Thursday, April 02, 2009

Your Pal, Cliff

Tonight's the opening for the Smart Museum's exhibition, Your Pal, Cliff: Selections from the H.C.Westermann Study Collection. H.C. Westermann arrived at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1947 after having served in the U.S. Marines during World War II. He enjoyed building things from wood when he was younger and practiced acrobatics when he was in the military. These experiences influenced the body of work he produced later in life.

The Smart Museum has a large study collection (largely donated by his wife and friends) that includes many of his prints, drawings, tools, correspondence, and sketchbooks. Westermann enjoyed illustrating his letters to friends, like the one pictured on the right. This was a short, but to the point, letter to his friend and art dealer, Allan Frumpkin, asking him to send him some money because of creditors.

Westermann was stationed at sea during World War II and witnessed the deaths of fellow Marines during kamikaze attacks. These experiences were depicted in drawings and sculptures that were part of his Death Ship series.

April 2 – September 6, 2009
Smart Museum of Art
at The University of Chicago
5550 S. Greenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

No comments: