- The Michener Art Museum to exhibit "Offering of the Angels ~ Treasures from the Uffizi"
- London Original Print Fair to host 80th Birthday Celebrations for Sir Peter Blake
- Georgia Museum of Art hosts "Polly Knipp Hill: Marking a Life Through Etching"
- The Fitchburg Art Museum to exhibit David Abbey Paige's Antarctic Paintings
- The Palazzo Strozzi features American Artists in Florence
- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago shows Art, Love & Politics in the 1980's
- The Miller Gallery to host Carlos Gamez de Francisco,Ted Gall & Marian Palova
- The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art to show “Visions of the Orient"
- Timothy H. O’Sullivan photography exhibition at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
- Von Lintel Gallery holds exhibition of new paintings by Catherine Howe
- The Morris Museum shows "Window on the West" from the Phelan Collection
- Van Gogh Museum hosts Stedelijk Museum with a Fauvists and Expressionists Show
- MUMOK to open First Major Survey of the Work of American Artist Zoe Leonard
- Colby College Museum of Art exhibits the Works of Alex Katz
- ' An Incomplete World ' works from The UBS Art Collection
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art to feature Walker Evans’s Eclectic Picture Postcard Collection
- The Peninsula Fine Arts Center to Show The Art of Philip Koch
- The Ketterer Kunst Presents Pop Art Prints in Berlin
- The Museum of Contemporary Art Shows Joseph Cornell in Dialogue With MCA Collection
- Art Knowledge News Presents "This Week In Review"
Posted: 30 Mar 2012 01:36 AM PDT
Doylestown, Pennsylvania.- For the first time ever, a selection of forty-four paintings and tapestries from the famed Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, by such Renaissance and Baroque masters as Sandro Botticelli, Il Parmigianino, Lorenzo Monaco, Il Guercino and Cristofano Allori, is coming to the James A. Michener Art Museum. "Offering of the Angels: Treasures from the Uffizi", will be on view from April 21st through August 11th 2012. Curated by the director of the Uffizi, Antonio Natali, "Offering of the Angels" examines classical art as an expression of spirituality. The path to redemption is illustrated, from the Old Testament to the New Testament, from the creation of Adam and the Original Sin to the passion and death of Christ, as a prelude to resurrection. The exhibition will be supplemented with seven Italian Renaissance paintings from the John G. Johnson Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the most renowned Renaissance collections in America.
The works from the Uffizi, which until this tour have never left Europe, embody the diversity, stylistic evolution, scale and technical mastery of art from Italy and Northern Europe over nearly 400 years, and represent a survey of European art at an important moment in its history. The artists in this exhibit were, in essence, employed by the Church, and created work that illustrated and promoted official Church doctrine, work that was meant to be placed in churches and influence the faithful. The modern practice of art making is, of course, very different, with art being seen as a commodity and generally having little or no connection with organized religion. Offering of the Angels presents an opportunity for dialogue about the nature, history and practice of art, as well as a dialogue between different faith traditions about the concept of redemption. Among the exhibition's paintings is Madonna and Child (ca. 1466-67) by Sandro Botticelli (circa 1445-1510), which reveals the spirit and lyricism for which the artist is best known.
One of the earliest works is Lorenzo Monaco's The Crucifixion with the Virgin, Saint John and Mary Magdalene (ca. 1395-1400), with its pious figures and gilt background that are a hallmark of the Late Gothic style. Luca Giordano (1634-1705), a leading figure of the Late Baroque period in Italy, is represented by the moving Climb to Calvary (1685-1686), a large canvas that depicts an emotional encounter on Christ's ascent to his crucifixion. A featured work is the recently-restored Madonna with Child and Saint Catherine, an oil on canvas from the Workshop of Titian (ca. 1550). These canvases will be installed in the company of three large and elaborate tapestries from the 16th century that depict scenes from the life of Christ, including The Last Supper, The Descent from the Cross and the Resurrection.
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world, with 1.6 million visitors a year. The structure was erected between 1560 and 1574 by Cosimo I de' Medici and served as the judicial and government offices of the Tuscan state. Giorgio Vasari, a friend of Michelangelo who coined the term Renaissance, was its architect. The Uffizi Gallery officially opened to the public in 1765 and houses one of the greatest collections of paintings and tapestries in the world – many of which were originally commissioned or owned by members of the Medici family. Named by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the "top 28 places to see before you die," the Uffizi has the largest collection of Botticellis in the world, including Birth of Venus, and Leonardo da Vinci's Annunciation. Even those who have visited Florence numerous times may, in fact, be unfamiliar with the works assembled in "Offering of the Angels". Many have not been on display to the public; the holdings of the Uffizi are so rich and so varied that even works of extraordinary merit sometimes have had to remain out of view, simply because of the lack of space in the galleries.
In 1988, with the support of many dedicated citizens, the James A. Michener Art Museum opened as an independent, non-profit cultural institution dedicated to preserving, interpreting and exhibiting the art and cultural heritage of the Bucks County region. The Museum is named for Doylestown's most famous son, the Pulitzer-Prize winning writer and supporter of the arts who had first dreamed of a regional art museum in the early 1960's. In November of 1999, the James A. Michener Art Museum publicly announced the largest single gift in the institution's history. Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest gave the Museum an extensive collection of fifty-nine paintings by important regional artists of the Pennsylvania Impressionist School. The museum is now home to a world class collection of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings. Ensconced in the Museum's walled, lush "back yard" is an outdoor gallery, the Patricia D. Pfundt Sculpture Garden. Sculptures are on view in a natural setting that pays homage to the Bucks County landscape which has inspired countless artists. The Museum hosts nationally touring special exhibitions and also showcases important regional artists. In its first two decades, the James A. Michener Art Museum has amassed a permanent collection of over 2,200 objects that reveal the rich artistic and cultural heritage of the Bucks County, Pennsylvania, region. From Thomas Hicks' and Jonathan Trego's mid-nineteenth-century portraits, to Edward W. Redfield's twentieth-century impressionist landscapes, to the family photographs of contemporary artist Emmet Gowin, the Michener Art Museum's permanent collection documents the changing relationships of artists to their physical and cultural environments as well as the technical and conceptual innovations that are part of the vibrant and colorful history of Bucks County's visual arts. The Michener Art Museum's mission to serve as a center for the study of the region's artistic traditions guides the museum's collecting focus on art of the Bucks County, Pennsylvania, region. With that vision the Michener has acquired what is arguably the finest collection of Pennsylvania impressionist paintings in public hands. The strong Arts and Crafts and modern studio furniture traditions of southeastern Pennsylvania represent a significant collecting opportunity; and the museum is actively building collections in these areas as it expands its holdings of contemporary painting, sculpture, works on paper, and decorative arts. Visit the museum's website at ... www.michenerartmuseum.org
Posted: 30 Mar 2012 01:36 AM PDT
London.- The 27th London Original Print Fair will open its doors with an evening dedicated to the 80th birthday celebrations and printmaking accomplishments of Sir Peter Blake. Blake will give a special 'in conversation' talk on Thursday April 19th hosted by the London Original Print Fair. The talk will reveal Blake's longstanding dedication to print media and underline his status as one of Britain's most influential artists. Within the fair, CCA Galleries will stage a special retrospective of Blake's iconographic works, spanning the six-decade printmaking career that has seen him work in woodcut, etching, lithography and, more recently, digitally. Blake's dedication to printmaking goes hand in hand with his belief that art should be accessible to wide audience. With his paintings often fetching six figure sums, his prints represent an opportunity to collect Blake at an affordable price. The fair will run through April 22nd.
