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 animalsmore
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 ichthyologistand thenceforth an avid fishermanAmft 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 Smithwhose concrete sculptures he encountered
by accident on a fishing expedition in the early '60sare widely circulated and were published in Life Magazine (November, 1969).