The exhibition itself literally begins with the English painter J.M.W. Turner and his stunning painting The Storm, and the Everson's film series also ends next Sunday with The Sun is God, a 63-minute documentary that dramatizes Turner's life. Starring Leo McKern as the mature Turner,
the film takes us from Turner's father's barbershop in the slums of Covent Garden through his apprenticeship as an artist, his mother's insanity, his walking tour of Yorkshire and northern England and early obsession with the sea, to his two affairs with married women, to his long friendship with the critic John Ruskin. He left to Ruskin the task to cataloguing and explaining his work, and in large part the film is framed by Ruskin's commitment to defending Turner's work in the face of hostile rejection by the art establishment despite periods of great commercial success.
Turner left over 19,000 paintings and drawings and wanted them kept and exhibited together, free to the public. Neither wish was fulfilled. The film's title comes from Turner's last words before his death.
This article appears in the 12/10/09 print edition of the Syracuse City Eagle on page 1. See "The Sun is God" on Sunday, December 13 at 2:00 PM in the Hosmer Auditorium at the Everson Museum, 401Harrison St. at the corner of South State. Admission is free with a ticket to the "Turner to C (c)zanne" exhibition, which is on view through January 3rd. The Everson is open Tuesday -- Sunday with evening hours to 9:00 PM on Thursday and Fridays. Visit everson.org for complete details. Nancy covers the arts. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.