2202 - 20160907 - U.S.A. - NEW YORK - László Moholy-Nagy - 27.05.2016 - 07.09.2016


László Moholy-Nagy, A II (Construction A II), 1924. Oil and graphite on canvas, 115.8 × 136.5 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection 43.900 © 2016 Hattula Moholy-Nagy/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents the first comprehensive retrospective in the United States in nearly fifty years of the work of pioneering artist and educator László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946). Organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Moholy-Nagy: Future Present examines the full career of the utopian modernist who believed in the potential of art as a vehicle for social transformation, working hand in hand with technology. Despite Moholy-Nagy’s prominence and the visibility of his work during his lifetime, few exhibitions have conveyed the experimental nature of his work, his enthusiasm for industrial materials, and his radical innovations with movement and light. This long overdue presentation, which encompasses his multidisciplinary methodology, brings together more than 300 works drawn from public and private collections across Europe and the United States, some of which have never before been shown publicly in this country. After its debut presentation in New York, the exhibition will travel to the Art Institute of Chicago (October 2, 2016–January 3, 2017) and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (February 12–June 18, 2017).

Moholy-Nagy: Future Present is co-organized by Carol S. Eliel, Curator of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Karole P. B. Vail, Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and Matthew S. Witkovsky, Richard and Ellen Sandor Chair and Curator, Department of Photography, Art Institute of Chicago. The Guggenheim presentation is organized by Vail, with the assistance of Ylinka Barotto, Curatorial Assistant, and Danielle Toubrinet, Exhibition Assistant.

Moholy-Nagy: Future Present provides an opportunity to examine the full career of this influential Bauhaus teacher, founder of Chicago’s Institute of Design, and versatile artist who paved the way for increasingly interdisciplinary and multimedia work and practice. Among his radical innovations were his experiments with cameraless photographs (which he dubbed “photograms”); use of industrial materials in painting and sculpture that was unconventional for his time; researching with light, transparency, and movement; his work at the forefront of abstraction; and his ability to move fluidly between the fine and applied arts. The exhibition is presented chronologically up the Guggenheim’s rotunda and features collages, drawings, ephemera, films, paintings, photograms, photographs, photomontages, and sculptures. The exception to the sequential order is Room of the Present (Raum der Gegenwart) in the High Gallery, a contemporary fabrication of a space originally conceived by Moholy-Nagy in 1930 but never realized in his lifetime. Constructed by designers Kai-Uwe Hemken and Jakob Gebert, the large-scale work contains photographic reproductions, films, slides, documents, and replicas of architecture, theater, and industrial design, including a 2006 replica of his kinetic Light Prop for an Electric Stage (Lichtrequisit einer elektrischen Bühne, 1930). Room of the Present illustrates the artist’s belief in the power of images and his approach to the various means with which to view them—a highly relevant paradigm in today’s constantly shifting and evolving technological world. Room of the Present will be on display at all three exhibition venues and for the first time in the United States. The Guggenheim installation is designed by Kelly Cullinan, Senior Exhibition Designer, and is inspired by Moholy-Nagy’s texts on space and his concept of a “spatial kaleidoscope” as applied to the experience of walking up the ramps.

Born in 1895 in Austria-Hungary (now southern Hungary), Moholy-Nagy moved to Vienna briefly and then to Berlin in 1920, where he encountered Dada artists, whose distinctive visual attributes of the urban industrial landscape had already entered his work. He was also influenced by the Constructivists, and exhibited work on several occasions at Berlin’s Der Sturm gallery. During this time, Moholy-Nagy experimented with metal constructions, photograms, and enamel paintings. At the same moment, in his ongoing quest to depict light and transparency, he painted abstract canvases composed of floating geometric shapes. While teaching at the Bauhaus in Weimar and then Dessau, he and Walter Gropius pioneered the Bauhaus Books series, which advanced Moholy-Nagy’s belief that arts education and administration went hand in hand with the practice of art making. Around this period, the artist became temporarily disenchanted with the limitations of traditional painting. Photography took on greater importance for him, and he described the photogram as “a bridge leading to new visual creation for which canvas, paint-brush and pigment cannot serve.” He fashioned photomontages by combining photographs (usually found) and newspaper images into absurd, satirical, or fantastical narratives. When he moved back to Berlin in 1928, he enjoyed success as a commercial artist, exhibition and stage designer, and typographer, examples of which will be on display in Moholy-Nagy: Future Present. Adolf Hitler’s rise to power made life increasingly difficult for the avant-garde in Germany; thus, in 1934 Moholy-Nagy moved with his family to the Netherlands and then to London. Once he moved to Chicago in 1937, he never returned to Europe.

