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2238 - 20180107 - U.S.A. - Corning - New York - Corning Museum of Glass - Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics - 20.05.2017-07.01.2018


Pen wiper. Tiffany Studios; “Poppy” inkstand. Tiffany Glass&Decorating Company; Pen tray in “Swirl” pattern. Tiffany Glass&Decorating Company or Tiffany Studios.
The first exhibition to explore Louis C. Tiffany’s glass mosaics—an extraordinary but little-known aspect of his artistic production—will be presented by The Corning Museum of Glass from May 20, 2017, through January 7, 2018. Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics, organized jointly by CMoG and The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass, will combine works from both collections with important loans and specially designed digital displays to reveal how Tiffany’s mosaics reflect this aspect of his studio’s artistry and innovation in glass. The exhibition will feature nearly 50 works dating from the 1890s to the 1920s, from intimately scaled mosaic fancy goods designed for use in the home to large-scale mosaic panels and architectural elements composed of thousands of individual pieces of glass. Examples of Tiffany mosaics of such wide-ranging scope and scale have never before been displayed together, and the exhibition provides a unique opportunity to take in the breadth of this aspect of Tiffany’s work. Architectural mosaics still in situ will be presented through digital displays, showcasing new high resolution photography of these works recently captured by the CMoG team.
“We are thrilled to partner with The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass on this groundbreaking exhibition. Thanks to the curatorial and digital expertise of both of our teams, this important aspect of Tiffany’s work is finally able to be explored in a meaningful way,” said Karol Wight, president and executive director of CMoG. “The history of glass mosaics extends back more than 3,000 years, and the permanent collection at CMoG is the perfect backdrop for contextualizing the work undertaken by Tiffany’s firm to popularize this technique in the United States.”

The exhibition will reveal the process of creating a mosaic at Tiffany’s studios—through detailed watercolor studies and drawings to surviving glass sample panels and examples of completed work. Museum visitors will gain insight into the labor-intensive processes, including the selection of individual pieces of glass, which played a vital role in the overall aesthetic of the final product. Drawing on The Neustadt’s archive of Tiffany glass, objects on display will also include original examples of colored sheet glass, glass “jewels,” and glass fragments made for specific mosaics. There will also be loans from private collections as well at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Museum of Modern Art, Chrysler Museum of Art, Haworth Art Gallery, Kalamazoo Art Institute, and the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of Art.

“Although Louis C. Tiffany is best known for his pioneering leaded glass windows and lamps, his mosaics are the culmination of his experimentation and artistry in glass,” said Lindsy Parrott, director and curator at The Neustadt and co-curator of Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics. “Indeed, the mosaics represent an exciting synthesis of his work in both leaded and blown glass. Using a rich variety of materials, including multicolored opalescent glass and shimmering iridescent glass, accented with three-dimensional glass ‘jewels,’ Tiffany’s innovations in glass established a bold new aesthetic for mosaics and contributed a uniquely American character to the centuries-old art form.”

The exhibition will also highlight the role of Tiffany’s turn-of-the-20th-century showroom, where he presented the finest examples of his completed work for his clients and the public. Photographs of the various workrooms were part of Tiffany’s marketing efforts and were used in both his advertisements as well as his marketing brochures. These “behind-the-scenes” photos emphasized that each object made at the Tiffany Studios was handcrafted, as opposed to mass produced.

Tiffany’s successful combination of art and business coincided with the rapid development of consumer culture in the United States,” said Kelly Conway, curator of American glass at CMoG and co-curator of Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics. “His impressive New York City showroom and clever, gorgeous displays of the company’s mosaics at world’s fairs, coupled with strategic marketing, sparked consumer interest and drove demand for high-priced luxury objects for the home.”

Many of Tiffany’s mosaic murals are still installed in their original settings, and will be represented by photographs. CMoG’s photography team visited 12 locations in New York State, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Chicago, to capture detailed shots of these mosaic commissions, adding significant imagery to the field. The new photography will be presented in the exhibition through the use of digital displays, offering an interactive, immersive experience that will bring these important works directly to visitors at the Museum. Through digital interactives with zoom capabilities, visitors will be able to explore these mosaics in new and exciting ways: up close and at eye level, providing the opportunity for heightened appreciation of the material and the glass selection

Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics will be accompanied by a new publication presenting the most comprehensive documentation and analysis of Tiffany’s glass mosaics to date. The volume advances scholarship in the field, and offers new perspectives for readers at all levels of expertise. Authors include the co-curators Conway and Parrott, Elizabeth J. De Rosa, independent curator Natalie R. Peters, independent art historian; Jennifer Perry Thalheimer, curator and collection manager, Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of Art; and Karol B. Wight, president and executive director, CMoG. The appendix was meticulously researched and compiled by Morgan T. Albahary, curatorial and collection assistant, The Neustadt. It is fully illustrated with new photography of many of Tiffany’s most celebrated mosaic commissions, including The Dream Garden in The Curtis Center in Philadelphia and Jacques Marquette’s Expedition in Chicago’s Marquette Building. Also included in the publication is a comprehensive appendix of all of Tiffany’s known public, ecclesiastical, and residential mosaic commissions, which serves as both a reference for researchers and a guide for anyone interested in visiting extant Tiffany mosaics.
Corning Museum of Glass - Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics - 20.05.2017-07.01.2018


2237 - 20170531 - U.S.A. - NEW BRUNSWICK - NEW JERSEY - Innovation and Abstraction: Women Artists and Atelier 17 - 17.01.2017-31.05.2017


Minna Citron (1896-1991), Ishtar, 1946. Oil on canvas. Susan Teller Gallery, New York, NY.

Innovation and Abstraction: Women Artists and Atelier 17 examines the formal innovations and burgeoning feminist consciousness of eight artists—Louise Bourgeois, Minna Citron, Worden Day, Dorothy Dehner, Sue Fuller, Alice Trumbull Mason, Louise Nevelson, and Anne Ryan—all of whom worked at the legendary Atelier 17 printmaking studio. Founded in 1927 in Paris by the British artist Stanley William Hayter, Atelier 17 relocated to New York from 1940 to 1955 to escape the political conflicts in Europe. Hayter championed technical experimentation and collaboration among the two hundred artists who worked there, nearly half of whom were women.

Experimental, often unorthodox, prints by the featured artists are displayed alongside their paintings and sculptures to explore how Atelier 17 catalyzed their creativity and inspired these women to reshape American abstraction. The exhibition includes loans from private collections, as well as the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Organized by the Pollock-Krasner House and guest curated by Christina Weyl. The presentation at the Zimmerili is coordinated by Nicole Simpson, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, and Christine Giviskos, Curator of European Art.

The exhibition’s presentation at the Zimmerli is made possible by the donors to the Zimmerli’s Major Exhibition Fund: James and Kathrin Bergin, Alvin and Joyce Glasgold, Charles and Caryl Sills, Voorhees Family Endowment, and the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation, Inc –Stephen Cypen, President.

Zimmerli Art Museum - Innovation and Abstraction: Women Artists and Atelier 17




2236 - 20170528 - U.S.A. - NEW YORK - I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson - 20.01.2017-28.05.2017


One of the most popular and enigmatic American writers of the nineteenth century, Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) wrote almost 1,800 poems. Nevertheless, her work was essentially unknown to contemporary readers since only a handful of poems were published during her lifetime and a vast trove of her manuscripts was not discovered until after her death in 1886.

Often typecast as a recluse who rarely left her Amherst home, Dickinson was, in fact, socially active as a young woman and maintained a broad network of friends and correspondents even as she grew older and retreated into seclusion. Bringing together nearly one hundred rarely seen items, including manuscripts and letters, I’m Nobody! Who are you?—a title taken from her popular poem—is the most ambitious exhibition on Dickinson to date. It explores a side of her life that is seldom acknowledged: one filled with rich friendships and long-lasting relationships with mentors and editors.

The exhibition closely examines twenty-four poems in various draft states, with corresponding audio stops.  In addition to her writings, the show also features an array of visual material, including hand-cut silhouettes, photographs and daguerreotypes, contemporary illustrations, and other items that speak to the rich intellectual and cultural environment in which Dickinson lived and worked. The exhibition is organized in conjunction with Amherst College.

The Morgan Library & Museum - I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of
 Emily Dickinson - 20.01.2017-28.05.2017


2235 - 20170423 - U.S.A. - SAN ANTONIO - TEXAS - Julian Onderdonk and the Texan Landscape - 20.01.2017-23.04.2017


Julian Onderdonk, Afternoon, Southwest Texas, 1912, oil on canvas, h. 25 in. (63.5 cm); w. 30 in. (76.2 cm), Bobbie and John Nau Collection. Image courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Julian Onderdonk and the Texan Landscape, on view at the San Antonio Museum of Art
, explores the work of legendary San Antonio painter Julian Onderdonk, from views of the Long Island landscape to sweeping impressions of the Hill Country and the iconic Texas bluebonnet.

Born in San Antonio in 1882, Onderdonk trained first with his father, Robert Jenkins Onderdonk (1851–1917), one of the city’s most important early artists. Onderdonk further studied in New York under American Impressionist William Merritt Chase, whose mantra that an artist should work outdoors and paint what he or she saw forever marked Julian’s work. After returning to Texas in 1909, Onderdonk found his life’s calling. He portrayed the distinctive surroundings of his state at different times of day, in different atmospheric conditions, and at different times of year to the delight of collectors and critics. Just as he reached the peak of his fame, his sudden death, at age 40, in 1922, cut his career short.

“Julian Onderdonk’s work still influences the way visitors revere—and artists paint—the Texas landscape,” said Dr. William Keyse Rudolph, Andrew W. Mellon Chief Curator and the Marie and Hugh Halff Curator of American Art. “It is exciting to share over two dozen works with the public, many of which are from private collections.”

The exhibition was organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. It coincides with the publication of Julian Onderdonk: A Catalogue Raisonné by Harry A. Halff and Elizabeth Halff, who spent twenty years tracking down the works. 
San Antonio Museum of Art - Julian Onderdonk and the Texan Landscape -
20.01.2017 - 23.04.2017



2234 - 20170702 - U.S.A. - OKLAHOMA CITY - OKLAHOMA - The Complete WPA Collection: 75th Anniversary - 16.12.2016-02.07.2017

Harry Gottlieb (American, 1895–1992). Ruins Along the Hudson, ca. 1937. Oil on canvas. Oklahoma City Museum of Art. WPA Collection, 1942.041.

In 1935, in an effort to curb the mass unemployment of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration (WPA), one of a number of domestic programs known collectively as the New Deal. While much of the WPA was focused on improving the nation’s infrastructure, it also provided substantial resources for the arts and artists through the Federal Art Project (FAP), which employed 3,500 artists by 1936, and was instrumental in launching the careers of Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning, and Stuart Davis, among many others.
The Federal Art Project (FAP) was also responsible for establishing more than 100 art centers around the United States. Included among these was the WPA Experimental Gallery in Oklahoma City, which would become the WPA Oklahoma Art Center when the government funded a new, larger space, under the direction of well-known artist Nan Sheets. When President Roosevelt dissolved the WPA in 1942 following the outbreak of World War II, the Oklahoma Art Center became an independent entity. At that time, the Federal Art Project’s Central Allocation Unit gave twenty-eight works by twenty-six artists to the city of Oklahoma City. When the Museum’s predecessor, the Oklahoma Art Center, incorporated three years later, the WPA collection provided the basis for the Museum’s new permanent collection.

The Museum’s WPA collection features a large proportion of rural American landscapes and depictions of labor, infrastructure, and industrial development. All are figurative, as was favored by the WPA, and there are significant representations of female and foreign-born (predominately Russian) artists in the Museum’s holdings. The WPA collection also contains two artists with local ties, Muscogee (Creek)/Pawnee painter and muralist Acee Blue Eagle and printmaker Elmer Capshaw.

Oklahoma City Museum of Art  - The Complete WPA Collection: 75th Anniversary


2233 - 20170604 - U.S.A. - NEW HAVEN - CONNECTICUT - Century: Reflections on Modern America - 23.12.2016-04.06.2017

Childe Hassam, Avenue of the Allies, 1918. Oil on canvas. Private collection.
It Was a New Century: Reflections on Modern America presents a fresh view of the dawn of the modern age through nearly 60 late 19th- and early 20th-century American paintings, prints, drawings, and watercolors on loan to the Yale University Art Gallery from a private collection. The new century saw the acceleration of America’s already dizzying transformation into an industrial power, which had defining effects on the nation’s art and culture. Technological innovations improved the quality of life for many—even as American cities grew larger, denser, and tougher—and artists embraced both the glamour and grittiness of urban life as a quintessentially modern subject. Opening with the bustling street and colorful flags of Childe Hassam’s Avenue of the Allies (1918), the exhibition is organized thematically, addressing the leading artistic ideas of the day as well as the underlying preoccupations that drove them.
Social realism emerged as the primary approach to capturing the city during the early 20th century, led by the artists of the so-called Ashcan School, named for its focus on the life and urban experience of New York’s working class. In images such as Jerome Myers’s Peddlers, Lower East Side (1905), which depicts a busy sidewalk market scene, and Everett Shinn’s pastels swirling with falling snow and huddled figures rushing through Washington Square Park, the urban landscape and its inhabitants often merge into a unified expression of bustling city life.