Posted: 30 Mar 2012 01:35 AM PDT
Athens, Georgia.– The Georgia Museum of Art (GMOA) will present the exhibition "Polly Knipp Hill: Marking a Life Through Etching" from April 7th to June 3rd. This retrospective exhibition features 32 prints by the artist plus selected ephemera that include vintage photographs and examples of many stages in the printmaking process. Organized by guest curators Lynn Barstis Williams Katz and Enee Abelman, this show brings to light a talented and technically skilled printmaker whose work was often overshadowed by that of her husband, the artist George Snow Hill. It is organized iconographically according to the categories into which the artist herself divided her print oeuvre: Paris, America with "street and countryside scenes," Florida, Arcadia (or reminiscences of her childhood), children's games and mountain culture. The groupings also reflect the chronology of her etching career.
Posted: 30 Mar 2012 01:18 AM PDT
Fitchburg, Massachusetts.- The Fitchburg Art Museum is proud to present "The Magic of Antarctic Colors: David Abbey Paige, Artist of the Byrd Antarctic Expedition 1933-1935", on view at the museum from April 15th through June 3rd. Fitchburg native David Abby Paige (1901-1978) painted the strangely beautiful polar region with gestural and technical virtuosity. Paige's undeniable talents documented for the first time the vast, vacant, and subtle intensity of Antarctica. It is easy to understand why later in life he worked as a scenic artist for the motion picture industry in California. The exhibition will also include an array of important artifacts including an Antarctic sledge, dog harnesses, skis, and other historic items of interest. For most people, thoughts of historical exploration in Antarctica typically center on dogs, skis, snowshoes, and people in fur, not paintbrushes or sketch pads. Actually, the idea of employing artists on expeditions has a long history. Photography began in the 1830s, but only by the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was it possible to take photographs in cold environments. Therefore, it was common for explorers of polar regions to be accompanied by artists to visually record the sights and phenomena for research and for popular distribution in books and articles.
David Abbey Paige had been working successfully as an artist in New York City, and was intensely interested in the depiction of nature. Upon return of the first Byrd Antarctic Expedition in 1930, Paige was commissioned by the Luna Amusement Company to create a "Panorama of the Antarctic," for the Coney Island Amusement Park. He contacted Byrd and other members of the expedition in an effort to get their approval of the "cyclorama."The Byrd expedition members were not impressed by Paige's preliminary sketches and made it clear that they would not officially sanction the cyclorama, nor would they have any official connection to it. Paige would not be dissuaded, and continued his interest in depicting the "color in Antarctica." After successful completion of the Coney Island cyclorama, he continued to complete paintings of Antarctica, using the information he gained from discussions with various expedition members, as well as data gathered from his study of various meteorological and scientific works. He completed 13 such canvases, and invited members of the expedition to come and view his work. As they did so, he made a charcoal sketch of each man. His work impressed the members of the expedition.
In a letter to Paige, Larry Gould stated that, "I would not have believed that anyone who had not been in the Polar regions could have so effectively caught those opalescent blues and kindred colors as you have...your work has that rare charm of being thoroughly authentic as well as genuinely artistic." Gould was so impressed, in fact, that he included two of the paintings in his book, Cold (New York: Brewer, Warren & Putnam, 1931), stating in the preface, "Because words are such an inadequate medium for conveying expressions of color, and because David Paige has so aptly caught certain phases of Antarctic colors on his canvases, I am grateful for his friendly interest." In 1933, Paige applied for the position of Expedition Artist for Byrd's Second Antarctic Expedition. Byrd replied that there would be no room for an artist, although he would have liked to take one. Although disappointed, Paige continued to pursue his dream of becoming the expedition artist through lobbying several members of the crew, as well as garnering letters of recommendation from the several important personalities of the day, including Senator Coolidge of Massachusetts, Dr. Andrews of the American Museum of Natural History, and Mr. Dart of the New York Times. It is unclear what finally changed Byrd's mind, but in October 1933, Byrd conceded. David Paige would be the artist on the Second Byrd Expedition to Antarctica.
Records indicate that Paige completed "100 pastels of various sizes; about 300 pencil drawings of aurura australis, and eight portraits in charcoal of the men as they appeared through the Winter Night, with their picturesque beards." Further documentation in the Byrd files states that Paige exhibited some of the works in various galleries upon his return to the United States in the 1930s. Correspondence indicates that the collection was destined for the Smithsonian. It is not clear from the existing documentation why this did not occur. In any case, the correspondence between David Paige and Admiral Byrd ends in 1939. Eventually, Paige became a scenic artist for the motion picture industry in California. In 1985, The Ohio State University acquired the Papers of Admiral Richard E. Byrd. Within the collection are 60 of the 100 pastel drawings that David Paige completed on Byrd's Second Expedition to Antarctica. In 2004, the German Maritime Museum and the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, exhibited the pastels for the first time since the 1930s. In October 2005, the pastels will again be exhibited, this time on the campus of The Ohio State University, Hopkins Gallery, in an exhibition entitled, "Passions and Visions: Antarctica."