Moholy-Nagy immigrated to Chicago to become founding director of the New Bauhaus, known today as the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He also made some of his most original and experimental work during this time, pursuing his longtime fascination with light, shadow, transparency, and motion. He continued to make photograms, created his Space Modulators (hybrids of painting and sculpture made from Plexiglas), and pioneered 35 mm color slide photography, shown as projections in the exhibition. He gave his full attention to American exhibition venues before his untimely death of leukemia in 1946, showing nearly three dozen times across the United States—including in four solo shows.

Moholy-Nagy was a central figure in the history of the Guggenheim Museum. His work was included in the museum’s founding collection, and he held a special place at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, the forerunner of the Guggenheim Museum. He was among the first artists director Hilla Rebay exhibited and collected in depth, and the museum presented a memorial exhibition shortly after his death. Moholy-Nagy: Future Present highlights the artist’s interdisciplinary and investigative approach, migrating from the school to the museum or gallery space, consistently pushing toward the Gesamtwerk, the total work, which he sought to achieve throughout his lifetime.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - László Moholy-Nagy - 27.05.2016 - 07.09.2016



2201 - 20160828 - U.S.A - NEW HAVEN - CONNECTICUT - Le Goût du Prince: Art and Prestige in Sixteenth-Century France - 20.05.2016-28.08.2016


Antoine Caron, The Triumph of Mars, ca. 1570. Oil on panel, 28 5/8 × 46 5/8 in. (72.7 × 118.4 cm). Yale University Art Gallery, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Class of 1913, Edwin J. Beinecke, Class of 1907, Archer M. Huntington, Class of 1897, and Mrs. Gile Whiting Funds. Through a selection of prints, enamels, medals, sculptures, and paintings, Le Goût du Prince: Art and Prestige in Sixteenth-Century France explores the relationship between art and power during the French Renaissance, a time when patronage of the arts increasingly became a means for members of the aristocracy to assert their wealth and status. From architecture to tableware, everything at châteaux throughout France was meant to display the sophistication— and thus, the power and prestige—of the patron. The diversity of artworks on view in this studentcurated exhibition reflects the “goût du prince” (“taste of the prince”), a phrase that refers not to a particular individual but to a symbolic princely figure, recasting the patron as a cultured and aristocratic force that influenced artistic production. As more recent objects in the exhibition illustrate, this taste had an enduring impact on French art and culture in subsequent centuries.

Though the French nobility had long used art patronage and collecting as evidence of wealth and good taste, these practices reached new heights following the Italian Wars of the early 16th century. Members of the aristocracy who took part in those wars were exposed to the artistic accomplishments of the High Renaissance. Inspired by the magnificence of Italian palaces, King Francis I (r. 1515–47) brought celebrated Italian artists to decorate his château at Fontainebleau, about forty miles southeast of Paris. The masters Rosso Fiorentino and Francesco Primaticcio collaborated with French artists to create the elegant, erotic, classically inspired, and highly ornamental style now known as the Fontainebleau School. Francis I’s efforts transformed the château into the epicenter of the French Renaissance and earned him the title of “prince of arts and letters.”

The ornamental vocabulary of the elaborate fresco and stucco decoration at Fontainebleau circulated widely through prints during the second half of the 16th century. The novel aesthetic seen at the château was enthusiastically embraced by wealthy patrons eager to emulate the king’s taste. More direct references to the monarchy proliferated in the form of portrait medals and bronze busts replicating the king’s image, part of Francis I’s efforts to unify the kingdom which, at the beginning of the 16th century, consisted of powerful duchies that retained substantial independence from the crown. These portraits were displayed in the homes of noblemen as signs of their social rank and allegiance to the king. The nobility’s efforts to showcase wealth and taste even extended to small objects of daily use, such as tableware. Enamelists, ceramists, and metalworkers developed an array of luxury objects using innovative, elaborate techniques, some of which remained a mystery for centuries.