Combining spectacle, energy, and violence, George Bellows’s depictions of boxing matches are widely considered among the signature achievements of the period. A group of six lithographs in the exhibition explores the boxing theme in depth and provides a sense of the unfolding drama in the ring as well as the crowd. Bellows’s 1917 lithograph A Stag at Sharkey’s—based on a 1909 painting of the same title—contributed to the public debate about the propriety of boxing and is one of the most venerated artworks he ever produced. Sharkey’s Athletic Club, a bar across from Bellows’s New York studio, hosted illegal “stag” prizefights for all-male audiences. Bellows portrays a fleeting moment of dynamic equilibrium between the two boxers before the match is won or lost.

Individual humanity was expressed through portraiture, another key genre of the period. Though the eponymous subject of Walt Kuhn’s Clown in a Beaver Hat (1944) is painted in full makeup, the sitter’s own character is powerfully evident in his intense expression. Works by Kuhn and others poignantly convey depth, as these artists looked past the artificiality of the costume to capture the self-awareness of the actors.

Leisure was also a prominent theme of the time, both in and out of the city. Parks, beaches, and the countryside offered reprieves from the demands of urban life, and artists including William Merritt Chase, William Glackens, and Maurice Prendergast made recreation a primary subject, bathing their scenes in bright sunlight and shimmering colors that call to mind vacations long past. Influenced by the virtuosic paint handling and attention to light of the French Impressionists and Postimpressionists, these artists adapted that vocabulary to the American landscape.

A group of nostalgic, rural scenes by an earlier generation of artists, such as Winslow Homer and Eastman Johnson, as well as by 20th-century figures including Hassam and Willard Metcalf, portrays the other, more retrospective view of the modern experience—the loss of tradition and the wistful recollection of simpler times. Industrialization coincided with rapid urban growth during the mid-19th century, and by the early 20th century rural life was itself an exotic subject for the artists of New York and their equally urban patrons. Pastoral scenes offered them a visual escape.

The exhibition concludes with a group of watercolor views of Venice by Prendergast, a fitting counterpoint to the vision of New York presented in Hassam’s brilliant Avenue of the Allies at the start of the installation. Mark D. Mitchell, the Holcombe T. Green Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, and exhibition curator, observes, “Equal parts energy, leisure, nostalgia, modernity, and urban kaleidoscope, Prendergast’s Venetian watercolors are shimmering summations of the American artistic experience at the turn of the 20th century.”

“The Gallery is grateful for the opportunity to share this private collection of exceptional American art with the public,” states Pamela Franks, Acting Director and the Seymour H. Knox, Jr., Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. “The assembled works present a compelling panorama of a new, modern America—a nation and its artists seeking to embrace the future, to honor the past, and, above all, to interpret the present.”
Yale University Art Gallery - Century: Reflections on Modern America -


2232 - 20170514 - U.S.A. - PITTSBURGH -PENNSYLVANIA -The Frick Pittsburgh's world class collection highlighted in new exhibition and book - 29.10.2016-14.05.2017


Claude Monet (1840–1926) Banks of the Seine at Lavacourt (Bords de la Seine a Lavacourt), 1879. Oil on canvas. Frick Art & Historical Center.
The Frick Art & Historical Center is currently presenting the first exhibition in eight years to focus exclusively on its permanent collection. On view through May 14, 2017 at The Frick Art Museum, The Frick Collects: From Rubens to Monet celebrates the works of fine and decorative art at the heart of the Frick experience. Admission is free.
Designed to bring renewed attention to the depth and breadth of the Frick’s collection—from bachelor purchases by Henry Clay Frick, through his daughter Helen’s work to ensure the creation of The Frick Art Museum and the preservation of Clayton, and to more recent museum acquisitions, The Frick Collects: From Rubens to Monet features many of the museum’s most significant objects and tells the story of the Frick today and how it has evolved from its founding collections.

Accompanying The Frick Collects: Rubens to Monet is a new 120-page guide to the collection, produced in collaboration with Scala, specialists in museum publications. The Frick Pittsburgh, A Guide to the Collection is the first publication since 1993 to focus on The Frick Pittsburgh’s permanent collection. Featuring an introduction by Frick Director Robin Nicholson and contextual essays by Director of Curatorial Affairs Sarah Hall and Associate Curator of Decorative Arts Dawn Reid Brean, it is available for purchase at The Frick Museum Store for $16.95 retail ($15.26 for members). The accompanying publication is generously underwritten by The Richard C. von Hess Foundation.

Frick Director Robin Nicholson comments, “Regular visitors to the Frick are familiar with the spectacular Rubens portrait that is regularly on view at The Frick Art Museum and likely know the dazzling Monet that typically hangs in the sitting room at Clayton. The Frick Collects features these iconic works and other extraordinary paintings and decorative arts from the collection, as well as more recent acquisitions, such as Meissonier’s 1806, Jena. By bringing these works together in our exhibition galleries, we are putting the spotlight on our own world-class collection, and taking the opportunity to tell more of our own stories—both about individual objects and about the Frick as a whole.”

The Frick Collects: From Rubens to Monet is composed of 42 paintings, 26 decorative arts pieces, nine pieces of furniture, six works on paper, and three examples of sculpture, and is organized by acquisition date, allowing visitors to perceive the development of the collection, from Henry Clay Frick’s earliest purchases to recent museum acquisitions. Thematic sections include: From Apartment to Starter Home: The Collecting Begins, covering the years 1881 to 1892; The Confident Collector, encompassing purchases made through the 1890s to around 1906; Collecting with Ambition, which includes important purchases made from other collections and covers the years when Frick was purchasing with the intention of creating a public gallery; Her Father’s Daughter, which elucidates Helen Clay Frick’s collecting interests; and, Expanding the Legacy, which includes the establishment of The Frick Art Museum and acquisitions made since the museum’s founding.
Frick Art & Historical Center - The Frick Collects: From Rubens to Monet


2231 - 20170416 - U.S.A. - NEW BRITAIN - CONNECTICUT - New Britain Museum of American Art displays portfolio of photographs by Ansel Adams - 08.12.2016-16.04.2017


Ansel Adams (1902–84), Winter Storm, 1940, Silver gelatin print, 7 3/8 x 9 in., Courtesy of the New Britain Museum of American Art, Reproduced with permission of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust.
 The New Britain Museum of American Art presents the exhibition Ansel Adams: Yosemite Valley, on view from December 8, 2016 to April 16, 2017 in the Helen T. and Philip B. Stanley Gallery. Celebrating the National Park Service’s centennial year, this exhibition comprises 16 silver gelatin prints by Ansel Adams (1902¬–1984) dating from 1927 to 1960 and depicting the majestic beauty of Yosemite National Park in California.
Born in San Francisco, Adams became known for his striking black-and-white landscape photographs of the American West. In 1916, he visited Yosemite National Park with his family, and was given his first camera by his father. Photography and Yosemite would remain subjects of fascination for the remainder of Adams’s life.