Fitchburg Art Museum is North Worcester County's oldest and most treasured cultural institution, founded in 1925 through a bequest of artist and educator, Eleanor Norcross. Fourteen galleries house a diverse collection of American and European paintings, prints, drawings, ceramics and decorative arts as well as Greek, Roman, Asian and pre-Columbian antiquities. The Museum's collection of European and American paintings is distinguished by its portraits and landscapes from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Masterpieces by artists such as John Singleton Copley and Joseph Wright of Derby are powerful examples of the ability of portraiture, to communicate the private social, and economic status of people from other times and places. A choice selection of scenic landscapes, impressionistic portraits, and interiors by Eleanor Norcross, the Museum's founder, and luscious still lifes from the late nineteenth century round out the Museum's permanent exhibition of exceptional works of art by American, French and English artists. On display throughout the painting galleries is the Museum's collection of bronzes by import American Sculptors, among them, Anna Hyatt Huntington, William MacMonnies, and Willaim Zorach. The dynamic world events and scientific advances that marked the beginning of the twentieth century are reflected in the Museum's exhibition of modern paintings. The shift in twentieth-century art towards pure abstraction and highly personal symbolism are illustrated in two, brilliantly-hued paintings permanently on view: Morgan Russell's pure color abstraction "Synchromism (Eidos)" and Joseph Stella's radiant "Full Moon, Barbados" are classic examples of early- and mid-century Modernism. Finely wrought ritual bronzes, ceramic tomb figures, and Buddhist art on loan from the esteemed Sackler Foundations, New York, represent three thousand years of Chinese culture and religious practices. Complementing the Chinese Buddhist art is an exemplary collection of Indian sculpture and Tibetan bronzes that show the transmission of Buddhist imagery across East Asia. The life of ancient Egyptians, Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans and their indelible legacy is explored through stunning objects from the Museum's collection and long-term loans from the Harvard University Art Museums and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Marble portraits, bronze statuary, ceramic vessels, and modern paintings of Egyptian tombs illustrate the beliefs and customs of these influential cultures. Of the eight countries represented three - the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, and Nigeria - offer several examples of complexities and stylistic diversity of African art. Precious gold and richly-embellished ceramic vessels are just a few of the Meso-American and South American treasures on view from the Museum's Collection and long-term loans from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University. Through these extraordinary objects discover ancient civilizations and complex ritualized societies that flourished on the American continents hundreds of years ago. With well over twelve hundred objects, Prints and Drawings comprise the largest single holding in the Museum's collection. Works of art dating from the fifteenth century to the present include engravings by Albrecht Dürer and Jacques Callot, lithographs by Kathe Köllwitz, and drawings by John Singer Sargent. Prominent twentieth-century works of art include watercolors by Edward Hopper and Charles Burchfield, and a pastel by Georgia O'Keeffe. Also contained in Prints and Drawing is the Museum's growing collection of photographs, highlighted with prints by Berenice Abbott, Paul Caponigro, and Duncan McCosker. Also contained in the Museum's collection of photographs are historic prints from the 1860's to the present, including an important Civil War image by Alexander Gardner; 20th century Modernist photographs by Charles Sheeler, Walker Evans, and Berenice Abbot; landscapes, and 21st century work. The collection features a broad overview of 20th century photographs. In addition to exhibitions organized by the Museum or drawn from its permanent collection, the Museum hosts traveling exhibitions from other institutions. Visit the museum's website at ... http://www.fitchburgartmuseum.org
Posted: 30 Mar 2012 12:11 AM PDT
Florence, Italy.- "Americans in Florence: Sargent and the American Impressionists", on view at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, through July 15th, sets out to illustrate the extremely fertile and multifaceted relationship that the painters of the New World established with Florence and other cities in Tuscany between the mid 19th century and the World War 1. After the end of the American Civil War, there was a substantial increase in the number of American artists travelling to Europe, although, of course, the 18th century Grand Tour tradition had never really died. The painters' main destinations were Florence, Venice and Rome, cities which the artists idolised in their eagerness to explore their ancient monuments and to take their own measure against the art of the past. They were also attracted by the charm and variety of the landscape, so different from the countryside back home, by the light, by the evocative and atmospheric panoramic views, and by the picturesque charm of the local people.
The exhibition is divided into five sections with works by over thirty Americans artists who worked in Florence. Some, like John Singer Sargent, are famous, while the work of other less well-known artists is being shown in Italy for the first time. On returning home, they all became celebrated painters and authoritative masters who played a crucial role in forming the new generation of American painters and in forging the birth of a national school of painting. Their paintings dialogue in the sections of the exhibition with those by Florentine and Tuscan painters including Telemaco Signorini, Vittorio Corcos and Michele Gordigiani, whose work came closest to the sophisticated manner, so rich in literary allusions, that was favoured and nurtured by the most exclusive circles in that cosmopolitan colony. The first section, "Room with a View", focuses on the places where the Americans' daily life was played out in Florence. John Singer Sargent's "The Hotel Room" is typical of their first encounter with the city, involving an inevitable sojourn in a hotel in the centre to give them the time to explore and look for somewhere more appropriate to stay, far from the din, the poverty and the filth of the metropolis. Henry James, an illustrious American writer of the same generation, describes Florence as lethargically overlooking its sluggish green river, as in Lorenzo Gelati's painting "View of Florence with Washing hanging out to dry", "basking" in its decadent beauty, brimming with that atmosphere of the past which James and other Americans were aware was so lacking in their own country. Similarly, the market place, as shown in Telemaco Signorini's painting, was a discovery for the Americans, with its hubbub, colours, smells and dirt, not to mention the threat represented by beggars and pickpockets. The aim of these painters and their intellectual friends was to take up residence just outside Florence, in a villa in the hills, such as the village of Batelli in "View of Piagentina" painted by Silvestro Lega, then in a country setting that has been totally swallowed up by the expanding city today.
The second section consists of a gallery of self-portraits and portraits of the exhibition's leading players, the American artists who spent time in Florence, whose work forms the heart of the exhibitions' subsequent themes. These include Sargent, Frank Duveneck, William Merritt Chase, Cecilia Beaux, Edmund Charles Tarbell, Robert Vonnoh, Thomas Eakins and Frederick Childe Hassam, all of whom were ensnared in the engrossing experience of the Old World, and their search for a personal 'room with a view' capable of unveiling the aesthetic and literary mystery of a city to which some of them would later donate their self-portraits (now in the Uffizi). Alongside these painters, the portraits of Vernon Lee and Henry James evoke the presence of the large Anglo-American colony of scholars, collectors, writers and art critics, who in a singular melding of personalities and proclivities, projected onto Florence and its surroundings the utopian ideal of a perennial Renaissance. The third section "The Circle of Egisto Fabbri: Scholars and Painters" not only reconstructs the environment in which the influential Italian-American collector Egisto Fabbri's artistic education took place, beginning at the school of Julian Alden Weir in America and continuing in Paris in the shadow of Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro, it also reconstructs the American acquaintances of the young Fabbri who, when he finally returned to Florence, was to devote his energy to the cult of Cézanne and to a spirituality of Symbolist inspiration. Alongside the work of William Morris Hunt and John La Farge, masters of the younger generation setting out for Europe, the section will also include paintings by Mabel Hooper La Farge (John's daughter-in-law) and Mary Cassatt, both of whom were Fabbri's friends; by James Abbot McNeill Whistler and by Sargent himself, who portrayed the leading players in the American society that Egisto frequented, its eccentric and cosmopolitan aspirations acted out against the splendid backdrop of the Florentine hills.
