Woodland Pattern Book Center
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  Gallery Exhibition
from A Robert Amft Bestiary
A Robert Amft Bestiary
July 19 through August 29, 2004

Artists Reception August 1, 1 to 4 pm

2 pm Terri Kapsalis reading Animal Poems by Marianne Moore and others

Woodland Pattern Book Center
720 East Locust St.

This exhibition will feature paintings and sculptures by Chicago artist Robert Amft. Over the course of his extraordinary 70-year career, Amft has repeatedly returned to images of animals—more conventional artistic subjects, like birds, tigers and horses, as well as more obscure artistic fauna, including bats, snakes, gorillas and centipedes.

Initially interested in becoming an ichthyologist—and thenceforth an avid fisherman—Amft graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1940, and he's exhibited and won many honors and awards since then, including a prestigious purchase prize at the Butler Institute (1958), a piece in the Osaka Triennial in 1997 and entries in the International Watercolor Show at the Art Institute of Chicago dating back to 1938.

Amft's gentle sense of humor and playful curiosity betray an early interest in self-taught art, which he says was as important an influence on him as the impressionists, post-impressionists and expressionists. Indeed, his photographs of the great Wisconsin self-taught artist Fred Smith—whose concrete sculptures he encountered by accident on a fishing expedition in the early '60s—are widely circulated and were published in Life Magazine (November, 1969).

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