Past Exhibitions

Inspired by Nature: Vases, Birds, & Flowers

On view March 9, 2018 through July 22, 2018

Louis Comfort Tiffany (American, 1848-1933) for Tiffany Studios, Corona, NY. Vase, 1902-1912. Favrile glass and bronze; H. 11 ½ in. Tampa Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Griffin, 1984.139.a-.b.

Louis Comfort Tiffany (American, 1848-1933) for Tiffany Studios, Corona, NY. Vase, 1902-1912. Favrile glass and bronze; H. 11 ½ in. Tampa Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Griffin, 1984.139.a-.b.  

From antiquity through the present day, artists and craftsmen have found inspiration in the flora, fauna, and other forms of the natural world. For many artists, the vase in particular has lent itself to flourishes borrowed from nature, often together with – or in the form of – flowers and birds. While the forms and functions of the resulting artworks vary widely, from emulations to adaptations, and from aesthetic beauty to utilitarian purpose, all share a common inspiration worth exploring more closely. From the embrace of natural forms by artists associated with Art Nouveau – a movement only recently reconnected by scholars to the classical tradition – to more complex representations of vases, birds, and flowers by post-war and contemporary artists, Inspired by Nature illustrates the beauty and vitality of the natural world alongside its many uncertainties. 

Drawn primarily from the Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition includes more than two dozen artworks from a variety of media and time periods, in two dimensions and three. Of particular interest is Sensuous Triptych (2000) by Betty Woodman, a prominent American ceramicist whose recent passing prompted renewed attention to her work here in Tampa. Brightly painted and made of fired clay, with elements of painting, drawing, sculpture, and more, her work defies categorization. And just as its three pieces come together as one, the front sides and back sides communicating with one another, so too will the larger whole engage in dialogue with so many other vases, birds, and flowers displayed nearby. 

Past Exhibitions

Having a Ball: Striking Portraits from America’s Pastime by George Sosnak

On view March 1, 2018 through July 22, 2018

George Sosnak, "Carl Yastrzemski", 1989. India ink on manufactured baseball. Courtesy of a private collector. Photo by Ed Pollard, Chrysler Museum of Art photographer.
George Sosnak, Carl Yastrzemski, 1989. India ink on manufactured baseball. Courtesy of a private collector. Photo by Ed Pollard, Chrysler Museum of Art photographer.

One of the most beloved and best known folk art painters of baseball, George Sosnak (1924–1992) was a lifelong, passionate fan of the game. He parlayed his enthusiasm for the sport into two concurrent careers: first as a Minor League umpire, and eventually as an artist, meticulously painting baseballs decorated with the images and arcane statistics so dear to fans of the game. 

Sosnak was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where from an early age he collected autographs from his hometown Pirates. When serving abroad in the Army late in World War II, he participated in military games as a player and umpire, but found that his talents were more suited to the latter. When he returned to the States, he enrolled in umpire school in Florida, where he was based for the remainder of his life. Eventually settling in Lakeland, Sosnak umpired in the Pioneer and Florida State Leagues (among others), and supplemented his income as a baker, construction worker, and a corrections officer. 

When asked how he began painting, Sosnak—who had no artistic training—liked to tell the story that when he was an umpire in the 1950s, a young female fan asked him for a portrait of her favorite player on a ball. This interaction began an almost 40-year career, largely avocational, of producing colorful and increasingly intricate, themed baseballs. Some celebrated particular moments, some honored legendary players, and others marked championship teams. 

Sosnak’s final self-chosen challenge was to create a ball for each player in the Baseball Hall of Fame, recreating his Hall of Fame plaque as well as an overview of the player’s career in glorious detail and color. Occasionally, he would decorate a two-dimensional format like correspondence or drawings with his appealing images. In the end, Sosnak is thought to have begun some 3,000 baseballs, and to have finished about 800. Having a Ball includes 57 George Sosnak artworks – 47 baseballs and 10 works on paper. 