The fourth section gives the visitor encounters with views of the city and its surroundings painted in accordance with the literary standards introduced by the novels of Edward Morgan Foster and the literary transfigurations of Edith Wharton, Maurice Hewlett and Elisabeth Pennel, who were to 'invent' the Tuscan countryside we can still recognise today in certain unchanged vistas, and with which the American painters George Inness, Elihu Vedder, the Duvenecks, Hassam and Merritt Chase proved to be perfectly at ease, translating its variety into sun-drenched naturalistic snapshots or into views prompted by sudden moods or by dreams of a bygone era. Selected watercolours that Sargent devoted to the serene elegance of villa life, alongside others inspired by the gardens of Florence and Lucca, by the Tuscan countryside and by the Carrara marble quarries, provide us with a significant anthology of the highest quality, illustrating this peculiarly American way of interpreting the Italian landscape. The final section, "America through the Lens of Painting and Literature" follows the artists back home to the USA, where they arrived brimming with enthusiasm and experience. These paintings were almost all produced by artists who had painted Florence and Tuscany and whose careers benefited enormously from the experience in the Old World. This was a very different decision from that made by Whistler, Cassatt and Sargent, who elected to stay in Europe, although they were inevitably somewhat nostalgic exiles. Tarbell, Childe Hassam, Weir, Benson, Chase, Mary Cassatt and Beaux painted the American landscape and domestic interiors, and portrayed women or leading personalities in American politics and society. Many, on returning from Europe, became the younger generations' teachers and it was this new graft, nurtured also by the collections of European old masters and modern art being put together by America's wealthiest families with advice from the artists themselves (Cassatt, Chase), that forged America's first national school of painting.
The Palazzo Strozzi is an impressive exhibition hall in Florecne. The palace itself is inspired by the Palazzo Medici, but with more harmonious proportions. Unlike the Medici Palace, which was sited on a corner lot, and thus has only two sides, this building, surrounded on all four sides by streets, is a free-standing structure. This introduced a problem new in Renaissance architecture, which, given the newly felt desire for internal symmetry of planning symmetry: how to integrate the cross-axis. The ground plan of Palazzo Strozzi is rigorously symmetrical on its two axes, with clearly differentiated scales of its principal rooms. The construction of the palace begun in 1489 by Benedetto da Maiano, for Filippo Strozzi the Elder, a rival of the Medici who had returned to the city in November 1466 and desired the most magnificent palace to assert his family's continued prominence and, perhaps more important, a political statement of his own status. A great number of other buildings were acquired during the 70s and demolished to provide enough space for the new construction. Giuliano da Sangallo provided a wood model of the design. Filippo Strozzi died in 1491, long before the construction's completion in 1538. Duke Cosimo I de' Medici confiscated it in the same year, not returning it to the Strozzi family until thirty years later. The palace faces the historical Via de' Tornabuoni. The palazzo remained the seat of the Strozzi family until 1937. Great changes were made to the building when the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni occupied Palazzo Strozzi. The palazzo, granted by the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni to the Italian State in 1999, is now home to the Institute of Humanist Studies and to the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi. The Gabinetto G.P. Viesseux and the Renaissance Studies Institute have both also occupied the building since 1940. Today the palace is used for international expositions like the now-annual antique show, founded as the Biennale dell'Antiquariato in 1959, fashion shows and other cultural and artistic events, such as "Cézanne in Florence. Two Collectors and the 1910 Exhibition of Impressionism". Here also is the seat of the Istituto Nazionale del Rinascimento and the noted Gabinetto Vieusseux, with the library and reading room. Visit the museum's website at ... http://www.palazzostrozzi.org/
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 11:36 PM PDT
Chicago, Illinois.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is proud to present "This Will Have Been: Art, Love and Politics in the 1980s", on view at the museum through June 3rd. The 1980s - from the election of Ronald Reagan to the fall of the Berlin Wall - were a transformative decade for art, music, and politics. The exhibition, "This Will Have Been: Art, Love, & Politics in the 1980s", with over 150 works that represent the diversity and complexity of art produced during this tumultuous decade when the art world shifted between radical and conservative, lighthearted and political, sincere and irreverent. "This Will Have Been" offers an overview of the artistic production in the 1980s, divided into thematic sections, while situating the contemporary moment within the history of art of the recent past. At the deepest level, "This Will Have Been" is shaped by two phenomena that frame the 1980s: feminism and the AIDS crisis. Within these larger outlines, the exhibition finds desire – rather than cynicism or irony – to be the real tenor of the decade. Desire is not reserved for only bodies and objects; one also finds the desire for a break with the past, for a principled and just government, and for the greater acceptance of difference.
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 11:25 PM PDT
Cincinnati, Ohio.- The Miller Gallery is pleased to present three different shows opening on April 13th. A remarkable collection of new paintings by the young Cuban artist, Carlos Gamez de Francisco will feature beside sculptures by Theodore (Ted) Gall. The gallery will also introduce visitors to digital works by the young Mexican artist, Mariana Palova. There will be an opening party on Friday April 13th from 6 to 8 pm, and the exhibitions will then remain on display through April 27th. Continuing the theme of the figurative works referencing Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette that rocketed him into museum collections at the age of 24, Carlos Gamez de Francisco offers his finest work yet. Inspired by his interest in the stereotypes of human behavior, his style incorporates both academic figure studies and contemporary painting techniques. His canvases reveal carefully delineated figures dressed in dynamic swatches of golds, blues and blacks, which heighten both the energy of his figures and texture of the surface. "My figures," explains Carlos, "which seem to escape the laws of reason, of physics and biology, are only our alter egos, usually friendly monsters, but monsters in the end. In my work, I try to demystify the reality around me."
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 10:37 PM PDT
Eugene, Oregon.- "Visions of the Orient," on view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art from April 21st through June 18th, will feature 125 prints and paintings by four women who traveled and lived in Asia between 1900 and 1940. The exhibition opens with a free, preview reception on Friday, April 20th, from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition focuses on the work of four artists: Helen Hyde (1868-1919), Bertha Lum (1869-1954), Elizabeth Keith (1887-1956), and Lilian Miller (1895-1943), all of whom trained initially as painters but, while living in Japan, also designed woodblock prints. It suggests shared themes in these artists' work: a focus on what they saw as the unchanging Asian traditions; subject matter that emphasized women, children, and romantic landscapes; and a style characterized by lyrical naturalism. "Visions of the Orient" is organized by the Pacific Asia Museum with the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and curated by Dr. Kendall H. Brown, Professor of Asian Art History at California State University, Long Beach.
Dr. Brown will lead a Curator's Gallery Talk on Sunday, May 6, at 2:00 p.m. Ever since Japan was opened to the West in 1853, European and American artists began to experiment with Japanese subject matter, styles, techniques, and aesthetics. These appropriations were both an homage to and means of understanding what was known as the exotic Orient. In 1900, Helen Hyde set up residence in Tokyo, becoming the first of four Western female artists to relocate to Japan and make careers presenting Orientalizing imagery to an enthusiastic audience. She was soon followed by Bertha Lum, Elizabeth Keith and Lilian Miller - three artists who worked in conjunction and competition in Tokyo in the 1920s.
The careers of these four remarkable women can be understood in terms of Orientalism, the Western propagation of biased interpretations of Asian cultures and peoples within the context of an unequal power dynamic informed by romanticism and colonialist and imperialist assumptions. By investigating the intersection of American art, East Asia, and the woodblock print movement, "Visions of the Orient" explores the various ways that "the Orient" served as a liberating professional space for these female artists and as a place of creative inspiration. This exhibition has special resonance in Eugene because three of the four artists -- Hyde, Keith, and Lum -- were close personal friends and travel companions of the museum founder, Gertrude Bass Warner (1863-1951). For that reason, any show focusing on their art would likely draw from our enviable holdings, which include not just prints, paintings, and drawings, but also correspondence, tools, and personal effects. It is worth noting that the majority of the works in this exhibition are part of our permanent collection.
