Museum of Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Presents Elevated Perspective: Paintings by Joellyn Duesberry

The Museum of Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center presents Elevated Perspective: Paintings by Joellyn Duesberry, an overview of a 50-year career of plein-air painting, in the El Pomar and Steiner Family Galleries. On view through Sept. 11, 2011.

“Joellyn Duesberry, nationally recognized for her dynamic landscape painting, is among the most important landscape painters working in Colorado today,” said FAC Museum Director Blake Milteer.

Joellyn Duesberry LowTide Late Summer 99 ME 36x84Linen

While many contemporary landscape painters romanticize their subjects and depict a West that once was, Duesberry is drawn to the West that is. In this exhibition, she explores a full spectrum of sites and calls attention to places affected by human activity with over 60 paintings and drawings on display. Waterways, cityscapes, quarries, junkyards, and natural landscapes are all part of Duesberry’s visual language.

A 2005 PBS documentary called “Dialogue with the Artist,” follows Duesberry as she paints one landscape over the course of one year. In the film, Duesberry issues several of her artistic truisms:

“Painting is like humming a tune to me.” “If I just trust the process, I’m going to get it passionately right as opposed to mechanically right.”  “I always trust the original impression more than I do the belabored one.” “I have 63 colors on this palette because I want immediate access to the color note that has
occurred to me. Cezanne, you know, had 73 paints on his palette and that was probably his most efficient means of responding to a color idea. I think it’s fun and I don’t think it’s just laziness on my part.”

Ms. Duesberry is nationally recognized for her dynamic landscape paintings. Her canvases are remarkable for their rich and intense use of color, and for her distinct interest in the geometry of the various cityscapes and landscapes she interprets. Many of Ms. Duesberry’s paintings, though clearly contemporary, echo such great modernist masters as John Marin and Milton Avery. Her use of light, shadow, scale and texture culminates in paintings that are both visually and emotionally arresting.

Ms. Duesberry divides her time between studios in Denver, Colorado and Millbrook, N.Y., and has painted plein-air around the world for 40 plus years. She began exhibiting in New York City in 1979, and has since had 10 New York solo exhibitions, with recent retrospectives at the Century Association and Denver Art Museum in January 2006, titled “Joellyn Duesberry: Three Decades of Paint.” She has shown widely around the country, and is represented by seven galleries coast to coast.

A pivotal point in Ms. Duesberry’s career came in 1986 when she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant which enabled her to work with Richard Diebenkorn. Diebenkorn encouraged her to try monotype print-making, and since then she has been actively producing and exhibiting her monotypes alongside her plein-air paintings.

Established in 1936, the Fine Arts Center is home to world-class art galleries, Broadway-worthy live theatre, and an art school for all ages. Built on the foundation of the prestigious Broadmoor Art Academy, the FAC carries the legacy of Colorado’s arts and cultural heritage. One of the first 16 institutions accredited by the American Association of Museums in 1971, the FAC offers the best in the world of visual arts via its permanent collection and travelling exhibitions, performing arts through the FAC Theatre Company, and arts education with the Bemis School of Art. The Fine Arts Center’s building is considered an architectural landmark in the Rocky Mountain region, designed by John Gaw Meem, and is listed on the National Register for Historical Places. In 2007, the FAC unveiled a $28.6 million renovation and expansion.

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