Art Knowledge News - November 14, 2011..

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The Frick Collection Displays "Picasso's Drawings,1890–1921: Reinventing Tradition"

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 11:04 PM PST

artwork: Pablo Picasso - "Pierrot and Harlequin", 1920 - Pen and black ink with gouache on cream paper - 27.3 x 21.3 cm. - Collection of the National Gallery of Art, © 2010 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.  - On view at the Frick Collection, NYC in "Picasso's Drawings, 1890–1921: Reinventing Tradition", on view at the museum through January 8th 2012.

New York City.- The Frick Collection is proud to present "Picasso's Drawings, 1890–1921: Reinventing Tradition", on view at the museum through January 8th 2012. Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) is generally acknowledged to be the greatest draftsman of the twentieth century. The Frick Collection, New York, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., have co-organized an exhibition that looks at the dazzling development of Picasso's drawings, from the precocious academic exercises of his youth in the 1890s to the virtuoso classical works of the early 1920s. Through a selection of more than fifty works at each venue, the presentation will examine the artist's stylistic experiments and techniques in this roughly thirty-year period, which begins and ends in a classical mode and encompasses the radical innovations of Cubism and collage. After New York, the exhibition will move to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. where it will be on view from February 5th 2012, through May 6th.

The show will demonstrate how drawing served as an essential means of invention and discovery in Picasso's multifaceted art, while its centrality in his vast oeuvre connects him deeply with the grand tradition of European masters. Indeed, the exhibition will bring to the fore his complex engagement with artists of the near and distant past and will explore the diverse ways he competed with the virtuoso techniques of his predecessors and perpetuated them in revitalized form. "Picasso's Drawings, 1890–1921: Reinventing Tradition" will feature loans from important public and private collections in Europe and the United States and will be accompanied by a full-length catalogue of the same name. The exhibition begins with Picasso's childhood sketches and drawings he made from 1894 to 1897 as a student at the art academies of La Coruña, Barcelona, and Madrid. Drawing became a habit, and his rapid development through this period owes much to this constant practice. The remarkable leaps he made are demonstrated in prizewinning drawings after casts of ancient sculptures in which he mastered line, volume, perspective, and chiaroscuro and absorbed a love of classical beauty, as well as in drawings from live models. The lessons learned in this period of study as well as his exposure to the Spanish masters, whose work he first saw on a trip to the Prado with his father in 1895, stayed with Picasso throughout his life.

The exhibition next follows the young Picasso in his search for more expressive means as a graphic artist working in Barcelona. Early portraits of family and friends show the influence of Catalan Modernisme. From 1900 to 1904 Picasso divided his time between Barcelona and Paris, moving to the French capital permanently in 1904. During these years, he responded to such modern masters as Ingres, Puvis de Chavannes, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, and Degas, among others, and absorbed ideas from the paintings and drawings of the Old Masters and Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities in the Louvre.  The variety of artists and periods that fascinated him is matched by his lively experimentation with diverse techniques and materials—pen and ink, charcoal, pastel, watercolor, and gouache. In these years, Picasso produced virtuoso drawings as independent works that feature his perennial themes — the couple, the mother and child, the toilette, the sleep watcher, the harlequin family — and he continued to make portraits of friends and lovers.  Sheets crowded with figures, heads, and hands that reveal the impetuousness of his experimentation will be displayed alongside his finished drawings. Picasso's development as a draftsman took place within an environment of rising public accessibility to Old Master and nineteenth-century drawings through permanent installations at the Louvre and temporary exhibitions at galleries and other museums.

artwork: Pablo Picasso - "Nudes in a Forest", 1908 - Gouache, watercolor, and pencil on paper - 47.6 x 58.7 cm. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NY. © 2010 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS). At the Frick Collection, NYC in "Picasso's Drawings, 1890–1921: Reinventing Tradition", through Jan. 8th 2012.

New methods of photographic reproduction, the publication of catalogues raisonnés on major artists, and the availability of luxury portfolios contributed to the visibility of masterpieces on paper. In the cultural milieu of Paris as well as other European cities, an interest in drawings was in the air and spurred Picasso's ambition to absorb the grand tradition of draftsmanship into his art. Innovation is the keynote of the following section of the exhibition, which demonstrates how Picasso developed new approaches that culminated in Cubism, the most critical development in his career and, arguably, in all of twentieth-century art. In studies of individual figures, he revealed his thought processes as he submitted the body to more abstract modes of representation that draw from ancient Iberian and African art. In highly expressive figure drawings in watercolor and gouache, color emerged as a primary means of structuring space. A sequence of radical interpretations of the female figure — standing, reclining, and bust-length—shows Picasso synthesizing insights from non-Western art and Cézanne's analytic approach to form. These are followed by refined cubist figure drawings made from 1909 to 1912 in charcoal, pen and ink, and watercolor, in which Picasso pushed representation to the threshold of abstraction. Cézannesque landscape and still-life drawings from 1907 to 1910 are grouped with slightly later still-lifes, in which Picasso employed papier collé, exploring issues of representation in yet more complex ways. The works in this part of the show affirm that traditional graphic techniques were essential to Picasso in his bold search for new means of conveying objects in space and space itself on two-dimensional surfaces. Picasso's proficiency in multiple modes of drawing led him to creative play with the formal language of classical drawing through dissection, reference, parody, and outright hijacking in ways that were both reverent and irreverent. In the years of and following the First World War, Picasso embraced classical modes and continued to explore the Cubist approach to representation.

