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Meet Mike Glier

Philbrook Downtown Debuts Original Exhibition on First Friday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (October 4, 2016) Philbrook Downtown spotlights the critically acclaimed series The Alphabet of Lili and other works by Mike Glier at the Brady Arts District First Friday Art Crawl on October 7, 2016. This breathtaking and timely exhibition will feature 36 original works, including The Alphabet of Lili and selections from Glier’s other forcefully rendered yet intimate series, The Forests of Antarctica, Garden Court, Satisfaction, and Men at Home. Guests will have the opportunity to hear from the artist at 5:30 p.m. for insight into the inspiration behind the exhibition. The exhibition provides a sampling of the deeply personal and political themes recurring throughout Glier’s career. The exhibition will remain on view in Tulsa until April 2, 2017. 
 
The focal point of the exhibition, The Alphabet of Lili, is an installation of 26 large scale panels. The original inspiration for the works came from Glier’s nightly ritual of reading to his three-year-old daughter, Lili. Reminiscent of letter primers, each piece explores a different letter of the alphabet. For each, Glier made a list of objects that began with that letter. These separate, seemingly unrelated objects were inspired by his hopes and fears for his young daughter’s future in an increasingly complex world. The first piece in the series, “A” represents both “amaryllis” and “atomic bomb.” The paintings explore the intricacy of life that includes violence and death, as well as joy and beauty. 
 
Twenty-five years after its creation, the work remains a powerful fusion of the personal and political. Other work in the exhibition, The Forests of Antarctica and the Garden Court reflect this intersection as well. The Forests of Antarctica capture the abstract feeling of wind whipping across the blustery landscapes in a clearly fantastical future where the Antarctic is a warmer, forested land. The beauty of the composition belies the environmental disaster that would have to occur for this to happen, ruminating on the effects of the human touch in nature. The Garden Court also explores this interchange of violence and beauty by setting a flourishing garden amidst the backdrop of a concrete wall pockmarked with bullet holes. 
 
Satisfaction is a series of illustrated faces for which Glier asked his models - including some of his close friends, his daughter, and himself – what made them feel satisfied; and then drew their facial expressions as they relaxed and grew sleepy while posing for him. The work showcases the quest for happiness and the pursuit of peace through the connections we make with others. 
 
About the Artist
Mike Glier is known for merging controversial subjects such as politics and masculine stereotypes with skilled craftsmanship and avant-garde ideas. Drawing from the inspiration of the feminist and environmental movements, Glier uses his personal experiences to explore the nuances of the role of men in the contemporary political landscape. His work is characterized by themes of love, parenthood, and an anxiety about the future--colored with hope. 
 
“Hope is something people need,” commented Glier. “The expectation that something good might happen or things will get better is what gets us up in the morning; without hope society is not going to function all that well. It’s part of the artist’s job to create hope.” 
 
Mike Glier will present a gallery talk on Friday, Oct. 7, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. and meet with visitors.
 
About the Curator 
Sienna Brown, PhD., the Nancy E. Meinig Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art 
 
“As a new parent myself, Glier’s work speaks to me,” reflected Brown. “I think his themes of hope and concern will spark important conversations among our viewers.”
 
Exhibition Details
Title: Mike Glier: The Alphabet of Lili
Location: Philbrook Downtown, 116 E. MB Brady Street, Tulsa, Okla.
On View: Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 – Sunday, Apr. 2, 2017
Meet the Artist: Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
 
About Philbrook 
Rooted in the beauty and architecture of an historic home gifted by the Phillips family in 1938, Philbrook Museum of Art has grown to become one of the preeminent art museums across the central United States. Philbrook Downtown in the midst of Tulsa's historic Brady Arts District showcases the Museum's growing collection of Modern and contemporary art as well as highlights from the comprehensive Native American collection, including the Eugene B. Adkins Collection and Study Center. Philbrook Downtown is conveniently adjacent locally-owned restaurants and cafes offering a wide variety of dining experiences, the Guthrie Green urban park and performance space, and ONEOK Field. The Philbrook main campus spans 25 acres of grounds and formal gardens, and features an historic home displaying the museum’s permanent collection, as well as a modern museum complex. 

Philbrook Downtown is located at 116 E. MB Brady Street, Tulsa and is open Wednesdays – Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sundays, 12 – 5 p.m. Philbrook Museum of Art, located in Midtown Tulsa, is open Tuesdays – Sundays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. CST. Museum admission runs $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and university students; Philbrook Museum Members and youth 17 and younger are always free.  For additional information, visit www.philbrook.org.