MSA Pop-Up Gallery Artist Spotlight: William Manning

We’re thrilled to feature the work of two Maine artists — William Manning and Noriko Sakanishi — at the MSA Pop-Up Gallery through March 20. Both artists have known each other and admired each other’s work for decades. Their work is strong and extremely forceful, Manning’s sometimes drenched with color, Sakanishi’s not.

Artist Spotlight: William Manning

William Manning is one of Maine’s foremost abstract artists. Manning initially started drawing and painting while hospitalized with polio as a boy. His work is inspired by the abstract expressionist and cubist movements of the 20th century and also Maine roots, particularly Monhegan Island. Manning is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts award and many others.

Painting 214A, 2010 by William Manning, 8″x16″x1.5″, acrylic on wood

Manning has had over 42 solo exhibitions at museums and galleries that include the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME; Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York City; and Stichting Yellow Fellow Museum, The Netherlands. His work in in the collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Portland Museum of Art, Colby College Museum of Art, and many others. He has taught at Haystack School of Crafts, the Portland School of Art, and co-founded the Concept School in Portland.

Manning shares more about his background as a painter below!

D-1035, #10, 2000 by William Manning, 14.5″x14.5″, acrylic on paper

“I was born in Lewiston, Maine and have lived in Maine all my life. I started painting in 1954 and later taught at the Portland School of Art (now Maine College of Art) for 10 years. I was then fired for what was considered a radical philosophy in teaching and painting. I was the first native Maine painter to paint abstract work (Marsden Hartley did a few abstract paintings around 1917), also to receive a National Endowment Grant and a MacDowell Fellowship. I was co-founder of Concept, a School of Visual Studies. Many of the students I taught became recognized artists in New York and elsewhere. I then became involved in the New York art scene for over 25 years. I met many of the first and second generation abstract expressionists and showed with them. I live and work in Falmouth, Maine.”

See more of Manning’s work in our online gallery here and in-person at the MSA Pop-Up Gallery through March 20, 2021.

Memory of an August Wind, 1968-1969 by William Manning, 40″x40″, oil on canvas

About the MSA Pop-Up Gallery

Current Exhibition:
Noriko Sakanishi and William Manning, Guest Curated by June Fitzpatrick

67 Washington Ave Portland (former Nissen Bakery Building)

MSA Pop-Up Gallery Hours:
Wed – Sat, 12pm – 5pm

Please know that we strictly follow the CDC guidelines for the State of Maine including limiting the number of people in the gallery at any one time to 5, respectfully require the wearing of masks (which we can provide if you don’t have one), and appropriate social distancing.