KEITH JACOBSHAGEN: Embracing the Golden Hour


View the digital catalog

June 6 – July 26, 2014


KEITH JACOBSHAGEN: Embracing the Golden Hour

“The startling beauty Jacobshagen creates out of the diminishing Great Plains will serve as either a call to preservation or a record of loss.”
– Debra Di Blasi, “Paradise Lost”, The Pitch, 2001

Keith Jacobshagen‘s paintings of the Midwest have helped to redefine the landscape genre of our time. As a child, Jacobshagen often flew in a small plane over the Kansas prairie with his father as pilot. This experience of low horizons, boundless sky and space, had a lasting impact on his continuing connection to the land he calls home.

Jacobshagen’s newest paintings embrace the beauty of the “golden hour”, the time in the early morning or late evening when daylight is soft and shadows are long. The golden hour’s significance lies not only in the magical quality of the light but also within the context of eternity.

Jacobshagen’s paintings serve as a record of time and place, yet with the trend of turning farmland into housing, many of his vast subjects are in their final hour.
“In the past few years,” says Jacobshagen, “I’ve watched many places where I’ve made paintings and drawings disappear, to be replaced by suburban sprawl and shopping malls. And yes, the irony of destroying wetland and then naming it ‘Pond Meadows Estates’ is not lost on me.”

Born in Wichita, Kansas, Jacobshagen received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from the University of Kansas. He is currently professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska. His paintings are in the permanent collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; Oakland Art Museum, CA; Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; The Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA; Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE; Sioux City Art Center, Sioux City, IA; and others, including numerous public and private collections.


“I continue to move beyond a specific narrative and reach toward a universal experience of beauty that speaks of the transitory nature of life. The pieces I am working on now are more spiritual in nature. I love the idea that I am bringing bones back to life – it all comes Full Circle.”
-Judy Onofrio

Always a master of material,Judy Onofrio has been subtly and organically integrating animal bones into her repertoire of sculpted, embellished and painted forms for the past several years. Her most recent sculpture has fully embraced this material and is constructed entirely of oil painted bone.

Onofrio began working with bone in 2008 in response to a serious illness. That experience of healing and survival led her to an increased awareness and appreciation for the physical and spiritual energy of life lived. As Onofrio discovered, the inclusion of bones as symbolic reminders of the fleetingness of earthly pleasures and the inevitability of death has a long, metaphoric history in art.

Her most recent sculpture stands in sharp contrast to the colorfully embellished figures that populated her work of the previous two decades and the new work represents a vigorous reinvention. Charged with a profound respect for physical and spiritual life, Onofrio’s sculpture is sustained by the confidence that in every ending there is a new beginning.

Judy Onofrio is a recipient of two Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Minnesota Crafts Council and the Rochester Arts Center and the Distinguished Artist Award from the McKnight Foundation. Solo exhibitions include the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, MN; Laumeier Sculpture Park and Museum, St. Louis, MO; The Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO; North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, ND; Chazen Museum of Art, Madision, WI and the Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR. Judy Onofrio’s sculpture has been extensively collected in public and private collections nationally and internationally.