Dean Meeker: Myths and Legends
On view January 30 - April 11
Location: MOWA | West Bend
Born in Colorado in 1920, Dean Meeker became an
internationally known printmaker and sculptor. He received many major awards,
and in his forty-six years on the art faculty at the University of
Wisconsin–Madison, he became a legendary figure in Wisconsin.
Meeker was passionate about all media. In his first year at Madison, he taught
an unaccredited silk-screen course that led to the creation of the very first
university-affiliated course in serigraphy in 1950. In 1960, his novel blend of
serigraphy and etching resulted in the invention of the innovative Meeker/McFee
motorized etching press.
Meeker’s figurative art focuses on the strengths and foibles of humankind,
often drawing on the biblical and mythological subjects he learned about as a
student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at Northwestern
University. Many, such as Joseph’s story and the Tower of Babel, contained an
overt or implied morality tale. Meeker favored strong male heroes such as
Ulysses, but he also chronicled a summer he spent working in a carnival as a
teenager; Harry Houdini, Harlequin, and Mardi Gras offered related imagery. An
accomplished horseman, Meeker similarly depicted steeds famous in myth and
literature. Passion and relentless drive marked Meeker’s long career.
Our sincere thanks
to Diana Hanson for her help and guidance in producing this exhibition that
celebrates the hundredth anniversary of Meeker’s birth.