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Rev. Howard Finster

(American, 1916–2001)

Howling Wolf

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Object Details

Artist

Rev. Howard Finster

Date

1989

Medium

Oil and black felt tip marker on shaped plywood panel

Dimensions

22 × 24 inches (55.9 × 61 cm)

Credit Line

Acquired through the generosity of Kenneth Iscol, Class of 1960, and Jill Iscol

Object
Number

99.002.001

Pareidolia is the human tendency to recognize patterns where none exist: the appearance of a human f(…)

Pareidolia is the human tendency to recognize patterns where none exist: the appearance of a human face in a rock formation; or the perception of audible speech amid “white noise.” In this painting, Howard Finster decorates the silhouette of a howling wolf with a colorful, spirit-filled landscape. He embellishes the mountains of the earth and the geologic underworld with the features and expressions of human souls. Finster often drew faces on mountains and clouds in this manner. Other motifs seen here—including angels and other celestial entities—are likewise common to Finster’s art. (“The Best Way to Prepare Bananas: Fruits of the Soul from the Permanent Collection,” curated by Matt Conway and presented at the Johnson Museum June 24-August 13, 2017)

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