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


2222 - 20170115 - U.S.A. - DENVER - COLORADO - Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper - 14.10.2016-15.01.2017


Clyfford Still

In celebration of its fifth anniversary year, the Clyfford Still Museum presents Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper, the first-ever exhibition of Still’s drawings, and the largest exhibition of Still’s work at the Museum to date. The exhibition, on view October 14, 2016–January 15, 2017, features more than 240 works, shedding new light on this integral but historically overlooked part of Still’s creative process. Arranged chronologically, the exhibition reveals the centrality of drawing to Still’s practice and offer an intimate look at the evolution of his style from figuration to fully realized abstractions.

In addition to offering a chronological study of Still’s works, the exhibition offers an in-depth exploration of works in many different media, the majority of which have never before been on public view. Among the exhibition highlights is a significant group of oil-on-paper compositions made between 1943 and 1944, selections from the more than 1,200 pastels that Still created in the final 10 years of his life, and a series of figurative portraits and landscapes—many featuring Still and his family—created in the mid-1920s. The exhibition also draws on the extensive Clyfford Still Archives housed at the Museum, featuring items such as technical studies made by Still while working in the San Francisco Bay Area shipyards during the onset of World War II and various sketches and notations that seem to lay out the abstract forms of his later work. The exhibition concludes with the artist’s final dated and signed work, a pastel-on-paper composition created in 1980.

“Five years into our deep dive into the creative process behind Still’s revolutionary work, this exhibition reveals more about this mysterious artist than anyone could have considered possible when we opened,” says director and exhibition co-curator Dean Sobel. Senior Consulting Curator David Anfam adds, “Still’s works on paper constitute a vast template and laboratory for the mechanics of Still’s art as a whole. Famously, drawing reveals an artist’s proficiency in a way that painting, with its more seductive materiality, can readily disguise.”

Despite the fact that Clyfford Still drew prolifically throughout his career, historically it has been next to impossible to view Still’s works on paper; only seven are known to exist in public collections outside Denver. The variety and sheer volume of Still’s drawings—more than 2,300 works in Denver’s collection housed at the Museum, compared with approximately 830 paintings—attest to the significant role that draftsmanship played in his work, particularly when compared to his Abstract Expressionist contemporaries. Still explored graphite, charcoal, pastel, crayon, pen and ink, oil paint, gouache, and tempera, as well as lithography, etching, woodcut, and silkscreen. In some cases, paintings—including such breakthrough canvases as Still’s PH-235 (1944-N-No. 1), widely considered to be the first mature iteration of Abstract Expressionism—grew directly out of sketches or more finished drawings. On the other hand, many works are fully realized pieces in themselves rather than preparatory steps.

Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper is curated by CSM Director Dean Sobel, Senior Consulting Curator David Anfam, and Bailey Harberg Placzek, assistant curator and collections manager.

Clyfford Still Museum - Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper - 14.10.2016 - 15.01.2017


2221 - 20170108 - U.S.A. - CINCINNATI - OHIO - Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth - 15.10.2016-08.01.2017


Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890), Undergrowth with Two Figures (detail), 1890, oil on canvas, Bequest of Mary E. Johnston, 1967.1430.
Centered on Vincent van Gogh’s Undergrowth with Two Figures, the Cincinnati Art Museum’s new exhibition, Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth, takes visitors up close with celebrated woodland landscapes from October 15, 2016–January 8, 2017.

This exhibition—presented only at the Cincinnati Art Museum—brings an important group of artworks on loan from around the world together for the first time.

Exploring the works of the Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries, the exhibition traces the evolution of the Dutch artist’s love of the natural world, powers of observation and mastery of detail through this special group of landscape paintings spanning his career.

This exhibition is the first to take a close look at Van Gogh’s poetic depictions of the forest floor, known as sous-bois, the French term for “undergrowth.” These odes to nature were a reaction to the increasing industrialization and urbanization of society.

The exhibition allows visitors to compare Van Gogh’s treatment of this theme with examples by those who influenced and inspired him, including Théodore Rousseau, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin. Twenty artworks are borrowed from museum collections in Canada, The Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Japan and more, and are joined by works from the Cincinnati Art Museum’s own important collection of French paintings and works on paper.

“Visiting this exhibition is like taking a walk in the woods with Van Gogh and fellow artists,” explains Julie Aronson, Curator of American Painting and Sculpture. “Vincent van Gogh’s Undergrowth with Two Figures is widely recognized as one of the great masterpieces of Van Gogh’s late career. It is also a visitor favorite—often the favorite—among the many extraordinary works in the Cincinnati Art Museum’s galleries. This exhibition is a revelation that puts this significant work in the context of the art of its time.”

