Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Museum of Art


February 10 – June 30, 2012

The themes of heaven, hell, and purgatory are frequently addressed in folk, outsider, and self-taught art in all media. The perspectives that these artists have taken range from illustrative, word-laden drawings to stylized, sculptural versions of figurative images that populate their conceptions of heaven and hell. Unlike academically trained artists, self-taught artists use the themes of heaven and hell not as concepts, but as visualizations that may be invented, drawn from popular media, or influenced by religious upbringing. The content may be benign or horrific, delusional or commentative on contemporary life, obsessive or minimal in design, but usually, on the face of the work, highly interpretative.

HEAVEN+HELL is an inspired collaboration of creative thinking and practical dynamics from two very different organizations: Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) and Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. The exhibition will serve as a bridge between the two museums with the Heaven portion of the exhibition taking place at LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Ave., and Hell taking place in Intuit’s Galleries at 756 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Co-curated by Molly Tarbell, Exhibition Curator, Loyola University Museum of Art, and Jan Petry, Exhibitions Chair at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, the exhibition features 165 works of art by American artists such as Minnie Evans (1892-1987), Howard Finster (1916-2001), William Edmondson (c. 1870-1951), Sister Gertrude Morgan (1900-1980), William Blayney (1918-1985), and Norbert Kox (1945 – ), among many others. This exhibition is accompanied by a 36-page catalog with an essay by Jerry Bleem, a Franciscan Friar, Catholic Priest, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The catalog is available at both venues for $12.

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Friday, February 10, 5:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Join LUMA + Intuit as we celebrate the opening of HEAVEN+HELL with a free shuttle running between the two venues. Food and beverages will be provided, including beer generously donated by Half Acre Beer Company.

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Image: William Blayney, Four Winds of Heaven, 1960, David T. Owsley Collection