The University of Oregon's art museum opened its doors to the public on June 10, 1933. Designed by Ellis F. Lawrence, UO dean of the School of Architecture & Allied Arts (1914-1946), the museum was built to house the Murray Warner Collection of Oriental Art—more than 3,000 objects given to the University by Gertrude Bass Warner in 1921 as a memorial to her late husband. The original collection primarily represented the cultures of China and Japan. Also included were works from Korea, Mongolia, Cambodia and Russia, as well as American and British pieces influenced by Asian art and culture. Prince Lucien Campbell, president of the university from 1902 to 1925, and Lawrence, championed the building of an art museum on the University of Oregon campus. President Campbell believed that a university should be a center for culture for the region it serves. With its elegant exterior brickwork, decorative moldings and iron grillwork, as well as the peaceful Prince Lucien Campbell Memorial Courtyard, the original museum building is one of the most distinctive architectural structures in Oregon. The museum is listed on the National Register for Historic Places. In the 1990s university leaders and museum board members launched the Museum Campaign. The UO's art museum broke ground for its long awaited and much anticipated project in October 2002. With its new name – Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art – in recognition of its major donor, the museum reopened in 2005. The design of the Chicago firm Hammond Beeby Rupert Ainge reinvigorated the revered structure while respecting its historically important architectural elements and spaces. Today, significantly expanded gallery space allows the museum to host concurrent collections installations as well as changing exhibitions. Educational facilities now include a hands-on interactive discovery gallery and art-making studio. The museum also includes a café, museum store, as well as a lecture hall and reception hall that open onto outdoor courtyards.Visit the museum's website at ... http://jsma.uoregon.edu
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 10:06 PM PDT
Kansas City, Missouri.- The King Survey of the Great Basin, from 1867 to 1872, was the model for the other "great surveys" of the 19th-century American West. Rare and iconic works by Timothy H. O'Sullivan, the King Survey's official photographer, will be featured in an exhibition at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art from April 7th through September 2nd. Keith F. Davis and Jane L. Aspinwall, respectively senior and assistant curators of photography at the Nelson-Atkins, organized "Timothy O'Sullivan: The King Survey Photographs"."There is good reason that O'Sullivan remains so influential after all these years," said Davis. "Visually speaking, he was the world's greatest poker player. He always kept his cards close to his vest. His images are at once boldly straightforward and deeply mysterious, a perfect combination of intuition and calculation. His genius lies, in part, in making such originality appear so effortless." There are 60 photographs in the exhibition. Nine were borrowed from the American Geographical Society in Milwaukee, WIS; and the remainder are from the holdings of the Nelson-Atkins. Accompanying the exhibition is a major book, co-authored by Davis and Aspinwall, with contributions by three esteemed scholars: John P. Herron, Francois Brunet, and Mark Klett.
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 09:57 PM PDT
NEW YORK, NY.- Von Lintel Gallery presents an exhibition of new paintings by Catherine Howe. Lush and densely layered, Catherine Howe's canvases overflow with sensuous color, bold gesture and riotous energy. These are tactile paintings. Thick dabs of paint swirl atop Howe's distinctive backgrounds of variegated hues, sultry reds, inky blues and blacks. Spills and textured splatters of paint add to the animated exuberance Howe culls from the spontaneity of her response to material. On exhibition from 29th March through 5th of May.
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 09:32 PM PDT
Augusta, Georgia.- "Window on the West: Views from the American Frontier", an exhibition of more than sixty paintings and works on paper by such well-known artists as Frederick Remington, Albert Bierstadt, Karl Bodmer, and John James Audubon, is currently on display at the Morris Museum of Art and will remain on view through July 22nd. This exhibition, drawn from the Arthur J. Phelan Collection, offers an extraordinary glimpse of the American West through the work of artists who were some of the first to see, experience, and document the vast, untouched lands of the American west. The appearance of the exhibition, which is circulated by Exhibits Development Group of St. Paul, Minnesota, inaugurates a six-museum North American tour.
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 09:17 PM PDT
AMSTERDAM - The Van Gogh Museum is hosting the Stedelijk Museum with the presentation Fauvists and Expressionists, on view through April 5, 2009. The Stedelijk's Fauvist and Expressionist collection dates from the directorship of Willem Sandberg (1948-1963). Sandberg was inspired to begin collecting in this field after the museum was given a large number of Van Gogh's works on long-term loan. Originally owned by members of Van Gogh's family, these works were entrusted to the Stedelijk Museum after the Second World War and remained in its safe keeping until the opening of the Van Gogh Museum in 1973.
Sandberg and the museum's curator at that time, Hans Jaffé, sought to emphasise Van Gogh's importance for modern art by presenting him as "one of the great figures in modern painting". This is the first time that the Stedelijk Museum's Fauvist and Expressionist works will once again be shown alongside Vincent van Gogh's estate that provided the original impetus for their acquisition. The presentation on the third floor of the Rietveld building comprises a total of fourteen works and includes masterpieces such as Nude girl behind a curtain (Fränzi) by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Willem Wauer by Oskar Kokoschka, Blue foals by Franz Marc and Landscape in Dangast by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.
The Stedelijk Museum concentrated mainly on acquiring works by German Expressionists such as those allied to Dresden's Die Brücke (1905-1913) and Munich's Der Blaue Reiter (1911-1914). These groups were influenced by Vincent van Gogh's thinking about the role of the artist, his purity of colour and the eloquence of his work. The museum also purchased works by the French Fauves, who were inspired by Van Gogh's lively use of colour and his thick, pasty application of paint.
Although the Expressionist artist Alexej von Jawlensky (1864-1941) never met Van Gogh, he regarded him as a mentor and in 1908 even bought a painting from Van Gogh's sister-in-law, Jo van Gogh-Bonger (The house of père Pilon, 1890, private collection). He later wrote to her: "For many years it has been my ardent desire to own a painting by his hand." Jawlensky was particularly impressed by Van Gogh's use of colour. The presentation shows Van Gogh's influence on Jawlensky, evident for example in the canvas Landscape he painted in 1914. Taking Van Gogh as his example, Jawlensky used bright contrasting colours in order to gain intensity. His landscape can be compared with Van Gogh's Orchards in blossom, view of Arles of 1889, where the principle of complementary colour use is deployed in the same manner.
During his early years as an artist the Expressionist painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) was also entranced by Van Gogh's clarity of colour and dynamic brush work. The complementary colour contrasts Kirchner used in his Three nudes in the forest, painted in 1908, clearly identify Van Gogh as his source of inspiration. The canvas bears a striking similarity to Van Gogh's Tree roots (1890), which is also on display in the museum.