Organized by the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia

Past Exhibitions

Elisabeth Condon and Bruce Marsh: Skyway Audience Choice

On view December 1, 2017 through April 1, 2018

Following the tremendous audience response to the artwork shown in Tampa as part of Skyway: A Contemporary Collaboration, the Museum invited visitors to vote for their favorite TMA Skyway artist to be included in Skyway Selections: Audience Choice. More than 1200 ballots were cast this summer for the 22 Skyway artists with work on view in Tampa, and the results have now been tallied. Painters Elisabeth Condon and Bruce Marsh were the top vote-getters, and will share an exhibition in the Saunders Foundation Gallery beginning in December. 

Thank you to all who voted, and congratulations to Elisabeth and Bruce! 

Elisabeth Condon, 2016. Acrylic and glitter on linen, 54 x 72 in. Courtesy of the artist and Emerson Dorsch Gallery, Miami, FL.

About Elisabeth Condon

b. 1959, Los Angeles, CA

Lives and works in New York, NY and Tampa.

Elisabeth Condon’s vibrant paintings incorporate her many influences, ranging from decorative materials to art historical references. She finds inspiration in vintage fabric samples and wallpaper patterns, as well as classical Chinese scroll painting. Condon’s work is both abstract and pictorial, with textural surfaces that reflect her unique painting process. She starts each work by pouring acrylic paint across the canvas and builds the composition with imagery of tropical flora and gestural brushwork. Many paintings receive a light layer of colored glitter that renders a sense of luminosity within the canvas. Born in Los Angeles, Condon received her BFA from Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles and holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute, Chicago. Her work has been nationally recognized, and she has won numerous awards, including the 2015 Pulse Art Fair’s Pulse Prize. From 2003-2015, Condon was Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of South Florida. Her work resides in the permanent collections of the Tampa Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg.

About Bruce Marsh

b. 1937, Inglewood, CA

Lives and works in Ruskin.

Known for his naturalistic style and abiding interest in the Florida landscape – both natural and built – Bruce Marsh has maintained for many years a fascination with the sky, and with the light and shadow that animate our surroundings. Like so many generations of artists working before and alongside him – Impressionists, Expressionists, Hyperrealists, and more – Marsh has spent his entire career exploring the potential of color, mark, and form. After many years focusing on nature, particularly the riverine landscape just outside his studio, Marsh has more recently returned to the human figure, both as a singular subject and as part of larger compositions, such as Tiki Bar and Figure Study, the large paintings selected for Skyway. Now Professor Emeritus at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where he taught for 34 years, Marsh continues to paint each day. His work is in numerous private and public collections, in the Tampa Bay area and beyond.

Bruce Marsh, 2017. Oil on linen, 36 x 72 in. Courtesy of the artist.
Past Exhibitions

Claudia Ryan and Rob Tarbell: Skyway Curators’ Choice

On view November 2, 2017 through April 1, 2018

Installation View. Claudia Ryan and Rob Tarbell: Skyway Curators’ Choice. Photographer: Philip LaDeau.
Installation View. Claudia Ryan and Rob Tarbell: Skyway Curators’ Choice. Photographer: Philip LaDeau.

Inspired by the excellent artwork shown at all three venues of Skyway: A Contemporary Collaboration, the Tampa Museum of Art committed to show additional artwork by a Skyway artist or artists jointly chosen by the five exhibition curators. Artists exhibiting in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota were considered for Skyway Curators’ Choice. The selected artists are Claudia Ryan of Bradenton and Rob Tarbell of Sarasota, both of whom showed their work in Skyway at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. TMA is delighted to exhibit a wider selection of their work in Tampa. 

Skyway Selections: Curators’ Choice

About Claudia Ryan

b. 1952, Washington, DC 

Lives in Bradenton and works in Sarasota. 

Claudia Ryan has been aptly called both painter and poet, and at times her frenetic mark-making on canvas evokes the act of writing. With her densely layered and reworked paintings and drawings, Ryan states that she tries to “create an alternative universe of feeling using intuitive logic.” Her oeuvre also includes etchings published by Bleu Acier, Inc. in Tampa, with closely packed lines related to her other work and similarly suggestive of narrative. Ryan received her Certificate of Fine Art from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA; her BFA from the Ringling College of Art and Design, and an MFA from the University of South Florida. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Boca Raton Museum of Art; Maryland Institute College of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg; and the Riverside Art Museum, CA. 

