Published on March 17th, 2022 | by TLV News0
Museum of the Mississippi Delta Hosting Retrospective of Greenwood Artist Reuben Hale
“Reuben Hale: A Retrospective” is on view until Saturday April 2, 2022, at The Museum of the Mississippi Delta (formerly known as Cottonlandia), 1608 Hwy 82 W, Greenwood, MS 38930
For the first time since his death, Reuben Hale’s (1927–2018) artwork has come home to Greenwood. A Greenwood native, Hale’s art has been exhibited in Chicago, Memphis, Little Rock, Atlanta, and Dallas; and he was invited to exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Currently on exhibit at the retrospective are over 50 selected works by Hale spanning eight decades from the 1940s to the 2010s. These include portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and abstract expressionist work in ink, pencil, watercolor, and oil; photography, dye-transfer photography, and holography; and large free-standing and wall figurative sculpture in polyester, polyester and holography, and cast stone.
Long before the Me Too movement, Hale championed women. Above any scientific and technological advancements, he believed the emergence of women in society would be remembered as the most significant and powerful sociological development to occur in the 21st Century.
He wrote in his artist’s statement: “Much of my work deals with the changes in status of the female in today’s world. Images I have produced are a full grown female embryo or a female emerging through a membrane, losing any identity to one individual.”
Hale’s artwork is provocative in revealing the power of his subjects, while often revealing to the viewer their own power and perhaps, untapped ambition. Experience the magic of Reuben Hale’s art yourself, at the Museum of the Mississippi Delta.
“Reuben Hale: A Retrospective” is on view until Saturday, April 2, 2022, at The Museum of the Mississippi Delta (formerly known as Cottonlandia), 1608 Hwy 82 W, Greenwood, Mississippi 38930; Tel. (662) 453-0925 (Museum Hours: Open Tues–Sat 9–5, Closed Sun–Mon. Entrance fee is $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens, $6 for college students, $4 for children ages 5-17; free for Members and children age 4 and younger.)
Reuben Hale was a versatile artist whose work was exceptionally broad in scope: In sculpture, he worked in a variety of mediums, including wood, stone, steel and bronze; and in paintings he used oils, acrylics, pastels, watercolors and tempera. Hale also worked as a printmaker, photographer, holographer, illustrator, set designer and more.
He created his sculptures in polyester over wire mesh, and finalized them in bronze. His bas-relief wall hangings are in polyester, while much of his freestanding sculpture is in bronze. In latter decades, his sculptural work revealed his enduring fascination with the changing role of women in the 20th
Born in 1927 in Belzoni, Mississippi, Reuben Aldridge Hale, Jr. moved to Greenwood with his family in 1934. After graduating from Greenwood High School, he served in World War II. Upon his return, he enrolled at the University of Mississippi and later graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). He developed a strong background in classical art while at SAIC. He later went on to study abstract expressionist painting with Hans Hofmann and Paul Burlin, and sculpture with David Slivka and Reuben Nakian.
Hale earned his Master of Fine Arts from Southern Illinois University. After accepting a position as an art instructor at Palm Beach Junior College (now Palm Beach State College), Hale moved to Florida where he went on to serve as the college’s Chairman of Fine Arts and later Chairman of Humanities. Upon his retirement, he served as the Executive Director of the school’s Duncan Theatre and the Lannan Art Museum.
After his death in 2018, his daughter, Irma Hale, created a nonprofit to celebrate his legacy. This exhibit is not only a celebration of Hale’s work, but a way to welcome him home. A West Palm Beach, Florida-based 501(c)(3) non-profit, The Artwork of Reuben Hale, Inc. was established in 2019 with the mission to research, preserve and share the artwork, teachings and life story of Reuben Hale with the public.