Exhibit: Saturday, September 14, through Sunday, January 5
Reception: Thursday, September 12, 6:30 p.m.
Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA
Boasting approximately 30 works as well as a collection of source materials including a collection of thrift-store artworks, the exhibition John Dilg: Arterial Resources will be on display at Davenport's Figge Art Museum September 14 through January 5, with the exhibit's artist famed for idiosyncratic landscapes created within a pared-down visual vocabulary that draws on memory, imagination, vernacular artifacts, and folk-art and historical sources.
Featuring works created over the past 10 years, Arterial Resources represents Dilg’s ongoing search for visual forms that best distill a life of memory and experience. His small, devotional landscapes that critic Roberta Smith has described as “cartoon-visionary” explore a lifelong interest in the living and breathing aspects of the natural environment. The exhibition takes its name from the eponymous painting of a verdant mound, bubbling with streams of life-giving water and, by implication, the fragility of life should earth’s arteries run dry. As Dilg himself has stated of his latest exhibition, “In concert with their titles, these works both recollect and recompose important memories that, though personal in premise, could be applicable to anyone.”
Dilg's work belongs to several public collections – among them those of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicagi, Spain's Museu d'Art Contemporani Vicente Aguilera Cerni, the Arkansas Art Center, and the Figge – and has been reviewed in publications including The New York Times, Art in America, The Boston Globe, and The Huffington Post. Critic John Yau wrote that Dilg's landscapes “arise out of the collision of observation and memory, things seen and the history of painting remembered” and evoke an “otherworldly hush and reverence,” while curator Terri C. Smith opined, “Dilg makes objects that are at once naïve and sophisticated, familiar and enigmatic. The tension in the paintings between known and unknown, fine art and found art along with their small scale encourages a very intimate, personal viewing experience.” Dilg, the recipient of a Fulbright Grant, has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ragdale and Yaddo Foundations, and was a professor in the School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa four more than four decades before retiring as Professor Emeritus in 2017.
An artist reception for John Dilg: Arterial Resources will be held at 6:30 p.m. on September 12 – with Dilg and Steve Erickson on hand to introduce their new exhibits and speak about their artistic processes – and the collection will be on display September 14 through January 5. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays, museum admission is $4-10, and more information is available by calling (563)326-7804 or visiting FiggeArtMuseum.org.