Arts Society & Culture

Georgia Museum of Art director to speak on abstract expressionist artist

Bill Eiland

Athens, Ga. – William Underwood Eiland, director of the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia, will present a lecture on the work of American artist John Haley (1905-1991) in conjunction with the exhibition “John Haley: Berkeley School Abstract Expressionist” on Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. in the museum’s M. Smith Griffith Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public and is a Blue Card event for UGA students.

Eiland, who is working on an essay on Haley for the exhibition’s catalogue, will speak on Haley’s life and career, his critical reception, his role as teacher and his works of art in the exhibition. He will focus in particular on Haley’s role as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and his influence as both a professor and an artist in the art world.

“Although he is today relatively unheralded outside the Bay Area, Haley expanded the reputation of Berkeley’s school of art, was jointly responsible for a distinguishable current in the history of American watercolor painting and trained several generations of artists, of whom many attained regional and national reputations,” said Eiland.

Haley originally trained in the Beaux Arts style and began to move toward abstraction in 1949. His style evolved from geometric compositions to abstract strokes of color. Although best known for his paintings, Haley was also an accomplished printmaker, muralist, sculptor, photographer and mosaicist, as well as a designer and fabricator of stained glass.

The exhibition, organized by the Monterey Museum of Art in Monterey, Calif., includes abstract paintings and two sculptures from the collections of private lenders. The paintings on view feature loosely defined forms and bright colors, highlighting Haley’s interest in the movement of color across space.

“John Haley: Berkeley School Abstract Expressionist” is on view at the GMOA through March 3.

Museum Information
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The council is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton Street, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-6719. For more information, including hours, see or call 706/542-GMOA (4662).