MAM is thrilled to host Selected Works from the Susan and Roy O'Connor Collection. This exhibition highlights a portion of the rich artistic expressions represented in this significant private collection. Susan and Roy O’Connor have graciously loaned MAM artworks from their collection for this exhibition.
The exhibition includes work by American artists Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Mapplethorpe, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Philip Taaffe, Andy Warhol, and Terry Winters. It also includes sculptures by Louise Bourgeois, Ken Price, and Richard Long. The works created in the 1960-90’s fit well within the mission of the museum, “MAM strives to engage artists and audience in the creative exploration of contemporary art relevant to our community, state and region”. Viewers will discover that these artists are pioneers in the contemporary art scene in America and have had a far-reaching influence on contemporary artists throughout the region.
The O’Connors have spent a lifetime assembling this collection, but the willingness to share the works with MAM’s audience is a reflection of the confidence and power of the works. Susan O’Connor explains, “Both Roy and I lived in homes with art as children. Surrounded by impressionist paintings, African sculptures, music and rare books, we naturally were attuned to the art world wherever we lived–Hawaii; Cairns, Australia; Houston, TX; or Missoula, MT. We have made great friends with artists we have met along the way. We have become involved with art museums, served on boards, initiated and supported art projects, bought art in local galleries, visited collections and art museums and art festivals around the world. We put together a collection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures we admired, and spoke to us and were reflections of the natural world and the life of our time.
Most of the major pieces in our collection were bought in the eighties through our friends Fredericka Hunter and Ian Glennie of Texas Gallery when we lived in Houston. I had known Ian and Fredericka when we all worked at Richard Feigen Gallery in NYC in the late sixties. They introduced us to Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Robert Mapplethorpe, Chuck Arnoldi, Warhol and Basquiat. Rauschenberg came to my 40th birthday party and gave me a drawing of a lobster. Basquiat rented our house in Kipahulu. By getting to know these artists, we collected their newest work which had special meaning to us.”
MAM would be remiss not to acknowledge the contributions of the O’Connors in making this exhibition a reality and helping expand the audience for these important works. The exhibition includes a video interview with Susan O’Connor. Additional interpretive materials and Guide by Cell tours have been provided by Ian Glennie and Fredericka Hunter. Both Glennie and Hunter have first-hand experience in representing many of these artists and have helped in facilitating the growth of the O’Connor Collection.