In two small exhibitions, the University of Minnesota's Weisman Art Museum showcases gifts of 20th century sculpture, prints and drawings from Minneapolis collectors Lillian (Babe) and Julius Davis, and topical sculpture by Hungarian-born emigre Peter Dallos.
The Weisman overlooks the Mississippi River at 333 E. River Road, Minneapolis on the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota. (10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tue., Thu., Fri.; 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Wed.; 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sat., Sun.; closed Mondays. Free. 612-625-9494 or www.weisman.umn.edu)
"Acid Rain" by Peter Dallos.
Selections from "The Struggle" series by Peter Dallos: As a child in Hungary, Dallos survived the German occupation, the siege of Budapest and the Holocaust. Then came the repressive post war occupation by the Soviet Union. After the Hungarian revolution in 1956, he escaped and emigrated to the United States where he settled in Chicago. He is now an emeritus professor of neuroscience at Northwestern University.
Only fragments of his improbable and ultimately fortunate life are evident in the small, wall-hung sculptures on display at the Weisman. Part of a series Dallos calls "The Struggle," the polished steel and rough metal objects suggest the tensions between order and chaos, civilization and anarchy, rebirth and environmental degredation that are omnipresent in human society.
An earlier series called "War" more directly alluded to the horrors of W.W. II and the existential alienation that followed. Dallos' entire "War" series is now in the permanent collection of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D. C. (February 14 - March 22, 2015).
"Element Bleu 1" by Jean Dubuffet.
Artful Giving: Lillian (Babe) and Julius Davis: Longtime supporters of both Walker Art Center and the Weisman, the late Babe and Julius Davis were avid collectors of contemporary art as well. Between 1975 and 2013, they gave more than 85 artworks to the Weisman, virtually all of them dating from the post - W.W. II era when they were most deeply engaged in collecting.
Their taste ran to abstract and somewhat conceptual pieces including lithographs for unrealized sculpture projects by Robert Morris and a wall-hung sculpture by French artist Jean Dubuffet made of polyester resin covered with acrylic paint. Dubuffet made it based on doodles he scribbled while talking on the telephone.
About 15 of the Davis gifts are featured in a small show that offers a tidy sample of leading names of the era including Chuck Close, Helen Frankenthaler, Sol LeWitt, Louise Nevelson, Claes Oldenburg, Lucas Samaras, Jonathan Borofsky, Sol LeWitt, Bruce Nauman, George Segal, Brice Marden, James Kielkopf and Takeshi Kawashima. (February 28 - August 9, 2015)