Known for his monumental wall reliefs and sculptures of animals from the 1970s, Maine-born artist Bernard Langlais (1921–1977) produced a rich and diverse oeuvre in his 56 years. From modernist painter to visionary environment builder, Langlais created art driven by a deep sense of place, and an unrelenting search for materials and subjects that reconciled his rural roots with postwar artistic movements and ideologies. In celebration of an extraordinary bequest by the artist’s widow, Helen Friend Langlais, of her estate to Colby College in 2010, the Colby College Museum of Art will present the first scholarly retrospective of Langlais’s dynamic career. The exhibition is drawn primarily from the Museum’s Bernard Langlais Collection and also presents loans from several local museums and private collections, a testament to Maine’s deep holdings in the art of this native son.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated monograph with essays by Hannah W. Blunt, Diana Tuite, Vincent Katz, and Leslie Umberger.