During the 19th century, artists rediscovered the ornamental style and practices of the 16th century and used them as inspiration for their own work, creating enamels in the grisaille style typical of the French Renaissance, bronze busts and medals of political figures, and ceramic figurines or candlesticks that replicate types from the period. Today, art historians and museum curators can find it difficult to distinguish between 16th-century objects and works that emulate or simply copy the vocabulary of the Fontainebleau School. The exhibition includes some 19th-century objects representative of this revival, as well as objects of uncertain date, which serve to illustrate the popularity of the Fontainebleau style, its distinctive qualities, and the longevity of its appeal.

“The extraordinary place held by 16th-century France in the history of art is illuminated in this exhibition of close to 120 works, most of them generously lent by a private collector,” explains Suzanne Boorsch, the Robert L. Solley Curator of Prints and Drawings. “The Italian artists Rosso Fiorentino and Francesco Primaticcio, invited by King Francis I to decorate his château at Fontainebleau, created an audacious, innovative, extravagant—perhaps best described as ‘truly overthe-top’—style that spread throughout France and, by the end of the century, to the rest of Europe. The Yale University Art Gallery’s program of student-curated exhibitions provided an unparalleled opportunity, and also a steep challenge, to the three student curators of Le Goût du Prince who worked with great dedication, but also verve and imagination, to do research on the period, select the works, devise and oversee the installation, write the labels, and plan and participate in programming for the public.”

In the summer of 2015, the three student curators—Cordelia de Brosses, CC ’16, Hélène Cesbron-Lavau, MC ’16, and Stephanie Wisowaty, TD ’16—visited the Château de Fontainebleau. “We wandered around the Château’s galleries, courtyard, and beautiful gardens,” states de Brosses. “The Château has changed since the 16th century and it was interesting to see various styles existing side by side, reflecting the taste of each royal patron who had lived there since the time of King Francis I. Looking at the majestic frescoes in the Gallery of Francis I and in the vestibule of the main entrance, called the Porte Dorée, we became more familiar with the elaborate and ornamental style that distinguished the School of Fontainebleau. This helped us to construct both the narrative and the layout of our own exhibition, in which we tried to recreate a similar sense of grandeur. The time we spent at Fontainebleau and the research we did last summer in libraries in London and Paris also helped us gain a better understanding of the objects in the exhibition and their original context.” 

Laurence Kanter, Chief Curator and the Lionel Goldfrank III Curator of European Art, concludes, “Le Goût du Prince: Art and Prestige in Sixteenth-Century France is a special case of three talented undergraduates mastering the complexities of a remote historical culture through self-directed private study; being given free rein of material from our own holdings and on loan from a distinguished private collection; and organizing a wonderfully coherent, informative, and beautiful display of works of art in many different media.”
Yale University Art Gallery - Le Goût du Prince: Art and Prestige in Sixteenth-Century France 20.05.2016-28.08.2016


2200 - 20160905 - U.S.A. - WASHINGTON, DC - Robert Irwin: All the Rules Will Change - 07.04.2016-05.09.2016

Robert IrwinUntitled, 1959–60
Collection of Adele and Robert Irwin
Photo © 2007 Philipp Scholz Rittermann