As a self-taught artist, the Fauvist Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958) identified himself closely with Van Gogh, taking Van Gogh's expressive touch and spontaneous manner of painting as the basis of his artistic career. The exhibition features De Vlaminck's Landscape near Chatou from 1906, in which De Vlaminck instinctively used bright, pure colours applied in thick, pasty brushstrokes. A similar thick and pasty application is favoured by Van Gogh in his landscape Wheatfield from 1888.
Visit the Van Gogh Museum at : http://www3.vangoghmuseum.nl/vgm/index.jsp
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 09:16 PM PDT
VIENNA.- "Photographs" is the first major survey of the work of American artist Zoe Leonard. In addition to early works from the 1980s and 1990s, the MUMOK exhibition will include "Analogue", a series of 412 photographs produced between 1998 and 2009 in which Leonard investigates the changes in the urban landscape and economy resulting from a rapidly advancing globalization. Zoe Leonard is usually familiar with the places where she takes her pictures. She photographs in nature and on city streets and also in places where objects are on display: in museums of natural sciences or museums of art, in shop windows or at fashion shows. On exhibition 4 December through 21 February, 2010.
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 09:15 PM PDT
Waterville, ME - Alex Katz is one of the most important American artists of our time, and his impressive body of work constitutes a unique aspect of modern realism. In 1992 Alex Katz donated more than 400 of his works to the Colby College Museum of Art. The Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz, which opened in 1996 and presents ongoing selections from the Katz Collection, was made possible through the generosity of then Colby trustee Paul J. Schupf.
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 09:14 PM PDT
Sydney, AU - 'An incomplete world' features paintings and photographs by leading international artists including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Sarah Morris, Damien Hirst, Andreas Gursky, Ed Ruscha, Lucian Freud, Gerhard Richter and Cindy Sherman. Selected from The UBS Art Collection, one of the finest international corporate art collections, An incomplete world will open at the Art Gallery of New South Wales before traveling to the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. Exhibitions curated from the UBS collection have previously been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Tate Modern, London. On exhibition 19 May – 29 July 2007.
An incomplete world will highlight artworks that consider how we have shaped the world and our vision of it, and how the world we have created shapes us. The exhibition has three linked thematic groups: natural and built environments; portraits and people; transforming places. Over 50 works have been selected by 31 artists to represent these themes.
The selection was made by Wayne Tunnicliffe, curator contemporary art, Art Gallery of New South Wales and Jason Smith, curator contemporary art, National Gallery of Victoria.
Wayne Tunnicliffe says: "This exhibition brings together great works of art from the last thirty years, the majority of which have not been seen in Australia before. UBS's three year commitment to supporting the Gallery's contemporary collection programs and this exhibition are together the most important sponsorship of contemporary art that the gallery has received."
The exhibition opens at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney on 19 May and is on display until 29 July 2007 and then tours to the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 28 September 2007 to 6 January 2008.
Brad Orgill, Country Head, UBS, Australasia, added, "We are delighted that we can bring to Australia for the first time a selection of our contemporary art for pubic viewing. The curators have selected works that provide an insight into the variety and depth of The UBS Art Collection.
Highlights of the exhibition include:
American pop artist Andy Warhol's unique early work Cagney, 1963, depicts the film actor famous for his gangster roles. This dates from when Warhol first began to make silkscreen paintings and to concentrate on movie stars and film-making. Another Warhol in the exhibition is his iconic portrait of German artist Joseph Beuys from 1984.
British artist Lucian Freud's Head of a naked girl, 1999, is a searingly intimate close-up portrait, while Double portrait¸1988-90, depicts a woman lying with a hound. As Freud has said, "I paint people not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be."
Damien Hirst, one of the highest profile contemporary British artists, is represented with a large painting of colored dots on a white ground. Entitled Albumin, Human, Gyrated, 1992, it is from his series of randomly arranged spot paintings with titles that refer to pharmaceuticals. Hirst has described this series as happy paintings, and yet that joy has a chemical reference.
A substantial group of influential recent European photography includes such luminaries as Thomas Ruff with enigmatic large-scale color portraits, Andreas Gursky with his spectacular digitally altered store interior 99 cent, 1999 and sublime image of a glacier, Aletschgelscher, 1993, and a series of Candida Hofer's enigmatic empty public rooms.
Japanese photographers Miyamoto and Hatakeyama have ominous but impressive works. Miyamoto's black and white photographs document the damage inflicted on buildings in Kobe after the earthquake in 1995 and Hatekeyama's abstract violently beautiful images are of exploding rocks and soil.
A broad public program of film, tours, talks, and events for families including an on-line education kit for students and teachers will accompany the exhibition. Visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales at : www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 09:13 PM PDT
New York City - Nine thousand picture postcards amassed by American photographer Walker Evans (1903–1975) are among the fascinating works in The Walker Evans Archive, acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994. Walker Evans and the Picture Postcard, to be presented at the Museum from February 3 through May 25, 2009, will be a dynamic installation of hundreds of these postcards from Evans's collection, which he built and refined over the course of 60 years.
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 09:12 PM PDT
Newport News, VA.- The travelling exhibition "Unbroken Thread: Nature Paintings and the American Imagination. The Art of Philip Koch" will open at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News, Virginia on July 23rd, where it can be seen until October 2nd. The idea for this nationally traveling exhibition was first proposed by the art historian Eva J. Allen, Ph.D. an art historian from the University of Maryland University College where the exhibit debuted in 2008. Koch, a former abstract painter, became attracted to the long romantic tradition of American landscape painting that began in the 19th century with artists such as John F. Kensett and Sanford Gifford, members of the Hudson River School. Their echo can be felt in later artists like Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, and Rockwell Kent. All were important sources for Koch.
The exhibition traces both similarities and differences between the work of these past artists with that of a contemporary painter who came of age looking at colorful abstract painting by artists like Mark Rothko. After Newport News, the exhibition will travel to the Saginaw Art Museum in Michigan, where it will open on December 8th.
One "thread" of continuity between the past landscapists and Koch is the shared sense of sublime, overarching beauty of the natural world. While the 19th century painters sought to depict the vastness of the new world of North America, Koch's works adopt a different stance. Many observers find an otherworldly or surreal feeling in his landscape. In our time of environmental degradation, the sustained power of nature seems less assured. Koch feels the image of the natural world remains a critical symbol of inspired creativity and fertile imagination. Yet our grasp on this symbol may be both more needed and more fragile than for earlier landscape artists. Koch has often wondered aloud if his paintings are of a landscape either of long ago, far in the future, or perhaps outside of time altogether. In preparation for the exhibit, Koch painted in some of the same locations in New England as did the artists from the past who inspired him- Cape Cod and three key centers of landscape painting history in Maine, Ogunquit, Mt.Desert Island, and Monhegan Island. The exhibition is accompanied by a 92 page scholarly catalogue with an essay by Eva J. Allen.
