This exhibition celebrates Gertrude Kasle (1917–2016), a key figure in the formation of Detroit’s contemporary art community in the 1960s and 70s. A pioneering female gallerist, Kasle provided midwest audiences with a venue in which to experience avant-garde art from centers like New York City, while also supporting and exhibiting regional artists. Featuring a collection of paintings, works on paper, and sculptures from the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement through the early twenty-first century, Exercising the Eye speaks to the relationships Kasle fostered with local, national, and international artists and her appreciation for artistic expression and experimentation. Critical voices from the last fifty years include Philip Guston, Jane Hammond, Grace Hartigan, Jasper Johns, Michele Oka Doner, and Robert Rauschenberg. The exhibition offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore a dynamic moment in Detroit’s cultural history and insight into Kasle’s love of looking and learning.
Lead support for Exercising the Eye: The Gertrude Kasle Collection is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Michigan Medicine, and the University of Michigan CEW Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund.