Featured Acquisition: Michael Lucero's Dreamer with Moth

November 7, 2014 - January 26, 2015

The Racine Art Museum (RAM) is pleased to debut Michael Lucero’s Dreamer with Moth, 1985. RAM currently owns 25 Lucero works created from 1983 through 2007, forming a detailed documentation of his career achievements. This is one of three Dreamers now in RAM’s collection.

“We are extremely grateful to museum supporters, John and Colleen Kotelly for their generous gift of Dreamer with Moth along with another large Lucero sculpture Millennium Man, from 1996,” said Bruce W. Pepich, RAM’s executive Director and Curator of Collections. He added, “The Kotellys have added two fine examples of Lucero’s work created during two extremely productive decades in the artist’s career. We are proud to represent Lucero’s work in-depth at RAM and appreciate these gifts which amplify our efforts in his career documentation.”

Lucero is known for large-scale works that combine three-dimensional forms with vibrantly glazed surfaces. These painted areas are filled with references to the history of art from around the world and juxtaposed with objects from everyday life and popular culture.

In the early 1980s, Lucero began creating oversized representational heads. Called Dreamers, these heads––with their silent, abstracted features––appear to be in a state of suspended animation. Their surfaces are decorated with realistic scenes that spill across the contours of the face, as if the images were the physical embodiment of the dream taking place in the figure’s mind. RAM’s Dreamer with Moth presents a landscape with a moth superimposed over one quadrant of the face, suggesting a place and one of its inhabitants. On the other sides, Lucero drew an oversized sleeping figure, a bird resting in mountains, and a separate seated female figure. These images make direct references to some of Pablo Picasso’s paintings of dreaming women and his earlier Cubist period. The Dreamer series inaugurated a career-long investigation by Lucero into the interplay between glaze painting and physical structure.

Lucero was born in Tracy, California, in 1953 and received his MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Artist Fellowship awards in his career. Lucero’s work is held in many museum collections including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, DC; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Michael Lucero
Dreamer with Moth, 1985
Glazed white earthenware
Racine Art Museum, Gift of John and Colleen Kotelly
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
Michael Lucero
Dreamer with Moth, 1985
Glazed white earthenware
Racine Art Museum, Gift of John and Colleen Kotelly
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
Michael Lucero
Dreamer with Moth, 1985
Glazed white earthenware
Racine Art Museum, Gift of John and Colleen Kotelly
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
Michael Lucero
Dreamer with Moth, 1985
Glazed white earthenware
Racine Art Museum, Gift of John and Colleen Kotelly
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
Michael Lucero
Dreamer with Moth, 1985
Glazed white earthenware
Racine Art Museum, Gift of John and Colleen Kotelly
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
 
 

This exhibition is made possible at Racine Art Museum by Platinum Sponsors – Karen Johnson Boyd and William B. Boyd, SC Johnson, and Windgate Charitable Foundation