Kodiak Bear, welded steel bumpers, 7’9” x 3’3” x 3’10”

JOHN KEARNEY (b. 1924), Chicago, IL & Provincetown, MA
The work of John Kearney is held in the collections of Museum of Contemporary Art, City of Chicago, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Field Museum of Natural History, all Chicago, Illinois; Illinois State Museum, Springfield; Mitchell Museum at Cedarhurst, Mt. Vernon, Illinois; Kansas Coliseum and Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection, Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, both Wichita, Kansas; Detroit Children’s Museum and Cranbrook Academy of Art, Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, both Michigan; Minnesota Museum of Art, Saint Paul; Palm Springs Desert Museum, California; and The Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The artist works in bronze and in steel, often welding together automobile bumpers to create his animal and human forms. Kearney is one of the first artists to use bumpers to create representational, rather than abstract, work. Among his commissioned works is a series of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” characters including the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Dorothy and Toto for Oz Park in Chicago. The Omaha, Nebraska native divides his time between studios in Chicago and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Venues for his long list of group and one man exhibitions include those presented at: Art Institute of Chicago; Art in Embassies Program, Niamey, Nigeria; Dallas Museum of Natural History, Texas; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska; National Academy of Design, New York, New York; Palazzo Venezia, Rome, Italy and John and Mable Ringling Museum, Sarasota, Florida.

Educated at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Universita per Stranieri, Peruga, Italy; and Belles Artes, Rome, Italy, Kearney co-founded Contemporary Art Workshop, Chicago, in 1949 and began lecturing and teaching in 1950. He has served on the boards of Fine Arts Work Center and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, both Provincetown, Massachusetts; and the Chicago Council on Fine Arts, Community Arts Project.

Exhibition version of this page 10.5" x 15.75" 795KB
10/18/2005 Design by Jason Hayden and Gary A. Adams

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