U.S.A. - ALLENTOWN-PENNSYLVANIA - Stephen Althouse: The Tools


Stephen Althouse, American, born 1948.  Adjustable Wrench, 2003, pigmented digital print.

A resident of Rebersburg, Pennsylvania, Stephen Althouse developed a passion for Amish artifacts and culture during his childhood in rural Bucks County. This exhibition features photographs of handmade tools called Die Waerkzeichen, in Pennsylvania Dutch—that are attributes of Amish humility and simplicity. In his work, Althouse drapes the tools with shrouds to create cryptic assemblages. Trained as a sculptor, Althouse eventually found his black-and-white photographs of his sculptures to be more powerful than the assemblages themselves, and so he now disassembles the sculptures after he photographs them. For this exhibition, however, Althouse will include an actual assemblage, so that viewers will be able to see the process of how he transforms inanimate everyday objects into works of art, removing them from their original context and giving them new meaning.

Allentown Art Museum    16.12.2012 - 12.05.2013

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U.S.A. - AKRON-OHIO - Adolph Gottlien: Sculptor


Adolph Gottlieb: Sculptor offers a look at a largely uncharted aspect of the career of one of the most highly influential thinkers and artists of the 20th century. This exhibition pairs Gottlieb’s  little-known sculptures with late-career paintings that illustrate his interest in gravity, suspension and motion.  
A first-generation abstract expressionist painter, Adolph Gottlieb made art that was central to the development of mid-twentieth century painting in America. Gottlieb was one of the few among his colleagues to create both two- and three-dimensional works, and his sculpture is has rarely been seen in the United States.
Born in New York City, he left high school to study art in France and Germany. Upon his return in 1924, he attended classes at the Art Students League. Gottlieb came of age at a time when European painting reigned supreme and Paris was the center of the art world; however, this would soon change as New York became the center with abstract expressionism’s rise in popularity.
The paintings Gottlieb created in the 1940s and 50s broke radically with the European art he had admired and opened many new doors for other artists. His 50-year artistic career is marked by a continual search for originality, independence and a desire to radically change American art.
In New York, Gottlieb formed artistic friendships with such luminaries as Mark Rothko, John Graham, Milton Avery, Barnett Newman and David Smith. Throughout his career, Gottlieb founded various artist groups and was actively involved in the art and progressive movements of his time.
Among the aims of the abstract expressionist painters was to tap into universal inner sources of energy and emotion to paint in a way that reflected their individual psyches.
Sharing an interest in non-Western art forms, Gottlieb and Rothko issued a kind of joint manifesto published in The New York Times in 1943 as a response to a critic’s assessment of their recent work. Among their claims they wrote, “To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risks….We favor simple expression of complex thought…. We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth.” 
In 1956 Gottlieb developed his signature “burst” element, which he created by pouring paint onto a flat canvas on the floor and using a squeegee to push the paint out from the center. “I try, through colors, forms and lines, to express intimate emotions.” stated Gottlieb.
Although Gottlieb’s foray into sculpture was brief, he created a body of work that challenged the distinction between painting and sculpture. He used the tools he had developed throughout his long painting career — touch, visual balance, surface quality and more — to make his sculptures, like his paintings, become a vehicle for emotional expression.
He began with small, cut-and-painted cardboard maquettes, or study models, which he converted into templates for metal sculptures. Gottlieb used the templates to cut and weld metal in his studio and then finished the sculptures by hand painting them.
The Gottlieb Foundation has organized the exhibition, which includes 12 table-top sculptures and 10 maquettes, as well as three of the templates for the sculptures. Seven major paintings and two monotypes from the 1960s and 1970s will also be included in the exhibition.
Constantly challenging himself to push forward with his art, when he began making sculpture, Gottlieb claimed he felt like “a young sculptor, just beginning.”
Although Gottlieb’s foray into sculpture was brief, he created a body of work that challenged the distinction between painting and sculpture. He used the tools he had developed throughout his long painting career—touch, visual balance, surface quality, and more—to make his sculptures, like his paintings, become a vehicle for emotional expression. “I feel a necessity for making the particular colors that I use, or the particular shapes, carry the burden of everything that I want to express, and all has to be concentrated within these few elements.”
The use of the most essential artistic forms in both Gottlieb’s paintings and sculptures demonstrates his understanding and mastery of the subtleties of his media. The simplicity of the elements Gottlieb used meanwhile belies the complexity of his art.
Viewing Gottlieb’s three-dimensional expression in direct relationship with his paintings offers exciting revelations about the evolution of his shapes and composition. The sculptures animate the transcendental quality of Gottlieb’s paintings in new ways.
The Adolph Gottlieb: Sculptor exhibition was organized by the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Inc. and made possible by a generous gift from Dianne and Herbert Newman and the Ohio Arts Council.

Akron Art Museum   27.10.2012 - 17.02.2013

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U.S.A. - ABINGDON-VIRGINIA - Dalí Illustrates Dante’s Divine Comedy


© Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2012

Art and literary enthusiasts will have the opportunity to see a literary masterpiece come to life through the work of the late world-renowned artist Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) in Dalí Illustrates Dante’s Divine Comedy. The exhibition represents Dalí’s visual interpretation chronicling Dante Alighieri’s symbolic journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. Salvador Dalí was one of the most well known of the surrealist artists who concentrated on depicting the unconscious and subconscious mind. Dalí labored for nine years to produce a series of 100 watercolors as illustrations to Dante’s classic epic with each print depicting a verse from the poem. The prints on view were translated from Dalí’s watercolors into printed plates, a process in which two artists worked for five years hand-carving 3,500 blocks.

William King Museum   28.09.2012 - 17.02.2013


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U.S.A. - WORCESTER-MASSACHUSETTS - Prints by Imamura Yoshio


IMAMURA, Yoshio (Japanese, b. 1948), Scorpio, from the series The Twelve Zodiacal Constellations (designed in 2004-2006), mixed media on paper
Sarah C. Garver Fund, 2011.362.9

Imamura Yoshio was born in the Japanese Alps of Nagano Prefecture where he grew up “in a humble dwelling at the bottom of a valley.” Remaining in the area, Imamura now owns a studio in Iida City where he works as a graphic designer and an independent artist.

As a young artist deeply influenced by contemporary American art, Imamura lost his creative footing. Reaching out to Nakabayashi Tadayoshi (b. 1937), a respected print artist and professor, Imamura received the mentorship and support he needed. His artistic path became clear as he studied at Atelier Contrepoint in Paris and he embraced his Japanese roots as well as the love of nature and its seasons that had been instilled in him during childhood.

Imamura’s works record memories of wandering through fields, woods, streams and mountains, and of gazing at the stars at night. Moved by the beauty of wild vines, dilapidated village huts and heavenly constellations, Imamura creates works that reflect his insight into the transience and evolution of life. Included in his abstract compositions of geometric shapes and mysterious signs, are also images of the grasses, leaves, flowers, twigs and rocks that he collects during his walks. Imamura realizes his visions using a complex amalgam of media (etching, engraving, woodblock, aquatint, chine collé, collagraph, gold, silver and copper leaf).

Worcester Art Museum   12.2012 - 05.2013

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