John Mellencamp: Paintings and Assemblages | Culture & Leisure


The Museum of Art-DeLand will present a solo exhibition of works by John Mellencamp, which will open on January 14.

Best known for his music, Mr. Mellencamp is an accomplished painter who has been earnestly pursuing his art for over 35 years. Solo exhibitions include the Butler Institute of American Art, Tennessee State Museum, Museum of Art-DeLand, Morris Museum of Art, and three exhibitions, including a duo exhibition with Robert Rauschenberg, at the ACA Galleries in New York.

“Seven years ago, the Museum of Art-DeLand presented one of John Mellencamp’s first museum exhibitions, and it remains one of the most visited in our more than 70-year history,” the director said. General Pattie Pardee in a press release. “Fan curiosity may have driven the numbers initially, but his undeniable artistic skill created new audiences for his paintings.

Mr. Mellencamp is such a prolific artist that he has more than enough work for the museum to welcome him back after seven years; in fact, this exhibition features mostly new works, with only a handful of the 50 or so pieces that were painted before 2020, according to Ms Pardee.

“It’s an intriguing look at an artist’s creative output during the pandemic,” she said.

As his musical career flourished, he continued to paint and developed a style of portraiture influenced by the German Expressionists, especially Max Beckmann and Otto Dix. Mr. Mellencamp’s imagery draws from the same sources as his music; the struggles of working man and woman, oppressive authority and social struggle. Like his music, the paintings are carefully composed according to the structural requirements of harmony, rhythm and order.

Born and raised in Seymour, Ind., Mr. Mellencamp is an acclaimed singer-songwriter and musician as well as a lifelong activist. He began to paint at an early age, influenced by this mother, also an artist. He studied at the Student Art League in New York, where he discovered the work of 20th century modernists.

As his musical career flourished, Mr. Mellencamp began painting seriously in the 1980s with an affinity for portraiture influenced by the works of Otto Dix and Max Beckmann.

John Mellencamp: Paintings and Assemblages will be on view through March 27 at 100 N. Woodland Blvd.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 and free for children under 12 and all students at Volusia County Schools and Stetson University.


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