Closing reception on Sept. 6 to highlight artistic responses to Van Dyck portraits

A closing reception for the exhibit “The Midwest Paint Group: Responses to Ripon College’s Van Dyck Paintings” will be held Sept. 6 at C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts, Ripon College. The reception and a panel discussion will begin at 7 p.m.

Two large, old master portraits by Anthony van Dyck hang in the lobby of Rodman Center. This exhibit features paintings by members of the Midwest Paint Group in response to the master portraits. The works range from the realistic to the abstract, the literal to the conceptual. Some of the paintings feature direct visual quotations from the masterworks, while others respond to the paintings in less obvious experimental ways.

The portraits depict Sir Roger Townshend (1628-1648) and Princess Amalia of Solms-Braunfels (1602-1675). They were rendered by Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), “one of the greatest painters of that era, perhaps with assistance from his workshop,” says Travis Nygard, associate professor of art and gallery director at Ripon College. “The paintings are the inspiration for this art show, in which 11 contemporary artists from the Midwest Paint Group display work that enters into a creative conversation with them.”

Nygard adds, “Great portraits become more fascinating over time, and they enrich us as we look at them. The social significance of such works of art can also evolve, which has certainly been the case with two paintings that have been the pride of Ripon College for decades. … As you view the paintings, I encourage you to ponder how art is meaningful, not only in its moment of creation, but accumulates significance over time.”

The professional artist members of the Midwest Paint Group are based across the Midwest, and they have exhibited together since 1999. Their website is at http://midwest-paint-group.org/

(Photo: Some of the artists’ interpretations on exhibit)


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