12434 - 20170212 - Columbus Museum of Art presents "Thomas Cole: The Artist as Architect" - Columbus, OH - 18.11.2016-12.02.2017


Charles Herbert Moore, Untitled Landscape with Thomas Cole's First Studio, c. 1862-1868. Oil on canvas, 8 x 11 1/2 in. Framed: 12 1/4 x 16 in. Thomas cole National Historic Site, Catskill, NY, Gift of Lynne Hill Bohnsack, TC.2001.2.1.
Columbus Museum of Art is presenting Thomas Cole: The Artist as Architect November 18, 2016 through February 12, 2017. This is the first exhibition to focus on the little-known fact that the renowned leader of the Hudson River School of American landscape painting realized three buildings and had plans for others before his untimely death. The exhibition also commemorates the recreation of Thomas Cole’s studio and includes paintings that reveal Cole’s architectural proclivity, drawings that document his recurrent focus on architectural structures, and elevations and floor plans for his built and visionary projects. 
The Hudson River School of art, which Thomas Cole founded, dominated American visual arts between 1825 and about 1870 and helped to stimulate interest in environmental preservation, ultimately laying the groundwork for the establishment of the national park system. Hudson River School landscape art continues to influence contemporary artists. However, few people realize that Cole designed buildings. One of Cole’s notable architectural achievements is his design for the Ohio State Capitol and the exhibition includes drawings made by Cole of the Ohio State Capitol. It also includes Cole’s landscape paintings, some showing ancient ruins inspired by his European travels, others with 19th-century grand houses. Central to the show is Cole’s visionary painting The Architect’s Dream (1840), on loan from the Toledo Museum of Art and Cole’s The Cascatelli, Tivoli, Looking Towards Rome (circa 1832) from the permanent collection of the Columbus Museum of Art.

The exhibition is curated by Annette Blaugrund, an independent scholar, author, and curator who was director of the National Academy Museum, New York for 11 years. She has worked at the Brooklyn Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the New York Historical Society. She has taught at Columbia University, where she earned her PhD in art history. She has written numerous books on American art, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy in 2008, and was named Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in 1992. CMA Curator-At-Large Carole Genshaft has organized the Columbus presentation.

Thomas Cole: The Artist as Architect was organized by the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in association with the Columbus Museum of Art.

Accompanying the exhibition is a new hardcover catalogue of the same title published by The Monacelli Press. The 120-page publication contains 63 full-color images; directors’ forewords by Nannette V. Maciejunes and Elizabeth Jack; an essay by Dr. Blaugrund about Cole’s architectural endeavors as seen in his paintings, drawings, and realized projects; a contextual essay on the legacy of Thomas Cole by Franklin Kelly, deputy director and chief curator at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; and a preface by Barbara Novak, professor emerita, Barnard College and Columbia University. Support for this publication was provided in part by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art. The catalogue is available in the CMA Museum Store.


12433 - 20170219 - First exhibition on remarkable 18th century artist Pierre Gouthière opens at the Frick - New York - 16.11..2016-19.02.2017


New York’s Frick Collection presents the first exhibition devoted to Gouthière, a project that brings together twenty-one of his finest masterpieces. Photo: Michael Bodycomb.

Pierre Gouthière (1732–1813) was one of the greatest French artists of the eighteenth century. A master chaser-gilder, he created opulent objets d’art that were coveted by the wealthiest and most important figures of prerevolutionary France, including Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Louis XV’s mistress Madame Du Barry, and the Duke of Aumont. Like a sculptor, he made his own models and had them cast in metal. Using dozens of specialized tools, he then created patterns and textures on the surface of the metal objects before gilding them. So exceptional was his talent that his work commanded amounts equal to, and sometimes greater than, those asked by the era’s most famous painters and sculptors. Furthermore, such was the popularity and prestige of this work that over the last two centuries, many French eighteenth-century gilt bronzes have been erroneously attributed to him. This fall, New York’s Frick Collection presents the first exhibition devoted to Gouthière, a project that brings together twenty-one of his finest masterpieces, drawn from public and private collections across Europe and the United States. Many of these remarkable objects—from firedogs, wall lights, and doorknobs to elaborate mounts for rare Chinese porcelain and precious hardstone vases—have never before been shown publicly in New York, and their assembly in an exhibition provides the basis for a fresh understanding of his oeuvre. With new art historical and technical research by leading experts in the field, the exhibition and accompanying catalogue shed fresh light on the life, production, workshop, and clientele of this incomparable artist. Presentation of these works at the Frick is organized around the major patrons who commissioned them, bringing to life a sense of the extravagant world for which they were created. The exhibition is also accompanied by an educational video that illustrates how gilt bronze is made. It shows the recreation of one of Gouthière’s iconic pieces, taking viewers step by step through traditional techniques he would have used. Following its presentation at the Frick, the exhibition will travel to Paris, where a version will be shown at the Musée des Arts décoratifs from March 15 through June 25, 2017. 
Pierre Gouthière: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court was organized by Charlotte Vignon, Curator of Decorative Arts, The Frick Collection.

Comments Vignon, “With this exhibition, some five years in the making, we hope the public will appreciate the creativity and craft behind the works created by Gouthière. The beauty and perfection he achieved is worthy of special focus, and we’ve sought to clarify what can be attributed with certainty to his oeuvre while illustrating for visitors the steps of his remarkable technique, now only preserved in the hands of a few craftsmen. Our joy in turning to this topic—which was inspired by a remarkable object in The Frick Collection—is that we hope to kindle further interest in the subject and in other artists who contributed to this remarkable artform.”

Almost nothing is known of Gouthière’s early life, except that he was born in 1732 in the Champagne region of France, where his father was a master saddler. His training mostly took place in the Paris workshop of the chasergilder François Ceriset, who died in 1756. Two years later, after Gouthière had become a master, he took over his former patron’s workshop and also married his widow. At the beginning of his career, Gouthière carried out a considerable amount of work for Francois-Thomas Germain, the silversmith to the king, who certainly played a role in his early success. Gouthière famously made the gilt-bronze mounts for two incense burners and a vase, which were purchased in 1764 in the Parisian workshop of Germain by the Polish merchant Casimir Czempinski, on behalf of Stanislas-August Poniatowski, an art connoisseur and the future king of Poland. Gouthière claimed their authorship in an undated letter he and the silversmith Jean Rameau boldly wrote to the Polish sovereign to circumvent Germain:

[We take] the liberty of very humbly representing to Your Majesty that, for a long time, we have both been running the works of Germain, silversmith to the king of France; the former for gilding and chasing, being the only one to possess the color in which Your Majesty’s works are gilded, and the latter, for silversmithing; … and [we] dare to assert that Germain, who appeared to be their author, was absolutely incapable of making them, or indeed of bringing them to perfection...

Gouthière’s collaboration with Germain certainly put him in contact with the silversmith’s dazzling clientele, thereby giving him the opportunity to expand his business. Unfortunately, no other works by Gouthière from this period are known. Gouthière’s output during the second half of the 1760s is more familiar to experts, largely because he signed and dated a handful of pieces in 1767, including two ewers included in the exhibition. Like most bronze-makers, Gouthière did not sign his work, except in 1767 to celebrate his appointment as gilder to the king, which he received on November 7 of that year “on the basis of testimony … as to the intelligence, ability and integrity of Mr. Gouthière, merchant gilder in Paris.”

During the next twenty years, Gouthière collaborated with several celebrated architects, who provided him with innovative neoclassical models that he masterfully interpreted into extravagantly rich and exuberant gilt-bronze objects. His clientele comprised the powerful and wealthy members of Louis XV’s and Louis XVI’s courts, including Louis XV’s mistress, the Countess Du Barry. By 1772, Gouthière was known as the “very famous [gilder], the one who worked for Mme Du Barry” and was described as such in the directory of the best craftsmen working in Paris assembled by Colonel St. Paul of Ewart, secretary and later diplomatic envoy to the king of England.

Gouthière’s commissions for Madame Du Barry include the knob for a French window that he made for the countess’s pavilion of Louveciennes, one of France’s most lavish eighteenth-century buildings, designed by the architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. Although it can no longer be appreciated in its original setting (the interior decoration was removed and sold to various collectors after the French Revolution), rare elements like this knob made for the pavilion’s Salon en Cul-de-Four, as well as Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s four panels depicting The Progress of Love, painted for the same room and now in The Frick Collection, attest to the pavilion’s former glory. Each myrtle leaf, a symbol of the goddess Venus, is rendered in exquisite detail, forming a sort of lacework that contrasts with the smooth surface of the interlinked D and B, the royal mistress’s initials. The knob alone confirms the recollections of the painter Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, who, writing in the 1830s about her time spent in Du Barry’s residence decades earlier, recalled that the “salon was ravishing … the chimneypieces, the doors, everything was fashioned in the finest possible way; even the locks could be admired as masterpieces of the goldsmith’s art.”

When the fourteen-year-old Marie Antoinette arrived at Versailles, in 1770, she was surprised to learn of her grandfather-in-law’s official mistress, who had apartments near those of Louis XV in each of the royal residences and owned such an extravagant private residence as well. The rivalry between the future queen and Madame Du Barry is notorious, dividing the court of France between the pro-Marie Antoinette camp and those who preferred flattering Madame Du Barry. Gouthière managed to work for both. In 1777, he was asked to create several items for Marie Antoinette’s small Cabinet Turc at the Château de Fontainebleau. This prestigious commission included a pair of firedogs, a chimneypiece, a chandelier, a pair of wall lights, and a shovel and tongs with handles in the shape of “African heads.” Only the firedogs and chimneypiece (still in situ at the Château de Fontainebleau) have survived. A firedog is the decorative façade of an andiron, a metal support that holds burning wood in a fireplace. The design of these examples, in the shape of seated dromedaries, was in keeping with the oriental decorative theme of the Cabinet Turc, which was meant to transport the queen into a world of fantasy, sensuality, and refinement. The bases are adorned with an elegant arabesque frieze characteristic of the neoclassical style favored by the queen.

In addition to the king and his mistress, Gouthière’s clientele comprised other wealthy members of the royal court. He produced some of his masterpieces for Louis-Marie-Augustin, the Duke of Aumont, who directed the MenusPlaisirs et Affaires de la Chambre du Roi, an administrative body of the king’s household that managed the monarch’s personal effects and organized his entertainment, creating sets for theatrical productions and significant occasions such as marriages and funerals. The artists employed by the Menus-Plaisirs were free to develop new ideas without constraint, and their workshops were the locus for the forging of new fashions. The Duke of Aumont employed several artists from the Menus-Plaisirs (including Gouthière) to create objects for his personal cabinet of curiosities, housed in his sumptuous residence on Place Louis XV in Paris, now the Hôtel Crillon, Place de la Concorde. The cabinet was renowned among connoisseurs for its exquisite antique marbles, mounted porphyry, Asian porcelain, and gilt-bronze objects.

For about ten years beginning in 1770, Gouthière created for Aumont unique objects after designs by the duke’s favorite architect, François-Joseph Bélanger (also from the Menus-Plaisirs), including the mounts for a pair of alabaster vases. So perfectly do they capture the density and variety of a laurel branch laden with berries that they seem to have been cast from nature. Gouthière also created for Aumont the stunningly beautiful mounts illustrated on the vase shown on the exhibition catalogue’s cover, which take the shape of seated female figures, looking in opposite directions. Though at first glance the figures seem identical, one represents a female satyr who wears a crown of ivy and holds a branch of the same; the second figure, a mermaid, bears a laurel crown and clutches a laurel branch. Gouthière’s masterful chasing techniques breathe life into their expressions and transform decorative elements into sculptures in their own right. He accentuated his superb chasing with unique gilding techniques, including dorure au mat, or matte gilding, which gives a soft hue to the skin and contrasts with the burnished (shiny) elements, such as the fabric draping each.

On a pair of Chinese vases (originally used as garden seats), Gouthière created for the Duke of Aumont mounts after a complex design by François-Joseph Bélanger, whose composition of arabesques, snakes, and harpies was considered the height of fashion in the 1780s. Gouthière’s gilt-bronze interpretation of the architect’s design shows his command of the medium. The snakes’ backs are chased to create the illusion of small scales, while their bellies feature larger scales to imitate the skin of a live snake. Although bronze makers usually attached their mounts to porcelain by drilling holes in it, Gouthière again demonstrates his virtuosity by creating mounts that fit securely on the vases without piercing the fragile ceramics.

Several of Gouthière’s masterpieces were commissioned by Louise-Jeanne de Durfort, Duchess of Mazarin, a faithful client who was the daughter-in-law of the Duke of Aumont and heiress to the vast Mazarin fortune. Most of the objects made for her by Gouthière were intended for the gallery-salon of her residence on the Quai Malaquais in Paris (since razed and now the site of the École des Beaux-Arts).

The Frick Collection’s table—commissioned by the Duchess in 1781 and the inspiration for this exhibition—is certainly one of Gouthière’s masterpieces. The mask at the center of its entablature is one of the most beautiful faces ever to have been created in gilt bronze. Its fine features follow the classical canon then in fashion, but instead of the rigidity or coldness of some models inspired by Greco-Roman examples, it is animated by eyes that look to the right under slightly lowered eyelids and a mouth that expresses a pensive self-confidence. Is it a young man or a beautiful woman? Gouthière’s 1781 invoice refers only to a “head.” It is placed between two thyrsi (a staff topped with a pinecone and entwined with ivy, usually carried by Bacchus) and surrounded by ivy leaves (a living allegory of the Roman god’s eternal youth), thus Bacchus springs to mind; the braids and pearls suggest a female. Either way, he or she is deep in thought. The hair—a tour de force in itself—is wavy, arranged into curls or plaited into braids that intermingle with a strand of pearls and branches of ivy. Both the branches and the veins of the ivy leaves are irregular, presenting an appearance so natural they seem to be actual specimens dipped in gold. Adding further refinement to the leaves, Gouthière employed a technique called dégraissage, or “paring back,” in which he reduced the thickness of the metal on edges and sides to render it more delicate. The leaves are matte gilded, while the fruit is burnished to emphasize the contrast between matte and shiny surfaces. The daring design (with some leaves overlapping others) and the lightness achieved thorough dégraissage are admirable.

Gouthière also made a pair of large wall lights for the large gallery-salon of the Duchess of Mazarin. The extreme richness of the poppy branches with numerous varieties of flowers, almost every one unique, is particularly remarkable. Some of the flowers are only buds, while those that form the candleholders are in full bloom. Because the lights were intended to be hung relatively high, the undersides of the flowers were burnished so they would sparkle with reflected light. To appeal to a client eager for symbolic objects, a quiver of Cupid’s arrows completes their design.

In the 1770s and 1780s, the elite of Paris were eager for Gouthière’s work. Jean-Baptiste-Charles-François, Marquis of Clermont d’Amboise, may have commissioned the pair of pot-pourri vases from Gouthière in the early 1770s before he left for the court of Naples, where he served as ambassador from 1775 to 1784. Achieved by employing a range of treatments of the bronze, the naturalism of the swans is particularly impressive. Their flashing eyes express fury: as if about to attack, they raise their wings on either side of the porcelain pots. Their aggressive posture is also indicated by their slightly open beaks, which are edged with burnished gold. The shape of their beaks identifies these birds as mute swans, a species common in Europe.

Despite Gouthière’s success, a series of financial setbacks—including enormous sums owed to him by the Duchess of Mazarin and the Duke of Aumont, who died in 1781 and 1782, respectively, without paying their debts—forced him to declare bankruptcy in 1787. He worked very little after that and died in poverty on June 8, 1813. He has long been lauded by collectors, critics, and art dealers alike as one of the most important artists of the period, and, with this exhibition, the public finally will be introduced to this incomparable chaser-gilder.



12432 - 20170702 - University of Richmond Museums presents four new exhibitions - Richmond, VA - 17.08.2016-02.07.2017


Jackie Battenfield (American, born 1950), James River Spring I, 2003, screenprint with pigmented linen and pulp painting on handmade abaca paper, 20 x 36 inches, Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, University of Richmond Museums, Gift of the artist, H2011.23.03 © Jackie Battenfield.
The Beauties: Print Series by Willie Cole is on view August 17 through December 4, 2016, in the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, Modlin Center Booth Lobby. Contemporary artist Willie Cole (American, born 1955), is known for using domestic objects, such as shoes, steam irons, and now ironing boards, as content in his work. His newest series is The Beauties, which features prints created by flattening ironing boards to become printing plates, inking them as the matrix of the image, and printing them using the intaglio method, running each “board” through an etching press. The works in the exhibition are selected from his series of twenty-seven prints, each labeled at the bottom in letterpress with a female name that hints at an earlier time. For the artist, the names are a metaphorical link to his African American lineage, from slaves to domestic servants, connoting his ancestors and giving the ironing boards a compelling narrative.

This series continues his exploration of the cultural and aesthetic associations embedded in images using common, everyday objects. As arts writer Mary Abbe wrote, “Cole’s genius is in conveying the spiritual potential of the most ordinary domestic objects, finding beauty in the mundane, and honoring these otherwise forgotten individuals and their histories.”

Annual Student Exhibition is on view August 17 through September 18, 2016, in the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art. Selected by the studio art faculty, this exhibition features works by visual media and arts practice majors and minors along with non-majors enrolled in beginning through advanced studio art classes during the University’s 2015-2016 academic year.

Night and Day the River Flows: Waterscapes from the Harnett Print Study Center Collection is on view from August 17, 2016 to July 2, 2017, in the Modlin Center Atrium and Booker Hall Lobby, University of Richmond. The exhibition presents a selection of artworks that offer a variety of interpretations and depictions of waterways, from abstract to realistic and from topographic to contemplative. The works are presented with quotes from novels, books, songs, and poems that complement the pieces by reflecting on the common theme of the relationship between humanity and water.

Bodies of water have populated artistic creations throughout history, acting as descriptive features of landscapes and as metaphors of life and spirituality. While the artworks in this exhibition are primarily from the 20th and 21st centuries, they capture the timelessness of the subject matter, along with its grace and vitality. The diversity of the accompanying quotes, which range from the mid-1800s to today, underlines the individual nature of how we experience waterways and how we interpret and express those experiences.

To emphasize the meditative and introspective qualities of the screenprint James River Spring I by Jackie Battenfield (American, born 1950), the print is presented with a quote from Herman Hesse’s novel Siddhartha (1922), which reads: “The river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth… in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere, and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past, nor the shadow of the future.”

The luminous spread of water and shore in the nearly abstract aquatint June: Silver Clouds by Bernard Chaet (American, 1924-2012) brings to mind peaceful afternoons, such as those heralded in John Lubbock’s book The Use of Life (1894): “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

An intimate etching juxtaposing a small boat with an expanse of water and reeds, On the Lagoon (In Laguna) by Livio Ceschin (American, born 1962), contemplates stillness and isolation. This print is paired with the quote, “To know you is to have solitude of you and in you to rest of the rest forgetfulness,” from Alfonso Reyes’s poem “River of Oblivion” (1932) for a thoughtful reflection on the stilling of the heart around a massive body of water.

The exhibition is on view in the Modlin Center Atrium and the Booker Hall Lobby in the Modlin Center for the Arts


12431 - 20170205 - One of the most comprehensive collections of South Asian art outside India featured in major exhibition - Princeton, NJ - 19.11.2016-05.02.2017


Kulu or Bahu, India, The demon Dhumraksha leads his army, ca. 1700-10. Opaque watercolor on paper. Edwin Binney 3rd Collection.
One of the most significant collections of South Asian painting outside of India is on view in a monumental exhibition of narrative art at the Princeton University Art Museum. Encompassing more than 90 paintings representing the major narratives, regions and styles of South Asian art from the 16th through the 19th century, Epic Tales from India: Paintings from The San Diego Museum of Art is on view from Nov. 19, 2016, through Feb. 5, 2017. The paintings, which are drawn almost exclusively from the Edwin Binney 3rd Collection at the San Diego Museum of Art, have been arranged by book or literary category, allowing individual paintings to be seen as part of larger narratives.
“The art of the Indian subcontinent comprises one of the world’s richest cultural traditions,” noted James Steward, Nancy A. Nasher - David J. Haemisegger, Class of 1976, Director. “This exhibition is our most ambitious exploration of South Asian art to date, and is essential viewing for anyone interested in the vital connections among visual art, music, literature and religion.”

Edwin Binney 3rd (1925-1986), an heir to the Crayola fortune, amassed one of the finest and most encyclopedic collections of South Asian painting outside of India. The Edwin Binney 3rd Collection at the San Diego Museum of Art includes more than 1,400 works of art created during the 12th through 19th centuries, at the Mughal, Deccani, Rajasthani and Pahari courts.

The exhibition is curated by Marika Sardar, associate curator of southern Asian and Islamic art at the San Diego Museum of Art. The organizing curator at the Princeton University Art Museum is Zoe S. Kwok, assistant curator of Asian art. Epic Tales from India will subsequently travel to the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin and the San Diego Museum of Art.

The exhibition presents paintings from the “Bhagavata Purana,” one of Hinduism’s 18 great histories; the “Ramayana,” one of the longest ancient epic poems in world literature; the “Ragamala,” a set of verses that celebrate a range of musical melodies and expression, a favored subject in later Indian court paintings; and works of Persian literature, including the “Shahnama,” or Book of Kings, written by the Persian poet Firdausi.

A 150-page illustrated publication, edited by Sardar, accompanies the exhibition, as will a slate of affiliated programs, including a lecture by the curator, family day activities and a film series.

Contemporary Stories: Revisiting Indian Narratives, an exhibition organized by the Princeton University Art Museum in conjunction with Epic Tales from India, considers the continuing power and role of narrative in South Asian art by practitioners based in post-partition India and Pakistan and abroad. Featuring major works by internationally renowned artists such as Shahzia Sikander and from the Princeton University Art Museum collections as well as loans from private collections, the artists and their galleries - the exhibition suggests the varied ways in which Indo-Pakistani artists draw on the past while grounding their work unambiguously in the realities of the 21st century. Contemporary Stories is on view in Princeton from Oct. 22, 2016, through Jan. 22, 2017.


12430 - 20170219 - New Orleans Museum of Art presents first comprehensive museum retrospective for Louisiana native George Dunbar - New Orleans, LA - 04.11.2016-19.02.2017


George Dunbar, Red M, 1959, Acrylic and paper collage, 50 x 47 inches, Collection of the Artist.
George Dunbar: Elements of Chance is the first comprehensive museum retrospective for the artist George Dunbar (American, b. 1927), who played a pivotal role in introducing abstract art to the South. The exhibition explores the evolution of Dunbar’s art from his early paintings from the 1940s and 1950s to his most recent contemporary work in clay relief. A New Orleans native, Dunbar studied in Philadelphia and New York before returning to Louisiana in the 1950s to create paintings, sculptures, assemblages, and prints that marry the stark geometry of modern art with lush, elemental materials like clay and gold leaf that call forth Louisiana’s distinctive local landscape.
“NOMA is delighted to celebrate the career of one of Louisiana’s most influential and talented artists,” says Susan M. Taylor, Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “The opportunity to showcase the work of an artist so closely connected with the New Orleans’ arts community and NOMA’s own history is especially meaningful as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of NOMA’s Odyssey Ball this fall.”

Dunbar’s richly textured works explore abstract art’s connection to landscape and place, and his unique vision for abstraction highlights Louisiana’s pivotal—if widely underestimated—role in the broader story of 20th century American art. “George Dunbar’s work,” says Katie A. Pfohl, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, “truly helped create a context and place for contemporary art in New Orleans, introducing the city to vanguard new ideas about art making.”

“Being a native New Orleanian, I've had the privilege of exhibiting my work at NOMA several times but have never had a true retrospective of my work,” said George Dunbar. “I am honored and humbled that NOMA has chosen to show the entire progression of my career as an artist.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a limited-edition artist book created in collaboration with George Dunbar, which contains an in-depth interview with the artist by NOMA’s Director, Susan M. Taylor and an essay that contextualizes Dunbar’s work within the rich history of 20th-century American art by Katie Pfohl. The catalogue is available in the Museum Shop alongside a variety of other holiday gift items that celebrate Dunbar’s unique vision for abstract art and stunning artworks in gold and silver leaf.


12429 - 20170115 - Norton showcases 2016 nominees in Rudin Prize for Emerging Photographers Exhibition - West Palm Beach, FL - 10.11.2016-15.01.2017


The Norton Museum of Art is presenting the work of the 2016 nominees for the international Rudin Prize for Emerging Photographers in a special exhibition on view Nov. 10, 2016 – Jan. 15, 2017. The Rudin Prize for Emerging Photographers features more than 48 photographs, videos, and installation works by Clare Benson, Elizabeth Bick, Alexandra Hunts, and Wesley Stringer, who were nominated by Arno Minkkinen, Shirin Neshat, Rineke Dijkstra, and Michael Kenna, respectively. The exhibition is curated by Tim B. Wride, the Norton’s William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography. 
“The 2016 Rudin Prize nominees’ bodies of work encapsulate their continued growth as photographers and curiosity as observant artists,” said Wride. “We look forward to revealing to both the jury and visitors how these young artists have pursued in-depth discovery of ideas ranging from femininity and performance to the environment and childhood.”

Each artist is being individually showcased in a monographic installation within the group show. The nominated photographers are known for expressing themselves through cross-disciplinary practice and process. The Rudin exhibition showcases the complexity of their ideas and the inventiveness of their visual communication to express them. Each takes the form of traditional photographic prints; yet for each there is an additional element within the installation—sculpture, hand-made books, integration of color prints with black-and-white prints, video, and multimedia—that elevates their discourse.

Clare Benson’s artistic practice includes still-photography, performance, video, and sculpture. On view in the Norton’s exhibition are selections from the artist’s ongoing series The Shepherd's Daughter through which she poetically investigates gender roles, the capriciousness of memory, tradition, and mythology. Benson’s single image of the same title features her trekking across the starkly rural Michigan landscape, hoisting a massive antelope head upon her back. What could be read as a subsistence hunting scenario is complicated by the anomaly of the artist’s burden being a taxidermy trophy of an African beast.

Elizabeth Bick trained as a dancer before turning to photography. Her hard-won understanding as a performing artist still pervades her work as a visual artist. She is drawn to those situations that isolate yet simultaneously reinforce placement and gesture. Among her works on view is an example of her Street Ballet series in which she uses the camera to organize and “choreograph” the random placement of urban pedestrians and Every God XXV (2016) from her series of the same name, which was made within the depths of the Roman Pantheon. The figure and her biblically expressive gesture is spotlighted against a deeply shadowed interior by the light streaming in from the central oculus.

Alexandra Hunts is intrigued with the interaction of digital and analog photography; consumed with the seeming inability of photography to show—not merely describe—abstract concepts; and obsessed with using photography to define the invisible. As a result, she has brought all of her creative powers and technical expertise to bear on the concepts of time and mass. Examples of her visual mediation of each are on view in the Norton’s exhibition. A work such as Substance of Time and Space (2015) studies both a shifting object and time by documenting the evaporation of a glassful of water. Every 12 hours, the artist made a photograph of her subject: a glass and the water it contained until the glass was empty. She then folded and assembled all 154 photographs into a single image of a glass of water transitioning from being filled to being empty.

Wesley Stringer is a traditional photographer who also crafts handmade books. Both undertakings derive their significance and meaning from the artist’s subtlety of sequencing and empathetic understanding of the exponential accumulation of meaning available through visual haiku. His work is highly contemplative and populated by environmental imagery that recalls his home-schooled upbringing in rural Oklahoma. His search for quiet moments within a rapidly developing landscape results in expressive images of abandoned areas and hidden spaces. His most recent body of work traces the seasonal cycle and will be on view with three of his handbound books.

The Rudin Prize is awarded every two years to an emerging photographer on the leading edge of their field, but who has not yet had a solo museum exhibition. The winner, who will receive a $20,000 cash prize, will be selected by the Norton’s Photography Committee, comprised of the Norton’s Executive Director, photography curator, collectors, and trustees, and announced on Jan. 5, 2017 during Art After Dark. Visitors will be able to vote for a “People’s Choice” selection which will also be announced on that date.

The Rudin Prize, named in honor of the late New York City real estate developer Lewis Rudin, was initiated by Norton Museum staff and Beth Rudin DeWoody, who is a member of the Photography Committee at the Norton and President of The Rudin Family Foundations and Executive Vice President of Rudin Management Company. Past winners of the award include Argentine Analia Saban, nominated by John Baldessari, in 2012; and Israeli Rami Maymon, nominated by Adi Nes, in 2014.



12428 - 20170108 - Chihuly glass returns to the Reading Public Museum - Reading, PA - 05.11.2016-08.01.2017

Dale Chihuly (American, b. 1941), Laguna Murano Chandelier, 1996, glass, Courtesy of the George R. Stroemple Collection, Stroemple/Stirek Collaboration.
The Reading Public Museum is presenting Chihuly’s Venetians: The George R. Stroemple Collection, on display until Sunday, January 8, 2016. Unlike the exhibition hosted at The Museum in 2004, which showcased work from Chihuly’s studio, this exhibition features a private collection of works owned by a single collector, George R. Stroemple. The exhibition includes the master glassmaker’s spectacular Laguna Murano Chandelier and 60 luminous examples from his acclaimed Venetian series, as well as more than a dozen drawings. 
Chihuly’s Venetians were inspired by the artist’s trip to Venice in 1988. During this trip, he visited a gallery that housed an extraordinary private collection of Venetian glass that represented the pinnacle of Venetian Art Deco (1920s and 1930s). Returning to the United States, he decided to create his own versions of the classic pieces with his unique, lively twist. Collaborating with Pino Signoretto and Lino Tagliapietra, two of Italy’s finest glassmaking masters, Chihuly worked to execute his vision for these stunning pieces.

The exhibition consists of 19 Putti Venetians, spacious and ambitious vessels, each with hot-formed figurative sculptures of putti (cherubs) and mythological creatures included in the design; 9 Venetians (without putti); 42 Piccolo Venetians, the smaller but no less spirited vessels originally based on traditional Venetian themes; and 3 Bottlestoppers, monumental vessels inspired by perfume bottles.

Scott Schweigert, RPM’s curator of art and civilization promises that, “Internationally renowned glass-maker Dale Chihuly’s creations will be sure to dazzle visitors of all ages with color, light and movement.”

According to author Kathryn Kanjo, “Like their art deco prototypes, a sense of function endures in Chihuly’s Venetians. The core forms—cones, cylinders, amphorae, bowls, ginger jars—suggest familiar vessels. Yet, if vessels imply reason, Chihuly’s applied ornamentation overwhelms in an organic flourish. The symmetrical core becomes a stoic base from which feathers, leaves, and ribbons burst forth. Handles spiral into disorder; lilies entwine exterior surfaces; glass prunts transform into scalloped flames. Iridescent, foiled, layered and mottled, both the vessel and the ornament boast active ‘Chihuly’ sufaces.”


12426 - 20170326 - The Jewish Museum opens first U.S. exhibition devoted to visionary designer and architect Pierre Chareau - New York - 04.11.2016-26.03.2017

Installation view of the exhibition Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design, November 4, 2016 – March 26, 2017, at The Jewish Museum, NY. Exhibition design by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
The Jewish Museum is presenting the first U.S. exhibition focused on French designer and architect Pierre Chareau (1883-1950) from November 4, 2016 through March 26, 2017. Showcasing rare furniture, lighting fixtures, and interiors, as well as designs for the extraordinary Maison de Verre, the glass house completed in Paris in 1932, Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design brings together over 180 rarely-seen works from major public and private collections in Europe and the United States. It also addresses Chareau’s life and work in the New York area, after he left Paris during the German occupation of the city, including the house he designed for Robert Motherwell in 1947 in East Hampton, Long Island. In his day Chareau was celebrated as a designer of exquisite furniture and stylish interiors, which he displayed at the annual salons of decorative art. Both facets of his creative life are part of a single vision explored in the exhibition.
Pierre Chareau rose from modest beginnings in Bordeaux to become one of the most sought after designers in France. Creating custom furniture and interiors for a distinguished clientele that included leading figures of the French-Jewish intelligentsia, Chareau balanced the opulence of traditional French decorative arts with interior designs that were elegant, functional, and in sync with the requirements of modern life. His innovative furniture, veneered in rare woods, with occasional touches of exotic materials, had clean profiles and movable parts that appealed to the progressive sensibilities of the haute bourgeoisie.

Architecture, however, was Chareau’s great ambition. Although he produced only a handful of buildings, the Maison de Verre, designed with the Dutch architect Bernard Bijvoet, is justly acknowledged as one of the most original houses of the 20th century, owing to its daring structural clarity and ingenious technological novelties. It remains a major point of reference for architects today.

Through his highly distinctive artistic language, Chareau established himself at the intersection of tradition and innovation, becoming a major figure in 20th century design. The Jewish Museum’s exhibition places Chareau in the context of the interwar period in Paris, highlighting his circle of influential patrons, engagement with the period’s foremost artists, and designs for the film industry. The architect and his wife’s active patronage of the arts – and reuniting part of their collection of paintings, sculptures, and drawings by significant artists such as Mondrian, Modigliani, Motherwell, Lipchitz, and Orloff – is another important aspect of Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design at the Jewish Museum.

Between the wars, Chareau designed primarily for a cultured urban elite, and many of his patrons were Jewish. With the German occupation of Paris in 1940, his many Jewish clients were forced to depart. Chareau, whose wife Dollie Dyte Chareau was Jewish and whose mother came from a Sephardic family, fled to the United States. The exhibition will also explore the enduring consequences of Chareau’s flight from Nazi persecution, the dispersal of many of the works he designed during and after World War II, and his attempts to rebuild his career while in exile in New York during the 1940s.

Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design, featuring furniture, lighting fixtures, tabletop objects, textiles, drawings, pochoir prints, ephemera, archival photography, and works of art from Chareau and his wife’s personal collection, is organized into four main sections. The first section is devoted to Chareau’s furniture designs, showcasing six groupings of furniture created by the artist for a variety of living spaces. The second section looks at Pierre and Dollie Chareau as art collectors featuring works of art once owned by them and sometimes used in the interiors designed by Pierre Chareau. The third section features recreations of four interiors designed by Chareau, and the fourth and last section is devoted to his masterpiece, the Maison de Verre in Paris. Drawings, ephemeral material, and archival photographs provides contextual background to Chareau’s activities in France and the United States.

Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design is one of several major design exhibitions at the Jewish Museum this year, following Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History and Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist. “Design exhibitions are central to the Jewish Museum’s program, reflecting the range of our collection as well as the diversity of art and Jewish culture,” said Claudia Gould, Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director. “We are also incorporating a contemporary perspective by commissioning new work and collaborating with leading architects, designers, and artists to enliven these exhibitions, creating dynamic experiences for our visitors.”

Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design is organized by the Jewish Museum in collaboration with The Centre Pompidou. The exhibition is organized by Guest Curator Esther da Costa Meyer, Professor of the history of modern architecture, Princeton University, assisted by Claudia Nahson, Morris & Eva Feld Curator, The Jewish Museum. Exhibition design by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.


12425 - 20170521 - Timber City exhibition re-defines a classic building material - Washington, DC - 17.09.2016-21.05.2017


Façade detail, 475 West 18th, New York, NY, 2015. Courtesy SHoP Architects PC. When complete, the 10-story residential building known as 475 West 18th will be the first structural timber building in New York City. The design by SHoP Architects was one of two competition winners of the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This fall, the National Building Museum challenges the notion that wood is an antiquated building material when it opened Timber City. The groundbreaking new exhibition demonstrates the wide range of benefits offered by cutting-edge methods of timber construction, including surprising strength, fire resistance, sustainability, and beauty. The exhibition opened September 17, 2016 and runs through May 21, 2017.

Timber City illustrates the proven value of timber as a modern, strong, and versatile building material through featured projects. Curated and designed by Yugon Kim and Tomomi Itakura, founding partners of the Boston-based architectural design firm ikd, the exhibition examines the recent boom in timber construction worldwide and highlight U.S. based projects, including the two competition winners of the recent Tall Wood Building Prize, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

An immersive installation examines recent innovations of timber technology, especially crosslaminated timber, known as CLT, and explore how U.S. based timber production can help revitalize rural manufacturing communities and benefit urban centers in a wide range of ways. As the only building material that can both reduce carbon emissions and remove carbon from the atmosphere, timber is uniquely positioned to move us towards more sustainable, healthy, and beautiful buildings and cities.

As part of the exhibition's run, two American-manufactured massive timber panels will be installed in the National Building Museum’s historic Great Hall. The vertical panel will stand 64 feet tall, soaring to the Museum's third floor level, and the horizontal panel will be 40 feet wide.

Timber City is funded in part by the USDA Forest Service and the Softwood Lumber Board. Timber City has been adapted from an exhibition organized by ikd for BSAspace at the Boston Society of Architects


12424 - 20170310 - Guggenheim Museum presents new art from greater China that explores the concept of place through storytelling - New York -04.11.2016-10.03.2017


The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents Tales of Our Time, an exhibition featuring nine newly commissioned works by artists born in mainland China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan. This is the second exhibition of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative, a long-term research, curatorial, and collections-building program at the Guggenheim Museum.
Though diverse in subjects and strategies, the works are united by the artists’ use of storytelling to propose alternative ways of looking at place. Working in drawing, animation, video, photography, sculpture, installation, and participatory intervention, the artists in the exhibition address the concept of geography and territory in ways as specific as where they are based or as big as China itself, which they see as a concept constantly being questioned and reinvented. These artists freely cross divides to examine the tensions between past and present, myth and fact, reality and dreams, rationality and absurdity, and individuality and collectivity.

The artists represented in Tales of Our Time are Chia-En Jao, Kan Xuan, Sun Xun, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Tsang Kin-Wah, Yangjiang Group, and Zhou Tao.

Tales of Our Time is organized by Xiaoyu Weng, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Associate Curator of Chinese Art, and Hou Hanru, Consulting Curator, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative. Kyung An, Assistant Curator, Asian Art, provides curatorial support. The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative is part of the Guggenheim’s Asian Art Initiative, directed by Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art and Senior Advisor, Global Arts. All commissioned works will enter the Guggenheim’s collection.

“Curators Xiaoyu Weng and Hou Hanru have taken a dynamic and collaborative approach, as they worked closely with the commissioned artists to explore the questions and insights that drive these art practices. We hope that these works will inform new understanding of global contemporary art through the lens of Chinese culture today,” stated Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “The Guggenheim is grateful to The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation for its sustained commitment to this effort.”

Ted Lipman, CEO of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, congratulated the commissioned artists and noted, “Contemporary Chinese art, along with the dialogue around it, is a dynamic and increasingly important force shaping the global cultural landscape. The Chinese Art Initiative at the Guggenheim is designed to offer a fresh perspective on Chinese culture and its relationship with contemporary society. The Foundation hopes the impact of this initiative will be a lasting one.”

“The artists represented in Tales of Our Time vary greatly in their practices and viewpoints,” says Xiaoyu Weng. “But they share a broad perspective, one that places China’s culture, history, and social reality in the context of the wider world. And like so many artists today, they register acute discomfort with the tension between the personal experiences of regular people and the dominant narratives and conventions of power.”

The exhibition’s title refers to the 1936 book Gushi xin bian (Old Tales Retold) by the influential Chinese modernist, social activist, and literary giant Lu Xun. In the book, Lu reinvents Chinese legends, as he considers these tales to be not only a literary genre, but also a strategy for critiquing social conditions and reconstructing history through storytelling.

Tales of Our Time is installed on two Tower Levels of the museum. Visitors may enter Tower Level 4 through a passageway lined with fantastic visions inspired by the natural world, drawn in the classical Chinese style on traditional bark paper by Sun Xun (b. 1980). Sun’s installation Mythological Time (2016) centers on his hometown of Fuxin in northeastern China, a coal-mining town that was once the pride of modern-era Chinese industrialization, but which the artist portrays as merely a fleeting scene over many millennia. A second monumental wall-size painting by Sun Xun depicting a surreal prehistoric landscape is also on view. Two video streams are projected onto its surface, sending animated creatures cavorting next to those drawn on paper with ink and acrylics.

Taxi (2016), a video installation, presents conversations conducted by the artist Chia-En Jao (b. 1976) with taxi drivers in Taipei. The artist asked drivers to take him to historically contested destinations in the city, such as a branch of Chang Hwa Bank where a mass protest was suppressed by Chiang Kai-shek’s military regime in 1947, the Presidential Office Building, the Grand Hotel, or the National Taiwan Museum. Recorded documentary style, the conversations meander through difficult memories of the Japanese occupation and martial law to present-day concerns. The artist has also created a flag for the installation, a traditional coat of arms representing many aspects of Taiwanese society, including its aboriginal communities. Through this investigation into the powerful connection between history and storytelling, Jao creates a mental map of Taipei that honors individual memory and experience.

Nearby Taxi on Tower Level 4 is a futuristic, pod-like video installation by Zhou Tao (b. 1976). Land of the Throat (2016) evokes a phenomenon characteristic of China’s urbanization today: the construction of the new and the consequential transformation of the land. Two synchronized videos composed of footage recorded in Guangdong, China and Arizona are projected onto opposite sides of an enclosed structure in the gallery space. A cow chained to an abandoned industrial washing machine moos in an otherwise silent, desolate landscape; workers pour out of construction sites; children play aimlessly; dogs and rats roam near fishing holes; and rescue workers in Shenzhen care for survivors injured in the city’s 2015 landslide.

Kan Xuan (b. 1972) is an artist who splits her time between Beijing and Amsterdam. She traveled for more than five months to far-flung parts of China to photograph and research the remains of 110 ancient cities to create the multi-media installation Kū Lüè Er (2016), on view on Tower Level 4. On one gallery wall, eleven flat-screen monitors rhythmically loop videos of various lengths, each featuring hundreds of the thousands of mobile-phone images Kan took while traveling. The artist manipulated the color of the images and edited them in a stop-motion style. A lone video monitor is stationed on the floor, leaning over a floor projection of simple, notational maps created by the artist from her memories of site locations. The floor monitor sends out smacking, splashing sounds from balls of clay being thrown in a children’s game. A few stone sculptures hang nearby, their knotted forms echoing the fences that guarded these lost cities. Instead of providing historical knowledge or factual statistics, Kan Xuan engages China’s vast history of dynasties and evolution of territories through her intimate personal emotions and experience as a reminder of our collective memory and oblivion.

Yangjiang Group, whose founding artists are Zheng Guogu (b. 1970), Chen Zaiyan (b. 1971), and Sun Qinglin (b. 1974), conjure a small utopia in Tales of Our Time. Unwritten Rules Cannot Be Broken (2016) is installed along a Frank Lloyd Wright–designed circular area overlooking Central Park. Here Chinese tea is to be shared on simple plywood furniture set amid calligraphic works and a temporary Chinese garden, which is visible on the outside balcony and contains bamboo, shrubs, a miniature bridge, and a pond. As part of the participatory installation, visitors are encouraged to measure their blood pressure and heart rate before and after they enter this area—a humorous means designed to calculate the purported relaxing effects of a tea gathering in an art exhibition. A green and white calligraphic mural is suspended several stories from the ceiling to the ground floor of the museum’s Thannhauser Gallery. Since 2002 this art collaborative has been inviting neighbors in Yangjiang, its small hometown on the southern coast, to drink tea, play soccer, practice calligraphy, and enjoy communal dinners. In symbolically transporting their small plot of land to New York, the Yangijiang Group has neither left behind its humor nor its desire to create a borderless, anarchist zone of citizenship and belonging.

The Tower Level 5 gallery houses Can’t Help Myself (2016), a massive robot with a mechanical arm created by Sun Yuan & Peng Yu (b. 1972 and 1974), two longtime collaborators based in Beijing. Placed behind clear acrylic walls, the machine is programmed to perform one very specific action: with its modified front arm, it guards a puddle of dark red viscous liquid. As the red substance slowly spreads on the ground, the robot frenetically shovels it back into place, leaving smudges reminiscent of contemporary surveillance warfare. Sun and Peng, who are known for using bold humor with undertones of violence to address provocative topics, neither pose nor answer the question of whether the repetitious dance of the robot in Can’t Help Myself is absurd, authoritarian, or both.

In a darkened gallery, also on Tower Level 5, an immersive projection sends images of rocks, ships, oceans, and waves washing over the viewer. Entitled In The End Is The Word (2016), this six-channel video installation by Hong Kong–based artist Tsang Kin-Wah (b. 1976) interweaves found footage, sound, and light. The work begins with a rush of seemingly banal shots of a tsunami at sea near the site of an ongoing territorial dispute between China and Japan, the Diaoyu Islands (known as Senkaku Islands in Japanese). These images then begin to morph into abstractions. Synchronized videos projected onto the walls and floor of the dimly lit room create the illusion that animated, coiling strips of words and phrases are pouring out of the video images and into the gallery. Finally, rather than simply disappear, these images accumulate into a crescendo of blindingly bright light, a state the artist likens to saṃsāra, a Sanskrit word meaning “perpetual wandering” in the sea of life’s suffering.

In addition to In The End Is The Word, Tsang created No(thing/Fact) Outside (2016), a vinyl text installation that extends beyond the Tower galleries–climbing walls and snaking along floors in less prominent areas in the museum, such as elevators and stairwells. Reflecting Tsang’s ruminations on the exhibition, the work spatially and conceptually links the stories told by the artists in Tales of Our Time.



12423 - 20170220 - Exhibition sheds new light on Jasper Johns's embrace of the art of Edvard Munch - Richmond, VA - 12.11.2016-20.02.2017


Installation view. Photo: © David Stover Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
At a crossroads in the middle of his career, Jasper Johns (1930) found his way forward in part by looking to the work of Edvard Munch (1863–1944). Now a ground-breaking exhibition entitled Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch: Love, Loss, and the Cycle of Life examines how Johns, one of America’s preeminent artists, mined the work of the Norwegian Expressionist in the late 1970s and early 1980s as he moved away from a decade of abstract painting towards a more open expression of love, sex, loss and death.  
Organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in partnership with the Munch Museum, Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch opens in Richmond on Saturday, November 12, 2016 and remains on view through February 20, 2017. The showing at VMFA is the sole U.S. venue, following the presentation at the Munch Museum, the sole venue abroad.

“The depth of the relationship between Johns and Munch has never been explored as systematically, nor illustrated as stunningly, as it will be in this international exchange,” says VMFA Director Alex Nyerges. Including more than 120 paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs, the exhibition has been conceived and organized by John B. Ravenal, Executive Director of deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and former Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at VMFA.

Ravenal calls the two artists “strange bedfellows” in the accompanying volume, Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch: Inspiration and Transformation, co-published by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Yale University Press, in partnership with the Munch Museum. By the turn of the last century, Munch had worked his way towards a figurative style shaped by the emotions that preoccupied him-anxiety, loneliness, jealousy, fear, and grief. Johns, on the other hand, has been quoted as saying “I didn’t want my work to be an exposure of my feelings,” when describing why he turned his back on Abstract Expressionism to paint familiar, even neutral, images like flags, targets, and numbers.

Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch assembles 128 works, including many important paintings, drawings, and prints in once-in-a-lifetime combinations to trace the route Johns traveled to find what he needed in Munch’s work. The journey was shaped in part by chance: a quarter century after having first encountered Munch’s art at MoMA, for instance, Johns received a postcard of Munch’s SelfPortrait between the Clock and the Bed, 1940-43, from a friend who had noticed similarities between the bedspread in the painting and Johns’s crosshatch motif. While the resemblance was coincidental, Johns went on to make a least 12 more works with overt references to Munch’s art.

In the exhibition, for the first time in 20 years, the three monumental Between the Clock and the Bed paintings Johns created in the 1980s will be shown side-by-side. For the first time ever, they will be exhibited alongside their namesake, Munch’s Self Portrait between the Clock and the Bed, 1940-43, as well as the actual bedspread from Munch’s home that is pictured in the painting.

The exhibition begins by exploring how Johns single-mindedly pursued abstraction during the 1970s by creating variation after variation of the crosshatch motif—and how crosshatching provided a starting point for him to rediscover Munch. These early sections feature Corpse and Mirror II, 197576, and the Whitney Museum exhibition print Savarin, 1977. These works are paired with the iconic The Scream, 1895, Angst, 1896, and The Kiss, 1902, among other works by Munch on loan from the Munch Museum, and together show how Johns transformed a simple can filled with brushes into a surrogate self-portrait that suggests an emerging awareness of Munch’s experimental woodcuts and lithographs.

Johns’s work showed a mounting tension between formalism and strong emotion in the late 1970s, and he began to subvert abstraction by inserting overt references to sex and death into many of his most ambitious paintings. Major loans show the evolution of this change: Dancers on a Plane, 1981; both the oil and watercolor versions of Cicada, 1979; and Tantric Detail, 1980. From the Munch Museum come several versions of Munch’s haunting Madonna, and the large-scale The Dance of Life, 1925, among other works.

Representing the moment in Johns’s career when he abandoned the crosshatch motif altogether and returned to recognizable imagery, In the Studio, 1982 and Perilous Night, 1982, are juxtaposed with paintings and prints by Munch that reflect the Norwegian artist’s anxieties about aging, illness, loss, and mortality. An exploration of Johns’s 1982 Savarin monotypes shows how Johns used the print medium to drill down further into motifs related to Munch, including crosshatching, woodgrain, handprints and armprints, and even sperm.

The last section in the exhibition proposes several important new ideas about the Johns/Munch connection involving shadows and ghosts. Here, all four of Johns’s Seasons paintings (1985-86) and a large selection of Seasons drawings and prints, including a number from Johns’s own collection, are paired with Munch’s Self-Portrait in Hell, 1903; Starry Night, 1922-24; Self Portrait at Quarter Past Two in the Morning, 1940-44, and numerous other self-portrait paintings, drawings, and prints. A dozen experimental photographs by Munch are here as well. Cumulatively, these bodies of work suggest that Munch’s fascination with the shadow as an alter ego capable of expressing feelings about life and death came to be shared by Johns.

While showing how Johns used Munch’s motifs to open up his own work to greater expressiveness, the exhibition also demonstrates a circularity between influence, interpretation, and appropriation. “The way that Johns internalized and processed Munch’s images shows that Munch’s work is still evolving in how it is received by artists and others,” says Ravenal.

“This exhibition is a case study for the complex and unexpected ways that artists draw inspiration from the art of the past,” says Alex Nyerges, Director of VMFA. “It’s also a reminder that however methods and technologies change, today, as ever, the real basis for the value of a comprehensive art museum like VMFA is its imaginative capacity to make new connections and expand the knowledge of the works of art in its permanent collections.”


12422 - 20170319 - Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibits works by Isamu Noguchi - Washington, DC - 11.11.2016-19.03.2017


Isamu Noguchi, Lunar Table, 1961-65, granite. The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York. Photo by Kevin Noble. © The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York.
Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) was among the most innovative American sculptors of the 20th century. His design for “Sculpture to Be Seen from Mars” (1947) anticipates the space age by several decades. Even as he created works that were far ahead of his time, Noguchi frequently found inspiration in ancient art and architecture—from Egyptian pyramids and Buddhist temples to Zen gardens and American Indian burial mounds. “Isamu Noguchi, Archaic/Modern” explores how the ancient world shaped this artist’s vision for the future.
“Isamu Noguchi, Archaic/Modern” is on view in the museum’s main building from Nov. 11 through March 19, 2017. Dakin Hart, senior curator at The Noguchi Museum, and Karen Lemmey, curator of sculpture at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, organized the exhibition. The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the sole venue for this exhibition, which is expanded from an earlier installation at The Noguchi Museum.

“Isamu Noguchi—born in Los Angeles, raised and educated in Japan, Indiana, New York and Paris—was among the first American artists to think like a citizen of the world,” said Betsy Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “The exhibition is the latest in a series of major shows to examine the contributions of such international artists as Nam June Paik, Christo, Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Tamayo, and their broad perspectives.”

“Isamu Noguchi, Archaic/Modern” brings together 74 works, nearly all on loan from The Noguchi Museum, made during the artist’s six-decade career. The artworks reflect Noguchi’s striving for timelessness through the abstraction of things, places and ideas. Featured works—including several monolithic basalt sculptures, fountains, designs for stage sets and playgrounds and floating Akari light sculptures—are organized in themes of particular interest to Noguchi: landscape, invention, the atomic age, outer space and social spaces. Noguchi saw himself as both artist and inventor, and the exhibition devotes special attention to his patented designs, such as “Radio Nurse,” the first baby monitor.

“The juxtaposition of the terms ‘archaic’ and ‘modern’ is an attempt to fold space-time in a way that is true to Noguchi’s attempts to make the practice of sculpture an expression of relativity in the modern, Einsteinian sense,” said Hart. “Noguchi exists somewhere in the fusion of these two abstract notions of time, and my hope is that by exhibiting his sculptures in thematic groupings we add to the scope of their meaningfulness and highlight the adaptability of Noguchi’s values to the future.”

“Noguchi’s work—which encompasses tradition and progress, the timeless and the modern— still resonates with contemporary audiences despite being created decades ago,” said Lemmey. “It is particularly wonderful to see the museum’s ‘Grey Sun,’ which was a gift from Noguchi, in this broader context that shows how ahead of his times Noguchi was with his unique perspective on global culture.”


12421 - 20170507 - J. Paul Getty Museum presents "Fashionable Likeness: Pastel Portraits in 18th-Century Britain" - Los Angeles, CA - 01.11.2016-07.05.2017


William Hoare (English, 1707 - 1792), Henry Hoare, "The Magnificent", of Stourhead, about 1750 - 1760. Pastel on paper. Unframed: 61 × 45.7 cm (24 × 18 in.) Framed: 100.3 × 64.8 × 8.9 cm (39 1/2 × 25 1/2 × 3 1/2 in.) Accession No. 2013.47.1 The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
In eighteenth-century Britain, portraits were commissioned by an increasingly wide cross- section of society, including the newly rich, as a visible symbol of their wealth and cultural aspirations. Fashionable Likeness: Pastel Portraits in 18th –Century Britain, on view November 1, 2016 through May 7, 2017, explores the topic of portrait drawing through a number of works in the Getty Museum’s permanent collection and select loans.

“Eager to affirm their elevated social status, sitters in 18th-century Europe were frequently portrayed in the latest fashion, wearing opulent outfits topped with powdered wigs and elaborate hairstyles,” explains Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “With its unique texture and luminosity, pastel was the perfect medium to capture the sitters’ evanescent expressions and the symbols of their stature – the richness of their silk dresses and velvet coats. As well as its rich artistry, this exhibition also provides an insight into the carefully calibrated social structure of the day.”

“For artists and sitters, pastel painting offered practical advantages over oil, as it required fewer sittings and did not need to dry between sessions,” says Julian Brooks, co-curator of the installation. “In addition, ready-made pastel sticks were easily portable and cost less than oils.”

The first artist to become internationally renowned for pastel portraits was the Venetian artist Rosalba Carriera, whose work was much sought after by collectors across Europe. Praised for her talent at capturing a vivid likeness, Carriera employed a subtle technique of smoothing and blending hues that influenced a generation of British pastelists. Among those was John Russell, who trained with Francis Cotes and later authored Elements of Painting with Crayons (1772), one of the earliest English treatises on the pastel technique.

In a sumptuous and vibrant family portrait by Daniel Gardner, Portrait of Mary Sturt of Crichel and Her Three Eldest Children (about 1777), Gardner perfectly illustrates English high society’s taste for fashionable costumes. Mary Sturt’s son, Humphry, wears a ruffled necktie and double-breasted striped waistcoat with large pointed lapels. His matching pair of breeches fastened at the knee feature a stylish rosette instead of the usual buckle, details only made possible with the use of pastels. “This portrait is a magnificent example of Gardner’s very original technique,” says Ketty Gottardo, co-curator of the installation. “Unusual for a pastelist, he mixed pastel powder with alcohol and applied it with a brush to paint faster, only rendering the faces in dry pastel.”

Fashionable Likeness: Pastel Portraits in 18th –Century Britain will be on view November 1, 2016 through May 7, 2017 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center. The installation is curated by Julian Brooks, senior curator of drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and Ketty Gottardo, former associate curator of drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum now at The Courtauld Gallery in London. They were assisted by former graduate intern Alessandra Nardi.


