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PAST - PRESENT: Recent Acquisitions in Abstraction

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Past-Present Exhibition gallery image

The past is present and present is past in this exhibition of recent abstract acquisitions. Recent acquisitions from current South Dakota State University faculty intermingle with past faculty. Works by former SDSU students intermingle with works from past solo exhibition artists. The museum collection is an intersection of multiple worlds and its fascinating web of abstract connections is on display.

The South Dakota Art Museum preserves artworks of cultural and historical significance to South Dakota for current and future generations. The museum’s collection is a living work of art itself. It’s a moving and growing network of intersections between artworks of excellence connected to different people and places across different time periods. Artworks from the past and present intersect and create new relationships, each work informed by its shifting relevance over time. Dynamics are revealed and redirected as additional artworks are added to the collection. The intertwining of the past and present in the museum collection is an overlapping and enmeshing of multiple worlds in a vibrant and beautiful dance. The fascinating web of connections amongst some of the museum’s most recent abstract acquisitions is on display in this exhibition.

All of the artworks in this exhibition are recently acquired, joining the collection between 2015 and 2020. Although they have been recently acquired, they were created across a much longer period of time, with their dates of creation spanning 1960 – 2018. Artworks created in six different decades are included, and yet their forms, colors, textures and the motivations and inspirations of their makers bear striking similarities that speak to the eternal vitality of great works of art. Older works are not dated or passé, they are relevant and speak to the concerns of artists currently engaging in similar practices today. Individual artists of the present or past are not isolated, they are connected to the continual presence of these forms and motivations within the works of others from time periods preceding or succeeding them.
As alluded to in the title of an artwork by Diana Behl, from which the title of this exhibition is borrowed, the past is present and present is past. This is true for a museum collection and this truth is featured in this exhibition. The collection as a work of art mirrors abstract works by artists like Behl and Rick Johns, where memory and history are referenced, incorporated and regenerated as a part of new collective forms.

We hope that visitors enjoy the interconnections of forms and histories embodied in this exhibition.

Represented Artists

Diana Behl, Alice Berry, Donald Boyd, Carol Brown Goldberg, Dana Crooks, Clifford Gleason, Dennis Guastella, Liz Heeren, Carol Hepper, Rick Johns, D. George Prisbe-Przybysz, Peter Reichardt, Joe Stuart, Signe Nelson Stuart and Ulfert Wilke

Home page image: Clifford Gleason, "Untitled," c. 1960. Oil on canvas. © In Copyright. Rights-holder unidentifiable.


Great art!

I love the piece by Carol Brown Goldberg!

All of it was beautiful. Some was interesting but cool.

I greatly appreciate the piece by Dennis Guastella - acrylic dots!

I love the piece by Alice Berry.


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