, if you will.”
OU’s Houser exhibit is just one of 11 planned statewide this year in recognition of the artist’s lifelong career. The collaborative celebrations were organized by the Oklahoma Museums Association and began in August with an exhibition at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
Additional information about the Oklahoma celebration is available online at OKHouser.org.
“Allan Houser Drawings: The Centennial Exhibition” is on display March 8 to May 18 at the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave.
Public educational programs scheduled at the museum to coincide with the exhibition include a lecture by guest curator W. Jackson Rushing III at 6 p.m. March 7; a symposium 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 8; a screening of films by Apache filmmaker Dustinn Craig 1-4 p.m. March 29; a guest lecture by Cécile Ganteaume, curator at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York, at 6 p.m. April 3; a gallery talk by students from the OU School of Art and Art History at 12:30 p.m. April 8; Family Day 1-4 p.m. May 18 and a Houser birthday celebration for families 2-4 p.m. June 28.
For more information visit ou.edu/fjjma.
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