MMFA hosts triple exhibition opening

Posted by Mark Wilder -  email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - On Sunday, April 11, 2010 from 2:30 to 4:30 P.M., The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts will host an exhibition opening of three exhibitions: Lost in Form, Found in Line: An Exhibition of Works by Robert Motherwell (1915-1991); Nicola Marschall and the Walker Family at Cedar Grove Plantation: A Mid-Nineteenth Century Painter in West Alabama and The Ink Drawings of Melissa B Tubbs. The affair will also provide an opportunity for guests to meet the artist, Melissa B. Tubbs.  Tubbs will be located in the Museum's Orientation Circle signing copies of the book Strokes of Genius in which her work is featured.
Lost in Form, Found in Line:  An Exhibition of Works by Robert Motherwell (1915-1991) will be on view at the Museum through June 27. Robert Motherwell was one of the great painter/printmakers of the mid-20th century, and a prominent figure in the movement known as Abstract Expressionism.  The exhibition contains examples of his works on paper—print multiples, monotypes and unique drawings—that explore his working process, and particularly the influence of his studio environment.  For this artist, the studio was a sanctuary which was self-sustaining; continually expansive, and revealing of the possibilities that a phrase or poem might provide for a work of art.  About 60 works will be included, along with photographs of Motherwell's studio "inspiration walls" and of the artist at work.  The exhibition is organized by the Jerald Melberg Gallery, Inc. in cooperation with the Dedalus Foundation.
Nicola Marschall and the Walker Family at Cedar Grove Plantation
A Mid-Nineteenth-Century Painter in West Alabama
will be on view at the Museum through June 20. In 1865, Prussian-born artist Nicola Marschall painted a full-length, posthumous portrait of a Civil War officer of the Confederate Army, First Lieutenant J. Mack Walker, C.S.A. The Museum acquired this work as a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hopson Owen in 1938.  Museum staff members have been researching this painting—the artist and the sitter—for a number of years, utilizing both scholarly resources as well as local and family histories. This exhibition is a visual summation of this research, which has established connections among the artist, the subject's family and their ancestral home, Cedar Grove, in Faunsdale, Alabama. The portraitist, Nicola Marschall, was an itinerant artist who lived at Cedar Grove prior to the Civil War, and for a period after the War when he painted portraits of members of the Walker family.  The exhibition will bring together family portraits, historical artifacts and the lore of this plantation-centered family and site to tell the story of art in the lives of West Alabamians in the 19th century. It will reveal relationships and the dynamics of art patronage within the context of this remarkable period in Alabama history.
The Ink Drawings of Melissa B. Tubbs will be on view at the Museum through June 20. A special display of 13 original ink drawings featuring Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts themes will be presented in the Wilson Orientation Circle in conjunction with the printing and sale of a selection of the artist's works in note card packages at the Museum Store.
Melissa B. Tubbs is an architectural portraitist.  She does not create architectural renderings; rather she uses architecture as a subject. She carefully organizes the composition, adjusts the lighting for dramatic purposes, and captures the solidity, strength, textures, surface finishes, and character of her subject with the stroke of a pen.
Pen and ink drawings require careful preparation, concentration, intensity, and error free execution.  Tubbs' process begins with a camera and a zoom lens.  She takes several photographs of the overall subject, and detail photographs at different exposures to document information in the area of sunlight and shadow.  The basic design is sketched on paper with a graphite pencil. Concentrating on one small section at a time, she builds up layers of ink and depth through a combination of hatched and crosshatched marks until the subject is adequately defined. After all areas have been worked, she reinforces overall shadow patterns to pull all the individual areas together into a unified drawing.
Melissa B. Tubbs has been recognized through numerous commissions, dozens of publications, and inclusion in a variety of exhibitions from Montgomery to New York.
The Museum's hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.; Thursdays 10 A.M. to 9 P.M.; and Sundays Noon to 5 P.M. For more information, contact the Museum at 334.240.4333 or by e-mail at

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