The Human Condition: Drawings by Rick Bartow

Philbrook
Sep 15, 2021 - Mar 13, 2022

Opens September 15, 2021
Sun Room

“I believe in the power of drawing as medicine…” Rick Bartow (Wiyot-Mad River Band, 1946–2016) once said. Linking joy with pain and gratitude with grief, he used paints and pastels as tools for reckoning with immense waves of emotion related to his own personal struggles with addiction and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a Vietnam War veteran; his recovery from multiple strokes that altered his motor skills; and the early death of his wife from cancer.

These three recent acquisitions–vibrant drawings that illustrate the full range of human experience in vivid color–will be on view for the first time at Philbrook. For Bartow, works like these were a way of working through and wrestling with the paradoxes and conditions that define us all.

This exhibition is curated by Christina Burke, Curator of Native American Art, and Sara O’Keeffe, Nancy E. Meinig Associate Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art.