Madison Stonehouse Article

Kilroy-Coq-à-l'âne by Fred Stonehouse
MMoCA recently received two important contemporary works from collectors Judith and Howard A. Tullman. Welcome Home by Rob Clayton, and Kilroy-Coq-à-l'âne by Fred Stonehouse—both large-scale paitings from the late 1990's&mdashare the most recent gifts to the museum from the Tullmans, whose extensive collection includes significant works by many contemporary artists.

Fred Stonehouse, who will speak at MMoCA on May 17, is a Milwaukee-based painter who draws his inspiration from varied and diverse sources. His acrylic paintings combine religious imagery, inspired by the painting of the Northern Renaissance, with his own altered interpretations of figures from popular culture. Kilroy-Coq-à-l'âne, includes a prominent representation of a character who appears to be a hybrid of Mr. Potatohead and a cartoon bird. This strange and humorous protagonist is flanked by two praying angels dressed in typical choirboy garb. Their heads float above their kneeling bodies. The entire canvas enveloped by a found frame, a technique Stonehouse often uses to demonsatrate the folk and American roots of his compositions. At the same time, phrases in French, Coq-à-l'âne (meaning: a cock-and-bull story), n'est-ce pas (meaning: isn't it so?), and a nuit, tous les chats sont gris (meaning: nighttime erases the differences between things).

Howard A. Tullman serves as President and CEO of Flashpoint Academy and as President Emeritus of Kendall College in Chicago. In addition, he is the Chairman of the Board of The Cobalt Group in Seattle, The Princeton Review in New York, and Experiencia, Inc. in Chicago. Mr. Tullman is the General Managing PArtner of Chicago High Tech Investors, LLC and a Director of PAssage Events in Seattle, and Pups for PEace. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. In recent years, the Tullmans have given the museum important works by Christina Ramberg, Jim Nutt, and the Clayton Brothers.