Sheldon Museum of Art


Date of this Version



Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1997-98


All images are copyright by the original artists. Publication copyright 1998 The Regents of the University of Nebraska


The Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden is pleased to present The Art of Abstraction. the eleventh annual Sheldon Statewide exhibition. Sheldon Statewide is a unique collaboration between the Sheldon Gallery. the Nebraska Art Association-a nonprofit volunteer membership organization dedicated to the advancement of the visual arts in Nebraska--and the efforts and cooperation of the many Nebraska communities that serve as exhibition venues. After a decade of activity. in which it has participated in the outreach mission of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. this highly successful touring program has collaborated with the Nebraska Department of Education and the Getty Education Institute for the Arts in Los Angeles through the Prairie Visions teacher education program. This exhibition marks the beginning of what will certainly be another decade of successful educational programming In the arts.

The mission of the Sheldon Gallery is the collection. exhibition. and interpretation of 19th-20th-century American art and the Gallery has achieved a national reputation for these holdings that also includes one of the most important campus-wide sculpture collections in the country. Important to the Gallery's mission. therefore. is a focus on abstraction as one of the most significant developments in 20th-century American art. And although the Sheldon Gallery has included selected abstract works in past Sheldon Statewide exhibitions. The Art of Abstraction represents the first comprehensive survey of abstract art in the Sheldon Statewide series. It seems appropriate. as we approach the 21st century. that perhaps the major aesthetic development of this century is presented to a wider viewing audience. And the 1997-98 Sheldon Statewide. initiating a new decade of activity. is an ideal occasion to survey the major artistic accomplishments of the 20th century.

The Art of Abstraction reveals the staggering diversity and aesthetic richness of abstract art in the U.S. throughout this century. From Arthur B. Carles's colorfully expressionistic landscape of 1908-10 to Mary Beth Fogarty·s naturalistic collage of 1983. these selections trace the development of abstraction for nearly one-hundred years. Not only are nine decades represented in this exhibition of twenty works. but the many visual languages that abstraction spawned are featured as well. providing a rare opportunity to experience. in one exhibition. a comprehensive survey of the development of abstract art in the United States.