The Shape Of Abstraction
The Thelma and Bert Ollie Memorial Collection of abstract art officially went on display Tuesday, September 17, at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; http://www.slam.org). The collection was gifted to the museum in 2017 by New Jersey-based art collector Ronald Maurice Ollie and his wife, Monique McRipley Ollie, in honor of Ronald’s parents. The elder Ollies often visited the Saint Louis Art Museum with their children, instilling a lifelong passion for art. Ronald and Monique Ollie together collected art for many years, particularly work by contemporary black artists. Among the treasures in the exhibit, The Shape Of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection, are important works such as Robert Blackburn’s lithograph Faux Pas, Mary Lovelace O’Neal’s City Lights and Frank Bowling’s Fishes, Wishes and Star Apple Blue, which demonstrates Bowling’s innovative painting technique. In all, 40 works are displayed in the show, which draws its title from a poem by Quincy Troupe. The St. Louis native was inspired by the artworks in the Ollie Collection and wrote “The Shape of Abstraction; for Ron Ollie” in response. Troupe’s poem is included in the exhibit catalog.