In a letter addressing his linoleum prints, Walter Anderson writes that his work is a reaction against the atom bomb. According to Anderson, stories and art have offered humanity a way of creating – not destroying – life. Walter Anderson carved his linoleum blocks during the 1940’s while he was living at Oldfields, his wife’s family home in Gautier, Mississippi. He transformed the attic of the house into his studio, carving his fantastical images into battleship linoleum in sweeping lines and bold forms. His large scale linoleum block carvings directly correspond to the period when Allied forces dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan to effectively end World War II. These traumatic world events and Anderson’s artwork were intimately linked for the artist – creation and inspiration versus destruction and annihilation.
On display at WAMA from September 17, 2017 through January 29, 2018
Opening Reception: September 28th from 6-8pm
For thirty-two years Memphis College of Art has followed in the footsteps of Walter Anderson and journeyed to Horn Island in search of inspiration. Each summer the college leads a group of students, faculty, alumni, and other artists out to the island for two weeks. The group camps primitively on the barrier island, exploring, creating artwork, and gleaning inspiration from the wild and windswept spit of land. This exhibition consists of fifty-seven works from the participants of Horn Island Trips 31 and 32. We invite you to join the Islanders and to experience Horn Island through their eyes.
This exhibition will be on display from May 4 through August 22, 2017. The opening reception for this exhibition will be held May 17 from 6-8pm.
Brothers of Craft features Peter, Walter, and Mac Anderson who were all talented craftsmen and artists. A craftsman is a highly skilled individual, working in a particular trade, who has the ability to transform his trade into a level of artistry through experience and refinement. Throughout this exhibition the three brothers are featured as individuals and as a collective. By displaying their work separately one is able to discern the individual ingenuity that is particular to each artist. Together, one can see the interconnection between the brothers’ artistic spirits that pulsate through each piece. Throughout their lives, the three supported, motivated, and worked alongside one another. Family, art and the bonds of brotherhood bound them together, giving them stability and purpose.
The Little Room served as Walter Anderson's sanctuary on the mainland during the latter years of his life. When he could, Anderson would spend his time on Horn Island, but he still had obligations on the mainland. To mentally transport himself to Horn Island, Walter Anderson painted the Little Room to portray a day on the island. He never allowed anyone but himself, some cats, and the occasional possum to enter the room. After his death in 1965, Walter's wife opened the door to the Little Room and found this spectacular mural. Covering the floor were thousands of paintings and drawings, some of which he had attempted to destroy in the fireplace and some he had carefully selected and stored in a chest in the corner. When you enter the little room, appreciate the genius of the artist and one man's journey to find peace with the world around him.