Jun Kaneko Sculpture at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens

MAY 28 – NOVEMBER 22, 2015

Jun Kaneko is an internationally-renowned ceramic artist specializing in large-scale, handbuilt sculptures. His work is featured in over seventy museum collections and thousands of private collections around the world. Kaneko has also designed and completed over fifty public ar t installations in the United States, Canada, China,and Japan. Twenty-four of Kaneko’s large-scale ceramic and bronze sculptures will be placed throughout the Dixon gardens, the most ambitious outdoor sculpture installation in Dixon history. 

Kaneko has been a pioneer in pushing the limits of scale in ceramic media. In 1996, he wrote, “If everything in the world was the same size, we probably would not need an idea of scale. Nothing exists by itself. Everything is influenced by other things next to it or close by or the environment which the object is in.” By creating both intimate and monumental ceramic sculpture, Kaneko challenges preconceived notions in both size, context, and composition.These hand-built and hand-glazed monolithic sculptures are colorful, approachable, and visually interactive. His massive“Dangos” (meaning “rounded form” in Japanese), whimsical“Tanukis” (also known as Raccoon Dogs in Japanese folklore),and his large Head sculptures (in both bronze and ceramic),are all breathtaking monuments that seamlessly balance a Zen-like abstraction with a defined physicality.

We invite you to interact with these monumental sculptures throughout three seasons of change in the gardens. Along with ongoing programs and events, a map will guide visitors to each sculpture, creating an experience that allows adults and children alike to discover the beauty of all seventeen acres of the Dixon Gardens through Kaneko’s sculpture.

Jun Kaneko: Sculpture at the Dixon Gallery and Garden catalog is available at the Dixon admission booth. Please call (901) 761-5250 to order a book to be shipped in the U.S.

View our Jun Kaneko Scavenger Hunt

Scenic Impressions: Southern Interpretations from the Johnson Collection 

November 1, 2015 – January 3, 2016

The Johnson Collection is a private art collection based in Spartanburg, South Carolina that boasts an extensive survey of artistic activity in the American South from the late eighteenth century to the present day. This unique collection illuminates the rich history and diverse cultures of the region. Scenic Impressions: Southern Interpretations from the Johnson Collection will highlight the influence of the Impressionist movement on art in the American South through landscapes and genre scenes created between 1880 and 1940. 

Hattie Saussy (1890-1978), Path with Mossy Trees, ca. 1935; Oil on canvas mounted on Masonite, 18 x 26 inches; The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South Carolina

My Own Places: Paintings and Prints by Martha Kelly 

November 1, 2015 – January 3, 2016

Memphis native Martha Kelly is a painter, printmaker, and illustrator whose work celebrates the Southern landscape, particularly Memphis and the Mid-South.  Kelly’s paintings of open fields, spreading skies, and dominating oaks are created with large, flat planes of color with special attention to shadow and light. Her vibrant palette and restrained brushwork are echoed in her woodblock and linoleum block prints, which are punctuated by pops of bright color. All of Kelly’s work begins with sketches completed en plein air, and contain an implicit call not only to revel in the landscape around us, but to preserve it as well. 

Martha Kelly,  Sentinel, 2015 Linoleum block print on paper, 14 x 22 inches; Courtesy of the artist.

Painting American Progress: Selections from the Kattner Collection and More

On view in the Brinkley, Phillips, and Willmott Galleries and the Dixon Residence 
November 1, 2015 – April 3, 2016

More than sixty paintings and pastels from the Dixon’s permanent collection traveled to Utica, New York as the exhibition Monet to Matisse: The Age of French Impressionism, which closes November 29 at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute. The overwhelming popularity of Monet to Matisse has kept our permanent collection in high demand across the country.  In fact, in the past five years our permanent collection has traveled to seven different venues—receiving enthusiastic reviews and record numbers of visitors at each one. Now, it is time for some beauty rest! All of the works will undergo a conservation assessment when they return to the Dixon. During that time, some will receive a bit of T.L.C. as they prepare to go back on view to celebrate the Dixon’s fortieth anniversary in the spring.     

The Nina and Keith Kattner Collection of American paintings, on long-term loan to the Dixon, offer incredible examples of American art. Majestic landscapes from Hudson River School artists William Sonntag, John Frederick Kensett, and Alfred Bricher and the luminous, moody works of Ralph A. Blakelock, provide an extensive back-story to the impressionist-inspired styles on view in Scenic Impressions. The works on view chart American art’s progression towards Modernism from the Hudson River School to Blakelock’s emotive canvases and the works of his Tonalist contemporaries. A survey of American painting of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Kattner Collection provides an in-depth look at the development of American painting. A selection of American paintings from the Dixon’s permanent collection will also be on view in the galleries, complementing the Southern Impressionist paintings on view in Scenic Impressions

Alfred T. Bricher (American,1837- 1908),  The Cliffs at Nahant, ca. 1885; Oil on canvas,  27 x 50 inches; Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Keith Kattner

Pinkney Herbert

On view in the Catmur Foyer
November 1, 2015 – April 3, 2016

Pinkney Herbert has long been a vital member of the Memphis art scene. He received a BA from Rhodes College and a MFA from the University of Memphis, and has taught art at Memphis University School, Memphis College of Art, the University of Memphis, and Rhodes College. After living and working in New York throughout the 1980s, in 1992, Herbert returned to Memphis.   He imported the New York trend of converting unused industrial spaces into art-making facilities and founded Marshall Arts, a studio space for local, national, and international artists in the Edge district of Downtown Memphis.    

Herbert’s synthesis of Memphis and New York influences plays out in the rhythm and color of his energetic, abstract paintings. His canvases are a manifestation of the musical compositions that inspire them, pulsing with expression and tempered with thoughtfully-composed space. 

Image: PINKNEY HERBERT,  Jack, 2014, oil and digital print on canvas.  Courtesy of David Lusk Gallery

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