The Mennello Museum of American Art
900 East Princeton Street, Orlando, FL 32803 - United States
The Mennello Museum of American Art endeavors to preserve, exhibit, and interpret our outstanding permanent collection of paintings by Earl Cunningham. The Mennello Museum of American Art also seeks to enrich the public through rotating exhibitions, programs, educational initiatives, and publications that celebrate other outstanding traditional and contemporary American art and artists across a diverse range of disciplines and reflect the rich diversity of American art, while making it accessible to all.
Our vision is to be a distinguished and thriving institution that will build on its city base of support through strong board and community relationships resulting in an improved operating environment and a reputation for being a local and national treasure.
MIRA LEHR: HIGH WATER MARK
On view January 24 – May 10, 2020
Mira Lehr’s entire career as an artist has focused on the natural world and our relationship with our surroundings. Her residence in Miami, with a studio nestled right on the water, has obviously steered her work towards the waterways and open ocean that form such an integral part of life in Florida.
A “high water mark” indicates a literal measurement for the highest point the water level reaches in a given area at a particular time. However, alternate meanings of the term suggest maximum value in various other sectors of life. It seems fitting, then, that this phrase should be applied to the work of an artist whose career spans five decades, building toward a well-earned peak. Lehr’s recent work has been lauded by critics for the meaningful and contemplative commentary she offers on a timely and contentious subject, the state of our natural world. However, her sense of wonder and optimism about humanity’s ability to rise to the occasion with solutions guides both her life and work.
As an eco-feminist artist from Miami whose career spans five decades, her nature-based imagery encompasses painting, design, sculpture and video installations. Lehr’s processes include non-traditional media such as resin, gunpowder, fire, Japanese paper, dyes and welded steel.
Lehr has affected a new generation of young artists by serving as a mentor and collaborator, teaching master classes with the National Young Arts Foundation. She has also been an artist in residence at the Bascom Summer Programs.
EARL CUNNINGHAM: Selections from the Permanent Collection
Earl Cunningham’s paintings intermix fact, fantasy and his own life experiences. Filled with vibrancy and confidence of life itself, his work reflects his own unique vision of the world. Vivid use of colors across each wood panel have given Cunningham the reputation of being an American Fauve.
Cunningham’s paintings were described by noted art critic, Roberta Smith as a “fusion of traditional folk art and pop culture. [Cunningham’s] world is not only fabulously Technicolored, with skies tending toward hot pinks and yellows, and rivers and bays toward red or brown or ochre. It also teems with bright, often closely observed flora and fauna ... all rendered in unexpected textures and often ingenious brushwork.” (R. Smith, New York Times, February 17, 1995, p. C-30).
Since his death in 1977, Cunningham’s work has received an overwhelming amount of attention and he has secured a place as a major Twentieth Century American Folk artist. In 1986, The Museum of American Art, New York, launched a national tour of his works. Since then, his paintings have not only been shown throughout the country, but a number of museums have also acquired his work, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, Williamsburg, Virginia.
ALICE AYCOCK: WALTZING MATILDA AND TWIN VORTEXES
Grounds for Exhibitions - Inaugural Outdoor Exhibitions Series
The beautiful twin works, Waltzing Matilda and Twin Vortexes were originally part of series of seven sculptures in Aycock’s significant outdoor exhibition on Park Avenue in Manhattan, entitled Park Avenue Paper Chase. Inspired by the wind and the frenetic energy of city life, these two sculptures will remain on display in the garden. References to nature and industry intermingle as viewers walk around each sculpture sensing the whirling, organic shapes made from aluminum and fiberglass.
Aycock has often focused on creating public art installations, from her pioneering early land art in the 1970s, to these current complex objects made of fiberglass and aluminum. Alice Aycock has lived in New York City since 1968. Her work is in a number of collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, LA County Museum of Art, Storm King Art Center, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, and the National Gallery, as well as on view in cities across the United States. She has been included in the prestigious global exhibitions The Venice Biennale, Documenta VI and VIII and the Whitney Biennial.
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