Pat Musick (b. 1926)
Where Did You Come From Anyway?, 1985
Oil, paper and wood, 62  x 36 x 4 inches
Courtesy of the artist

Where Did You Come From Anyway? Works by Pat Musick

September 15 through December 30

On view in the Works on Paper Gallery at Bennington Museum from September 15 through December 30, is Where Did You Come From Anyway? an exhibition of works by Pat Musick, American artist who lives in Manchester Center, Vermont.  Meet the artist at an opening reception in the Works on Paper Gallery of the Museum on September 22 from 3:00 to 4:30 pm.  This opening reception is free and open to the public.  The exhibition, Where Did You Come From Anyway?  is a retrospective of work from Musick’s entire career spanning 55 years.

Musick’s painted wall sculpture of the same name is the signature artwork of this exhibition. Musick says about this sculpture, “I looked up from addressing museum announcements to see my mother looking at me quizzically. Then she asked, ‘Where did you come from anyway?’ These were almost the last words she spoke to me before she died. They burned into my psyche, and I knew I would someday paint an answer to her question.”  This work is a statement about Musick’s roots. “My family came from Iowa farmland, were conservative and typical, but I was always different. I stand alone on an island beside a blue cornstalk. Although my feet are firmly rooted in the land, my head is in a pink cloud. The world, both vibrant and dark, swirls around me.” she states.

Included in this exhibition are both large- and small-scale sculpture, as well as two-dimensional art using natural media such as wood, stone, paper, and beeswax. Musick’s art is concerned with the fragile nature of the environment and the human/nature relationship responsible for its survival. There has been much growth. “I began as a painter and transitioned to wall sculpture, then free standing works. Over the years, I have retained my interest in two dimensions by making works on paper, while my art has moved from expressionistic to abstract to conceptual and has undergone a steady reduction to simpler elements and media.” Musick remarks.

Musick was born in Los Angeles in 1926.  She attended the University of Southern California on an art scholarship and received an MA and PhD from Cornell University.  She taught at the University level for twenty-five years, lectured across the United States and appeared in many television interviews. Her work is in over fifty museums and public spaces in the United States.  She has written four books on art, one of which was co-authored by her husband, Jerry Carr, a retired astronaut and now her collaborator. A documentary of their lives, it will be released in 2019. The working title is The Artist and the Astronaut. Her archives are housed in the Cornell University Kroch Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Indiana Nash of the Daily Gazette in Schenectady, NY recently spoke with artist Pat Musick.  Read it here.