Philip Koch (pronounced like "watch") grew up in upstate New York in a deep forest along the rocky shore of deep and cold Lake Ontario. As there were few other children to play with, Koch spent hours on his own exploring nature. "As a kid, I sensed right away that Nature was something of immense power. Year round we'd have strong north winds off the Great Lake raking the beech and birch forest. Winter snows were frequent and deep. It was jaw dropping in its beauty. All my vivid memories are images of being out in that near-wilderness." A former abstract painter, Philip Koch was inspired in his early 20's to turn to realism after viewing the work of the famous American artist Edward Hopper. In it Koch grasped the power of a well-painted realist image to entice and involve the eyes of all kinds of viewers.
Since 1983 Koch has enjoyed thirteen residencies in Hopper's former studio on Cape Cod. Labeled a "contemporary master" by Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, Koch has had his work spotlighted in 14 solo exhibitions in American art museums including the Butler Institute of American Art (OH), the Saginaw Art Museum (MI), and the Swope Art Museum (IN). In 2008 the University of Maryland University College published a 92 page scholarly catalogue on Koch's work from the last decade that focuses on the art legacy of the New England coast. The catalogue accompanies a national traveling exhibition running through 2012. Koch's paintings are in the Permanent Collections of twelve American art museums. Koch is a Professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
The Peninsula Fine Arts Center is an art museum located in Newport News, Virginia and is associated with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting art appreciation and education via a diverse schedule of changing exhibitions, featuring contemporary art as well as more historically-based work. It is located at 101 Museum Drive on the grounds of the park surrounding the Mariners' Museum and is accredited with the American Association of Museums. Open Tues - Sat 10 am to 5 pm, Sun 1-5 pm. The Peninsula Fine Arts Center's "Hands On For Kids" gallery is a permanent installation space designed for children and families to interact in a fun, educational environment that encourages participation with art materials and concepts. The gallery shop features works by regional and national artists and craftsmen, as well as museum reproductions, jewelry, books and related gifts. Each year, The Peninsula Fine Arts Center's studio art school offers three sessions of classes and workshops for children (ages 4 and up) and adults in a variety of media. Visit the museum's website at ... http://www.pfac-va.org/
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 09:11 PM PDT
Berlin.- The Ketterer Kunst is pleased to present "Pop Art in Berlin: It Doesn't Always Have to be Warhol" on view at the gallery through October 9th. Andy Warhol is both the epitomy and an icon of pop art. However, it doesn't always have to be Warhol, this exhibition demonstrates just that. With prices ranging between € 50 and € 10.000, the more than 60 original prints on display are affordable for all those who are interested in Pop Art. What is considered Pop Art today has its origins in both the USA and England in the 1950's. It was Jasper Johns who made an artwork consisting of two bronze beer cans in 1959, three years before Andy Warhol came up wit the famous Campbell soup tins, and in the series of prints named "Reaper", Richard Hamilton decomposed a lawn mower into its parts as early as in 1949.
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 09:10 PM PDT
Chicago, IL.- This summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago presents "Pandora's Box: Joseph Cornell Unlocks the MCA Collection" until October 16th. Featuring a selection of rarely seen work by the beloved American master Joseph Cornell placed in direct dialogue with works from the MCA Collection, it aims to illuminate his continuing relevance and influence. The exhibition is grouped into ten distinct themes pulled from Cornell's work, each given its own gallery: The Box as Altar, Feathered Fantasies, The Voyeur, Repetitions, Celestial Musings, A Reductive Language, Cut and Paste, Architecture and Art, The Lure of the Ocean, and Films.Joseph Cornell (1903-72) was an American artist and sculptor who is one of the most celebrated figures in modern art. His signature works -- boxed assemblages made with precious objects that he found on trips to New York bookshops and thrift stores – combined the formal rigor of Constructivism with the fantasy of Surrealism.
Cornell is considered an American Surrealist, he came on the scene later than his European counterparts, but admired their work and borrowed from their absurd juxtapositions and evocation of nostalgia. Although he lived almost all of his life in a small house on Utopia Parkway in working-class Queens with his mother and brother, he nevertheless was shown in progressive galleries in New York, made contact with many of the most advanced artists of his day, and entertained curious visitors until late in his life. Cornell's work has been defined by the rectangular box, which he transformed into small, magical worlds by adding his collected materials. Each box was assembled with great care and devotion, and in its finished state resembled a religious altar.
Numerous artists have followed his example, building rectangular containers that create a real visual space, allow for the juxtaposition of objects, and draw viewers into deciphering their interior dramas. Contemporary artists such as Don Baum and Marisol share his spirit for thrift store salvation, assembling narratives from disparate cast-off parts. George Segal and Buzz Spector enlarged Cornell's small scale to more human dimensions, but retained his contemplative and philosophical tone. Jeff Wall's signature lightboxes, filled with detailed color photographs, inspire the same kind of looking and thinking that has come to be a hallmark of Cornell. Cornell was fascinated with birds for their exoticism and beauty, and their representation of flight, travel, and escape. Cornell rarely ventured far from home, but the freedom that birds possessed fostered dreams of other places. Two categories of bird-related boxes emerged over the years: Habitats, which appear as homes birds would develop in nature, and Aviaries which recall manmade birdhouses. The Habitats were filled with soil, bark, and insects, and often darkened with colored glass fronts, while the Aviaries tended to be bright, with painted perches, food and water dishes. Other Surrealists, such as Max Ernst and Leonora Carrington, also turned to birds as avatars of strangeness, with flamboyant plumage, prehistoric movement, and often foreboding significance (as with Edgar Allen Poe and the raven). The erotic idea of caging beauty, especially songbirds, can often be found in Ernst's works of captive creatures such as in his painting Loplop Introducing a Bird. Chicago-based artist Nick Cave has also been drawn to birds in his resourceful scavenging and collaged sculptures, a new one of which was commissioned for the exhibition. Like Cornell, who switched from taxidermied birds to 3 reproduced images, Marlo Pascual plays with illusion, making a flat photograph appear to come to life with the addition of a sculptural perch.
For Warhol, the repetitive images of celebrity figures, such as the Troy (Donohue), speak to a culture of mass marketing and the tabloid image machine. But in Cornell's hands, the repetition has a quiet, meditative quality like a prayer chant, especially with his obsession over a handsome young boy from a Caravaggio painting. Other artworks in the MCA collection reveal what a seminal act duplication and replication has become in contemporary art, from the assemblages of Arman, which likewise address consumer culture and waste, to Wallace Berman who mixes spirituality with pop culture. In Rembrandt Head Details, Mike and Doug Starn's double photo of Rembrandt appears as an archeological relic of a bygone era, and in Christian Boltanski's epic installation repeated images of children take on a melancholy character.
