Past Exhibition

Louis Bunce: Dialogue with Modernism

January 21 – March 26, 2017

Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery

CCTV Louis Bunce Interview with Roger Hull

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is pleased to present a major retrospective exhibition for Louis Bunce (1907-1983), a legendary Portland painter, printmaker, and teacher who taught at the Museum Art School from 1946 to 1972 and who influenced several generations of Oregon artists. Organized by Professor Emeritus of Art History and Senior Faculty Curator Roger Hull, the exhibition will chronicle the artist’s career over a 57 year period and features 49 paintings drawn from public and private collections throughout the United States.

Hull says, "Bunce was Oregon’s archetypal modern artist of the mid-twentieth century. 'Louie,' as he was called, was ambitious, gregarious, fun-loving, women-loving, antic and outrageous. He was deadly serious when it came to art-making and engaged with it all: Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Post-Modernism, and at the end of his life almost operatic Romanticism."

Born in Wyoming, Bunce moved with his family to Oregon in his youth, studied at the Museum Art School for a year, and moved to New York in the late 1920s to study at the Art Students League. At the League, he met Jackson Pollock, another Wyoming native, and they established an on-going friendship that lasted until Pollock’s death. In fact, it was Bunce who introduced Pollock to artist Lee Krasner, who would eventually become Pollock’s wife. Although Bunce returned to Portland, Oregon, he maintained strong ties with many other notable artists of the New York School throughout his career.

As a painter and printmaker, Bunce was a rising star in American art of the 1940s and 1950s. In painting, his WPA work from the 1930s gave way to inventive Surrealist forms in the 1940s, to nature-based abstract expressionist work in the 1950s and 1960s. He and his work were featured in a full-color article in Life magazine in 1957, and he was represented in New York by the John Heller Gallery and the Doris Meltzer Gallery. In the 1970s, he experimented with hard-edge geometric compositions and Pop-related imagery while his last works feature light-saturated seascapes. 


Companion Exhibition

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Louis Bunce: Works on Paper

November 5, 2016 -January 29, 2017
Print Study Center

Louis Bunce is known for his paintings on canvas and panel, but throughout his long career he also worked on paper, creating a vital body of prints, drawings, and paintings in gouache and other media. He pioneered serigraphy as a fine art in the Northwest thus helping to transform what had been a means for mass production advertising into a medium for limited edition fine art printmaking. Organized by professor emeritus and senior faculty curator Roger Hull, this exhibition opened Nov. 5, 2016, and continues through January 29, 2017, in the Print Study Center.

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Exhibition Related Events

Lecture
The Rose City and the Big Apple: Louis Bunce and the Art of Modern Times
Presented by Roger Hull
Friday, January 20, 2017 at 5 p.m.
Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law
Free and open to the public


Members Opening Reception
Friday, January 20, 2017, 6 - 8 p.m.
Hallie Ford Museum of Art 

Cost
Museum Members and Invited Guests: complimentary
Non-members: $5/person suggested donation at the door

New Members: are welcome to join at the event or online

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Tuesday Gallery Talks (January 24 - March 21, 2017)
Join a museum docent at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays for a guided tour of the exhibition Louis Bunce: Dialogue with Modernism
Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery, Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Free and open to the public

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Evening for Educators
Louis Bunce: Dialogue with Modernism
Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 4:30 - 6 p.m.
Hallie Ford Museum of Art

Educators are invited to join Elizabeth Garrison, The Cameron Paulin Curator of Education, for a preview of the exhibition, Louis Bunce: Dialogue with Modernism at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. This workshop is designed to help teachers prepare students for a field trip to the exhibition, as well as broaden curriculum concepts for use in the classroom. The exhibition continues through March 26. Advance registration for this free workshop is required by January 23 by calling 503-370-6855.

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Sunday Gallery Talk
Louis Bunce: Works on Paper
Roger Hull
Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 2 p.m.
Print Study Center, Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Free and open to the public

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Panel Discussion
Remembering Louis Bunce
Roger Hull, moderator; George
Johanson, Arlene Schnitzer, Lucinda
Parker, Jack Portland, panelists
Sunday, February 26, 2017, at 2 p.m.
Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law
Free and open to the public

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Sunday Gallery Talk
Louis Bunce: Dialogue with Modernism
Roger Hull
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 2 p.m.
Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery,
Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Free and open to the public


Financial Support

Financial support for the exhibition was provided by funds from the Maribeth Collins Art Exhibition Fund, and by general operating support grants from the City of Salem’s Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission. Financial support for the book was provided exclusively by a major grant from The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation.

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