USA Today: John Mellencamp Art Exhibit Opens November 3 In Ohio Museum
10.10.2013 - Edna Gundersen,
The collection of 40 oil paintings, inspired by German expressionists, will be
on view through Jan. 12.
Don't expect cutesy drawings of little pink houses.
A bold collection of artwork by rocker/activist John Mellencamp opens Nov. 3
at the Butler Institute of American Art's satellite museum in Howland Township,
A longtime painter inspired by German expressionists Otto Dix and Max
Beckmann, Mellencamp will present roughly 40 oil paintings, some never before
seen by the public, at his first art museum exhibition.
The Paintings of John Mellencamp will be on view through Jan. 12 in the
Institute's Butler Trumball County branch. It will move to the Museum of
Art-DeLand in Florida, where it will be on view from Oct. 16, 2014, through Jan.
4, 2015. Plans are in the works for the show to travel elsewhere.
"I am interested in the dialogue between Mellencamp's work and the Butler's
more traditional collection of 19th and 20th century America art by masters
including John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer and Raphael Soyer," Louis A. Zona,
director and curator of the Butler, said in a statement. "John's work is
beautifully executed and speaks of themes that are universal. He has very strong
opinions, be they sociological or political, which are right up front in these
works. They're incredibly fascinating studies."
Mellencamp said in a statement, "German painting remains the basic foundation
for what I do, same as folk music is the foundation of my songs. Discovering
Beckmann to me was like discovering Woody Guthrie or Bob Dylan."
Last year, the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville presented Mellencamp's
first major museum exhibition. He was recently part of a group show at the
Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, and he and jazz icon Miles Davis had a
two-man show at the Triangle Gallery in Los Angeles. Paintings and Reflections,
an overview of his early work, was published by Harper Collins in 1998.
Mellencamp initially studied art with portrait painter David Leffel and later
with Jan Royce from the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis.