Show Preview | Gilcrease Museum: Rendezvous

Tulsa, OK
April 18-July 14

Martin Grelle, Wedding Preparations, oil, 60 x 50.

Martin Grelle, Wedding Preparations, oil, 60 x 50.

This story was featured in the April 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art April 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art April 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

For more than three decades, the Gilcrease Museum’s annual Rendezvous show has honored many of today’s most prominent artists who paint and sculpt images of the American West. This month the tradition continues with the 2013 Rendezvous Artists’ Retrospective Exhibition and Art Sale, featuring works by painter Martin Grelle and sculptor Herb Mignery.

Mignery displays 24 retrospective pieces from as far back as the 1970s, as well as 10 more-recent works, in the show. While Mignery’s work is often referred to as cowboy art, the sculptor prefers to describe his work as early Americana. “My work is more than just cowboys,” Mignery explains. “I’ve dealt with so many subjects in my life because I find beauty and inspiration in many things.” Indeed, Mignery’s sculptures portray everything from rodeos to prairie life, and they feature animals and people from all walks of life. “Most of my inspiration rises from the ‘old West’ or ‘old frontier’ because I was born and raised there,” he says. “I’ve always admired the spirit and humility of the pioneers … I find so much heroism and courage in the way they endured such a harsh lifestyle without complaint.” The artist says he feels very honored not only to be in the Rendezvous show but also to be showing with Grelle.

Herb Mignery, It’s A Cinch. It’s Trouble., bronze, 21 x 30 x 18.

Herb Mignery, It’s A Cinch. It’s Trouble., bronze, 21 x 30 x 18. Photo: Mel Schockner

Grelle is equally enthusiastic about the event. “First, I have the honor of showing in the Gilcrease Museum with my good friend Herb Mignery, and second, I get to show some of my latest pieces,” he says. Grelle presents six new works in the show, in addition to 20 retrospective pieces spanning 30 years of his career—including several paintings that have never been shown to the public before. “I try to grow each year, so collectors will probably see subtle changes in the way I handle the paint, as well as variations in my use of colors,” Grelle says, adding, “I’ve done more large figure paintings in the past several years compared to my early years, and I’m including that in the new work.” The retrospective features many of the American Indian paintings that Grelle is known for, but also several cowboy-themed pieces and plein-air paintings of Europe. “I’m really excited about the opportunity to show this many of my paintings together for the first time, with what I hope to be a whole host of collectors, family, and friends,” Grelle says.

The show opens on Thursday, April 18, followed by several opening-weekend events. Mignery kicks things off on Friday with an Artist Talk at 10:30 a.m., then Grelle takes the stage at 1:30 p.m. to discuss his own work. The sale opens at 6 p.m. that evening (call 918.596.2757 to request an invitation). Finally, a brunch with the artists is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday (call 918.596.2720 for reservations). The exhibition and sale continues through July 14. —Lindsay Mitchell

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Featured in the April 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art April 2013 digital download
Southwest Art April 2013 print issue
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