Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 24, 1999)
Sheldon opens tribute
to an underrated artist
■ The exhibition will
celebrate a founder of the
movement and former
Lincolnite Charles Rain.
By Josh Krauter
Senior staff writer
A large bowl of fruits and vegeta
bles and a glass of wine sit comfort
ably among ancient ruins.
Butterflies fly around the limb of
a multicolored tree.
Ordinary objects are displayed in
vivid color and odd contexts.
These scenes are all part of the
dreamlike world of Charles Rain, a
former Lincoln resident who was a
primary example of the “Magic
Realism” school of American surre
Today, the Sheldon Memorial Art
Gallery opens an exhibit exploring
Rain’s work and the various genres in
which he experimented.
In “Architectural Still Life,” Charles Rain combines everyday vegetables
with ancient ruins in a way that defines his style of “Magic Realism.”
Kain and his peers were heavily
influenced by French avant-garde
artists who migrated to New York in
the early 20th century, many staying
permanently after suffering Nazi
aggression in the late 1930s.
“The French surrealists believed
art needed to unlock unconscious
ness,” said Dan Siedell, curator of the
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery.
This belief inspired Rain and his
American peers to develop their own
surrealism: “Magic Realism.” Rain
used this term to describe the
Americans’ more traditional, less
But Rain’s surrealist works con
tained a few elements not found in the
French style: romanticism and
“He has a flair for drama in his
paintings,” Siedell said. “That drama
can be communicated in his use of
detail, light and dark and romantic
and Gothic elements. He takes a
romantic look back on cultures,
focusing on romantic sensibilities.”
Although artists such as Salvador
Dali became famous with an aesthet
ic similar to Rain’s, Rain often went
Much of his paintings contair
recurring images, such as architectur
al elements, flowers, fruits and veg
etables. These images remained ever
after he moved from surrealism tc
landscapes later in his life.
This move into new territory was
characteristic of Rain, Siedell said.
He wasn’t afraid to try different
“He is historically significant,
because he flies in the face of
August 24,25 & 26
Audition registration at the Band Office,
101 Westbrook Music Building.
The Big Red Express plays for all home
volleyball, men's and women's basketball games.
Auditions are open to all academically eligible
university students. Usual band instrumentation
plus lead guitar, keyboard and bass guitar.
Successful candidates receive a stipend.
Call the Band Office at 472.2505 for more information.
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•' > -• • _ • • - T .. |- -
■ ^———■ ■■■ ————
Kain was largely ignored in his
prime because of his willingness to
swim against the artistic stream of the
time, Siedell said.
“Rain is an artist that doesn’t get
attention because he doesn’t fit
stereotypes of what artists should be.”
The Sheldon exhibit, “Charles
Rain: Magic Realism,” which runs
until Nov. 21, will help to bring Rain’s
work more public attention.
Although a portion of Rain’s work
is always on display at the Sheldon,
this collection contains an expanded
selection of paintings that will be new
to regular gallery visitors.
This exhibit is only part of the
Sheldon’s slate of Rain projects.
Siedell said work is being done on a
traveling exhibition of Rain’s paint
ings, which will contain works bor
rowed from other galleries as well as
the Sheldon’s private collection.
A book-length Rain catalogue is
also being prepared. Rain, who died
in 1985, left more than enough art to
fill a book.
“He painted well into his 70s,”
control of lung
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