MacRostie Art Center (MAC) in Grand Rapids, MN is pleased to host The Burning Years, an exhibition of work by internationally recognized artist Gendron Jensen, in June and July of 2013. Jensen spent his early career living and working in Itasca County where, on a former mink farm just south of Grand Rapids, he developed his skill as an artist and his passion for drawing configurations of bones. He currently lives in New Mexico and returned to northern Minnesota for the exhibition’s opening on Friday, June 7, 2013.
The works on display at MacRostie Art Center form an early career retrospective — over forty pieces created between 1967 and 1988 will be presented. Jensen was sustained during this period by the support of local art collectors and held regular community exhibitions in northern Minnesota as he worked to make a living as an artist. As his work gained recognition he was featured in exhibitions and galleries in Minneapolis and Chicago, and his artwork appeared in publications such as The Georgia Review, Smithsonian Magazine, and This Body is Made of Camphor and Gopherwood – a book of poems by Robert Bly. In the late 1980s Jensen began a fellowship in Washington D.C. and later moved to New Mexico to marry artist Christine Taylor Patten.
Jensen continues to live and create his work in New Mexico and has since collaborated with printmakers at the Tamarind Institute, scientists studying wolf and moose populations on Isle Royale, and the Smithsonian Institute for a study of blue whale relics. His drawings and stone lithographs can be found in collections at major institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Smithsonian Institution. The MacRostie Art Center exhibition draws entirely from works held in private collections in northern Minnesota and is a homecoming for Jensen, whose ties to the area run broad and deep.
“The Burning Years is a meditation on the artistic beginnings and early career of Gendron Jensen,” states MAC Executive Director Katie Marshall, “but it is also a celebration of community and the impact that individual art collectors and supporters of the arts can have on the creative process and the livelihood of artists. MacRostie Art Center is a natural home such an exhibition: it has been a presence in the Itasca County area for over 50 years and counts among its members and friends the many collectors who have loaned artwork for this endeavor.”
The exhibition will be open for the months of June and July 2013. A limited edition lithograph has been created by the artist to commemorate the exhibition and is for sale at MacRostie Art Center. A fifty-page exhibition catalog featuring essays by Robert Silberman and Mary Abbe as well as poetry by Susan Hawkinson and Loree Miltich is also available for purchase.
The Gendron Jensen exhibition at MacRostie Art Center is made possible in part by support from the Blandin Foundation, Grand Rapids State Bank, Hawkinson Construction, and Timberlake Lodge. The project is also made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and an appropriation from the State Legislature.