Big & Bold : In Modern and Contemporary Art

Big & Bold : In Modern and Contemporary Art

December 16, 2022 - May 21, 2023

George Snyder (American, b. 1951)

Florida Pink Ignition, 1985

Acrylic on canvas

Museum Purchase, 2016.4

Art museums are public spaces that safely house vast amounts of art, measuring from miniscule to gargantuan. By the very nature of their design and construction, museums are typically large buildings with vast galleries and ample lighting to display all shapes and sizes.

“Big & Bold” highlights selections from the Appleton’s permanent collection of modern and contemporary artworks, many of which have never been displayed. Over a century separates the earliest and most recent works, which range from paintings and ceramics to sculptures and oversized prints. Dated to 1901 and measuring over 10-foot wide and 4-foot high, Theodore Victor Carl Valenkamph’s ship painting welcomes visitors. Meanwhile, a two-foot tall black-and-white hand-coiled clay vessel, hand painted by Victoria Garcia in 2000, epitomizes indigenous Zuni and Pecos motif designs and techniques.

“Big & Bold” asks one to reexamine why artists continue to create large-scale art that the majority of us cannot display at home due to its size. If the artist creates without known destinations for their works, how do we, as contemporaries of artists, know the functions, possibilities and purpose of large artworks?