artwork: Pablo Picasso - "Yellow Nude (Study for Les Demoiselles d'Avignon)", 1907 - Watercolor, gouache, & Indian ink on paper. 59.7 x 39.6 cm. - Private Collection. © 2010 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. His shifts in style—a means of avoiding confinement to, as he described it, "the same vision, the same technique, the same formula"—are represented in the exhibition through the juxtaposition of richly colored Cubist works and delicate naturalistic drawings produced during the same years. The multifaceted work of this period was informed by Picasso's fresh encounters with the figural compositions of Cézanne in Avignon and the drawings of Ingres in Montauban, as well as by his first trip to Italy, in 1917. In his ongoing dialogue and rivalry with Ingres, Picasso appropriates and reinvents the neoclassical artist's graphic style in exquisite portrait drawings of friends. In these portraits and in representations of bathers and figures in repose, a variety of idioms appear: they range from spare contour drawings and boldly graphic sheets to finely worked-up sculptural renderings of the face and body. The final ensemble of the exhibition is made up of sheets from Picasso's stay with his wife Olga Khokhlova and baby Paulo at Fontainebleau in the summer of 1921 and just afterward. The pastel and charcoal renderings of monumental female figures from this time reinterpret the ancient statuary and Renaissance nudes on view at the palace. Several large-scale studies for an unrealized painting project transposed the classical figures from Picasso's Three Women at a Fountain to the modern world in which women and a girl in contemporary dress appear around a nineteenth-century fountain. These representations of classical art conclude the exhibition, which examines Picasso's style, sources, and techniques within the first thirty years of his career, revealing the extent to which he relied on drawing as a means of synthesizing past and present, tradition and innovation. As Picasso joined the ranks of the masters he admired, the practice of drawing continued to provide him with the means to give his own art a fresh and vigorous expression.

The Frick Collection is a not-for-profit educational institution originally founded by Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), the Pittsburgh coke and steel industrialist. In 1913, construction began on Henry Frick's New York mansion at Seventieth Street and Fifth Avenue, designed by Carrère and Hastings to accommodate Mr. Frick's paintings and other art objects. The house cost $5,000,000, but from its inception, took into account Mr. Frick's intention to leave his house and his art collection to the public. Mr. Frick died in 1919 and in his will, left the house and all of the works of art in it together with the furnishings ("subject to occupancy by Mrs. Frick during her lifetime") to become a gallery called The Frick Collection. He provided an endowment of $15,000,000 to be used for the maintenance of the Collection and for improvements and additions. After Mrs. Frick's death in 1931, family and trustees of The Frick Collection began the transformation of the Fifth Avenue residence into a museum and commissioned John Russell Pope to make additions to the original house, including two galleries (the Oval Room and East Gallery), a combination lecture hall and music room, and the enclosed courtyard. In December 1935 The Frick Collection opened to the public. In 1977, a garden on Seventieth Street to the east of the Collection was designed by Russell Page, to be seen from the street and from the pavilion added at the same time to accommodate increasing attendance at the museum. This new Reception Hall was designed by Harry van Dyke, John Barrington Bayley, and G. Frederick Poehler. Two additional galleries were opened on the lower level of the pavilion to house temporary exhibitions. The nearby Frick Art Reference Library was founded in 1920 to serve "adults with a serious interest in art," among them scholars, art professionals, collectors, and students.The paintings in the Frick Collection include works by Hans Holbein, Rembrandt van Rijn, Giovanni Bellini, El Greco, Titian, Diego Velazquez, Frans Hals, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Johannes Vermeer, Francois Boucher, Thomas Gainsborough, Anthony van Dyck, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Claude Lorrain, Francisco Goya, Joseph Mallord William Turner, James McNeill Whistler, Francesco Laurana, Jean-Antoine Houdon, John Constable, Edgar Degas, and Severo Calzetta da Ravenna. Vermeer's "Mistress and Maid", the last painting Mr. Frick bought, is one of three pictures by that artist in the Collection, while Piero della Francesca's image of St. John the Evangelist, dominating the Enamel Room, is the only large painting by Piero in the United States. Most of the sculpture purchased by Mr. Frick for the Collection was from the Italian Renaissance. Notable in the Collection are works by Vecchietta, Laurana, Francesco da Sangallo, Antonio Pollaiuolo, Riccio, and Severo da Ravenna. French sculpture includes the Lemoyne Garden Vase for the interior courtyard and remarkable works by Coysevox, Houdon, and Clodion. A number of splendid early North European sculptures are also in the Collection, above all the bust of the Duke of Alba by Jonghelinck, the Multscher reliquary bust, and bronzes traditionally ascribed to Adriaen de Vries and Hubert Gerhard. Visit the museum's website at …

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center Hosts Crocker Art Museum's Collection of European Drawings

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 10:56 PM PST

artwork: Roelandt Savery (Flemish, 1576-1639) - "Dodo Birds", n.d. - Chalk, black and amber on cream paper. - Crocker Art Museum, E. B. Crocker Collection.

Poughkeepsie, NY.- The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is proud to present "A Pioneering Collection: Master Drawings from the Crocker Art Museum", featuring works from the finest early collection of European drawings in the United States. "A Pioneering Collection" will be on view from through December 11th. Previously the exhibition was seen at both the Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento, CA) and the Portland (OR) Art Museum, however this will be its only East Coast presentation. The exhibition includes 57 rarely seen works by artists such as Albrecht Durer, Fra Bartolommeo, Anthonie van Dyck, Francois Boucher, and Jean-Auguste-Cominque Ingres. The exhibition will be divided thematically into four sections of drawings from Italy, the Low Countries, France, and Central Europe.  These drawings date from the late 15th- to the mid-19th centuries and were purchased between 1869-71 by forward-thinking railroad magnate E. B. Crocker, forming the basis of the Crocker Museum's master drawings collection.

The Schirn Kunsthalle Shows a Solo "Erró: Portrait and Landscape"

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 09:53 PM PST

artwork: Erró - "Loren", 1968 - Oil on canvas - 27 x 46 cm. - Private Collection. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011. On view at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt in "Erró: Portrait and Landscape" until January 8th 2012.

Frankfurt.- The Schirn Kunsthalle is pleased to present "Erró: Portrait and Landscape", a solo exhibition of works by the Icelandic painter Erró. "Erró: Portrait and Landscape" will be on view at the museum from through January 8th 2012. The Icelandic artist Erró is one of the great solitary figures of twentieth-century art. At once Pop and Baroque, eye-catching and narrative, critical of society and humorous, moral and inscrutable, over the past fifty years he has produced an opulent, unmistakable oeuvre that resists all cate-gorization. Erró's critical narrative collages reproduce in painting combinations of pictorial elements from various popular sources to create eloquent, often disturbing tableaux. As reflections on great social themes such as politics, war, sexuality, science, and art, these dense visual arrangements seem to create a comprehensive atlas of images of the modern world

The Frans Hals Museum Is Celebrating in the Golden Age

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 09:38 PM PST

artwork: Isaac Elyas - "Celebrating Compagny", 1629, - Oil on panel, 47.1 x 63,2 cm. - Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

HAARLEM, NL - This winter it is party time in the Frans Hals Museum. Celebrating in the Golden Age showcases a highly popular subject in seventeenth-century art. Painters like Jan Steen and Frans Hals portrayed countless merry-making folk and lively companies, from peasant fairs and carnival celebrations to lavish al fresco parties, processions and civic guard banquets. The exhibition in the Frans Hals Museum circas 45 paintings, including masterpieces from its own collection and loans from such leading institutions as the Metropolitan Museum (New York) and the Gemäldegalerie (Berlin). Celebrating in the Golden Age runs till 6 May 2012. Visit to see more paintings in this exhibition.

The Baltimore Museum of Art Exhibits Prints from Dürer to Lichtenstein

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 09:18 PM PST

artwork: Roy Lichtenstein - "Haystack", 1969 - Collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art. - On view in "Print by Print: Series from Dürer to Lichtenstein" until March 25th 2012.

Baltimore, MD.- "Print by Print: Series from Dürer to Lichtenstein" at the Baltimore Museum of Art from October 30th through March 25th 2012, offers a rare opportunity to view more than 350 prints by artists working in series from the late 15th through the 21st centuries, including Canaletto, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Odilon Redon, and Ed Ruscha. This sweeping exhibition presents 29 series of multiple images in complete sets — revealing the true vision of the artist, print by print. Also represented are two voices for a new generation of printmakers, Daniel Heyman and Andrew Raftery, who will speak at the BMA on Saturday, December 3rd. The Baltimore Museum of Art is home to an internationally renowned collection of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. Founded in 1914 with a single painting, the BMA today has 90,000 works of art — including the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world.

