Rie Munoz Retrospective exhibition opens at Anchorage Museum Dec. 1
November 19, 2007
Rie Munoz: Portrait of Alaska
On view Nov. 21 through Jan. 6
Opening reception and book signing 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1
The Anchorage Museum presents a retrospective exhibition of Rie Munoz’s Alaska art from Nov. 21 through Jan. 6 with an opening reception and book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.
Rie Munoz began painting small vignettes of Alaska soon after arriving in Juneau in 1950. A self-taught artist, she painted in oils in a “painstakingly realistic” style, which she found stiff and “somewhat boring.” Her breakthrough came a few years later when an artist friend introduced her to a versatile, water-soluble paint called casein. The immediacy of this inexpensive medium prompted an entirely new style. Rie’s paintings became colorful and carefree, mirroring her own optimistic attitude toward life.
With her newfound technique, she set about recording everyday scenes of Alaskans at work and at play. Her style was then, and remains today, colorful, whimsical and kinetic. Her “expressionistic” art rejects camera-style realism and instead expresses emotion by taking artistic license, focusing on a feeling of a place and wrapping the work in strong colors.
What appealed to Munoz most in her early work was painting ordinary people doing everyday tasks – subject matter she would devote herself to throughout her artistic career. After teaching with her husband in an Inupiat Eskimo village on King Island, she felt a special affinity for Alaska’ Native peoples and deliberately set about recording the traditional lifestyles she knew to be changing very fast. In 1972, with her hand-cut stencil and serigraph prints selling well in four locations in Alaska, she felt confident enough to leave her job as curator of exhibits for the Alaska State Museum and devote full time to her art. Freed from the constraints of an office job, she began to produce close to 100 paintings a year, in addition to stone lithograph and serigraph prints.
This retrospective exhibition is a celebration of her working career in Alaska (1966 to 2006) and includes recent watercolors as well as some favorite earlier paintings.
More than 150 galleries in the U.S. and Canada carry Munoz’s work. Her art has been exhibited at solo shows at the Frye Art Museum, Alaska State Museum, the Smithsonian Institution and the Anchorage Museum among others. Winner of the Rasmuson Foundation’s 2007 Distinguished Artist Award, Munoz is one of the state’s best known contemporary artists.
For more information, call 343-6151.