Yinka Shonibare, Gentleman Walking a Tightrope, 2006.
Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, rope.
89 1/2 x 122 x 45 1/4 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum.
The Mary S. and Louis S. Myers Endowment Fund for Painting and Sculpture, Rory and Dedee O'Neil Acquisition Fund, The Richard and Alita Rogers Family Foundation, and Museum Acquisition Fund.
Helen Frankenthaler, Wisdom, 1969.
Acrylic on canvas.
94 in. x 112 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum.
Gift of the Mary S. and Louis S. Myers Family Collection in honor of Mrs. Galen Roush.
James Gobel, I’ll Be Your Friend, I’ll Be Your Love, I’ll Be Everything You Need, 2009
Felt, yarn, acrylic and rhinestones on canvas
72 in. x 56 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum.
Purchased with funds from the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation, Steven P. Schmidt and Richard J. Krochka, and Museum Acquisition Fund
Frank Stella, Diepholz, 1981
Enamel, acrylic, oil and metal flakes on aluminum
114 in. x 128 in. x 28 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum.
Purchased, by exchange, with funds from the John Lyon Collyer Fund and the Charles E. and Mabel M. Ritchie Memorial Foundation.
John Sokol, Man Eating Trees, 1989.
Tar and varnish on canvas.
72 in. x 96 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum.
Gift of the artist.
Chuck Close, Linda, 1975-1976.
Acrylic and graphite on gessoed linen.
108 in. x 84 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum.
Purchased with funds from an anonymous contribution, an anonymous contribution in honor of Ruth C. Roush, and the Museum Acquisition Fund.
Philip Guston, Opened Box, 1977, oil on canvas, 67 1/4 x 110 1/4 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum. Purchased, by exchange, with funds raised by the Masked Ball 1955-1963.
Single Elvis, 1963
Silkscreen ink and spray paint on linen
82 in. x 40 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum
Purchased with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the L. L. Bottsford Estate Fund
The World and the Woman, 1992
80 in. x 142 in. x 75 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum
Gift of Irving and Harriett Sands
Ursula von Rydingsvard
Cedar and graphite
Museum Acquisition Fund
Sky Hook, 1981
Acrylic and graphite on canvas
91 1/2 in. x 141 1/4 in. Collection of the Akron Art Museum
Gift of Mary Jane and Shattuck Hartwell
The Museum Collection: Sandra L. and Dennis B. Haslinger Family Foundation Galleries
The Akron Art Museum collection, currently on view in the Sandra L. and Dennis B. Haslinger Family Foundation Galleries, includes an electric array of late twentieth century Pop art, abstract expressionist, and surrealist art, as well as a strong emphasis on twenty-first century painting, sculpture, photography and new media.
The explosion of mass media throughout the 20th century—radio, movies, television and the internet—spread American popular culture around the world. The repetition and pervasiveness of commercial imagery in our visual culture has inspired many artists to pay homage to pop icons. “I just paint things I always thought were beautiful, things you see every day,” said Andy Warhol, whose portrayal of Elvis as an iconic western character, symbolized the growing intersection of popular culture and contemporary art.
Viola Frey’s large-scale ceramic sculpture, The World and the Woman, greets visitors as they enter in to our collection galleries. As with much of the art created in the late 20th and early 21st century, the sculpture is as much a sentinel as it is a statement about identity and gender equality. James Gobel’s I’ll Be Your Friend, I’ll Be Your Love, I’ll Be Everything You Need draws upon a 1980s pop song for its title and inspiration. Gobel’s performer reflects the enormous power celebrities wield in our cultural identity. Similarly, Yinka Shonibare addresses issues pertaining to race and class in his powerful figurative sculptures, which are typically presented as headless, removing any direct reference to their race. In his unsteady position, Gentleman Walking a Tightrope depicts the challenging balancing act that confronts the subject, referencing the West’s impact on Africa, and the precarious position he faces in navigating our social and political landscape.
Other works in the Haslinger Galleries record or convey physical motion and sensation. The lightness of the streams of paint in Gene Davis’s canvas gives visual presence to air. Curves and colors seem to weave in and out at dizzying speeds in Frank Stella’s Diepholz. The shear physical presence of Ursula Von Rydingsvard’s massive cedar sculpture seems poised as if it is shifting in the wind or like a wave that is about to reach its crested climax.