12420 - 20170409 - Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts opens "World War I and American Art" - Philadelphia,PA - 04.11.2016-09.04.2017


Childe Hassam (1859–1935), Early Morning on the Avenue in May 1917, 1917. Oil on canvas, 30 1/16 × 36 1/16 in. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Bequest of Candace C. Stimson, 1944.20 Photo: Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover/Art Resource, NY.
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts presents its ground-breaking exhibition World War I and American Art, on view in the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building at 128 N. Broad Street from November 4, 2016 through April 9, 2017.

The first major museum exhibition to revisit this unprecedented global event through the eyes of American artists, World War I and American Art will show how American artists translated their wartime experience, opinions, and perceptions in works that chronicle this transformative moment in American culture. The war’s impact on art and culture was multifaceted, as American artists spoke out against it, participated as soldiers on the battlefield and workers on the home front, designed enlistment posters and camouflage, served as official artists documenting the war, and helped shape postwar society in its wake.

One of the most ambitious projects that PAFA has ever organized, the exhibition’s approximately 160 works by 80 artists encompass a broad variety of stylistic approaches, viewpoints, and experiences through paintings, drawings, sculpture, prints, photographs, posters, and ephemera. A diverse array of both well-known and under-recognized artists is represented including Ivan Albright, George Bellows, Charles Burchfield, John Steuart Curry, Howard Chandler Christy, James Montgomery Flagg, Henry Glintenkamp, Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, Carl Hoeckner, George Luks, John Marin, Violet Oakley, Georgia O’Keeffe, Joseph Pennell, Jane Peterson, Horace Pippin, Man Ray, Boardman Robinson, Norman Rockwell, John Singer Sargent, John Sloan, Edward Steichen, and Claggett Wilson.

A small selection of work will also be shown by contemporary artists – including Debra Priestly and recent MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipient Mary Reid Kelley – who have confronted World War I’s legacy in their work.

World War I and American Art fully explores the deep and lasting impact of the war, following the chronological arc from prewar tensions to the reverberating after effects in the 1930s, and chronicling its devastating toll on haunted soldiers and ruined cities, relief and hospital workers, women and families.

“World War I and American Art examines a critical moment in history from both the home front and firsthand experience, allowing for images of intense patriotism and outraged dissent to recreate the charged atmosphere leading up to and during the war,” notes David R. Brigham, PAFA President and Acting Museum Director. “Artists both mirrored and participated in these debates, and the images they produced fueled discussions about the United States’ role in the world.”

The exhibition will also demonstrate how the conflict changed American art itself. World War I unfolded as the American art scene was rapidly changing and experiencing a growing range of aesthetic viewpoints, political agendas, exhibition and publication opportunities, and contact with European émigrés. Images made during the war reveal American artists in transition, using more experimental forms including abstraction to capture the apocalyptic tenor of the conflict but also drawing on a straightforward realist manner to make the human experience accessible to their audience.

The exhibition includes numerous high-profile loans, among them John Singer Sargent’s monumental painting, Gassed, from the Imperial War Museums in London. Measuring approximately 20 feet wide by 7 feet tall, the composition depicts the aftermath of a mustard gas attack Sargent witnessed on the Western Front. The painting features a central group of wounded soldiers, depicted nearly life-size, walking toward a field hospital and past the bodies of their dead and injured comrades in arms.

The painting, widely regarded as Sargent’s late masterpiece, conveys the waste and tragedy of conflict and is one of the most disturbing humanistic commentaries on war. Gassed brings together many themes that are essential to the story of the war and this exhibition: differing perspectives on the war and its larger meanings; the camaraderie of soldiers at camp and in the field; the harrowing pain of combat, the dignity of those who sacrifice for their country, and the heartbreaking realities of war, regardless of its justification.

This landmark exhibition is organized by PAFA and curated by Robert Cozzolino, former PAFA senior curator and currently the Patrick and Aimee Butler Curator of Paintings at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; Anne Knutson, an independent scholar and curator; and David Lubin, the Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art at Wake Forest University. It will be accompanied by an extensive schedule of public programs for all ages, as well as a fully illustrated scholarly catalog.

Although World War I has been characterized as “America’s forgotten war,” Cozzolino notes that “the war’s impact on American art and culture was enormous, for nearly every major American artist of the time produced work that addressed the conflict or contributed in some way to the war effort. It was prevalent in American culture before and after the nation entered the war in 1917.”

“Among the most exciting discoveries made by the curatorial team is the degree to which modernists such as Marin, O’Keeffe, and others were immersed in news and the imagery of the war,” Cozzolino adds. “We are also thrilled to bring the work of little-known artists to light. Clagget Wilson and Carl Hoeckner, for instance, made some of the most haunting images of the war and have not had the chance to be seen in the context of other World War I artwork.”

World War I and American Art is organized around eight themes: Prelude: The Threat of War; Hartley and Hassam: Tenuous Neutrality; Debating the War; Mobilization; Modernists and the War; Battlefields; The Wounded and the Healers; and Celebration and Mourning. Arranged to follow the narrative of the war itself, the exhibition will show how artists chronicled their experiences of the unfolding war as it crept closer to home and then involved them directly as soldiers, relief workers, political dissenters, and official war artists.

“Exhibits such as this contribute to a deeper understanding of our nation’s history in a way that words could never convey,” said Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon, and chairman of the Exelon Foundation. “We’re proud to partner with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to tell the story of the war’s impact on our society and culture through the eyes of artists who bore witness.”

The exhibition will travel to the New York Historical Society in spring 2017, followed by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in fall 2017. It is accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalog and an extensive schedule of approximately 30 public programs for children and adults of all ages.

Among the events developed in conjunction with the exhibition are lectures and symposia, art-making programs for schools, walking tours, educator workshops, and a co-exhibition of recent art created by veterans. Partners include the American Red Cross, Friends Select, Project Home, Library Company of Philadelphia, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University, Warrior Writers, International House, Army War College, and others. The symposium is sponsored by the General Representation of the Government of Flanders to the USA. For a complete list of programs, visit www.pafa.org/WWI.

World War I and American Art is made possible in part by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and from the Henry Luce Foundation. The Presenting Sponsor is the Exelon Foundation and PECO. Additional funding provided by grants from the David A. and Helen P. Horn Charitable Trust, Edwin L. Fountain, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, The McCausland Foundation, the General Representation of the Government of Flanders to the USA, Mrs. Helen Horn Bickell, Carolyn Horn Seidle, Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, Bank of America, Mr. and Mrs. Kevin F. Donohoe, and Dr. and Mrs. J. Brien Murphy. The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.


12419 - 20170305 - First solo museum exhibition of Sascha Braunig on view at MoMA PS1 - Long Island City, NY - 23.10.2016-05.03.2017


Installation view of Sascha Braunig: Shivers at MoMA PS1, October 23 2016 – March 5, 2017. Photo: Pablo Enriquez, courtesy the artist and MoMA PS1.
 MoMA PS1 presents an intimate exhibition of works by Canadian artist Sascha Braunig, on view through March 5, 2017. The artist’s first solo museum exhibition, Sascha Braunig: Shivers showcases Braunig’s unique approach to studio portraiture across 24 works created in the last five years.

Beginning with meticulously rendered paintings of fantastical sculptural constructions, the artist deploys a range of pictorial techniques to depict bodies under duress. The figures in her work are compressed by their environments, stretched and twisted across armatures, and often overwhelmed by their surroundings. Some are irradiated by industrial light, sutured into uncomfortable hybrids, and hollowed out.

Drawing inspiration from the distorted bodies that litter the histories of modern painting, Braunig adapts these legacies to the discomforts and instabilities of contemporary life. In more recent works, Braunig’s figures seem to turn on themselves, testing their own limits and those of the settings that confine them. While evocatively dystopic, her paintings also subtly empower their vulnerable subjects, advocating a humanist art for an age in which individual experience seems threatened by forces beyond our control.

Sascha Braunig: Shivers is organized by Peter Eleey, Curator and Associate Director of Exhibitions and Programs, MoMA PS1.

Sascha Braunig (b. 1983, Canada) received her MFA from Yale School of Art in 2008. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions internationally, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; the New Museum, New York; and the Baltimore Museum of Art Braunig lives and works in Portland, Maine.