This weekend, you have a chance to see two great shows at the Boise Art Museum — one featuring the early works of some great American masters and another exploring the life’s work of one of the finest artists produced by the Northwest.
It’s the transition weekend as When Modern Was Contemporary closes and a retrospective of Oregon artist Rick Bartow’s lifetime of work is on display.
When Modern Was Contemporary brings together the work of several influential artists in the Roy R. Neuberger Collection. The more-than 50 paintings are on the road to celebrate the Neuberger Museum’s 40th anniversary. The collection offers a glimpse into artists such as Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Willem de Kooning and Alexander Calder and how they developed their styles in the middle of the 20th century.
Things You Know But Cannot Explain offers a look at 40 years of Bartow’s work — nearly 100 sculptures, paintings, drawing and prints, pulled together from public and private collections from around the globe. Bartow died in 2016 and leaves his mark on the Northwest art scene, and the world. A member of the Mad River Wiyot Band and a Vietnam veteran, Bartow melded his Native American heritage with a contemporary sensibility through fine art disciplines and music. This show is a remarkable chance to experience his legacy. Bartow also is known for “We Were Always Here,” an art installation on the National Mall in Washington D.C. commissioned by The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. It includes a flowing river water installation and two 20-foot Native American sculptures that bring “good medicine” to the U.S. Capitol.
Boise Art Museum
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday. $3-$6, free for BAM members and children under 6, and BSU faculty, staff and students with ID. 670 Julia Davis Drive, Boise, 208-345-8330, http://www.boiseartmuseum.org/