Exhibitions

 

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The Collected Artwork of John Lennon comes to Austin’s Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery
for Four Days Only: April 23-26, 2015

Lennon was a visual artist long before he owned a guitar; 72 pieces explore peace, love and family


The Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery is honored to present an exhibition of the extraordinary artworks of John Lennon. All art is on exhibition and available for acquisition for four days only, April 23-26, 2015, in a mind-bending show that will demonstrate the legendary musician’s first love: visual arts.

Scheduled events will feature programming led by Collection Curator, Lynne Clifford, a noted authority on the works of John Lennon.

HOURS: Thursday, Noon – 6 pm

Friday, Noon – 6 pm

Saturday, Noon – 8 pm

Sunday, 11 am - 4 pm

Ms. Clifford will be in the gallery and available to speak to visitors on the exhibited works and provide insight into the history and stories behind the artwork. 


In his art, John Lennon, the legendary musician, songwriter, poet, philosopher and artist, delivered a consistent message – peace and love. Art was actually his first love, as he began drawing long before he owned a guitar.

John Lennon’s artwork celebrates human love and communication – two themes at the heart of his contribution to the art of the twentieth century. His iconic Self-Portrait image has become the cornerstone of the collection. Offered through the Bag One Arts program, these posthumous, limited edition prints are adapted from Lennon’s original drawings. The art has been selected from rare archival sketches and is representative of his whimsical and thought provoking imagery. Each print is reproduced utilizing the sophisticated and detailed standards typical for archival fine art printing processes, guided, approved and hand-signed by Yoko Ono.

In many ways, John Lennon was truly a renaissance man whose insights and perspective helped shape the sensibility of the contemporary mind. Born John Winston Lennon on October 9 1940 in Liverpool, England, he died tragically on December 8 1980. He married Yoko Ono at Gibraltar on March 20 1969. On March 29 1969, John and Yoko commenced their famous bed-in for peace at the Amsterdam Hilton.

While music will be remembered as his most popular art form, he loved both literature and his visual art, studying at Liverpool Art Institute from 1957-1960. He penned and illustrated three books: In His Own White, A Spaniard in the Works, and Skywriting by Word of Mouth. 

As early as 1969, John began moving toward a return to visual art. He was primarily interested in drawing and favored the creative loose sketch, working in pen and ink. In 1969, as a wedding gift for Yoko, John drew the 'Bag One Portfolio', a chronicle of their wedding ceremony, honeymoon, and their plea for world peace, the Bed-in. The suite also contained erotic sketches. The 'Bag One Series' was first published and exhibited in January 1970 at the London Art Gallery. On the second day, the exhibition was closed by Scotland Yard and the erotic lithographs confiscated.

During 1986, Yoko Ono decided to share John's artistic genius with the public by publishing the first in a series of prints entitled 'This is my Story Both Humble and True' followed with 'Bag One Continued...', 'Dakota Days', 'Karuizawa Series' and 'Japan Through John Lennon's Eyes'. These works are a commentary on John's everyday life, his wife, Yoko and their son, Sean. The drawings are whimsical yet poetic, loving portraits of their years together. Drawn by one of the most important cultural figures of our time, these illustrations celebrate human love and communication- two themes at the heart of John Lennon's contribution to the art of the twentieth century.   

Born and raised in Liverpool, England, as a teenager John Lennon became involved in music, forming his first band, the Quarrymen, which by 1960 had evolved into The Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. Lennon was a visual artist before he picked up his first guitar or wrote his first song. He attended the prestigious Liverpool Art Institute (1957-1960).  He continued to draw throughout his life. Lennon’s primary medium was line drawing, either in pen, pencil, or Japanese sumi ink. He not only penned, but also sketched the drawings, which became illustrations for three bestselling books: In His Own Write (1964), A Spaniard in the Works (1965) and Skywriting By Word of Mouth (1987).

In the years that followed, Lennon expressed himself once again through drawing, this time reflecting his love for his family. Since 1989 Bag One Arts has published a series of limited edition prints of his work, which have traveled throughout the world.  

The graphic collection has traveled throughout the U.S., England, Spain, Italy, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore and Manila. 

When: All artwork is on exhibition and available for acquisition April 23-26, 2015 – 4 Days Only. Special Exhibition Hours

Thursday, Noon – 6 pm

Friday, Noon – 6 pm

Saturday, Noon – 8 pm

Sunday, 11 am - 4 pm

Curator Lynne Clifford will be in the gallery and available to speak to visitors on the exhibited works and provide insight into the history and stories behind the artwork.


Where: Russell Collection Fine Art, 1137 West 6th St., Austin, Texas 78703-5338

www.russell-collection.com, info@russell-collection.com, www.facebook.com/russellcollection

512-478-4440

Admission is complimentary however a donation of $5 per person is welcomed, which will be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. Every dollar donated to the Capital Area Food Bank provides three meals for a Central Texan in need.

All Images: Copyright © Yoko Ono.