Local Art Legend Hits the Road

Good news from the FAC and for our locality:

Tunson’s Son of Pop Traveling

To Albuquerque and Billings

COLORADO SPRINGS (April 17, 2014)  — The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is thrilled to travel our exhibition Floyd D. Tunson: Son of Pop under a generous grant from the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF). This magnificent exhibition has been praised by the public and critics alike. For Artforum, critic Kyle MacMillan described Tunson's work as "an explosion of ideas and emotions, unhindered by any single stylistic mode," and of the exhibition, Michael Paglia wrote for Art, Ltd. that "Son of Pop highlight(s) Tunson's relentless visual intelligence and thoughtful political views through the brilliant pieces that constitute his more than four decade-long career."

Son of Pop is scheduled to travel to 516 Arts, Albuquerque, N.M., from Sept. 27 – Dec. 13, 2014 and the Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, Mont., from March 12 - June 24, 2015.

For over four decades, Floyd D. Tunson (born 1947) has created powerful works that address compelling and relevant social and political themes, but which also look to aspects of pure beauty, popular culture, art history and philosophy. Throughout the artist’s long career, he has achieved a rich and diverse body of work via media such as painting, sculpture, photography, and printmaking – often combining the language of these various media in single works.

“Floyd looks to the challenge and provocation of some tough subjects, but, perhaps necessarily, interweaves them with craftsmanship and expression of astounding beauty. Our goal has been to curate an exhibition that profoundly celebrates that dynamic relationship. Son of Pop has been among the FAC's most exciting and memorable exhibitions and we are delighted that the wonderful communities of Albuquerque and Billings will be able to experience it,” says Blake Milteer, CSFAC Museum Director and Chief Curator.

Son of Pop is the first major survey of Tunson’s work to-date and is accompanied by a full-color catalogue with essays by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, Assistant Curator Joy Armstrong, and myself. The exhibition has garnered extensive media coverage with reviews in Artforum, Art Ltd., The Denver Post, Westword (review and "Best Retrospective Exhibition" award), The Colorado Springs Gazette, the Independent, and PBS's Arts District program.

The travelling exhibition is comprised of 40 specially-selected works from Son of Pop's premier at the Fine Arts Center in the autumn of 2012. This exhibition remains expansive in its scope of Tunson’s career and in the depth and dynamic range of his work. As the artist often works in cycles of idea and image, the show reflects various bodies of work through which Tunson has addressed concepts such as cultural identity, American social history, pop culture, art history, and even the beauty of pure abstraction. The works in this exhibition center upon the imagery and themes found in the magnificent installation Hearts and Minds: the Endangered series’ beautifully-rendered portraits of African-American youth, the Nubian series’ abstract dialogue with the crossroads of Africa, and the Synchro-Mesh series’ reflection of Tunson’s experiences the American South. Tunson’s recent Remix series and other select works look to a synthesis of popular culture and art historical imagery with the artist’s equally critical and reverent eye. Tunson says that from one direction he sees “the terror of chaos, man’s inhumanity to man, mortality, and the unknown. From another direction, the human condition seems like a magnificent, orderly evolution of extraordinary beauty” and he states that the totality of his work reflects his “quest to comprehend and express these forces and their interconnectedness.”

Tunson received his BA and MA from Adams State College. After serving with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, he returned to his home state of Colorado where he earned a reputation as one of the region’s most influential teachers for three decades. Simultaneously, Tunson continued to create his own work and exhibit nationally. His work is included in the collections of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Denver Art Museum, the Kaiser-Permanente Corporation, the Walter O. Evans Collection of African-American Art, and many private collections nationwide.