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Exhibition spotlights Louisville's artistic past, present and future

by UofL Today last modified Mar 10, 2011 04:35 PM

Lacquered kinetic sculptures and large-scale geometric abstractions are among the items in a new exhibit that opens this month at the Cressman Center for Visual Arts Gallery.

Exhibition spotlights Louisville's artistic past, present and future

Absurd Zine, 1984, oil on canvas

"Leo Wrye Zimmerman: Return to Main Street," will open March 18, with a 6 p.m.-8 p.m. reception.

Highlights also include a 13-foot tall cast aluminum door panel made for the Louisville Public Library in collaboration with sculptor Barney Bright, and a 3,100-page autobiography that the artists worked on until his death in 2008. 

Zimmerman, who also worked under the pseudonym Leo Wrye, was an artist and eccentric who helped to reinvigorate the Louisville arts scene in the 1950s after having studied art for several years in post-World War II Paris, and worked alongside Victor Vasarely, hailed as father of Op-art, and Edgard Pillet, a prominent advocate of post-war geometric abstraction.

In 1954, Zimmerman returned to Louisville and founded an arts supply store and school, Society for the Arts in Louisville, Arts in Louisville magazine, Arts House in Louisville and an arts festival.

His work prompted Life magazine and Readers Digest to send reporters to cover the city's cultural reawakening.

In conjunction with the exhibit and in the spirit of Zimmerman's contributions to the local arts community, the Cressman will have a panel discussion on the future of the arts in Louisville Friday, April 1, at 5:30 p.m. during the First Friday Trolley Hop. Panelists will include Joseph Fitzpatrick, Peter Morrin, CJ Pressman and Alice Gray Stites. Exhibit curator, McKenna Graham, will moderate.

The exhibition will run through Saturday, April 16.

Gallery hours are Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; and 1st Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

All Cressman Center events are free and open to the public.

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