Water Marks: Images of Water in the Collection

January 14, 2021 to April 25, 2021

 Located in the Lawson Print Gallery

Vija Celmins, Untitled (Ocean), 1975. Lithograph. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of the Friends of the McNay. © Vija Celmins

London, Paris, Rome, San Antonio. What do these cities have in common? First, all were founded on the banks of life-giving rivers. In recent years, there has been renewed interest in our own San Antonio River, with artists celebrating the importance of the waterway and its interface with the city. New public art lines the river and draws attention to its history and the communities that developed along its banks, from the days of the Payaya people living in the village of Yanaguana (present day San Antonio) to today. This greater awareness of our river inspired this exhibition dedicated to our most precious natural resource—water.

Drawn entirely from the McNay’s Collection, Water Marks: Images of Water in the Collection represents a wide array of media and time periods. Among the highlights are Vija Celmins’ intricately rendered and amazingly detailed study of the surface of the ocean, San Antonio artist Ivan McDougal’s hyper-realistic watercolor of shell hunters on the Texas coast, and Isca Greenfield-Sanders’ nostalgic views of families swimming in backyard pools. In addition to McDougal, a significant group of Texas artists are represented including George Bunker, Kelly Fearing, Juan de Dios Mora, Bill Reily, and Everett Spruce.

Water Marks: Images of Water in the Collection is organized for the McNay Art Museum by Lyle W. Williams, Curator of Collections.

This exhibition is a program of the Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation of 1992.