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Jeffrey T. Larson: Domestic Space

June 9 - September 18, 2016


The Tweed Museum of Art (TMA) at the University of Minnesota Duluth is displaying the first exhibition in the Northland of paintings by classically-trained artist and native of Two Harbors Jeffrey T. Larson.

Grounded in traditions hundreds of years old and based on careful observation, Jeffrey Larson's realist paintings are a rare form in the world of contemporary art. Visitors to the exhibition at the Tweed Museum of Art can expect a rich introduction to classical realism, a term invented by his mentor, Richard Lack (1928-2009). The exhibition presents thirty works, including portraits and still life paintings created in Larson's studio during winter months, as well as figures in nature which he paints en plein air, in full summer sun. The "wow" factors in these works are the meticulously rendered colors, tones and textures of still life objects, which range from shiny new to age-mellowed, and the surprising range of intense color in his light-drenched outdoor scenes. (right: Jeffrey Larson, Rose Print, 2000, oil on canvas, 30 x 24'' Image courtesy of Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth)

"Technique -- learning to see and paint honestly and accurately -- is important but not the final goal. Art begins in the editing, the searching out and expressing of only the aspects of the subject that you find beautiful -- in capturing that which captured you." -Jeffrey Larson, The Artist's Magazine, Fall 2010

Since 1990, Larson has worked in a renovated school in rural Maple, Wisconsin, where he and his wife Heidi have raised three children. Represented by numerous galleries and held in private collections across the U.S., Larson's art has been featured in a variety of national publications, and the artist is a frequent guest lecturer. This exhibition marks the first time Larson's work will be shown in the Northland, and the Tweed Museum of Art will release Larson's first museum publication in conjunction with this exhibition.

Jeffrey Larson studied from 1980-84 with Richard Lack (1928-2009) at Atelier Lack in Minneapolis. Lack is credited with preserving and passing on classical techniques and teaching methods which extend back to the master-apprentice system of 17th-19th century European academies. To expand his artistic education, Larson also studied anatomy at the University of Minnesota, bronze-casting at private foundries, and traditional paintings in museums in Europe and the U.S.

Larson taught evening classes while studying at Atelier Lack; then he became the Assistant Director and Head Instructor at Atelier LeSueur, a branch school. Along with his son Brock, who is also a painter, Larson will open the Great Lakes Academy of Fine Art in Duluth. Its home is the former St. Peter's Church (818 West Third St.), built in 1926 by Italian stonemasons in what was then Duluth's "Little Italy." Opportunities for focused study of classical painting methods are rare, and the residential school expects to attract students from all over the country. Jeffrey Larson states, "Its primary focus will be on the classical training of talented and motivated young artists, individuals whose desire is to become full-time, professional fine artists. Eventually we will also be offering part-time classes and seminars to anyone interested in learning the classical methods."


Exhibition-related programs

Jeffrey Larson will give gallery talks at the Tweed Museum on July 16 and August 27, 2-4pm.

On September 10, 1-4:30pm, the public is invited to tour the Great Lakes Academy of Fine Art, and see a painting demonstration by Jeffrey Larson.


Biography: Jeffrey T. Larson

Jeffrey T. Larson is a nationally prominent artist, known particularly for his realist still life, figure, and portrait paintings. He was born in Two Harbors, MN on July 19, 1962 and was raised in suburban Minneapolis/St. Paul. Between 1980 and 1984, Jeffrey Larson was trained in the manner of the Old Masters at Atelier Lack, a studio/school founded by Richard Lack (1928-2009) whose traditions and training methods reach back through Impressionism to 18th century French academies. Larson deepened his education by studying anatomy at the University of Minnesota (1983), art in European museums (1987), and bronze casting and finishing at private foundries (1988).

Jeffrey Larson and his wife Heidi met when he was an instructor at Atelier LeSueur. Since 1990, they have lived in a renovated school in rural Maple, Wisconsin, where they raised and homeschooled their three children: Brock, McKenzie, and Sophia Rose.

Jeffrey Larson's art has won many awards, including American Artist magazine's Annual Awards 1st Place in 2013, 2012, and 2009; and First, Second, and Third awards in the Art Renewal Center's International Salons. His paintings are shown at these galleries: Allison Collins Fine Art, Orleans, MA and Helena Fox Fine Art, Charleston, SC. Larson is frequently invited to lecture, demonstrate, and consult about traditional techniques and atelier training.

In 2016, the Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth organized the artist's first solo museum exhibition and publication.

Along with being a prolific artist, Jeffrey Larson has taught traditional techniques at Atelier LeSueur, Excelsior, MN (1984-86); the University of Minnesota (1986); and Atelier Lack (1983-85).

Larson and his son Brock, who studied for five years at Atelier Lack, will operate a school together to teach traditional drawing and painting techniques in late 2016. Called the Great Lakes Academy of Fine Art, it is housed in the former St. Peter's Church in Duluth, MN. Jeffrey and Heidi Larson, along with their son Brock, are currently renovating the historic St. Peter's Church in Duluth and converting it into what will be the Great Lakes Academy of Fine Art. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.


(above: Jeffrey Larson, Fish on Bowl, 2006, oil on canvas, 12 x 11 1/2'' Image courtesy of Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth)


(above: Jeffrey Larson, The White Sheet, 2006, oil on canvas, 30 x 30" Image courtesy of Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth)

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