“Robert Irwin: All the Rules Will Change,” a major exhibition by one of the leading postwar American artists, runs April 7–Sept. 5, 2016, at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. It is the first museum survey devoted to Irwin’s work from the pivotal decade of the 1960s, as well as the first U.S. museum survey outside his native California since 1977. The Hirshhorn is the exhibition’s only venue. A pioneer of California Light and Space art, Irwin (b. 1928) is also a leading figure in broader movements away from discrete art objects in traditional media and toward an understanding of art as a perceptual experience. The exhibition, whose title is drawn from the artist’s writings, consists of two parts. A historical survey chronicles the period from 1958 to 1970, during which Irwin moved from making small-scale abstract paintings to large acrylic discs and columns, before eventually abandoning working in a studio in favor of producing ephemeral installations of modest, unconventional materials, each made in response to the circumstances of a given site. The exhibition culminates in a major new commission in the Hirshhorn’s galleries, where Irwin will create an immersive installation in response to the museum’s distinctive architecture using what has become his signature medium, scrim. “Robert Irwin is one of the driving forces behind the expansion of the definition of art in the second half of the 20th century,” said Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu. “His new installation extends this vital legacy, engaging with the museum’s architecture so that visitors experience our public spaces in new ways. The Hirshhorn is honored to introduce Irwin’s intellectually rigorous and indescribably beautiful work to a new generation of viewers.” “The 1960s is a crucial decade in the history of contemporary art, and Robert Irwin’s investigations into the ways our perceptual processes are shaped and framed were at the forefront of the developments unfolding then,” said Hirshhorn Curator Evelyn Hankins, who organized the exhibition. “The historical portion of the exhibition includes many rarely seen works that, because of their extremely subtle nature, demand in-person viewing. And as both these objects and the new installation demonstrate, Irwin’s art becomes fully present only when you are standing in the physical space, experiencing it over an extended period of time.” As the survey follows Irwin’s inquiry into the nature and experience of art, it proceeds through each groundbreaking series of works from the period: the hand-held paintings, the pick-up sticks paintings, the early line paintings, the late line paintings, the dot paintings, the aluminum discs, the acrylic discs and the acrylic columns. The expansive new installation that occupies the final gallery employs more than 100 feet of scrim to square architect Gordon Bunshaft’s circle in one simple, conceptually elegant gesture. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color scholarly catalog, co-published with Prestel, that includes essays by Hankins, Irwin, Matthew Simms, Jennifer Licht Winkworth and Susan Lake.

Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden - Robert Irwin: All the Rules Will Change - 07.04.2016-05.09.2016


2199 - 20160814 - U.S.A. - DALLAS-TEXAS- Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty - 15.04.2016-14.08.2016


Irving Penn, Leontyne Price, New York, 1961, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation. Copyright © Condé Nast.

Known for his iconic images, many of which graced the pages of the equally inimitable Vogue magazine, Irving Penn (1917–2009) is one of the leading photographers of the 20th century.Adept at transforming mundane objects — including food, cigarette butts, and street debris — into striking images of surreal beauty, he deftly used both black-and-white and color techniques, thus bridging the gap between fashion and art; magazine and fine art photography.

This year, the first retrospective of the lensman’s work in almost 20 years is touring several museums and art centers in North America, making stops that include the Dallas Museum of Art in Texas this month.

Titled Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty, the exhibition will showcase about 150 images drawn exclusively from the large and diverse permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Aimed at presenting the full range of his oeuvre, the photos represent all stages of Penn’s nearly 70-year career, and range from 1930s street scenes and 1940s vignettes of the American South, to the elegant fashion editorials of the 1950s, as well as more recent celebrity portraits, and private studio shots.On display for the first time will be several images that have never been seen by the public, as well as Super 8mm films, made by Penn’s wife Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, of her husband at work in Morocco. The exhibition will continue its tour with a stop at the Lunder Art Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and move on to three more venues in 2017 and 2018.

Dallas Museum of Art - Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty - 15.04.2016-14.08.2016


2198 - 20160828 - U.S.A. - LOS ANGELES, CA - Art of the Austronesians: The Legacy of Indo-Pacific Voyaging - 24.04.2016-28.08.2016


Art of the Austronesians explores the history and development of the arts and cultures of the Austronesian-speaking peoples—from their prehistoric origins in what is now Taiwan to their successive seafaring migrations over millennia throughout the Philippines, Indonesia, the Pacific, and beyond. The first major exhibition in the United States to examine the visual arts of the entire Austronesian world comparatively in a single project, it features a number of important pieces from the Fowler’s collection. Additional works borrowed from private California-based collections, many on view to the public for the first time, contribute to the remarkable breadth of the installation.
Most of the featured artworks date from the last two hundred years and therefore reflect a variety of accumulated influences. Visitors may, nevertheless, trace their development through time as the Austronesian world expanded and discern among them repeated themes suggesting a common heritage. With nearly 200 works on view, the exhibition offers visitors a rare glimpse into the cultures of the descendants of these voyaging peoples through their visual arts.

Fowler Museum at UCLA - Art of the Austronesians: The Legacy of Indo-Pacific Voyaging - 24.04.2016-28.08.2016