U.S.A. - LOS ANGELES-CALIFORNIA - Illuminated Manuscripts from Belgium and the Netherlands

A Siren and a Centaur, unknown artist, about 1270. From a Bestiary authored by Hugo of Fouilloy, Flandres

The splendor of the late medieval court of the dukes of Burgundy evokes the legendary Camelot. Its magnificence was expressed in lavish banquets, pageants, and tournaments, as well as luxury goods such as tapestries, paintings, metalwork, and particularly illuminated manuscripts.
This exhibition traces the tradition of Netherlandish manuscript painting from the 12th century to its extraordinary flowering in the 15th and 16th centuries. By the mid-1400s the Burgundians held sway over much of the Netherlands, including the prosperous Flemish towns of Ghent and Bruges (in present-day Belgium) and the Dutch city of Utrecht—all important centers of manuscript production. At this time Netherlandish books, especially from Ghent and Bruges, dominated the European market. They were created for an international clientele of princes, dukes, cardinals, bishops, and wealthy burghers.
The image above is from a bestiary, a collection of moralizing descriptions of real and mythical beasts, and one of the most popular books of the 1200s in northern Europe. The bird-women Sirens lured sailors to their deaths with song, and represented worldly temptation. Centaurs, whose human appearance above the waist belied their beastly nature below, represented hypocrisy.

The J. Paul Getty Museum 24.08.2010 - 06.02.2011

Website : The J. Paul Getty Museum

Website : City of Los Angeles

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U.S.A. - LOUISVILLE-KENTUCKY - Modern in the Making: Design 1900-2000

Over the past few years, the Speed’s collection of twentieth-century design—furniture, ceramics, silver, and other materials—has grown rapidly through both gifts and purchases. These objects, many on view for the first time, will be featured in a new installation, Modern in the Making: Design 1900-2000. From French Art Deco to the Bauhaus to mid-century Modern to Post-Modern, the installation will explore the diverse definitions of “modern” that marked the twentieth-century. Did "modern" mean French opulence or German austerity? How did new materials like plastics define “modern”? Come and see modern living in the making!

The Speed Art Museum 05.10.2010 - 03.04.2011

Website : The Speed Art Museum

Website : Louisville

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U.S.A. - Saratoga Springs-New York - The Jewel Thief

Chris Martin, The Record Painting, 2006, Oil, acrylic gel, and collage on paper, 54 x 49 inches, On extended loan from Private Collection

The Jewel Thief explores new ways to think about and experience abstract art. Using divergent forms of display, the exhibition focuses attention on art’s intersection with the decorative and functional elements of architecture. Beginning in the museum’s atrium, the exhibition continues into the large Wachenheim gallery, filling the space with a diverse range of artwork, including painting, sculpture, textiles, wallpaper, chandeliers, video, and photography. 

Artwork is presented through the lens of several opposing yet fluid categories that exist in our everyday lives, such as private and public, intimate and spectacular, and hot and cold. Hot might relate to feelings of passion, authenticity, expression, and the hand-made while cold might be attributed to restraint, intellectual distance, controlled execution, and the machine-made. The Jewel Thief explores how artworks negotiate the distance between these constantly shifting categories and how space affects this negotiation.
Discarding the notion that abstract works are devoid of content, The Jewel Thief maintains that beauty and pleasure in artworks are full of meaning. The exhibition draws parallels between questions and attitudes seen within individual artworks and various means of display our culture traditionally uses. Defining boundaries and edges determines how we understand the limit of an object and experience. The establishment of such definitions requires a kind of invention—a shared abstraction—that alters what is possible for us to do, think, and be. These abstractions lead to the building of fences—real lines being drawn around things—and to shared understandings about the distance required for personal space.
The exhibition features artworks from the Tang Collection and on loan by artists Anni Albers, Polly Apfelbaum, Gary Batty, Alex Brown, Richmond Burton, Kathy Butterly, Patrick Chamberlain, Stephen Dean, Dorothy Dehner, Anne Delaporte, Francesca DiMattio, Cheryl Donegan, Roy Dowell, Brad Eberhard, Rico Gatson, Joanne Greenbaum, Joseph Grigely, Christopher Harvey, Elana Herzog, Jim Hodges, Peter Hopkins, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, James Hyde, Betsy Kaufman, May Kedney, Martin Kersels, Bill Komoski, Nicholas Krushenick, Lisa Lapinski, Liz Larner, Michael Lazurus, Barry Le Va, Sherrie Levine, Charles Long, Virgil Marti, Chris Martin, Andrew Massulo, Jane Masters, Allan McCollum, Joan Mitchell, Carrie Moyer, Victoria Palermo, Jorge Pardo, Janet Passehl, Marion Pease, Jerry Phillips, Ann Pibal, Josh Podoll, Richard Rezac, Ednah Root, Nancy Shaver, Cary Smith, Joan Snyder, Jessica Stockholder, John Torreano, Rosemarie Trockel, Andy Warhol, Stanley Whitney, Lawrence Weiner, and Richard Woods.
The Jewel Thief is co-curated by Ian Berry, Susan Rabinowitz Malloy ’45 Curator of the Tang Museum, and Jessica Stockholder, Director of Graduate Studies in Sculpture at Yale University.

Tang Teaching Museum 18.09.2010 - 27.02.2011

Website : Tang Teaching Museum

Website : Saratoga Springs

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U.S.A. - PITTSBURGH-PENNSYLVANIA - André Kertész: On Reading

Henri Cartier-Bresson once said of himself, Robert Capa, and Brassaï, “Whatever we have done, Kertész did first.” He was referring to André Kertész, one of the giants of 20th-century photography, whose work spanned more than 50 years. On Reading presents 100 photographs that examine the power of reading as a universal pleasure, made by Kertész in Hungary, France, Asia, and the United States over the course of his career. Collectively, these images reveal Kertész’s penchant for the poetry and choreography of life in public and in private moments at home, and evoke the love affair people have with the written word.

André Kertész: On Reading is organized by The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago. The exhibition tour is organized by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions (CATE), Pasadena, California. The presentation at Carnegie Museum of Art is made possible by the support of The William T. Hillman Fund For Photography. General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


U.S.A. - PASADENA-CALIFORNIA - Hiroshige: Visions of Japan

Utagawa Hiroshige, Japanese, 1797-1858The Sumida River Embankment in the Eastern Capital, 1858, from The Thirty-Six Views of Mount FujiColor woodblock, ōban, 14-5/16 x 9-7/16 in. (36.4 x 24 cm)Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Mrs. Edward C. CrossettP.1975.2.47

Drawn from the Norton Simon Museum's extensive Japanese woodblock-print collection, Hiroshige: Visions of Japan features approximately 175 prints by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858), one of the most celebrated and prolific artists of his time.
Hiroshige was born Andō Tokutarō in Edo (now known as Tokyo) in 1797. Around 1810, he was accepted as a student by Utagawa Toyohiro, a master artist of the Utagawa school of designers, print-makers and painters. Under Toyohiro's tutelage, the young artist honed his skills in the genre of ukiyo-e, or "pictures of the floating world." The school's successful apprentices formally adopted Utagawa as their surname and received new given names; by 1813 Andō Tokutarō had officially become Utagawa Hiroshige.
The landscape print, a late ukiyo-e development, was introduced by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). Hiroshige was greatly influenced by Hokusai's famous series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (1823-32), depicting Japan's famous volcano, which was visible from Edo. Landscape prints-known as fūkeiga-became popular in Japan following a rise in leisure travel, a phenomenon that drove a demand for illustrated guidebooks, topographical views and souvenir pictures.
Hiroshige's own revolutionary series, Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road (1833), presents scenic landscapes along the famous highway that linked Edo to Kyoto. The Tokaido Road followed the coastline from Edo, the administrative capital of the shogunate in the early 17th century, west to Kyoto, the imperial capital of Japan since the 8th century. Affording spectacular, picturesque views of the craggy coastline, the Tokaido was used by large retinues traveling back and forth from Edo, as well as merchants, religious pilgrims and tourists. Hiroshige's series, on display in the present exhibition, established his reputation as the foremost artist of the topographical landscape print.
Other highlights of the exhibition include more than 20 bird and flower prints. Exotic birds were popular in Edo, and many teahouses and public gardens boasted large aviaries. Hiroshige's lyrical depictions of birds with flowers or other natural elements are often paired with haikus or poems, as with Sunrise, Falcon on Pine Tree: "At sunrise on New Year's Day/ Throughout the nation/There are no boundaries."
Hiroshige produced his own version of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji shortly before his untimely death on October 12, 1858. Unlike Hokusai's series, Hiroshige's views of Mount Fuji from the surrounding countryside are vertical; this provided the artist with a new orientation and perspective with which to present his unique vision. In the evening scene Fuji from the Sumida Embankment, the volcano, off in the distance, is in shadow. A group of three geisha, visually interrupted by a tall cherry tree, have disembarked from their pleasure boat to enjoy the spring blossoms.
Hiroshige's last great series, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, is a tribute to his home city. At first glance, the interior scene Asakusa Ricefields and Torinomachi Festival appears to be a fairly simple composition of a white cat sitting on a window ledge. In the distance, a large procession has congregated to celebrate Torinomachi, the Festival of the Cock, a time when owners of entertainment venues such as restaurants, tea houses and brothels prayed for prosperity. In fact, Hiroshige has provided this bird's-eye view of the festival from a room in a brothel. A ceramic water bowl and a towel rest casually on the window ledge, and a set of rake-shaped hairpins lay on the floor, a gift from a man to his lover that implies "raking in" money in the coming year. In these dramatic compositions, Hiroshige manipulates the essence of a scene by offering an insider's view of the great city he called home.

Norton Simon Museum 04.06.2010-17.01.2011

Website : City of Pasadena