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Ulfert Wilke: A Centennial Celebration

September 1, 2007 - February 3, 2008

Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret, Ulfert Wilke, 1974, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, promised gift of the artist, © Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1907 and the 20th anniversary of his death in 1987, the CRMA organized a small but enlightening exhibition of works by painter, printmaker, and calligrapher Ulfert Wilke. Active during critical moments in 20th century American art, Wilke is best known for his use of calligraphy as a starting point in his paintings, prints, and drawings. His eloquent, graceful strokes sometimes evolved into all-over abstract patterns, infusing his compositions with a dynamic energy.

"In his calligraphically-inspired paintings, prints, and drawings, Wilke infuses sensitive, abstracted forms with power, energy, and vitality," says CRMA Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Sean Ulmer. "His work is elegant and engaging, beautiful and bold, dramatic and dynamic."

Wilke, a nationally recognized artist who served as the founding director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, is also known for his large canvases and extraordinary lithographs in which letters and characters morph into abstract entities, becoming denser and denser until the entire composition is writhing with abstract forms. This exhibition will be on display through February 3, 2008.

The CRMA thanks Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret and David and Carol Roemig-Heusinkveld for generously lending works by Wilke from their private collections.






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