“I have always had the feeling that thoughts, ideas, and emotions can penetrate just like an arrow,” said the Mississippi modernist Dusti Bongé, “they go straight through to that inner wall.” Born in Biloxi in 1903, Bongé went to Chicago to become an actress. There, in 1928, she married a young painter and they moved to New York. In 1934, having produced a son, they decided to return to Biloxi. When Bongé’s husband died two years later, she herself began to paint, evolving from Cubism and Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism, and taking inspiration from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the New Orleans scene, and the New York School. In an exhibition that spans six decades of her career, the MMA explores the arc of Bongé’s life and art. —E.C.
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