Wendell Arneson

January 30 - March 6, 2021


Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Northfield, MN artist, Wendell Arneson. Arneson was a professor of fine art at St. Olaf College for 37 years, until his retirement in 2015. He has exhibited his work throughout the region for over 40 years. His paintings are part of numerous collections including Ford Motor Company, Prudential Life Insurance, 3M Corporation, US Bank, General Motors Corporation, Princeton University and the Hillstrom Museum of Art.

Known for his expressionist oil paintings, Arneson continues to explore themes of iconography and spirituality. Included in this exhibition will be large, exuberant canvases as well as a series of small, intense oil on paper paintings. Arneson’s bold, primary color palette and expressive brushwork combine to invigorate the paintings. Provocative mark-making, mysterious symbols and Cubist-like compositions draw viewers in, heightening their sense of inquiry. Of his paintings, Arneson has written:

I am interested in work that resides in both objective and non-objective worlds. I am equally attracted to gestures and non-descriptive marks as well as the power and ambiguity of symbols and images. Mixed media drawing inhabits a place between the known and the unknown.

This work draws from an inventory of images that make multiple, yet varied references allowing for content to shuffle, reinvent, and remake itself. Art, for me, does not provide answers but rather provokes questions and seeks possibilities. I am an image-maker and interested in the intersection of figuration and abstraction.

The “Spring Creek and Gatekeeper Series” is an environmentally conscious body of abstract paintings.  Land images honor the specific location while also seeking multiple layers of entrance and ambiguity for the viewer.  The images are imaginatively less certain and provoke a visual journey of transformation.  What matters most is a painterly dialogue between image, shape, color, tactile surface, and space.  The end result, the painting, evokes a journey of discovery and imagining.

“Seek clarity while honoring mystery and ambiguity”