LAKELAND, FL – The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College announces the opening of “Paul Fullerton: Forces of Nature,” an exhibition presented in the museum’s Sculpture Garden.
The show opens June 22 and runs through Nov. 10, 2019.
Fullerton completed his first major sculpture commission, “Nike,” in 1975. Located in Miami’s Biscayne Bay, the sculpture measures 50 feet tall, weighs about 1 ton, and is mounted on a radial bearing system to turn with the wind. Most of his large works were sold and placed as part of Florida’s Art in State Buildings program.
“Not only are Paul’s pieces works of art, they often are engineering masterpieces,” said PMA Executive Director Claire Orologas. “We are excited to work with his estate to bring several of his smaller reliefs here to be displayed on the walls of the Sculpture Garden.”
Inside the museum will be some of Fullerton’s works on paper, as well as a self-portrait on loan from a collector in Gainesville, Orologas said.
Born in Minnesota and raised in Fort Myers, Fullerton earned his bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Florida in 1967, followed by a master’s degree in painting, printmaking and sculpture from the University of Illinois.
In 1976, he became an associate professor of sculpture at Wayne State University in Detroit. While there, he developed the molding and casting process that is characteristic of a large body of his work – the cast metal reliefs that have been central to his work over the following years and will be part of PMA’s show. He returned to Florida two years later and began working exclusively on sculpture and cyanotype prints. In 1980, after exhibitions in Miami at the Metropolitan Museum and Art Centers and the 24 Collection, he completed the large wall piece, “Cayocosta Rondo,” as a guest of the sculpture department of the University of Miami. That work will be part of PMA’s exhibition.
Fullerton spent the last years of his life living and working in Miami and Micanopy. He died in 2018.
“I was introduced to Paul in June of last year by another artist, and I quickly learned how the community of artists in Florida loved and revered him,” Orologas said. “To hear other artists speak about Paul is inspiring, and we look forward to exhibiting these beautiful works to honor his memory and his talent.”