Show opens at Montana Museum of Art and Culture
MONTANA LIVING — The Montana Museum of Art and Culture is featuring the work of Jack Franjevic, an artist whose work traverses the expanse of European and American modernism.
Franjevic's work ranges from post-impressionist scenes recalling the work of Paul Gauguin to New York-style abstract expressionism and pop art. The title of "modernist" might seem apt, but it warrants scrutiny.
After serving in the Army Air Corps in World War II, Franjevic was stationed in Great Falls. After relocating to Illinois, where he attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he taught art at Grinnell College in Iowa, eventually returning to Montana to accept a professorship at the new College of Great Falls. During his tenure there, Franjevic taught many students, some of whom became creative titans in the state, including Bev and Steve Glueckert, James Todd and others.
Like fellow war veterans and Montana college professors Aden Arnold, Rudy Autio, Walter Hook and Peter Voulkos, Franjevic connected local artists to the world beyond the Rocky Mountain West. During his 1969 sabbatical tour of England, France, Germany and Italy, for example, he visited museums, obsessively photographing all the places he toured.
Franjevic invented a new medium, the Photostat, by transferring photo images to silkscreen and then onto canvas. If his earlier paintings seemed to comb European modernist styles, this new body of work combined realism with abstraction to transcend geographic space. Franjevic became a distinctly Montana modernist.
An opening reception for the exhibition will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, in UM’s PAR/TV Center. The MMAC also will host a roundtable discussion with Franjevic’s former students Bev and Steve Glueckert and James Todd from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, in the Masquer Theatre. The free public event will be moderated by Curator Dr. Jeremy Canwell. Docent tours will be available upon request.
The museum also is expanding its open hours. You can now visit the Meloy and Paxson Galleries from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday year-round.
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