Currently at the Marquette Haggerty Museum of Art is a dynamic and organic exhibition which fuses a subtle and powerful grouping of works on paper from the Mary and Michael J. Tatalovich Collection.
Compelling in scope and breadth, this exhibition highlights many influential post World War II artists including heavy hitters Richard Serra and Robert Rauschenberg along with captivating works by Jennifer Bartlett and James Siena.
Immediately drawn into and across the opening room by the salon style arrangement of works on paper on the far wall I knew as I approached that I was in store for something special. On my way I passed impressive, bold, and colorful work by James Rosenquist whose technique and recognizable style has become an art history staple.
Engulfed and intrigued by the range of styles in the Tatalovich Collection I was pleased to see standout prints by Robert India and Leanard Baskin in the same mix as the colorful and vibrant work by Elizabeth Murray and Jennifer Bartlett.
Murray’s large scale lithographs were shown in the same room as Rauschenberg’s, giving them and the artist both elevated stature while creating an interesting juxtaposition, one where Murray’s organic and imaginary imagery meets Rauschenberg’s hard edged mechanical processes. Both seemed to fit well together in the context of today’s age where Murray’s imagery strums our heart strings with a warm and inviting palette as Rauschenberg invites us to delve into our minds eye and look back, reflecting on a history we have created through popular imagery.
I was also thoroughly impressed by Jennifer Bartlett’s contributions to the show as her multi-layered silkscreens of landscapes evokes a happy day glow childlike feeling of innocence that is complimented by her structured use of space and texture ,creating breathtaking, simple, and elegant forms.
In stark contrast to the vibrant colors of Bartlett’s prints were two impressive and entrancing black and white works by Richard Serra. Jumping off the wall with thick texture and precision, the assertiveness with which these works were created is mesmerizing and hypnotic. At the same time Serra crafts a deep abyss with which the viewer is invited to dive into, definitely a highlight of the exhibition.
It is a blessing for the students, public, administration, and art community at large when a small museum like the Haggerty receives a donation of artwork of this caliber. These prints and large works on paper will enrich the lives of many people for years to come, allowing Marquette to elevate their status and continue to provide an arts educational environment that we can all learn from. Mary and Michel J Tatalovich spent much of their lives patiently collecting these artworks and have now entrusted them to the Haggerty as a show of good faith and I applaud them for their gesture.