Cyril Lixenberg exhibition opens Fall Arts Celebration

Cyril Lixenberg exhibition opens Fall Arts Celebration

Cyril Lixenberg’s work is evident throughout the GVSU community, including Magela-S on the Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids. Photo by Chris Pastotnik

Grand Valley State University’s annual Fall Arts Celebration begins Sept. 11 with a special opening reception for the exhibition Cyril Lixenberg: An Artist’s Journey, which explores and celebrates the 81-year-old contemporary Dutch artist.

Lixenberg will attend the opening reception, which takes place 5-7 p.m. at the art gallery in the Performing Arts Center on GVSU’s Allendale campus.

The artist’s monumental sculptures and colorful screen prints are exhibited throughout Grand Valley’s campuses, including the iconic bright yellow Amaranth sculpture created in 2002 for the Allendale campus, and the towering Magela-S made for ArtPrize 2010 and exhibited on the Pew campus in Grand Rapids. Lixenberg also is well known for his 2007 riverfront sculpture Steel Water, a major commission that commemorates Grand Rapids as the first city in the world to add fluoride to its water.

Grand Valley has the largest collection of Lixenberg’s works anywhere, due in part to the artist’s generosity and his long-term friendship with Henry Matthews, Grand Valley’s director of galleries and collections, whom he first met in 1984. In 2001, in memory of his late wife, Saskia, the artist contributed to Grand Valley’s collections more than 300 of his own works on paper created over the previous 40 years.

“This initial donation by Cyril triggered the creation of Grand Valley’s Print & Drawing Cabinet, which has attracted other significant gifts,” said Matthews.

“Cyril has not only been a generous donor, but he has shared freely of himself by mentoring students, judging art competitions and hosting study abroad students, faculty and staff at his Amsterdam home and studio.”

Grand Valley’s retrospective exhibition will include selections from Lixenberg’s most recent gift of nearly 140 of his early paintings, drawings, prints, monoprints and personal archival materials to provide an enlightening view of the artist’s evolution to the successful contemporary artist he is today.

The exhibition will run through Nov. 1.

In addition to “Cyril Lixenberg: An Artist’s Journey,”the Fall Arts Celebration also includes:

  • Sept. 16 – “Music from La Belle Epoque: Chamber Music for Winds from Turn-of-the-Century Paris,” performed by GVSU’s music faculty andfeaturing carillonneur Professor Julianne Vanden Wyngaard.
  • Oct. 7 – “I Heard the Sirens Scream,” lecture by Laurie Garrett, a well known speakeron thetopics of public health, infectious disease and prevention, and a winner of the Pulitzer, Polk and Peabody awards.
  • Oct. 25 – “An Evening of Poetry and Conversation with Christian Wiman and Pattiann Rogers,” two acclaimed American poets who will read and discuss their work.
  • Nov. 4 – “Memories of Summer – The American Identity in Dance,” performed by the Lauren Edson + Dancers company. Edson is a nationally celebrated choreographer.
  • Dec. 9 – “A Very English Christmas: Music of the Season from the British Isles,” a holiday celebration that will feature popular British Christmas music.

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