'Thursdays at the Figge' features talks on UIMA masterworks

As a part of the ongoing collaboration between the University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA) and the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, several UIMA staff members will present art talks for the fall "Thursdays at the Figge" series.

These informal events aim to provide a fun, relaxed way to engage with works of art on display at the Figge. UIMA Director of Education Dale Fisher will speak about Abstract Expressionist artist Ad Reinhardt for the first of the UIMA's talks at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3.

Reinhardt's work "Abstract Painting No. 6" is on display through Dec. 31 at the Figge as part of the UIMA exhibition "A Legacy for Iowa: Pollock's 'Mural' and Modern Masterworks from the University of Iowa Museum of Art."

"It's a hard painting for audiences to love, because there is nothing visual in it that specifically addresses any traditional content or subject matter," Fisher said. "Reinhardt used a minimalist approach to some very big ideas, and this is a dichotomy that I'm going to discuss in the lecture."

Other UIMA staff members will present "Thursdays at the Figge" on the following dates:

* Thursday, Sept. 10: UIMA Graduate Curatorial Assistant Nathan Popp on Marsden Hartley
* Thursday, Sept. 24: UIMA Chief Curator Kathleen Edwards on Sam Gilliam
* Thursday, Oct. 29: Edwards presents "American Workshop Prints (Part II) from the 1950s into the 21st Century" in conjunction with Figge exhibition "Paper Trail: A Decade of Acquisitions from the Walker Art Center," on display through Jan. 3, 2010.

"Thursdays at the Figge" events are free with paid Figge admission and to UIMA donors with their Donor Courtesy Cards and UI students, faculty and staff with their university ID cards. The talks are held weekly on Thursday and begin at 7 p.m.; the Figge Bar will be open from 5-9 p.m. with live music from 6-8 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of each month. Regular museum admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, $4 for children ages 3-12. For a full schedule, visit www.figgeartmuseum.org.

Due to the 2008 flood, the UI Museum of Art offices have been relocated to the Studio Arts Building, 1840 SA, Iowa City, IA 52242, and Museum of Art events and exhibitions are being held at various locations. Under a 2008 agreement, the Figge will house and display most of the UIMA collection until a permanent museum space in Iowa City becomes available. For up-to-date UIMA information, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/uima or call 319-335-1725.

The Figge Art Museum is an encyclopedic museum with more than 4,000 works of art in its collection, ranging from the 16th century to the present. The Figge is best known for its extensive collection of Haitian, colonial, Mexican and Midwestern art, particularly pieces by Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, Marvin Cone and Grant Wood, including the only self-portrait Wood ever painted. The three-year-old, state-of-the-art museum building was designed by Stirling Prize-winning British architect David Chipperfield.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan McNeil, Figge Art Museum, 563-326-7804, ext. 2047; dmcneil@figgeartmuseum.org; Steve Parrott, University Relations, 319-384-0037, steven-parrott@uiowa.edu; Writer: Hilary Leigh.

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