Teacher and Student: Abstract Works of Marie Hull and Andrew Bucci

Teacher and Student: Abstract Works of Marie Hull and Andrew Bucci is organized by the Mississippi Museum of Art and supported with funds provided by the Museum’s statewide Traveling Exhibition Endowment, a fund made possible through significant private contributions matched by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, with additional funding provided by the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Arts Reinvestment Initiative.

Marie Hull(1890-1980) is best known for the landscapes, still lifes, and portraits of people she painted in her Mississippi studio. Less familiar are the abstract works she began to produce in the 1940s. Although Hull was first exposed to modern art during her travels in Europe in 1929, she resisted incorporating contemporary art trends into her own work until the 1940s. Fellow Mississippian Andrew Bucci (born 1922) studied with Hull before serving in World War II. After the war, he enrolled at Art Institute of Chicago, and during his summers he returned to Mississippi to work with Hull.

Andrew Bucci brought with him the new techniques and theories to which he had been exposed in Chicago, and Hull, always hungry to learn, quickly became the young man’s pupil. Her passion for experimentation, acceptance of fresh aesthetic principles, as well as the influence of her friend and former student, Andrew Bucci, gradually led her to adopt a more abstract style, which she described as “lyrical expressionism.”

This exhibition from the Mississippi Museum of Art explores the reciprocal relationship of Marie Hull and Andrew Bucci as teaching artist and student. As a teacher, Hull understood quite well that remaining open to new ideas and new ways of seeing is essential to being an artist.

On view is a small but vivid selection of Marie Hull’s colorful, energetic abstract works on paper, and Andrew Bucci’s refined, calligraphic, and organic compositions in watercolor and oil.

The artworks embody Hull’s words from a 1973 interview with Virginia McGehee Elias, “Real artists are the ones that keep experimenting and seeking and finding new ways of working in art…. Most artists are essentially students trying to arrive at some creative form of art that expresses their own individuality.”

- Beth Batton
Curator of the Collection and Public Programs, Mississippi Museum of Art