The New York Academy of Art has announced an exhibition by award-winning musician, activist and accomplished artist John Mellencamp. The show begins September 29, 2022 and will be on display through November 15, 2022.
“The art of John Mellencamp stretches the American brand of expressionism…Free in spirit, his work punches out at us. His is not a work that dabbles along the edges; it is every bit as strong-willed as the best of the American expressionists no matter the period with which we might make a comparison,” says Dr. Louis A. Zona.
As his musical career flourished, Mellencamp began to paint earnestly in 1980 with an early affinity for portraiture influenced by the works of Otto Dix and Max Beckmann.
His kinship with the German Expressionism of the early Twentieth century, with its existential focus on the human condition, serves as the foundation for the development of Mellencamp’s “oeuvre.”
His large-scale oil portraits and mixed-media pieces document America’s heart and soul, revealing unsettling but beautiful truths with a kind of anti-establishment frown blended with a rich sense of narrative. Like his music, Mellencamp’s paintings are carefully composed through the structural requirements of harmony, rhythm, and order, and is thematically in line with the small-town, earnest voice of the heartland.
John Mellencamp: American Paintings and Assemblages Coffee Table Art Book will be released October 18 via Rizzoli New York. This books documents “America’s heart and soul” with an “anti-establishment frown.” The book features 170 original works, essays from David L. Shirley and Bob Guccione Jr, and a forward written by Dr. Louis A. Zona. Mellencamp’s art is storytelling at its finest.
The exhibition is curated by Dexter Wimberly, an acclaimed American curator based in Japan who has organized exhibitions around the world.
“Mellencamp is a very serious visual artist with a lot to say about life and the times we’re living in,” says Wimberly. “I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to share his work with a new audience of art enthusiasts and collectors.”
“Although we may primarily know Mellencamp as a rock star, one of the highest-selling of all time and a Hall of Famer, he is also a great painter, as this book shows. Not a musician who also paints… No, John legitimately belongs in the modern art pantheon,” says Bob Guccione Jr.