Since the Cincinnati Art Museum’s acquisition of Undergrowth with Two Figures in 1967, the museum has made this treasure available in major exhibitions around the world. It will travel to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2018.

In Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth, the painter is brought to life for visitors with his own words about the intimate relation between nature and art and the artists he admired, extensively quoted from his voluminous correspondence with his brother Theo. These letters serve as inspiration for the exhibition’s interactive activity, which involves a hands-on letter-writing experience. Another interactive employs Google technology to allow visitors to explore Undergrowth with Two Figures on a touch screen, revealing the texture and brushstrokes of the painting in greatly enlarged detail.

With this exhibition, the Cincinnati Art Museum is leading the way with original scholarship in one of the few areas of Van Gogh study that remains to be explored. The accompanying catalogue, also titled Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth, examines Van Gogh’s engagement with the sous-bois subject from various perspectives. Co-published by D Giles Limited, it will be available for sale at the Cincinnati Art Museum and online this fall. Cornelia Homburg, art historian and one of the world’s foremost Van Gogh experts, is among the authors. She will be speaking at the Cincinnati Art Museum on October 16.

To shed further light on Van Gogh’s artistic milieu, the exhibition also includes Unlocking Van Gogh’s World, a rich display of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist prints from the Cincinnati Art Museum’s collection. In addition to Van Gogh, Artists Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Camille Pissarro, James McNeill Whistler and others are included in this supporting exhibition.
Cincinnati Art Museum - Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth - 15.10.2016 - 08.01.2017


2220 - 20170318 - U.S.A. - HOUSTON-TEXAS - Blaffer Art Museum presents first major museum exhibition for Analia Saban - 24.09.2016-18.03.2017


This exhibition, the first major museum presentation of Argentinian artist Analia Saban, surveys her last decade of practice through 30 works that explore everyday objects through unconventional usage of materials.

Surveying art history as if it were a ‘murder scene,’ she peels back (researches, deconstructs, reconstructs) layers of material histories and subject matters in search of new directions and possibilities. Saban’s initial project included tracing and annotating paint strokes of existing paintings in an analytical process that culminated in literally stripping pictures of their material substance and iconography, and culminated into a rolled up ball of colored strips of painted fabric from a plethora of unraveled paintings.

Stripe Hand Towel, Bag with Canvas, and Fitted Bed Sheet, all 2011, chart her experiments with acrylic paint cast into viscerally affecting simulations of common household objects such as towels, sheets and plastic bags attached to or containing a canvas. In her 2010-12 Decant and the more recent Bulge series (begun 2014), encaustic paint forms swelling bodies protruding from their support. Applied to canvas by pouring hot encaustic paint into plastic bags that are peeled away when the medium has cooled off and hardened, these encaustic masses proudly display the marks of their prior aggregate state as both their subject and form.

In her Draped Marble series (begun in 2014), marble is broken, glued and fastened to exquisitely crafted wooden sawhorses to evoke folded towels left out to dry. Recalling Saban’s earlier works in cast acrylic, these sculptures displace classic associations of material and application both within art history and consumer culture.

Currently working across painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography, she uses the constituent parts of each as her very subject matter. Creating dialogue between media’s historically defined conventions and their manifestations within the anatomy of individual artworks, her work is deeply inscribed in the ongoing process of conditional evolution and boundary-pushing renegotiation of the possibilities of media-based practices. What contributes to the uniqueness of her approach is a decidedly feminist sensibility, the frequent inscription of her physical and psychic self, and a good dose of wry humor.

Born in 1980 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Saban currently works in Los Angeles and lives in New York City. She received a BFA in Visual Arts from Loyola University in New Orleans in 2001, followed by an MFA in New Genres at the University of California in Los Angeles in 2005. The artist has exhibited extensively at institutions worldwide, including National Museum of Norway, Oslo; Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, CA; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, The Netherlands; deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA; MARCO Museum in Vigo, Spain; among others. Her works are represented in the collections of the Hammer Museum at UCLA, Museum of Contemporary Art, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles; Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College in New York; Norton Museum of Art in Florida; Centre Pompidou in Paris, and Fundación Proa in Buenos Aires.

Blaffer Art Museum - Analia Saban - 24.09.2016 - 18.03.2017