Willem Volkersz: The View From Here: A 25-Year Retrospective
March 2 2023 - June 24 2023
Note: This exhibition contains neon lights which may affect those who are photosensitive.
Montana-based artist Willem Volkersz (b. 1939) is a significant contemporary artist known for his neon and paint-by-number-style installations. He was a pioneer in the use of neon in art and developed early and sustaining loves for photography, travel, American roadside culture, Americana, and Folk and Visionary Art. Volkersz came to the United States from Holland in 1953, after the devastation of World War II, and brought with him a rich history that is reflected in his works of art. Volkersz has often said that he has an immigrant’s fascination with America, and as a teenager, he began hitchhiking and driving throughout the American West, camera in hand. The artworks featured in The View from Here were produced over the past 25 years and draw upon the artist’s eight decades of life experience. They touch upon his early life in Holland under Nazi occupation, his immigration to America, and his current life in the Western United States. The artworks also suggest the ways these personal experiences and passions connect to wider social issues of enduring relevance for everyone.
Boise Weekly - Through Immigrant Eyes: The Art of Willem Volkersz - November 3, 2022
Missoulian - Willem Volkersz: A decades-long exploration of America and art - May 18, 2023
Friday, June 2 from 5 to 8 PM - First Friday celebration with Willem Volkersz
Saturday, June 3 from 10 - Coffee with the Artist
Saturday, June 3 from 11 to 12:30 PM - Willem Volkersz: Panel Discussion with Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson and Brandon Reintjes
About the Artist
Willem Volkersz studied art and architecture at the University of Washington before earning an MFA in painting at Mills College in Oakland, CA. After teaching at the Kansas City Art Institute for 18 years, he went to Montana State University-Bozeman in 1986 to direct the School of Art and taught there until his retirement in 2001. His work has been featured in 46 solo exhibitions and in over 200 group shows in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, China, and Taiwan. He is the recipient of many awards, including a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, grants from the Mellon Foundation and Gottlieb Foundation, and a 2020 Montana Governor’s Arts Award. He has been a visiting artist and lecturer at almost 100 institutions in the United States, Canada, Europe, and China.
Image: Willem Volkersz and work-in-progress, Vincent in Paris, 2023.
Exhibition Catalog Available!
The pieces contained in this catalog were produced over the past 25 years and draw upon the artist’s eight decades of life experience. They touch upon his early life in Holland under Nazi occupation, his immigration to America, and his current life in the Western United States. They incorporate his love of travel, collecting, and popular, folk, and visionary art. They share his love of domesticity, the beauty of the outdoors, as well as the cultural abundance of big cities. The works also suggest how these personal experiences and passions connect to wider social and political issues of enduring relevance for us all. This catalog contains essays by Bonnie Laing-Malcomson, Gordon McConnell, and Brandon Reintjes.
Published by the Missoula Art Museum.
Softcover, 67 pages, 9 x 12," $25Buy It Now!
The Missoula Art Museum is grateful for the support of The Wren, a sponsor of the Willem Volkersz exhibition!