The Jewish Museum Celebrates "The Art of Ezra Jack Keats"

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 08:27 PM PST

New York City.- The Jewish Museum is pleased to present "The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats", the first major United States exhibition to pay tribute to award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats (1916-1983), whose beloved children's books include 'Whistle for Willie' (1964), 'Peter's Chair' (1967), and 'The Snowy Day' (1962). The exhibition opens at The Jewish Museum on view through January 29th 2012. Published at the height of the American civil-rights movement and winner of the prestigious Caldecott Medal, 'The Snowy Day' became a milestone, featuring the first African-American protagonist in a full-color picture book. 'The Snowy Day' went on to inspire generations of readers, and paved the way for multiracial representation in American children's literature. Also pioneering were the dilapidated urban settings of Keats's stories. Picture books had rarely featured such gritty landscapes before. The exhibition features over 80 original works from preliminary sketches and dummy books, to final paintings and collages for the artist's most popular books.  Also on view are examples of Keats's most introspective but less-known output inspired by Asian art and haiku poetry, as well as documentary material and photographs.

The Jewish Museum exhibition is part of a wide-scale celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of 'The Snowy Day'. Following its New York City showing at The Jewish Museum, "The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats" will travel to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA; the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA; and the Akron Art Museum (March-June 2013).

Ezra Jack Keats was born Jacob (Jack) Ezra Katz in Brooklyn in 1916.  His parents were Eastern European Jewish immigrants and very poor.  Although he briefly studied painting in Paris on the GI Bill after serving in World War II, Keats was primarily self-taught. He drew upon memories of growing up in East New York, one of the most deprived neighborhoods of New York City. Keats's experience of anti-Semitism and poverty in his youth gave him a lifelong sympathy for others who suffered prejudice and want. His work transcends the personal and reflects the universal concerns of children. Keats used lush color in his paintings and collages and strove for simplicity in his texts. He was often more intent on capturing a mood than developing a plot.  His preferred format was the horizontal double-page spread, which freed him to alternate close-up scenes with panoramic views. By the end of his life in 1983, he had illustrated over eighty books, most of them for children, twenty-two of which he also authored. "The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats" explores Keats's multifaceted oeuvre in six sections preceded by an introduction and followed by an epilogue. The introductory gallery presents a selection of works that can be construed as self-portraits of the artist. Throughout his career Keats often cast himself in his work posing as different characters, from the immigrant violinist János in 'Penny Tunes and Princesses' (1972) to the exuberant junkman Barney in 'Louie's Search' (1980).  "Coming of Age in Brooklyn" features seminal works inspired by memories of Keats's tenement childhood, including a selection of illustrations for 'Apt. 3' (1971)  Showcasing some of his most painterly spreads. Also on view are final drawings for 'Dreams' (1974), where color travels out of the Brooklyn windows and into the night as the tenement's inhabitants begin to dream and darkness turns into incandescence. Keats's combination of paint and marbled paper reaches a pinnacle in these illustrations.

The artist's lengthy preoccupation with Louie, protagonist of some of his most autobiographic stories, is examined in this section through a series of illustrations for 'Louie' (1975), 'The Trip' (1978), 'Louie's Search' (1980), and 'Regards to the Man in the Moon' (1981). In "Bringing the Background to the Foreground," the artist's early identification with the downtrodden is reflected in his 1934 award-winning painting, "Shantytown". Created by young Keats during the Depression, it is being shown along with other socially committed works. In order to express the significance of 'The Snowy Day' within the history of American children's literature, an exhibition case is devoted to a brief survey of African-American representation in children's books throughout the 20th century. Illustrations for 'My Dog is Lost!' (1960), coauthored by Keats and Pat Cherr, about a Puerto Rican boy named Juanito, are also on display. This is Keats's first attempt to correct the problems of representation in children's literature at the time and cast a minority child as protagonist. This pioneering move likely paved the way for his creation of Peter of 'The Snowy Day' fame. "The Snowy Day" section presents a wide selection of illustrations for the 1962 landmark book as well as for 'Whistle for Willie' (1964) and 'Peter's Chair' (1967) featuring Peter as he grows up. The Snowy Day's critical reception and debate sparked by its publication is also examined. "Peter's Neighborhood" includes a rich selection of images for three of Keats's greatly loved books: 'A Letter to Amy' (1968), 'Hi Cat!' (1970) and 'Pet Show!' (1972), featuring Peter on his way to becoming a teenage boy, as well as his friend Archie, who takes on more of a central role as Peter grows older. The selected illustrations are filled with Keats's signature elements – abandoned old doors, overflowing garbage cans, trashed umbrellas, and graffitied walls; the background elements the artist was committed to bringing to the foreground in his books. A reading room for visitors of all ages inspired by Peter's neighborhood and Brooklyn tenement brownstone stoops complements this section. Keats's most introspective work is the focus of the "Spirituality, Nature, and Asian Art" section. On display are illustrations for 'In a Spring Garden' (1965), an anthology of haiku poems, with silhouetted animals set against skies of marbled paper; and his sumptuous art for Over the Meadow (1971), combining watercolor and collage. A preparatory drawing for 'The Giant Turnip', a Russian folktale that Keats chose to illustrate as a Japanese story, is also on view. The book was nearing completion at the time of the artist's death in 1983.

