This exhibition presents recent work by American artist Cheryl Pope, who uses a unique punched wool technique to create richly textured and colorful pieces that respond to the Western tradition of large-scale easel painting. Pope spent the formative decades of her artistic career in Chicago, where the Art Institute’s exceptional holdings of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, particularly by a group of artists collectively known as the Nabis, shaped here visual imaginary consciously and unconsciously. In this body of work, she is calling up that ostensibly familiar repertoire of visual motifs and formal concerns to create deeply personal reminiscences. In her own words, in making this work, Pope "turned to painting for a more sensual act of storytelling." "These new paintings," she has written, "are the memories of love and loss, and like memories, they are both fact and fiction; skewed, blurred, filled in and left empty." Pope’s images capture the significance of mundane moments, reveal the hidden dynamics of relationships, and explore the psychological power of interiors. In the process, they hold space, both literally and metaphorically, for her viewers to pause and consider the hidden meanings found in the most intimate and familiar locations of our own everyday lives.
Cheryl Pope: Variations on a Love Theme and its accompanying publication were produced by the Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, and includes an essay by Ulrich Curator, Ksenya Gurshtein. The Ulrich Museum is grateful to the Gallery for collaboration on this project and to the private lenders who have made an expanded version of this exhibition possible in Wichita.
This exhibition and associated programs are generously supported by the Carol E. Wilson Memorial for the Ulrich Museum; Don and Ellie Skokan; Keith and Georgia Stevens; and Jeff and Janice Van Sickle. The Ulrich is grateful for the ongoing support of Salon Circle members who make the Museum’s exhibitions and programs possible through their Salon memberships. We also receive funding for general operational support from the City of Wichita and Wichita State University.
Banner: Cheryl Pope, The Wind (detail), 2022. Needle-punched wool roving on cashmere, 60 x 70 in. Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery.