‘Slab City’ rendezvous at Farnsworth

Apr 08, 2019
“Slab City Rendezvous” is a 1964 oil on canvas with wood and cardboard by Red Grooms, from the collection of Drs. Debra E. Weese-Mayer and Robert N. Mayer.

ROCKLAND — On Saturday, April 13, the Farnsworth Art Museum will open a major exhibition of close to 40 works by 13 artists whose work contributed to Maine’s important place in the evolution of contemporary art. Entitled “Slab City Rendezvous,” this exhibition will include works by Rudy Burckhardt, Lois Dodd, Rackstraw Downes, Red Grooms, Mimi Gross, Yvonne Jacquette, Alex Katz, Neil Welliver and Bernard Langlais, among others. Slab City is the name of the road in the Midcoast village of Lincolnville on which Katz and Dodd bought an old farmhouse in 1954, beginning the summer gatherings of these artist friends. The show will be on display in the museum’s Crosman Gallery through February 9, 2020.

“Slab City Rendezvous,” whose title comes from a 1964 painting by Red Grooms, features the work of a group of young New York-based avant-garde artists who in the years following World War II discovered the pleasures of summering and working in Maine. They became some of the most successful and important artists of their generation, charting new directions for contemporary art. Their work presented a return to realism and figuration in the face of Abstract Expressionism, the style then dominating the increasingly important center of international contemporary art in New York. Their accomplishments formed another chapter in the story of Maine’s ongoing role in American art.

This summer, the Farnsworth Art Museum will present the annual Maine in America Award to Rudy Burckhardt, Lois Dodd, Rackstraw Downes, Red Grooms, Mimi Gross, Yvonne Jacquette, Alex Katz and Neil Welliver for their outstanding contribution to Maine’s role in American art. The presentation will take place during the museum’s 2019 Summer Gala, on Friday, July 19, on the Farnsworth campus.

“Slab City Rendezvous” is made possible thanks in part to the generous support of the Arete Foundation. The primary media sponsor of Slab City Rendezvous is Maine Home + Design. For more information, contact Farnsworth Communications Officer David Troup at 390-6009 or dtroup@farnsworthmuseum.org. For hours and admission information, visit farnsworthmuseum.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Christine Dunkle can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 108; or arts@villagesoup.com.

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