In "Keats at Work," Keats's actual palette, brushes, materials used in his collages, and samples of marbled paper he created for his illustrations are displayed. In addition, visitors can view a film in which the artist demonstrates the technique of creating marbled paper, and other illustrators and authors who knew Keats comment on his wide-ranging influence. The exhibition ends with concluding illustrations for four Louie books first examined at the beginning of the show.  These books, done by Keats late in life, bring him back full circle to where it all began: his old Brooklyn neighborhood. The four spreads provide a moving epilogue to the show, including the last illustration from 'Regards to the Man in the Moon' (1981), published two years before Keats's death, the first and only known instance in which he cast himself as an artist, brush in hand.

The Jewish Museum, one of the world's largest and most important institutions devoted to exploring the remarkable scope and diversity of Jewish culture, was founded in 1904 in the library of The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where it was housed for more than four decades. In 1944, Frieda Schiff Warburg, widow of the prominent businessman and philanthropist, Felix Warburg, who had been a Seminary trustee, donated the family mansion at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street to the Seminary for use as the Museum. Located along New York's Museum Mile, this elegant former residence has been the home of the Museum since 1947. A sculpture court was installed alongside the Mansion in 1959, and the Albert A. List Building was added in 1963 to provide additional exhibition and program space. In 1989, a major expansion and renovation project was undertaken. Upon completion in June 1993, the expansion doubled the Museum's gallery space, created new space for educational programs, provided significant improvements in public amenities, and added a two-floor permanent exhibition called Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey . The expanded Jewish Museum preserves the French Gothic chateau-style exterior of the original Warburg Mansion, which was designed by architect Charles P.H. Gilbert and completed in 1908. Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated the first gift of 26 objects of fine and ceremonial art to the library of The Jewish Theological Seminary of America with the suggestion that a Jewish museum be formed. Subsequent gifts and purchases have helped to form the Museum's distinguished collection and develop the concept of the institution, whose mission has been to preserve, study and interpret Jewish cultural history through the use of authentic art and artifacts, linking both Jews and non-Jews to a rich body of values and traditions.

Today, The Jewish Museum's permanent collection, which has grown to more than 26,000 objects -- paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, ethnographic material, archaeological artifacts, numismatics, ceremonial objects, and broadcast media materials -- is the largest and most important of its kind in the world. The Jewish Museum regularly presents large temporary exhibitions of an interdisciplinary nature. Such exhibitions often employ a combination of art and artifacts interpreted through the lens of social history in order to explore important ideas and topics. The Museum's highly successful The Dreyfus Affair: Art, Truth and Justice (1987), Gardens and Ghettos: The Art of Jewish Life in Italy (1989), From Court Jews to the Rothschilds: Art, Patronage and Power 1600-1800 (1996), ASSIGNMENT: RESCUE, The Story of Varian Fry and the Emergency Rescue Committee (1997) and Berlin Metropolis: Jews and the New Culture 1890-1918 (1999) are examples of this type of exhibition. The Museum is also known for its exhibitions of fine arts interpreted in the context of social history, such as Painting a Place in America: Jewish Artists in New York, 1900-1945 (1991) ; social history exhibitions such as Bridges and Boundaries: African Americans and American Jews (1992); and monograph shows of significant artists such as Camille Pissarro (1995), Marc Chagall (1996), Chaim Soutine (1998) and George Segal (1998). The Museum also regularly presents the works of contemporary artists in group exhibitions such as Too Jewish? Challenging Traditional Identities (1996) and one-person shows like Bordering on Fiction: Chantal Akerman's "D'Est" (1997). Its education department presents a diverse and wide-ranging array of programs for individuals, groups, families and schools. For nearly a century, The Jewish Museum has illuminated the Jewish experience, both secular and religious, demonstrating the strength of Jewish identity and culture. Its unparalleled collection and unique exhibitions offer a wide range of opportunities for exploring multiple facets of the Jewish experience, past and present, and for educating current and future generations. It is a source of education, inspiration and shared human values for people of all cultures. Visit the museum's website at ...

The Polk Museum of Art Shows "plein air" Paintings by Lilian Garcia-Roig

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 08:06 PM PST

Lakeland, FL.- The Polk Museum of Art will showcase paintings by "plein air" landscape painter Lilian Garcia-Roig through December 10th. The exhibition, titled "En Plein Sight," will include a new painting that she worked on this summer at the Disney Wilderness Preserve. Garcia-Roig is a native of Cuba and serves as a professor of art at Florida State University. Although her work is rooted in historical convention, she transcends the typical definition of a landscape painter. Her large-scale, surface-leavened works pivot between the recognizable and the abstract. Her intent is to reconcile the two opposing styles by picking up where Vincent van Gogh left off: painting outdoors (or en plein air) with thick thrashes of paint to produce lavish landscapes.

