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Muted colors like yellow, green, red, beige etc. of figures with eagle heads, people and other creatures

Frank Trankina
Lech, 2018
Oil on linen
20 x 32 inches

Yesterday We Said Tomorrow: Painting and Sculpture by Lora Fosberg,
Dan Oliver and Frank Trankina
August 29 - December 9, 2022
Peeler Art Center, University Gallery (upper level)

This exhibition presents the work of three artists who examine the ever-shifting landscape of reality. While each artist portrays the world around them in different ways, they all consider and explore the absurdity and surreality of our time. Dan Oliver and Frank Trankina are both directly inspired by prominent art movements such as Surrealism and the Chicago Imagists (specifically the work of Roger Brown, Ray Yoshida, Christina Ramberg), and others. Even though Lora Fosberg’s current textual art may not be as obviously rooted in visual representation as Oliver’s and Trankina’s, her use of humor, irony and personal narrative through the interplay of text and imagery reveals that she shares many of the same influences. Capturing the moment of "now", Fosberg’s work simultaneously evokes a sense of nostalgia in both the choice of texts and how they are represented. Nostalgia also runs through Trankina’s work. Employing kitsch figurines like actors in chromatically heightened stage-like tableaus, he creates scenes that seem playful and whimsical, yet upon further examination, are more narratively complex and unsettling. Inspired by Ray Yoshida, a mentor to many Chicago Imagists, and a collector of folk art and found objects, Trakina incorporates the sense of the absurd in his painted collection of odd-ball characters to create an almost silent graphic strip. Dan Oliver capitalizes upon the incorporation of the familiar in his use of archetypes from portraiture to architecture as he embeds these objects into dreamlike scenarios which often include floods and fire. This portrayal of a world on fire, or submerged in water asks the viewer to question what is stable, and what will survive these moments of change.

Yesterday We Said Tomorrow is an exhibition that offers insight into the creative practices of three artists who shared the same formative experiences and influences, transformed that common foundation into separate and personalized directions, and continued to be aware of and inspired by one another throughout their careers.

Artists Lora Fosberg, Dan Oliver, and Frank Trankina will be giving a presentation about their work on Monday, October 24th at 4:15 pm in the Peeler Auditorium.