February 20–May 19, 2024
Fun & Games? Leo Jensen’s Pop Art
- Museum hours: Tues-Sun, 10am-5pm.
Pop artist Leo Jensen (1926–2019) turned a winking eye on America, producing an irreverent art that is nevertheless serious in its cultural observations. Known best regionally for his bronze frog sculptures on the Thread City Crossing bridge in Willimantic, Jensen infused his work with humor as well as thought-provoking reflections on modern American society. His paintings, sculptures, and assemblages of recycled materials borrow from the signs and symbols he saw in his youth, when he traveled as a fancy horseback rider in Depression-era circuses and rodeos, and developed further when he moved to Connecticut after art school.
Jensen embraced Pop Art in the early 1960s for its unpretentious address of a popular audience using glamorous, gimmicky, and mass-produced images borrowed from the commercial and advertising worlds. He fused them in witty ways and made an innovative contribution to Pop through his incorporation of moving parts into his sculptures that encourage viewer interaction.
Organized in collaboration with Jensen’s widow, artist Dalia Ramanauskas, and with Lyman Allyn Art Museum, which will present its own companion exhibition on Jensen at the same time, Fun & Games will be the first in decades to consider Jensen’s playful yet probing art in depth.
Check back soon for a full roster of exhibition-related programming!