The Royal Academy Shows Soviet Revolutionary Art and Architecture

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 07:50 PM PST

artwork: El Lissitzky - "Sketch for Proun 6B", 1919-21 - Pencil and gouache on paper - 34.6 x 44.7 cm. - State Museum of Contemporary Art - G. Costakis Collection, Thessaloniki, Greece. - © DACS 2011. -  On view at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in "Building the Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935" until January 22nd 2012.

London.- The Royal Academy of Arts is pleased to present "Building the Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935", on view through January 22nd 2012 In the Sackler Wing of Galleries. This exhibition will examine Russian avant-garde architecture made during a brief but intense period of design and construction that took place from c.1922 to 1935. Fired by the Constructivist art that emerged in Russia from c.1915, architects transformed this radical artistic language into three dimensions, creating structures whose innovative style embodied the energy and optimism of the new Soviet Socialist state. The Royal Academy of Arts has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate.

The Neuberger Museum of Art Hosts Ten-Year Survey of Paintings & Drawings by Dana Schutz

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 07:10 PM PST

artwork: Dana Schutz - "Presentation", 2005 - Oil on canvas - 120" x 168" - Ovitz Family Collection. On view at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY in "Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels" until  December 18th.

Purchase, NY.- The Neuberger Museum of Art is proud to present " Dana Schutz : If the Face Had Wheels", on view until December 18th. The Neuberger Museum of Art has named the extraordinary Dana Schutz as the 2011 winner of its biannual Roy R. Neuberger Prize , which celebrates an artist with an early-career survey and catalogue. The prize is a natural extension of Mr. Neuberger's lifelong commitment to support the work of living artists. Even before she had reached the age of thirty, Dana Schutz was considered one of the leading artists of her generation. Her imaginative work, filled with inventive stories and hypothetical situations, is strange, humorous, whimsical, disturbing, and oddly compelling, all at the same time. Combining fantasy and reality, humor and horror, her vibrant paintings abound with expressionist energy. "Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels" is the first ten-year (2001-2011) survey of this extraordinary artist's paintings and drawings.

"If the Face Had Wheels" features thirty paintings and twelve drawings, including work from each of her endlessly fascinating and innovative series - from 'Frank from Observation' (2002), portraying the fictional life of Frank, the last man on earth as depicted by Schutz, the world's last painter, to recent works from the 'Tourettes and Verbs' series including "Swimming, Smoking, Crying, and Shaking, Cooking, Peeing" (2009). The exhibition is curated by Helaine Posner, Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs at the Neuberger Museum of Art. A fully illustrated catalogue co-published by the Neuberger Museum of Art and Prestel, with an essay by noted art historian Cary Levine and an in-depth interview with Ms. Schutz accompanies the exhibition. Dana Schutz  will travel to the Miami Art Museum and Denver Art Museum in 2012. According to Cary Levine, ambivalence is central to the artist's work.  "It is what makes her paintings not only strange and beautiful, disturbing and witty, but acutely relevant to our present moment and characteristic of her particular thirty-something age group," he writes in his catalogue essay. "Her loose gestural painting style amplifies the core ambiguities of her work, as brightly colored, thick, fleshy forms meld into one another, reality becomes unfixed, and the viewer is stuck between cheeriness and sickliness, innocence and cynicism."

artwork: Dana Schutz - "Swimming, Smoking, Crying", 2009 - Oil on canvas - 45" x 48" - Collection of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, KS.

The exhibition begins with "Sneeze" (2001), which depicts the unruly moment of the sneeze that got away, sending gobs of mucus airborne. "Nearly all of Schutz's paintings engage bodily boundaries — fluids flow forth, innards ooze out, the heavily impastoed flesh is always rendered malleable—evoking not only rupture and decay, but fecundity, growth, and cyclicality."  Schutz described the painting this way: "A sneeze is something that you can't entirely capture in a photograph; it's not visible; you can't paint it from observation, but everyone has experienced it. I was thinking then, 'How would you paint it?' The eyes are squeezed shut, and I wanted the head to be really flat with this explosive eruption coming out of it. I wanted to paint what it feels like to sneeze." In the "Self-Eaters series" (2004), in which the artist's creatures are part human, part alien, and eat their own flesh, Schutz was considering issues of creation, destruction, and regeneration. "What if people could digest themselves? Be whatever they could be? How would they come back to life? What if they had a hand in their own making? ... Perhaps they could sculpt new parts of themselves; they could be in a constant state of becoming," she once explained to a college audience. In many of her recent works, the artist's protagonists often appear powerless over themselves and their destinies. Verbs, a 2009 series, focuses on "individuals trapped in an angst-ridden present of conflicting tensions and desires. These people not only engage in everyday pursuits, but do several incompatible activities at once," writes Levine. Hence, we view a woman performing three incongruous acts  simultaneously such as in Shaking, Cooking, Peeing, in which a disheveled woman, standing in a kitchen, grabs a knife as she unsuccessfully attempts to steady a cup of liquid, while ingredients on her kitchen counter cascade to the floor. There is utter loss of control; a disaster in the making. "…Her apparent condition resonates with the madness of 'normal life', with the stresses of multitasking and a world of unrealistic and conflicting expectations, of intense personal and social pressures that take their toll on us all." (Levine)

artwork: Dana Schutz - "Gravity Fanatic", 2005 - Oil on canvas - 72" x 78" - Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz Collection. At the Neuberger Museum of Art  in "Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels" until December 18th.

