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Stars Turn Out As Don Gummer Exhibit Opens At Fairfield University

Artist Don Gummer discusses his work at the opening reception for "Don Gummer: The Armature of Emotion." Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Actress Meryl Streep chats with friends at the opening of her husband's new art exhibition at Fairfield University. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Don Gummer's 1993 work "Passage." Photo Credit: Courtesy of Don Gummer
Crowds peruse the artwork by Don Gummer on display at Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery.
Crowds peruse the artwork by Don Gummer on display at Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery. Video Credit: Meredith Guinness
Art lovers explore "Don Gummer: The Armature of Emotion" at Fairfield University's Walsh Art Gallery. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Sometimes acclaimed Connecticut artist Don Gummer knows exactly where he’s going with his drawings and sculpture — and sometimes he revels in not having a clue.

“You have to start from zero and begin, just by starting,” he said of his work. “To start something without knowing what it’s going to be in the end is much more exciting, and more alive.”

Art lovers can judge for themselves at “Don Gummer: The Armature of Emotion,” an exhibition of some of his stunning works that opened Thursday and will run through June 11 at Fairfield University’s Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery.

Gummer and his wife, Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep, were on hand for the opening reception, which drew more than 230 people. The artist chatted with fans about the more than 50 drawings, watercolors, cardboard and bronze models, wall reliefs and free-standing bronze and steel sculptures in the gallery and throughout the Regina A. Quick Center’s lobby.

Works on view range from quick sketches and an early self-portrait to monumental panels, sculptures and creations of enormous proportions, many of which are interrelated.

One such series is “Darwin’s Map,” collage drawings and wall reliefs featuring ribbon-like bars of color that suggest kaleidoscopes.

Another grouping is a series of watercolors inspired by the World Trade Center and executed only weeks before the towers were destroyed. The pieces have a rigid, but shifting and ethereal quality to them. Five years after the disaster, Gummer created stainless steel sculptures that reference the towers that are also part of the exhibition.

Best known for his constructivist sculptures, Gummer first studied at the Herron School of Art in Indiana, and later at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and Yale University. His career spans almost four decades and his outdoor sculptures can be found on nearly every continent, according to the exhibition brochure.

“The sun is always shining on something I’ve done,” he said.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

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