About Rob Tarbell

b. 1967, Findlay, OH 

Lives and works in Sarasota. 

Though drawing is at the heart of Rob Tarbell’s process, it is the creative and imaginative use of smoke that propels Tarbell’s work beyond just imagery. Tarbell began experimenting in 2006 with burning credit cards and using the resulting residue. He regarded this as an ironic acknowledgment of the self-help technique of burning items to separate oneself from an emotional attachment to material possessions. He has since added gift cards and 35 mm slides featuring his own work to the list of burnables. By selectively directing the smoke using a “herd and corral” method, he is able to create ethereal portraits of both people he knows and found images. In addition to his smoke drawings, Tarbell has also developed an innovative process for creating porcelain sculptures of stuffed animals, simultaneously cremating and preserving them. Tarbell earned an MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Tennessee, and has held teaching posts at several colleges and universities. He is represented by the Claire Oliver Gallery in New York City, and has had solo exhibitions at galleries throughout the United States. 

Past Exhibitions

Made in Tampa: Selections from the Permanent Collection, from the 1970s to Now

On view November 2, 2017 through April 15, 2018

Theo Wujcik (American, 1936-2014), "Nuenen", 1986. Acrylic and paper collage on canvas. Tampa Museum of Art, gift given in memory of Charles Parkhill Lykes by his daughter, Genevieve Lykes Dimmitt, 1998.037.a-.b. © Theo Wujcik Estate.
Theo Wujcik (American, 1936-2014), Nuenen, 1986. Acrylic and paper collage on canvas. Tampa Museum of Art, gift given in memory of Charles Parkhill Lykes by his daughter, Genevieve Lykes Dimmitt, 1998.037.a-.b. © Theo Wujcik Estate.

In the spirit of Skyway, the regional artist exhibition shared with museums in neighboring counties, Made in Tampa features Tampa-themed works by Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Richard Anuszkiewicz, and others who have worked in our city at various times in their careers. Taking its name from an important suite of works created by Rauschenberg in the early years of Graphicstudio at the University of South Florida, Made in Tampa aims to underscore the great diversity of artwork inspired by and produced in Tampa over the last several decades. Artists such as Donald Saff, Theo Wujcik, and others who worked closely with more famous luminaries throughout the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s are also included. Altogether, Made in Tampa features some 40 works across many media, including sculpture, painting, and a wide range of prints. 

Sponsored in part by:

TMS of South Tampa

Presenting sponsor:

fifth third private bank logo
Past Exhibitions

Mernet Larsen: Getting Measured, 1957-2017

On view October 11, 2017 through February 11, 2018

Mernet Larsen (American, b. 1940), "Getting Measured", 1999. Acrylic, tracing paper and string on canvas. Museum purchase with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Jay Crouse, 2000 SN11041.1. Collection of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida, Florida State University.
Mernet Larsen (American, b. 1940), Getting Measured, 1999. Acrylic, tracing paper and string on canvas. Museum purchase with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Jay Crouse, 2000 SN11041.1. Collection of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida, Florida State University.

The Tampa Museum of Art presented a survey of paintings and works on paper by artist Mernet Larsen (American, b. 1940). Her work alludes to a range of art historical references, from 12th-century Japanese scrolls, 15th-century Italian painting, to the geometric abstractions of Russian artist El Lissitzky (1890-1941). Her early abstract compositions, such as Duccio’s Saint (1988) in the Tampa Museum of Art’s collection, reflect her ongoing formal explorations of experiential time, space, and color. Later figurative paintings, including the recent work Raft (2017), depict ordinary moments and activities—from reading in bed, attending casual dinners, to participating in faculty meetings. The exhibition Mernet Larsen: Getting Measured featured never-before-seen early drawings, a select group of studies and works on paper, and a survey of paintings from the 1960s to the present. Larsen’s art resides in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Walker Art Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. The artist divides her time between Tampa and New York City. 

