Summer of Cloar 

Memphians who think they're familiar with the work of artist Carroll Cloar may be surprised by the wide variety of works displayed throughout the region during "The Summer of Cloar," a multivenue celebration of the artist's centennial. Cloar is a complicated painter who dabbled in realism, surrealism, magical realism, pointillism, and expressionism, sometimes all at once. When asked to choose a representative piece in the Brooks Museum's comprehensive, five-gallery exhibit "The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and The American South," curator Stanton Thomas gravitates to Gibson Bayou Anthology, a painting of ghosts standing by their graves, inspired by the narrative poem Spoon River Anthology, about the occupants of a cemetery who are given the opportunity to share their secrets and desires.

"Cloar loved literature, and this was his visual analogue to Spoon River Anthology," Thomas says. "Gibson Bayou's church is adjacent to where Cloar grew up. He picked dewberries so he knew all of these people in the painting."

Thomas points to various people in the painting. "This little girl is Odor Hayes — and yes, that's her real name. She gave Cloar smallpox. He survived, and she didn't. This man was killed in a gunfight, because he was arguing with another man over a girl. The woman is Ida M. Funkhouser, one of Cloar's mother's best friends. She was convinced she was unattractive but believed when she died and went to heaven she would become beautiful. She would become illuminated." The stories go on and get better.

The Brooks exhibit, showcasing works from its permanent collection alongside seldom-seen works on loan from private collections and other museums, opens June 8th. "The Summer of Cloar" is also being celebrated by the Art Museum at the University of Memphis, Christian Brothers University, David Lusk Gallery, and Delta Arts. There are a lot of moving parts ranging from Arkansas bike tours to performances of Spoon River Anthology and a new work based on the Gibson Bayou Anthology, performed in the cemetery that inspired the work. To follow on Twitter, use the hashtag #SummerofCloar.

The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South, at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, June 8th-September 15th.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

News Blog

VIDEO: Ride Along With the Big Roll Out

Beyond the Arc

Ed Stefanski Leaving Grizzlies to Join Detroit Pistons

News Blog

Explore Bike Share Officially Launches

News Blog

Memphis Pets of the Week (May 24-30)

News Blog

Ford Canale Appointed as Interim Council Member

Hungry Memphis

Margarita Fest

News Blog

Changes Urged Against 'Free' Water

News Blog

Barbecue Fest 2018

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Milos Forman's Debut Loves of a Blonde Screens Tonight

ADVERTISEMENT

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation