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"Intersections: The Art of Jan Zach"

Jan Zach (Czech-American, 1914-1986) was a highly regarded Oregon sculptor and professor of art at the University of Oregon. A major retrospective of his work, "Intersections: The Art of Jan Zach," opens Saturday, Feb.1, and continues through March 29, at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University. A free lecture series is also offered.

Organized by Professor Roger Hull, the exhibition will explore the range of Zach's work from his early drawings and paintings to his large-scale sculpture in metal and wood.

Born in Slany, Czechoslovakia, in 1914, Zach trained as a painter and decorator in Prague during the 1930s and came to the United States in 1938 to work on the Czech Pavilion at the New York World's Fair. Because of the Nazi invasion in 1939 and the Communist takeover in 1948, he never returned to Czechoslovakia. In 1940, Zach moved to Brazil and spent the next 11 years in Rio de Janeiro and in the nearby Brazilian countryside.

In 1951, he and his wife Judith moved to her hometown of Victoria, British Columbia, and in 1958, at the encouragement of Mark Sponenburgh, he joined the art faculty at the University of Oregon. Over the next 21 years, Zach emerged as an important teacher and mentor and trained several generations of sculptors, many of whom are still active in the region.

In addition to the drawings, paintings, and sculptures on display, many of which are part of the permanent collection of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, the exhibition will be accompanied by text panels, annotated labels, a small companion exhibition of maquettes and small sculptures by the artist, a lecture series that attempts to place Zach's work within the context of his times, and a 96-page exhibition catalogue written by Professor Hull. The exhibition catalogue will retail for $24.95 and will be distributed by the University of Washington Press, Seattle and London.

The free lectures, all held in the Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the Museum at 5 p.m., begin Friday, Jan. 31, with Roger Hull who will present an illustrated slide lecture on the life and art of Jan Zach.

On Thursday, Feb. 20, Dr. Jaroslav Andel, and independent curator and writer in New York, will deliver an illustrated slide lecture on Czech modern art in the early 20th century, with an emphasis on Prague art of the 1930s and the artistic milieu from which Jan Zach emerged.

On Thursday, March 6, Michael Hall, a collector and scholar from Michigan, will present an illustrated slide lecture on Jan Zach and American sculptural developments of the 1950s and 1960s.

"Intersections: The Art of Jan Zach" is supported by contributions from friends, relatives, and former students of Zach, with additional support provided by the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State Street (corner of State and Cottage Streets) in downtown Salem near the campus of Willamette University. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed on Sunday and Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are free and Tuesday is a free day.

For further information, please call 503/370-6855.

01-27-2003