Yesterday We Said Tomorrow: Painting and Sculpture by Lora Fosberg, Dan Oliver and Frank Trankina

Frank Trankina
Leche, 2018
Oil on linen
20 x 32 inches

Yesterday we said tomorrow: painting and sculpture by Lora Fosberg,
Dan Oliver and Frank Trankina
August 29 – December 9, 2022
Peeler Art Center, University Gallery (upper level)

This exhibition presents the work of three artists who question the ever-changing landscape of reality. While each artist portrays the world around them in different ways, they all consider and explore the absurdity and surreality of our time. Dan Oliver and Frank Trankina are both directly inspired by prominent art movements such as Surrealism and the Chicago Imagists (especially the work of Roger Brown, Ray Yoshida, Christina Ramberg), and others. Although Lora Fosberg’s current textual art is not as overtly rooted in visual representation as that of Oliver and Trankina, her use of humor, irony and personal storytelling through interplay of text and imagery reveals that she shares many of the same influences. Capturing the moment of ‘now’, Fosberg’s work simultaneously evokes a sense of nostalgia in both the choice of texts and the way they are depicted. Nostalgia also runs through Trankina’s work. Using kitschy figurines like actors in chromatically accentuated scenic tableaux, he creates scenes that seem playful and whimsical, but upon closer examination are more complex and narratively unsettling. Inspired by Ray Yoshida, mentor to many Chicago imagists and collector of folk art and found objects, Trakina incorporates a sense of the absurd into his painted collection of bizarre characters to create an almost silent graphic strip. Dan Oliver capitalizes on the incorporation of the familiar in his use of archetypes ranging from portraiture to architecture by integrating these objects into dreamlike scenarios that often include floods and fires. This depiction of a world on fire or submerged in water asks the viewer to question what is stable and what will survive these moments of change. Yesterday we said tomorrow is an exhibition that offers insight into the creative practices of three artists who shared the same experiences and formative influences, turned that common ground into separate and personalized directions, and went on to know and inspire each other while throughout their career.

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