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Artist Stuart Klipper and jazz pianist Dan Knight will be at museum reception Sept. 13

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Museum of Art will celebrate the opening of its fall exhibitions with a public reception and other events in the museum from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13.

New exhibitions at the Museum of Art this fall are: "Monementality in Miniature," an exhibition of small African sculptures from the museum's permanent collection; "Contemporary Indian Miniature Painting"; "Weldon Kees and the Arts at Midcentury," an exhibition of paintings and collages by a remarkable American avant-garde artist; and "Cardinal Points: Stuart Klipper Photographs," which shows large-format scenes from disparate places around the world.

As part of the celebration, photographer Stuart Klipper will present a gallery tour of "Cardinal Points" at 1 p.m. Klipper's tour will be followed with a 2 p.m. concert by local jazz pianist Dan Knight, who will perform original compositions inspired by artworks in the museum's permanent collection.

Born in New York in 1941, Klipper recalls being fascinated from childhood by picture taking, geography and the idea of distant places. His photographs, 75 of which are represented in the exhibition "Cardinal Points," record both the exotic and familiar terrain the artist has studied, and the extraordinary beauties he discovered in them. The exhibition offers a photographic essay illustrating divergent regions of the world: Israel and the Sinai Desert, Greenland, Antarctica, the Costa Rican rainforest and the American Midwest.

Klipper has held numerous solo exhibitions, including shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. He has received three grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, two grants from the Busch Foundation and many other awards for his work.

Knight has been inspired by much of the artwork in the permanent collection at the UI Museum of Art. While working at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Knight spent many of his lunch breaks in the museum where, he said, "some of the pieces spoke to me. I could hear music every time I saw them."

For the museum's opening reception Knight has composed an entire suite inspired by the artworks in the museum's permanent collection. Knight will perform 10 of these compositions, based on works by Henri Matisse, Lyonel Feininger, Marc Chagall, Joan Miro, and other artists.

Knight started playing keyboard instruments at the age of four by singing melodies he knew and matching their pitches on his older sister's chord organ. His early repertoire included television theme songs, church hymns and a two-handed boogie-woogie version of "Sentimental Journey," but it wasn't until Knight heard Dave Brubeck play on Captain Kangaroo when he was five that he decided to play jazz.

Knight went on to study jazz piano with Billy Taylor at the University of Massachusetts and play on national radio broadcasts with leading jazz artists including Taylor and Wynton Marsalis. He has given solo concerts throughout much of Europe and the United States.

Clad Knobs, artistic director of the Montreux Jazz Festival, says of Knight, "He is contestably one of the finest solo pianists in the world," and John Edward Hasse, author of "Beyond category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington," called Knight "a pianist who is himself 'beyond category'."

Knight has been featured in "The Jazz Report," "Jazz Times Magazine," "Midwest Jazz" and other jazz publications.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive, and adjacent to the UI Alumni Center, which is just north of the museum.