Jane Manus celebrates change through the illusion of geometric forms. Her bold abstract sculptures are now on display at the Georgia Museum of Art in its Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden through Feb. 12. Five large works show a variety of balance, movement and abstraction, and smaller maquettes are on view inside the museum, allowing visitors to follow the artist’s dynamic creative process.
Since 1982, Manus has built a formidable career, working as a public artist, creating private commissions and even designing furniture that blends creativity with function. Her work has been shown throughout the United States and worldwide, from Monte Carlo and Florence to Havana and Naples.
In 1996, her work was displayed as a part of the celebration for the opening of the museum’s then-new building, in the University of Georgia’s Performing and Visual Arts Complex. The recent sculptures on display in the current exhibition range from 6 to 24 feet tall and are made of painted welded aluminum. These looming geometric forms amplify and enhance through their scale and variety.
“That’s one of the things I really strive to do, is make it three-dimensional and give you a feeling that you can walk through it, be a part of it. They’re not just different from front to back; it’s different from all angles,” Manus said.
Director William U. Eiland, who organized the exhibition with now retired deputy director Annelies Mondi, wrote, “Since her first exhibition here, Manus’ work has been recognized nationally for its contrast between strength and power and the decorative touch of bright and unmarred color. Jane Manus does not fear scale and were it possible, would extend her works in various directions by as much as 40 feet. … [She] resists the closure of circle, the suggestion of arc in favor of reliance on line, square, rectangle and parallelogram to enclose or suggest enclosure of space—and its extension—without the contrast of that expansiveness into pen, compartment or cell.”
Related events include an Artful Conversation program on Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. and a Teen Studio on Sept. 29 from 5:30-8 p.m. The Artful Conversation is free and open to the public. Teen Studio is also free but requires registration by emailing email@example.com. For ages 13-18, it involves a hands-on art project and is led by local artist and educator Kristen Bach.