Museum hosts exhibit of 'Flame' artist's work

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11134910337679.jpg’, ‘Photo provided’, ‘Untitled polished steel work by Leonardo Nierman.’);

Although well known throughout the art world, Mexican sculptor Leonardo Nierman isn’t as familiar to folks in the Midwest.

The latest outdoor sculpture to be gifted to the people of the City of Rockford was created by the internationally acclaimed artist. In honor of Flame, Rockford Art Museum will host a special exhibit, “Leonardo Nierman,” at the museum’s Anderson Gallery through the end of May.

“Nierman is a significant modern artist; he has more art in more collections around the world than any other artist alive today,” said curator Dana Sperry. “Now that his name is being mentioned a lot in Rockford because of Flame, we wanted to give people a venue for discovering more about Nierman’s body of work.”

Nierman consistently uses observations of natural forces such as fire, wind, lightning, volcanic eruptions and meteors in his art. “[A candle] is constantly creating sculptures,” said Nierman in a videotaped interview with artists Terry Karpowicz and Michael Lash. “The form of the flame is always perfect … [it] represents hope, light out of darkness, a form of happiness.

“The flame has enough merit to somehow be crystallized.”

Flame, a stainless-steel sculpture that stands 23-feet high, was installed along the Rock River Recreation Path in Riverby Park, north of the Auburn Street bridge. Nierman also created Chicago’s Flame of the Millennium, near the intersection of Kennedy Expressway and Ohio Street, and Flame of Hope, on Michigan Avenue.

The Leonardo Nierman exhibit will be on display until May 29 in the Anderson Gallery of Rockford Art Museum. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays (until 7 p.m. Thursdays), noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Regular museum admission is $3, free for children and students. Thursdays free. For more information, call 815-968-2787.

From the April 13-19, 2005, issue

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