Longing and romantic desire run through Cornell's work, populated with beautiful maidens, nymphs, and ballerinas -- usually as objects of worship. In one of the works from his Hotel de l'Etoile series, he uses his signature deep blue glass to symbolize night, as he orchestrates a clandestine moonlight escapade with a voluptuous nude from a men's magazine emerging from the shadows. The artist William Copley, who was a friend and dealer of Cornell's, was also fascinated with the female form and, like Cornell, placed the viewer in an oddly voyeuristic position as in Blue Mood where the privacy of a bath is interrupted by a policeman. Jeff Koons and Michelangelo Pistoletto also implicate the viewer in not-so-private bath times -- Koons in sculptural form with the emergence of a snorkeler in the tub, while Pistoletto uses mirrored aluminum to reflect an encounter with an Ingres-like beauty in The Turkish Bath. The story gets more complicated in Henry Darger's complex narratives with the Vivian girls, where sexuality is confused in a bacchanalian fantasy. The 'female as temptress' is different for women artists: Cindy Sherman and Francesca Woodman come at this subject from different angles, although both use themselves as the protagonists of their staged scenarios. Before Andy Warhol made serial repetition a staple of visual culture, Cornell pioneered the use of repeating copies of the same image. In his Medici Boxes, Cornell would duplicate the same printed illustration in a gridded structure, predating Warhol. Despite myths about Cornell's hermit-like lifestyle, he entertained many visitors to his home over the years, including Warhol.
Cornell was fascinated by the sky and the planets, using circular forms (rings, rubber balls, corks, marbles) as metaphors for celestial bodies. In his boxes, star maps paired with looped rings or balls could take on the significance of other realms, transporting the viewer into a world of science and wonder. Contemporary artists have taken up similar concerns, such as in the transformative work of Gabriel Orozco, whose "Ball on Water" liberates the common object of a ball to suggest the sky and heavens. In Piotr Uklanski's collages with pencil shavings, trash can even suggest the Big Bang theory, and in Jeff Koons' sculpture Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank, basketballs suddenly take on galactic overtones. The ambiguous circles in the work of artists Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Liz Larner, and Mariko Mori are likewise transformed by association, while artists Louise Nevelson and Gary Simmons directly reference planetary activity. Using mud to paint a giant circle on the gallery wall of the MCA, Richard Long clearly intended to transport the mysterious power of our planet into the gallery. Cornell found beauty in simplicity before Minimalism, but one of the lesser-known aspects of his work is that he didn't always fill his boxes with found imagery. A rhythm of rectangular grids, or an array of circular holes in works such as Multiple Cubes show a stripped down expression of space and solids that was a predecessor of Minimalist art in the 1960s. Seen alongside the plywood boxes of Donald Judd, or the mathematical progressions of Sol LeWitt, Cornell's work is revelatory. H.C. Westermann was also drawn to repetitive and algorithmic formats, which he used in his sculpture "Rosebud". Alfred Jensen was fascinated by the mystical qualities of nature, mathematics, and exotic cultures. In his canvas Let There Be Light, he tries to assign meaning to the numeric patterns as if unlocking an ancient secret, a pursuit that Cornell would have found worthwhile. Cornell's collages borrow from Surrealist visual games known for creating disruptions of meaning and nonsense. Clashing compositions of found imagery have come to characterize much of the defining work of the late 20th century.
They took the form of Victorian fever dreams in the work of San Francisco Bay Area artist Jess, and a cool conceptualism in the classic multi-panel works of John Baldessari. Robert Rauschenberg's silkscreened work Retroactive II and the politically charged hallucinations of Robert Heinecken show how long this method lasted. Collage returned with artists such as David Salle whose dissonant paintings are interrupted by objects attached directly to the canvas, and in the overwhelming detail and horror vacui of Lari Pittman's paintings. The vitality of recent work by artists Thomas Hirschhorn and John Stezaker prove that cutting and pasting remains a relevant way to reflect and process the modern media-saturated world.
Cornell's boxes often suggest architecture in miniature -- built with wood, decorated with paint, and often including decorative moulding, wire screens, and glass. Some formats were literally derived from small-scale buildings like birdhouses or dovecotes, such as Untitled (Compartmented Aviary Box). Architecture has also been a favorite reference point for contemporary artists. Christo's early work, Orange Store Front, is an architectural fragment that acts as a stage for narrative projections. Guenther Foerg's photographs of fascist architecture such as the Mussolini-era building depicted in E.U.R. Palazzo della Civilta, reveal the complexities of buildings which seem beautiful and orderly on the outside, but hold disturbing political agendas inside. The vast scope of Andreas Gursky's image Avenue of the Americas makes one wonder how it was possible to capture from a single vantage point. B. Wurtz pairs photography and objects, rooting the grandiosity of architecture in the familiarity of the everyday. Travel to exotic, faraway places and dreams of escape populate Cornell's work. The ocean was one of his favorite recurring themes, through the inclusion of boat forms, navigational maps, seashells, and the color blue. The Surrealists often used the ocean and the threshold between land and sea as a metaphor for the edges of civilization, and sometimes reason. This is certainly the case in René Magritte's "Les merveilles de la nature (The Wonders of Nature)", where a clipper ship painted to look like clouds sails by while two fish characters canoodle on the beach.
One of the nation's largest facilities devoted to the art of our time, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) offers exhibitions of the most thought-provoking art created since 1945. The MCA documents contemporary visual culture through painting, sculpture, photography, video and film, and performance. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the MCA boasts a gift store, bookstore, restaurant, 300-seat theater, and a terraced sculpture garden with a great view of Lake Michigan. The mission of the MCA is to be an innovative and compelling center of contemporary art where the public can directly experience the work and ideas of living artists, and understand the historical, social, and cultural context of the art of our time. The Museum boldly interweaves exhibitions, performances, collections, and educational programs to excite, challenge, and illuminate our visitors and to provide insight into the creative process. The MCA aspires to engage a broad and diverse audience, create a sense of community and be a place for contemplation, stimulation, and discussion about contemporary art and culture. The Museum of Contemporary Art Collection has outstanding examples of visual art from 1945 to the present with a strong focus on surrealism, minimalism, conceptual photography, and work by Chicago-based artists. At the time of its opening, the Museum claimed 7,000 objects, including works by Marcel Duchamp, Bruce Nauman, and Alfredo Jaar. Today, the museum's collection consists of 2,345 objects, as well as about 2,500 artist's books. The collection features visual art from 1945 to the present, including work by artists from Lee Bontecou to Robert Smithson. Notable works in the museum's collection include, "Polychrome and Horizontal Bluebird" by Alexander Calder, "Cindy" by Chuck Close, "In Memory of My Feelings - Frank O'Hara" by Jasper Johns, "Study for a Portrait" by Francis Bacon and "Campbell's Soup Cans II" by Andy Warhol. During the 2008 fiscal year the MCA Celebrated its 40th anniversary, which inspired gifts of works from artists such as Dan Flavin, Alfredo Jaar, and Thomas Ruff. Additionally, the museum expanded its collection by acquiring the work of some of the artists it presented during its anniversary celebration such as Carlos Amorales, Tony Oursler, and Adam Pendleton. Visit the museum's website at ... http://www.mcachicago.org
Posted: 29 Mar 2012 09:09 PM PDT
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