When we open ourselves to art, we open ourselves to the world – to beauty, craft, to different cultures, to pain and pleasure, expression and emotion.

Recent Works by Bo Bartlett to be Displayed at the Gibbes Museum of Art

People looking at a portrait

The Gibbes Museum of Art has curated an exhibition of recent works by contemporary artist Bo Bartlett that will debut at the museum on Sept. 9. The 2017 winner of the Gibbes’ 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art, Bartlett is acclaimed for his large-scale paintings that explore modern American life and cultural heritage. Bo Bartlett: Earthly Matters will be on display in the museum’s third floor galleries from Sept. 9, 2022 – Jan. 15, 2023.

“We’re excited to present a collection of works that Bo has created since receiving the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art, which we award to an artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of art in the South,” says Angela Mack, executive director of the Gibbes Museum of Art. “We strive to present innovative special exhibitions that are transformative and intellectually complex. Bo’s work deals with a holistic view of the themes of man versus himself and man versus nature and takes on a psychological quality in relationship to the ecological context.”

Earthly Matters includes a selection of Bartlett’s work that examines humankind’s impact on and interaction with nature’s elements. Bartlett’s subjects, both human and animal, often find themselves in precarious environmental situations, either from their own doing or by forces beyond their control. Bartlett’s appreciation for the beauty of ordinary moments imbues his work with an underlying luminosity and frankness. His larger-than-life scenes break down the barriers between the subjects on canvas and the viewers, who are invited to contemplate their own role in the narrative.

Born in Columbus, Ga., Bo Bartlett is an American Realist with a modernist vision. Bartlett follows the traditions of American Realists such as Thomas Eakins, Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth. Like these artists, Bartlett looks at America’s heart—its land and its people—and describes the beauty he finds in everyday life. His paintings celebrate the underlying epic nature of the commonplace and the personal significance of the extraordinary.

This exhibition is organized by the Gibbes Museum of Art and is supported by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, SeaFields at Kiawah, Lynch Cracraft Wealth Management of Raymond James, The Jane Smith Turner Foundation and Joseph J. Schott Foundation. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication produced by Miles McEnery Gallery, NYC, featuring essays by the artist and guest curator, Pam Wall.

Future exhibitions of Bo Bartlett: Earthly Matters will be at Bo Bartlett Center: Feb. 3 – April 28, 2023 and MOCA Jacksonville: May 26 – Sept. 10, 2023.

Published August 25, 2022

Top image: Installation shot of Bo Bartlett: Earthly Matters. Photo by MCG Photography

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