Floyd D. Tunson – Son of Pop Retrospective at Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center presents Floyd D. Tunson: Son of Pop, a career retrospective one of the most highly regarded and influential artists and art teachers in the Rocky Mountain region over the past four decades. The exhibition runs through Jan. 20.
Tunson was born in 1947 in Denver; he lives and works in Manitou Springs. He taught art at Palmer High School from 1971-2000, instructing and influencing over 5,000 students during his tenure.
This is Tunson’s first major survey of his life’s work to-date addressing concepts such as cultural identity, American social history, pop culture, art history, and the beauty of pure abstraction. The exhibition centers upon the bold installations Hearts and Minds, Delta Queen, Haitian Dream Boats, and Pop-up Rodeo and is organized to reflect the confluence of Tunson’s themes and media over four decades.
“Tunson is a master of visual satire, but, from the moment we met, I also sensed his gift of cool deliberation.” – Poet Yusef Komunyakaa.
The Pop in the title refers both the artist’s father (Curtis Oscar David) and the artist’s affection for Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. The exhibition reflects the scope of Tunson’s career and work. He has achieved a rich and diverse body of work via media such as painting, sculpture, photography, and printmaking – often combining the language of these various media in single works.
Other works in the exhibition relate to the bold installations, yet speak of their own aesthetic and conceptual concerns. Included are the Endangered series’ beautifully-rendered portraits of African-American youth, the Nubian series’ abstract dialogue with the crossroads of Africa, and the Synchro-Mesh series’ reflection of Tunson’s travels in the American south. Tunson’s Remix and Universal Bunnies series extend images and themes the artist has addressed since the 1970s with an equally critical and reverent eye.
Tunson says that from one direction he sees “the terror of chaos, man’s inhumanity to man, mortality, and the unknown. From another direction, the human condition seems like a magnificent, orderly evolution of extraordinary beauty” and he states that the totality of his work reflects his “quest to comprehend and express these forces and their interconnectedness.”
“You will experience all the beauty, intensity, humor, and toughness in Tunson’s work.” — Blake Milteer, FAC Museum Director said. “Floyd looks to the challenge and provocation of some tough subjects but, perhaps necessarily, interweaves them with craftsmanship and expression of astounding beauty. Our goal has been to curate an exhibition that profoundly celebrates that dynamic relationship.”
- GO! cover story … Edgy Vision, Absolute Craftsmanship … “Impressive”
- INDY feature story … Beautiful Disaster … “Son of Pop could prove a breakout exhibit”
- INDY interview … More from Floyd Tunson … about his life, artwork, and new show
- Denver’s Westword … Voice Places … “Always adventurous and always ambitious”
- Denver’s 5280 … Best Bets … “highly regarded and influential”
- KRCC’s The Big Something … Son of Pop … a “stunning body of aesthetically and politically complex work”