Dana Schutz was born in Livonia, Michigan in 1976. She received a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2000 and an MFA from Columbia University in 2002. She has had solo exhibitions at the Rose Art Museum , Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts; the Museum of Contemporary Art , Cleveland; and Site Santa Fe; and has been included in group exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art , New York and The Saatchi Gallery , London; and international events such as the Venice and Prague Biennales. Her paintings are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art , New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art , Los Angeles; the Corcoran Gallery of Art , Washington, D.C.; and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston , among others. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Neuberger Museum of Art will present 'A Conversation with Dana Schutz and Jeremy Sigler' on October 26th at 6:30 pm. In this special program, Dana Schutz will speak with poet, sculptor and critic, Jeremy Sigler. They will bring their unique perspectives to her work created over the last ten years. Sigler is Associate Editor of Parkett and has published five books of poetry, most recently, Crackpot Poet (Black Square Editions/Brooklyn Rail 2010). In his 2007 Brooklyn Rail review of her work, he compared the simultaneous brutality and resolve of many of Schutz's canvases to an array of his own emphatic art and pop cultural references, including the triumph of a Hollywood Rocky-style boxing match, the lullaby of "It Don't Worry Me" sung in the aftermath of violence in Robert Altman's dark comedy Nashville, and the colorful madness of SpongeBob Square Pants.llege School of Art+Design.

Initiated in 1974 with Roy R. Neuberger's donation of 108 works of art, the permanent collection of the Neuberger Museum of Art has grown to over 6000 works of uncompromised quality and variety. Featuring prestigious examples of modern, contemporary and African art, holdings include the Roy R. Neuberger Collection of American Art, the Aimee W. Hirshberg and Lawrence Gussman Collections of African Art , the Hans Richter bequest of Dada and Surrealist objects, the George and Edith Rickey Collection of Constructivist art, and American, Mexican and European master works from the collection of the late Dina and Alexander Racolin. The Neuberger Museum of Art continues to collect and exhibit its permanent collection, enacting Mr. Neuberger's commitment to supporting the work of contemporary artists who examine and expand the ideas of our day. Visit the museum's website at ...

Philadelphia Museum of Art Presents a Major Private Collection of Modernism

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 07:09 PM PST

artwork: Stuart Davis (American, 1892-1964) - Composition 1863 (Factory by the Sea), 1932 - Gouache on paper, 22 ¼ x 30 inches. Collection of C.K. Williams, II. Image courtesy of Martha Parrish & James Reinish, Inc.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Philadelphia Museum of Art this summer will present Adventures in Modern Art: The Charles K. Williams II Collection, an exhibition of approximately 100 paintings, sculptures, watercolors, and drawings from the early decades of the 20th century. It is drawn from the collection of Charles K. Williams II, a distinguished archeologist and Director Emeritus of the Corinth Excavations of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, who has amassed in under two decades an important and personal collection representing most of the major American artists and movements of the modern period, as well as several European masters. Organized by Innis Howe Shoemaker, The Audrey and William H. Helfand Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, the exhibition will be on view in the Dorrance Galleries (July 12 through September 13, 2009).

artwork: Joseph Stella, American (b.Italy) Golden Fall, 1940 Oil on canvas 26 x 20 inches (66 x 50.8 cm) The C.K. Williams, II CollectionThe collection is marked by a passion for color, strong compositional designs, and occasionally eccentric images, with an emphasis upon several favorite artists, among them Joseph Stella, Oscar Bluemner, Charles Demuth, and Arthur Dove, each of whom is represented by several examples.

"The remarkable caliber of the works of art in the Williams Collection reflects both his distinctive spirit of inquiry and his keen eye for excellence," the Museum's Interim Chief of Curatorial Affairs Alice Beamesderfer said. "The Museum is honored to present these works together, and we are delighted that the Williams Collection will eventually join and greatly enhance the Museum's fine representation of strong currents in American and European modernism." All of the works in the exhibition are gifts or promised gifts or have been bequeathed to the Museum.