In 1960, Yosemite Valley was published by the Sierra Club, a renowned conservation organization of which Adams was a dedicated member for over 30 years. The artist served a vital role at the Club, assisting in effectively persuading the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service to declare numerous wilderness lands as National Parks, acting as the Club’s official trip photographer, and receiving numerous environmental awareness awards.

The prints presented in this exhibition highlight Adams’s interest in the aesthetic and scientific aspects of nature in their most grand and minute detail. These images had profound success in awakening many Americans to the purity of the nation’s natural regions and the importance of preserving them.

New Britain Museum of American Art - Ansel Adams: Yosemite Valley



2230 - 20170402 - U.S.A. - SAN FRANCISCO - CALIFORNIA - SFMOMA presents "A Slow Succession with Many Interruptions" - 10.12.2016-02.04.2017


Doris Salcedo, Plega ria Mud a , 2008–10; wood, mineral compound, metal, and grass; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, purchase, by exchange, through a fractional gift of Shirley Ross Davis; © Doris Salcedo.
A Slow Succession with Many Interruptions reflects on the ways that artists have responded to the evolving conditions of the 21st century. Composed of work by 40 artists, the exhibition broadly considers the fluidity of ideas and how artworks embody time. The installation, which highlights recent acquisitions and works on view to the public for the first time, calls attention to the varied forms and approaches taken by different artists and the connections between the personal, the intimate and the individual; constructions of identity, history and culture; the instability of materials; and strategies to rediscover or recover the past. 
The title phrase is taken from art historian George Kubler’s seminal book The Shape of Time (1962), in which the author proposes a history of “things”—including artworks—that traces connected ideas developed in sequence, sometimes over centuries and with intervening deviations and lapses. Through ideas, artworks are affected by their historical context and, in turn, affect it.

“By considering the complex and often contradictory continuum of the past 16 years, A Slow Succession with Many Interruptions brings together profound meditations on equality, loss, desire, migration, materiality and the everyday,” said Jenny Gheith, exhibition curator and assistant curator of painting and sculpture at SFMOMA. “We see artists creating ambitious installations in non-traditional materials such as sand and grass alongside quiet reflections that mark the passage of time.”

Representing a range of approaches and media—including painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, film, video and performance—A Slow Succession with Many Interruptions features a dynamic cross-section of contemporary art. Beginning with a performance work by Tino Sehgal in Helen and Charles Schwab Hall and continuing to unfold through a series of seventh-floor galleries organized according to shared formal and conceptual affinities, the exhibition is punctuated by monographic installations by Lutz Bacher, Trisha Donnelly, Dora García and Emily Jacir. Other highlights of the exhibition include works by artists Tauba Auerbach, Tacita Dean, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Colter Jacobsen, Mark Manders, as well as Sam Lewitt, Paulina Olowska, Catherine Opie, Walid Raad and Danh Vo, among others.
SFMOMA - A Slow Succession with Many Interruptions - 10.12.2016-02.04.2017  


2229 - 20170305 - U.S.A. - WASHINGTON, DC - Stuart Davis exhibition at National Gallery of Art Washington - 20.11.2016-05.03.2017

Stuart Davis, Place des Vosges No. 2, 1928. Oil on canvas, overall: 65.3 x 92.3 cm (25 11/16 x 36 5/16 in.), framed: 80.7 x 107.6 x 9.5 cm (31 3/4 x 42 3/8 x 3 3/4 in.). Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, Dr. and Mrs. Milton Lurie Kramer, Class of 1936, Collection, bequest of Helen Kroll Kramer. Art © Estate of Stuart Davis/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.
One of the most important American modernists, Stuart Davis blurred distinctions between text and image, high and low art, and abstraction and figuration, crafting a distinct style that continues to influence art being made today. On view at the National Gallery of Art, West Building, from November 20, 2016 through March 5, 2017, Stuart Davis: In Full Swing features some 100 of his most important, visually complex, jazz-inspired compositions, offering a new exploration of his working method.
In Full Swing is the first Davis exhibition at the National Gallery of Art and the first major Davis exhibition anywhere to consistently hang later works side by side with the earlier ones that inspired them. From the paintings of tobacco packages and household objects of the early 1920s to the work left on his easel at the time of his death in 1964, In Full Swing highlights Davis's unique ability to assimilate the imagery of popular culture, the aesthetics of advertising, the lessons of cubism, and the sounds and rhythms of jazz into works that hum with intelligence and energy.

"With a long career that stretched from the early 20th century well into the postwar era, Stuart Davis brought a particularly American accent to international modernism. Davis's works are visually complex, mobilizing bold colors and jagged forms in jangling, jazz-inspired compositions," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art, Washington. "We are grateful to the many major U.S. museums that lent works, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, which has contributed two rarely seen paintings, as well as to the sponsors, including Altria Group.

"We have supported visual and performing arts for more than 50 years. We are pleased to sponsor the Stuart Davis: In Full Swing exhibition to celebrate a unique voice of mid-20th-century American optimism, which importantly helped launch the era of pop art. We are proud of our long-standing partnership with the Gallery and once again glad to support an exceptional exhibition," said Bruce Gates, Altria's senior vice president of External Affairs.

Stuart Davis: In Full Swing differs from previous exhibitions on the artist not only in its degree of focus but also in its organization. From 1940 on, Davis rarely painted a work that did not make a careful reference to one or more of his earlier compositions—a distinctive aspect of his method.

Along with Alexander Calder, Edward Hopper, and Georgia O'Keeffe, Stuart Davis is one of the four most important American modernists. All had long careers that stretched from the early years of the 20th century well into the post–World War II era. All but Davis have had major exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art: O'Keeffe in 1988, Calder in 1998, and Hopper in 2008.

Starting from decidedly provincial roots as a left-wing illustrator of urban life around New York, and with only a brief sojourn in Paris (1928–1929), Davis brought the lessons of French modernism into American painting between the wars and then emerged in the 1940s with a bold and original manner. In blurring distinctions between text and image, high and low art, and abstraction and figuration, Davis's works have remained vital and continue to influence art being made today. He is often seen as a precursor of both pop art and contemporary abstraction.

Omitting his first decade, when he worked as an illustrator while he tried out various modernist styles, the exhibition focuses on the brilliant sequence of moves that began in 1921 with his paintings of tobacco packages and household objects and ended only with his death in 1964. Highlights of the exhibition include all four of Davis's breakthrough egg-beater paintings of the 1920s, three major murals from the 1930s, and 25 paintings from the 1950s, his greatest decade. Principal lenders include the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Phillips Collection.
National Gallery of Art - Stuart Davis -  20.11.2016-05.03.2017


2228 - 20170409 - U.S.A. - CAMBRIDGE - MASSACHUSETTS - Harvard Art Museums presents exhibition examining the materiality of recent sculpture by Doris Salcedo - 04.11.2016-09.04.2017

Doris Salcedo, Untitled, 2008. Wooden table, wooden armoires, concrete, and steel. Private collection. © Doris Salcedo. Photo: Sergio Clavijo; courtesy of the artist and Alexander and Bonin, New York, and White Cube, London
The Harvard Art Museums present Doris Salcedo: The Materiality of Mourning, a new special exhibition featuring recent works by Salcedo, an internationally acclaimed artist whose sculpture and installations transform familiar, everyday objects into moving and powerful testimonies of loss and remembrance.
An examination of both mourning and materiality, the exhibition focuses on the last 15 years of Salcedo’s career and the artist’s use of unexpected materials in startling, seemingly impossible ways. Each of Salcedo’s sculptures is a response to political violence and social injustice, and is constructed in such a way that it absorbs the viewer without offering explicit explanation, even for those who have no direct experience of the subject matter. The exhibition was curated by Mary Schneider Enriquez, the Houghton Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Harvard Art Museums, and is on view in the museums’ Special Exhibitions Gallery from November 4, 2016 through April 9, 2017.

A lifelong resident of Bogotá, Colombia, Salcedo began her career producing works that responded to the testimonies of survivors of oppression and political violence in her home country. In recent years, she has broadened her focus to include victims of civil war and oppression worldwide.

“Doris Salcedo’s subject matter is not unique to Colombia or to the impact of civil war; rather, the themes she addresses are current and applicable across the globe. Her work is absolutely timely, and there is no better place than a university museum to focus on the role that art can play in deepening awareness and understanding of such complex issues,” said Martha Tedeschi, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot of the Harvard Art Museums. “Through this exhibition we invite all to explore these sociopolitical issues, but also to consider how Salcedo engages with sculpture as a medium, responding to and departing from conventions.”

The Materiality of Mourning focuses on key aspects of the artist’s oeuvre since 2001, examining an important group of Salcedo’s recent works and the decisive challenges they pose to sculpture’s traditions. There are four separate installations, with nine objects in total, including monumental cement-and-wood furniture pieces, ghostly cloaks made of thousands of needles, groupings of contorted stainless steel chairs, and a room-size tapestry composed of rose petals.

“By using materials from one’s private, everyday life in unexpected and unsettling ways, Salcedo transforms the familiar into the strange, producing works that speak vividly and powerfully about the issues she addresses,” said Schneider Enriquez. “Salcedo builds complex layers, centimeter by centimeter, a veritable skin bearing the wounds and history of political violence,” she added.

Accomplishing the “impossible”
Since 2008, Salcedo has incorporated organic materials that challenge temporal limits in her works. She has collaborated with scientists and engineers to find ways for soil, grass, rose petals, and other objects to be suspended in a particular, unlikely state in order to express haunting absence and the silence of remembrance. Testing the properties and parameters of these materials, she deliberately blurs the lines between the permanent and the ephemeral, between sculpture and performance, by creating works that are gestures of mourning. Her most recent sculptures convey a presence just on the verge of disappearing—a parallel to how memories of those lost to violence linger even as they threaten to reced 
“‘Impossible’ is the word that, for me, defines the creative act, an act in which—as Derrida instructs us—one should do only what is impossible,” states Doris Salcedo in her essay in the accompanying catalogue. “The impossible appears in my work when I need to make the ground cry drops of water that will join together to slowly write the names of those victims whose lives this society refuses to grieve. Or when, against all odds, grass grows underneath a wooden table, or when a shroud is made with rose petals that do not wither. Sometimes my task seems impossible, because each time I need to make a radically different piece to honor the singularity of each and every victim’s experience.”

Works on view
The museums’ recent acquisition A Flor de Piel (2013) is being shown publicly for the first time in this exhibition. A room-size tapestry comprised of thousands of carefully preserved red rose petals, hand-stitched together with waxed thread, the work is intended as a shroud for a nurse who was tortured to death in the Colombian war.

Because of its materiality, shape, and size, A Flor de Piel is a complicated piece for the museums to care for and display; it poses unique challenges for conservators. However, the skill and expertise of staff in the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies make the museums the perfect home for such an object. Through intensive discussions with Salcedo’s studio, Narayan Khandekar, senior conservation scientist and director of the Straus Center; Angela Chang, conservator of objects and sculpture and assistant director of the Straus Center; and Schneider Enriquez are exploring how best to protect and care for the work, as they develop plans for its display, storage, and future conservation.

Additional objects in The Materiality of Mourning include a selection of Salcedo’s seminal sculptures, on loan from private and public collections as well as from the artist herself. Several works incorporate domestic furniture in unsettling configurations. Thou-less (2001–02), for instance, is comprised of carved, stainless steel chairs that are at once familiar and strange.

Other works highlight how Salcedo has recently pushed her commitment to materiality and its expressive possibilities to new extremes. These include four works from the Disremembered series (2014–16), individual ephemeral blouse-like sculptures that are constructed of handwoven silk threads filled with tiny needles. Each Disremembered sculpture provides a spectral contrast to Salcedo’s dense, physically imposing works, such as the two Untitled furniture pieces (2008) made of wood, metal, and concrete—with a combined weight of over 1,800 pounds—that will also be shown in the exhibition.

 Harvard Art Museums - Doris Salcedo - 04.11.2016-09.04.2017


2227 - 20170528 - U.S.A. - RENO - NEVADA - Nevada Museum of Art presents Peter Stichbury's first museum exhibition in the United States - 05.11.2016-28.05.2017

Peter Stichbury, Mona Stafford, 1976, 2014. Oil on linen 23.6 x 19.7 inches. Photo: Jason Mandella.
New Zealand-based artist Peter Stichbury has created a series of paintings and drawings linked to unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Fascinated by the stories of individuals who claim to have witnessed UFOs and/or extraterrestrials, he explores their motives, objectives, and reliability through portraits and related works. The artworks are informed by his meticulous research, which includes reading books and newspaper articles and consulting websites and video documentation. Peter Stichbury: Anatomy of a Phenomenon opened November 5 and will remain on view through May 28, 2017 at the Nevada Museum of Art, Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts, E. L. Wiegand Gallery located at 160 West Liberty Street in downtown Reno.  
The works in this gallery, the artist’s first museum exhibition in the United States, are inspired by national and international occurrences. Stichbury took a special interest in the 1994 southern Nevada UFO sightings at Nellis Air Force Base. This incident began when someone inside the facility leaked video footage of a flying object to the media. The video appeared on the television show Hard Copy, igniting intense interest and debate among UFO believers and doubters alike. Officials at both Nellis Air Force Base and the Pentagon declined to comment, leading Stichbury and many other members of the public to wonder about the motives behind the leaked footage. Was the individual a genuine whistleblower, or did this represent an incident of sanctioned disinformation, disseminated by an arm of the U.S. military?

There is a history of reported incursions into military facilities by UFOs, specifically over nuclear weapons storage areas. In the 1967 Malmstrom Air Force Base UFO sighting, for example, an object hovered above the base, causing missiles to become inoperable. Was the perpetrator extraterrestrial, or could this have been a human-caused incident related to espionage and national security? How can citizens grasp the sophistication of human technology, its parameters and capabilities, and the shroud of secrecy surrounding such technology? These questions, and the ongoing tension between reality and folklore embedded in UFO culture, provide compelling subject matter for Stichbury’s uncanny psychological explorations.
Nevada Museum of Art - Peter Stichbury - 05.11.2016-28.05.2017


2226 - 20170225 - U.S.A. - SAN FRANCISCO - CALIFORNIA - Expansive presentation surveying the career of Frank Stella in San Francisco - 05.11.2016-26.02.2017


Frank Stella, "Lac Laronge III," 1969. Acrylic on canvas, 108 x 162 in (274.3 × 411.5 cm). Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. © 2016 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
.The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco present Frank Stella: A Retrospective, an expansive presentation surveying the career of this towering figure in post-WWII American art. Fifty works, including paintings, reliefs, sculptures and maquettes, are being displayed at the de Young, representing Frank Stella’s prolific output from the late 1950s to the present day. This is the first comprehensive U.S. presentation devoted to the artist since 1970.
“Frank Stella’s impact on abstract art is unmatched,” says Max Hollein, Director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “This retrospective is timely and important for San Francisco audiences. To see the development of an artist who created ‘masterpieces’ just one year out of college, who is still working as a major force today—it is impressive to see an extraordinary body of work that spans six decades.”

Stella first burst into the New York art world in 1959, at the age of twenty-three, when four of his Black Series (1958-1960) paintings were included in the group exhibition, Sixteen Americans, at the Museum of Modern Art. In the following six decades he has remained one of the most important and influential figures in the evolution of modern art. Stella anticipated and pioneered many of the explosive changes in the art world, and remains an enduring figure of both critical and popular attention, as well as controversy.

“Frank Stella’s works span the spectrum of art from Minimalist to Maximalist,” notes Timothy Anglin Burgard, Curator-in-Charge of American Art at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “In both ambition and achievement, his work appears to be the output of a dozen different artists. By combining intellectual rigor with aesthetic audacity these works have transformed the history of art.”

As part of the exhibition, Das Erdbeben in Chili [N#3] (The Earthquake in Chile) (1999) – one of Stella’s largest works, measuring 12 x 40.5 ft. – has been installed in Wilsey Court.

Frank Stella: A Retrospective comes to the de Young after a premiere at the Whitney Museum in New York and a showing at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas. It is on view in San Francisco from November 5, 2016 through February 26, 2017. The curator for the de Young’s presentation is Timothy Anglin Burgard

The exhibition opens with paintings that Stella created as he forged his identity as an artist, including East Broadway and Great Jones Street (both 1958). Both works emulate and critique Abstract Expressionism, the dominant art movement of the time, but also reveal Stella’s early interest in the manipulation of space.

The artist’s subsequent work, the legendary series of Black paintings (1958–1960) which includes Die Fahne hoch! (1959) are formed exclusively of parallel bands of black paint separated by thin strips of unpainted canvas. Simple in form but far-reaching in their implications, these paintings inspired both painters and sculptors associated with the emerging Minimalist art movement.

The following Aluminum (1960) and Copper (1961) series employ shaped canvases, a radical innovation that rejected the traditional conception of a painting as a pictorial “window” into another space or realm. Works such as Creede II (1961) blur the boundaries between the art and its environment.

Turning from the monochromatic palettes of his previous works, Stella reintroduced vivid colors in the Benjamin Moore (1961) series, created with commercial house paints. Jasper’s Dilemma (1962) from the Mitred Maze (1962–1963) series, confront both the artist and the viewer with a choice between the seductive pleasures of color and the intellectual possibilities of monochrome.

While non-rectangular formats have been used throughout painting’s history, few artists have explored the potential of these forms with comparable rigor and insight as Stella. The Irregular Polygons (1966–1967) series, including Conway I (1966) and Chocorua IV (1966), marked a pivotal movement that bridged Stella’s emphasis on two dimensions in his early striped paintings and the potential for working in three dimensions in his later relief works.

Stella’s monumental works from the Protractor (1967–1971) series, such as Damascus Gate Stretch Variation III (1970), challenged the art world idea that modern art should not be beautiful, let alone popular. The artist believed that abstract painting had reached a crucial stage—embraced by critics, collectors, and curators, but lagging behind new developments in contemporary art.

Seeking to make abstract painting relevant again, Stella subverted the traditional boundaries of the medium with the Polish Village (1970–1974) series, projecting his works into the viewer’s space. Subsequent works such as Eskimo Curlew (1976), from the Exotic Bird (1976–1980) series and Talladega (1980), from the Circuit (1980–1984) series, incorporate an increasingly sculptural vocabulary of solids and voids.

Stella developed his own expanded conception of space in the Cones and Pillars (1984–1987) series, which included works such as Gobba, Zoppa e Collotorto (1985). Monumental reliefs from the Moby-Dick (1986–1997) series such as The Whiteness of the Whale (USB-1, 2X) (1987) expand space further with forms that suggest perpetual energy and motion.

The exhibition concludes with recent works, including those that Stella has created using advanced technologies such as computer-aided design software and three-dimensional printing. In works including K.144 (2013), which evokes the experience of listening to music in space and time, Stella has de-emphasized the sculptural properties of mass and weight, in favor of gravity-defying forms that convey the ways in which sounds can fill—and seemingly shape—space.

Born in Malden, Massachusetts, in 1936, Frank Stella attended Phillips Academy, in nearby Andover, and Princeton University, where he studied art history and painting. After graduation, he established permanent residence in New York City and achieved near-immediate fame with his Black Paintings (1958–1960). Throughout his career, Stella has continued to challenge and expand the boundaries of painting and sculpture. Though his early work influenced and allied him with the emerging Minimalist movement, Stella did not regard himself as an adherent of Minimalism, and his art has become visually more complex and dynamic over the years. Evolving away from a restrained aesthetic, Stella’s compositions became increasingly ambitious and exuberant in form, color, and scale.
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco - Expansive presentation surveying the career of Frank Stella - 05.11.2016-26.02.2017


2225 - 20170115 - U.S.A. - SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Exhibition at Asian Art Museum brings love, bravery, friendship and fiery battle to life - 21.10.2016-15.01.2017


The Asian Art Museum presents The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe, an exhibition of ancient and contemporary artwork and multimedia depicting sacred stories as old as the Bible, longer than the Odyssey, and a source of creative inspiration from India to Indonesia. 
On view Oct. 21, 2016 – Jan. 15, 2017, The Rama Epic — organized by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco — is unprecedented in scale and scope, with 135 sculptures and paintings, masks, puppets, and examples of temple architecture. Objects and artworks originate from India, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia, and are borrowed from museums across the U.S., U.K. and Europe.

Countless generations have grown up with this extraordinary tale, also known as the Ramayana (“Rama’s Journey”). By exploring the key characters of this beloved classic, the exhibition immerses visitors in the enduring appeal of Rama: the legendary prince; Sita: his long-suffering love; Hanuman: their faithful monkey lieutenant; and Ravana: the ten-headed lord of the demons, whose abduction of Sita sets the drama in motion.

Artworks from 1,500 years ago to today reveal how depictions of these characters — as well as their regional variations — have evolved over the centuries, with rare temple sculptures and paintings made for 17th-century royal courts appearing alongside works by contemporary artists reinterpreting the story in innovative ways.

“This exhibition does more than introduce one of the world’s greatest adventure stories to new audiences. It’s about gaining fresh insight into its chief characters, the hero Rama, his heroine Sita, their ally Hanuman, and their foe Ravana,” says exhibition curator Forrest McGill. “We’ve organized our presentation around these figures so that each one can shine in a different light, bringing out the nuances in an ancient story that has continued to be retold in art and performance to emphasize new, relevant meanings. Its eternal — and vividly human — values of compassion, loyalty, duty and valor are values all audiences can connect to in their daily lives.”

Diverse artworks from across southern Asia outline key story arcs
Many of the unique works featured in the exhibition have never travelled before to America, and the Asian Art Museum will be the only venue for visitors to experience The Rama Epic.

Each gallery focuses on one of the four main characters and explores their entire journey through the epic. A dazzling array of fine art is displayed alongside video excerpts of theatrical performances, TV miniseries, and other contemporary popular media, juxtaposing the diverse ways that Rama, Sita, Hanuman, and Ravana have appeared in various cultures at various times in history. Highlights include:

• Eight examples of the remarkably large and detailed paintings from the “Mewar Ramayana” as well as two of its Sanskrit text pages on loan from the British Library. Commissioned by a Hindu king, the chief artist of the set of paintings was Muslim. From the golden age of Indian court painting, it could be the most sumptuously illustrated version of the epic ever, with as many as 450 paintings originally made by teams of artists over the course of 1649-1653. Not to be missed from the Mewar is Mourning for the death of Ravana, a splendid painting showing Ravana’s many wives weeping over his body.

• The glorious, three-tiered Theatrical mask of Ravana comes from the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., where it is the crowning glory of a set of royal gifts bestowed in honor of America’s 1876 centennial by the King of Siam (Thailand), whose father was so memorably depicted in The King and I. With nine heads (the tenth being the live dancer’s) stacked on top of one another, the work is a rare example of a gilded theatrical mask surviving for almost a 150 years, having escaped the wear-and-tear of the stage.

• Hanuman conversing, a large bronze dated to 1000-1100, and borrowed from the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Holes in the base for dowels tell us that the statue would have once graced a temple in southern India where on festival occasions he would have been carried through the streets in religious processions, festooned with flowers and decked in jewels and rich textiles.

• A lushly painted accordion manuscript from around 1870, depicting Scenes of the Rama epic, comes to us from the final years before the British conquest of Myanmar. Most likely made specially for the royal library in Mandalay and featuring detailed illustrations of Sita attired as a Burmese princess in glittering gold, the images appear without text, demonstrating that even in Buddhist countries the Ramayana permeated cultural contexts.

• The Shadow puppet of Hanuman wooing Ravana’s niece Punnakay, part of a complete series of Cambodian puppets crafted in 1973 in the days before the genocidal wave of the Khmer Rouge wiped out a centuries-old artisanal tradition. Created by the last generation of local artisans trained in time-honored traditions, and now housed in Paris’s Musée national des arts asiatiques–Guimet, the perforated animal hide stands over four and half feet tall and illuminates how in Southeast Asia Hanuman is beloved as much as a Casanova as for his skills as a warrior, his cleverness and devotion.

“The Rama Epic really connects you to these characters no matter who you are or what kind of art you enjoy,” says Asian Art Museum Director Jay Xu. “It’s why we also include artworks like the pastel portrait of Sita from 1893 by French symbolist Odilon Redon. Although from Europe, this work shows the creative resonance of the story among artists of the avant-garde no matter the time or place, highlighting it as an important cultural reference point not only in Asia, but around the world today.”

New art, performances, and multimedia bring Rama Epic to life
• During the exhibition, the museum will host a series of dance performances from India, Cambodia, and Indonesia, supplemented with the interpretive magic of live storytellers and in-gallery clips of performers from across southern Asia as well as television series which are cherished touchstones for hundreds of millions of Rama epic-enthusiasts around the globe.

• Commissioned by the Asian Art Museum, acclaimed Indian documentary director Benoy Behl’s newest work, The Rama Epic Live, will be shown continuously. Behl’s sensitively observed film about performance traditions like dance and drama will allow both those familiar with the tale as well as newcomers to appreciate the Ramayana as it is interpreted around Asia. A longer version of the film will premiere at the museum on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 1:30PM.

• An original 60-minute exhibition audio tour, conceived to feel like a serial radio play, immerses visitors in the plot by incorporating the voice work of four actors of South Asian heritage as the main characters. Carefully crafted dialogue based on the classical version of the tale by Valmiki will mix with musical effects to bring the whole world of the Ramayana to life. Available for download for FREE on the museum’s website starting in mid-October.

Asian Art Museum - The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe - 21.10.2016 - 15.01.2017


2224 - 20171231 - U.S.A. - ALBANY - NEW YORK - New York State Museum - Hudson Valley Ruins - 20.08.2016-31.12.2017


This photography and architecture exhibition is based on the work of Robert Yasinsac and Thomas Rinaldi. Their 2006 book, Hudson Valley Ruins: Forgotten Landmarks of an American Landscape, studies the region's forgotten cultural treasures. In addition to great river estates, the book profiles sites more meaningful to everyday life in the Valley: churches and hotels, commercial and civic buildings, mills and train stations. Included are works by some of the most important names in American architectural history, such as Alexander Jackson Davis and Calvert Vaux.

The exhibit is divided into three parts: the upper, middle, and lower sections of the Hudson River Valley. Sites have been selected for their general historical and architectural significance, their relationship to important themes in the region’s history, their physical condition or “rustic” character, and their ability to demonstrate a particular threat still faced by historical buildings in the region. The exhibition will look at a few sites that have changed, for better or for worse, in the past ten years since the book’s publication.

  New York State Museum - Hudson Valley Ruins - 20.08.2016 - 31.12.2017



2223 - 20170116 - U.S.A - HOUSTON - TEXAS - Degas: A New Vision - 15.10.2016-16.01.2017


Edgar Degas, Sulking, c. 1870, oil on canvas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1918. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, image source: Art Resource, NY
This fall, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is the exclusive U.S. venue for Degas: A New Vision, the most significant international survey in three decades of the work of Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (1834–1917). While Degas’s reputation has often been confined to his ballet imagery, the artist’s oeuvre is rich, complex, and abundant, spanning the entire second half of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th. Degas: A New Vision assembles some 200 works from public and private collections around the world, and showcase Degas’s abiding interests across painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

The MFAH has developed this major retrospective with the National Gallery of Victoria, in association with Art Exhibitions Australia. Some 60 additional loans are exclusive to the Houston presentation, including such major works as Dancers, Pink and Green, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as preparatory drawings reunited with the iconic paintings that evolved from them, including Ballet Scene from Meyerbeer's Opera “Robert the Devil.”

Not since the 1988 landmark retrospective Degas—organized by Henri Loyrette, then at the Grand Palais in Paris; Gary Tinterow, then a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; and the late Jean Sutherland Boggs of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa—has the artist’s career been fully assessed. “The objective of Degas in 1988 was to piece together Degas’s work as a whole, in an accurate chronology; though it may seem surprising now, that had never been done,” said MFAH director Gary Tinterow. “That exhibition led to a revival of interest in Degas, and dozens of shows focused on individual subjects of his work—the bathers, the dancers, the jockeys, the portraits—or his influence on other artists. Now, we are able to benefit from that scholarship and, led by Henri Loyrette, the preeminent Degas biographer and scholar, put Degas back together again, and see the artist anew.”

“Degas: A New Vision will explore Degas’s measured continuity, his journey as he reworks one painting after another, and his total refusal to settle on a definitive composition,” commented Henri Loyrette, the Paris-based Degas scholar and former director of the Louvre who is the organizing curator of the exhibition. “This is the distinctive genius of Degas, which makes him both a precursor and particularly relevant to today. Each period looks at the artist in a different way. What can he tell us today? That is the basic purpose of this show.”

Degas: A New Vision reveals the continuity within Degas’s work from the beginning to the end of his career, as he restlessly moved among the media of oil painting, drawing, pastel, photography, printmaking, and sculpture, all the while employing common themes and approaches, revisiting poses and motifs that he had used decades earlier, and reworking paintings that he kept in his studio.

Degas’s earliest work, from the mid-1850s, is rooted in the Renaissance; in one early self-portrait he depicts himself as a Florentine courtier. By the late 1850s, Degas had shifted to multi-figure compositions, among them the double portrait of his brother-in-law and sister, Edmondo and Thérèse Morbilli (1865). This vignette of daily life, set in a nondescript, bourgeois environment, reveals a fascinating interplay of the couples’ relationship: in this depiction, Thérèse remains no more than the shadow of her husband, half hidden behind the table, with one hand grasping her cheek and the other anxiously reaching for Edmondo.

From paintings like the Morbilli portrait, Degas moved to modern history painting based on classical subjects, experimenting as he deployed multiple figures on a canvas. In two studies for Young Spartans Exercising and Scene of War, both from the mid-1860s, Degas uses a range of expressive posture and unusual pose that had not been seen before in painting. In addition, both works feature posed figures that Degas would revisit in very different contexts 20, even 40 years later.

By the late 1860s, Degas had abandoned these mythological and classical subjects. “After a great many essays and experiments and trial shots in all directions, he has fallen in love with modern life,” the great critic, artist, and writer Edmond de Goncourt wrote in 1874, following a visit to Degas’s studio.

At his height, in the 1870s and 1880s, Degas pursued every facet, high and low, of modern life: café scenes, in his iconic In a café (1875), also known as L’absinthe; jockeys and steeplechases, in Out of the Paddock (Racehorses) (1868–72) and Before the Race (c. 1882); student ballerinas in Dance Foyer of the Opera at Rue Le Peletier (1872), The Dance Class (1873), and Dancers, Pink and Green (1890); everyday routines in the brothel, in The Name Day of the Madam (1879); life below stairs, in Women Ironing (1884–86). A trip to visit his mother’s family in Louisiana produced his famous A Cotton Market in New Orleans (1873). All are complex, multi-figure compositions with the focus on the incidental or the moment of anticipation: a young dancer about to perform a step; the top-hatted silhouette of a standing man in a room crowded with young ballerinas; the man reading the newspaper amid the bustle of the cotton exchange.

Still, Degas continued to mine his earlier work for poses and postures. The young lady leaning on her elbows toward a man at his desk in the 1870 interior Sulking, who looks up at the viewer as if interrupted, becomes the older woman in a pensive tête-à-tête in the 1885 Conversation. Degas would continue to explore variations on a single subject, such as the female nude, creating them in different media across more than half a century. A lesser-known aspect of this creative journey included a short, but intensive, foray into photography. Degas’s photographs—the majority of which were produced during the year 1895 and feature his inner circle of family members, friends, and fellow artists—reveal how the artist used the medium both as part of a creative continuum that included paintings and pastels and as an experiment with a new form of visual expression, resulting in photographic figure studies, portraits, and self-portraits that stand alone as works of art in their own right. Degas: A New Vision will unite over 20 of his surviving photographs for the first time since the 1998 exhibition Edgar Degas: Photographer, which debuted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and traveled to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris.

“Thirty years ago, no one even considered Degas’s late work, but the 1988 exhibition changed the public’s mind,” Loyrette said. Tinterow added, “The revelation then was how strong and modern the end of Degas’s career was—allowing us to see, for example, how artists like Lucien Freud can show us the shocking modernity of late Degas, and how we can appreciate the extravagant color and expressive line.” Degas himself said that by the 1890s he had given himself over to “an orgy of color.” The two figures in Combing the Hair (The Coiffure, 1896; once owned by Henri Matisse) are rendered in a blaze of red; The Bathers and other late studies depict female nude figures—alone or in groups; some composed, others random. For Degas, these expressions of the female form showed women as they saw, rather than imagined, themselves.

Although organized chronologically overall, the exhibition also presents specific groupings devoted to a particular theme or technique. In all, some 200 works trace Degas’s career, across painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. The exhibition is drawn from private collections around the world as well as public collections that include those of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery of London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Harvard Art Museums; Yale University Art Gallery; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid; and the Kunstmuseum Basel in Switzerland.
Museum of Fine Arts Houston - Degas: A New Vision - 15.10.2016 - 16.01.2017