Elevating an artist

The exhibition now installed at the Beard and Weil Galleries is drawing attention for the persuasive way in which it invites viewers to consider scultpor Hugh Townley’s lifetime of work.

The show, “Hugh Townley: The Wizard with Wood,” earned a rave review from Providence Sunday Journal arts writer Bill Van Siclen, who called it a “terrific exhibit.” Townley, who died in February, was a professor at Brown University. Professor of Art Ann Murray curated the show, which will run through Dec. 1, with Vermont gallery owner Anni McKay.

“He was incredibly inventive,” [Professor Murray] says. “I’m not sure you’d put him in the very top tier of postwar American artists. But if he’s not at the top, he’s definitely near it.”

Certainly, the Wheaton show makes a strong case for upgrading Townley’s art-world stature. Though his work draws on a wide range of sources — everything from Pop Art and Minimalism to African and pre-Columbian sculpture — the results never feel forced or derivative.

Time still remains to see the exhibition, but don’t wait. The show will be open through the end of the day on Monday, Dec. 1.  Gallery hours are Monday to Saturday 12:30-4:40 p.m., though it will be closed Wednesday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Nov. 30 for Thanksgiving break.

Source: The Providence Sunday Journal