acrylic and wood sculpture, 1988
South Dakota Art Museum Collection, 1989.06.
Gift of the South Dakota Art Museum Guild.
Tim Steele is Professor Emeritus of Graphic Design and former Director of The School of Design at South Dakota State University. Steele’s artist statement from the period of Smoke Head states, “The idea of paint first became real for me as an apprentice house painter. I watched over and over as new skins of paint were applied to both new and existing construction. The new coats of paint at once hid all evidence of the past, while at the same time creating a new image. As an artist, I explore paint and construction as a means to creating personal images.”
Former South Dakota Art Museum Director, Joe Stuart was a great admirer of Steele’s artwork. In 1988 he wrote, “There is a breezy sort of madness in [Steele’s] work, as if Van Gogh were alive, not too well, and living in Venice, California. Madness or not, my wife and I have his work in our personal collection, and I am sure he will be represented in this museum’s collection in the near future.”
Indeed, the museum acquired Smoke Head the following year with funds donated by the South Dakota Art Museum Guild. To this day, the Guild continues to allocate a portion of member dues for artwork acquisition by the museum.
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