Sponsored in part by: The Stanton Storer Embrace the Arts Foundation and Cathy Clayton

Past Exhibitions

Susanne Bartsch: Art-a-Porter

On view July 30, 2017 through November 12, 2017

Susanne Bartsch: Art-a-Porter presents the couture designs and looks worn by Susanne Bartsch, New York City’s famed “Queen of the Night.” The exhibition highlights her celebrated career in fashion, from her early days as a boutique owner in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood to her legendary parties in New York City’s underground club scene. Bartsch has been a muse to several designers, including Thierry Mugler, Zaldy, and the esteemed corset maker, Mr. Pearl. Her boutique was one of the first American stores in the 1980s to feature emerging British designers such as Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano, who are now amongst the most influential designers in the fashion industry. Susanne Bartsch: Art-a-Porter will feature 35 looks spanning Bartsch’s extraordinary career, including designs by Alexander McQueen, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, Zaldy, and the Blonds. Susanne Bartsch: Art-a-Porter provides inspiration for CITY 2017, the Museum’s fall fashion fundraiser on September 9. 

Sponsored in part by: Penny & Jeff Vinik and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida on Arts and Culture

Past Exhibitions

Photorealism: 50 Years of Hyperrealistic Painting

On view July 13, 2017 through October 22, 2017

Photorealism: 50 years of Hyperrealistic Painting traces the evolution of Photorealism from 1960 to today. The exhibition presents the work of some 30 artists known for their hyperrealistic depictions of ordinary objects and scenes of everyday life such as American diners, chrome features on cars and motorcycles, as well as meticulous portraits. Art dealer and author Louis K. Meisel coined the term “photorealism” in the late 1960s to describe large-scale paintings created to look photographic. Photorealism: 50 years of Hyperrealistic Painting features three generations of photorealist painters, including John Baeder, Robert Bechtle, Chuck Close, Richard Estes, Audry Flack, Ralph Goings, Yigal Ozeri, Raphaella Spence, and others. The Tampa Museum of Art is the only American venue on the international tour of Photorealism: 50 years of Hyperrealistic Painting, organized by the Institut für Kulturaustausch in Tübingen, Germany. Ralph Goings’s painting Collins Diner, from the Tampa Museum of Art permanent collection, is among the most important artworks in the exhibition. 

Presented in part by:

Past Exhibitions

Skyway 2017: A Contemporary Collaboration

On view June 22, 2017 through September 24, 2017

Skyway 2017 TMA
Installation view of Skyway 2017: A Contemporary Collaboration, Tampa Museum of Art. Photographer: Philip LaDeau

The Tampa Museum of Artthe Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art collaborated on Skyway: A Contemporary Collaboration, the first joint exhibition celebrating the artistic practices in the Tampa Bay region, in the summer of 2017. Skyway featured the work of selected artists from the four counties served by the respective museums: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota. Selected artists were featured across the three venues and highlighted the innovative art created in the Central Florida region. A call for artists occurred in fall 2016, and the submissions were juried by representatives from each of the museums, plus a guest juror. The three participating institutions co-published a fully illustrated catalogue, featuring the work of each exhibiting artist, to accompany the exhibition.

Robin O’Dell and Katherine Pill
Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg

Christopher Jones
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Seth Pevnick and Joanna Robotham
Tampa Museum of Art

Tampa Museum of Art Skyway 2017 Artists

Nathan Beard
John Byrd
Elisabeth Condon
Keith Crowley
Kate Cummins
William Douglas III
Becky Flanders

MK Foltz
Corey George
Jason Hackenwerth
Sue Havens
Ezra Johnson
Kate Kinder
Dominique Labauvie
Ya Levy-La’ford

Bruce Marsh
Cynthia Mason
Chris Otten
Rebecca Sexton Larson
Nathan Skiles
Denis Versweyveld
Michael Wyshock