Williams began collecting 19th- and 20th-century American and European prints in the 1980s. In 1990 he began seriously to acquire paintings, sculptures, watercolors, and drawings by modern American artists. In his collector's statement in the catalogue Williams describes how growing up during the Great Depression allowed him to appreciate the populist messages in the work of Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), Ben Shahn (1898-1969), Isabel Bishop (1902-1988) and Käthe Kollwitz (1867 –1945). He traces the evolution of his collecting sensibilities from an instinctive reaction to the pure beauty of an object to a search for something more essential, or less immediately perceived.

"Charles Williams is one of the most devoted and observant visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, keeping up with every change in the galleries," Shoemaker added. "From a curator's point of view, he's the ideal collector to work with, not just because of his generosity to the Museum but even more because of his fantastic eye for unusual and important works of art and his intense way of thinking about the direction of his collecting. I've had such fun working with him and his collection because there's never a dull moment as it develops—one can always expect surprise and delight when Charles calls to report that he's made another 'find'!"

In his approach to collecting Williams balances focus and discipline with flexibility and experimentation. He explains the unlikely inclusion of Giorgio de Chirico's Portrait of Carlo Cirelli in a collection that otherwise primarily consists of early 20th-century American artists: "it has a strong presence that I could not ignore." In the work of Stella and Demuth, Williams admires what he describes as the "radically different" aesthetic approach these artists displayed at various stages in their careers. "What, exactly, was Stella not capable of?" Williams asks.

artwork: Oscar Bluemner, (American, born Germany, 1867 – 1938) - Composition for Color Themes, 1932. - Watercolor on paper, Sheet: 7 3/4 x 10 1/2 inches. - Collection of C.K. Williams, II. Image courtesy of Will Brown.

The Williams Collection includes American painters of the Stieglitz Circle such as Georgia O'Keeffe, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, and Arthur Dove. Precisionists Charles Demuth, Ralston Crawford, George Ault, and Charles Sheeler are represented, as are the Philadelphia modernists Arthur B. Carles, Hugh H. Breckenridge, Earl Horter, and Morton Schamberg. Sculptures include the work of Elie Nadelman, John Storrs, Alberto Giacometti, and Louise Nevelson. Of special note is a large and well-known painting by Thomas Hart Benton, The Apple of Discord, and a rare landscape drawing by American Regionalist Grant Wood, which are among a group of promised gifts from Dr. Williams to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The earliest work in the collection is the spectacular landscape painting A Waterfall, c. 1910, by John Singer Sargent, a recent partial and promised gift to the Museum, and the most recent is a Nevelson sculpture, "Column," dated 1964.

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Alte Pinakothek Exhibits Painting by Johannes Vermeer as Part of Its 175th Anniversary

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 07:08 PM PST

artwork: Johannes Vermeer - "Woman Holding a Balance", 1964 - Oil on canvas, 40.3 x 35.6 cm (15 7/8 x 14 in.) On loan  from the National Gallery of Art in Washington to the Alte Pinakothek in Munich.

MUNICH.- The Alte Pinakothek welcomes a very special guest to its 175th anniversary: Johannes Vermeer's "Woman Holding a Balance" from the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The exhibition is on display until June 16, 2011. In the early 19th century, this exquisite masterpiece once formed part of the exceptional private collection amassed by the first king of Bavaria, Max I Joseph (1756-1825). He focused almost exclusively on 17th-century Dutch masters, mostly landscapes and genre paintings. To these he added the works of contemporary painters in Munich who were inspired by such Old Masters. In 1826, one year after the death of Max Joseph, the private royal collection was sold at auction. Some exceptional works were acquired for the state collections; others found their way to the Alte Pinakothek via roundabout routes – as part of Ludwig I's collection, for example; many are now scattered far afield. From today's point of view, the greatest loss was Vermeer's painting of 1664.

MOCA Presents Comprehensive Survey Exhibition of Graffiti & Street Art

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 07:07 PM PST

artwork: SWOON is a street artist from New York City. Swoon studied painting at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and started doing street art around 1999. Swoon does not release her real name to the public to avoid prosecution for the crime of "vandalism" associated with street art.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Museum of Contemporary Art presents Art in the Streets, the first major U.S. museum exhibition on the history of graffiti and street art, April 17 through August 8, 2011, at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. The exhibition traces the development of graffiti and street art from the 1970s to the global movement it has become today, concentrating on key cities where a unique visual language or attitude has evolved. Following MOCA's presentation, the exhibition will travel to the Brooklyn Museum, where it will be on view March 30–July 8, 2012.

Grand Rapids Art Museum shows Black & White Photography by Gordon Parks

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 07:06 PM PST

artwork: Alberto Giacometti, Paris, 1951 - Photo by Gordon Parks (1912-2006) - Gelatin silver print,16 x 20 inches Lent by The Capital Group Foundation - © 2006 Gordon Parks

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Gordon Parks (1912–2006) was the first African-American photographer to gain an international reputation in the twentieth century. Prior to his recognition after World War II, African-American photographers were restricted to studio portraiture in black communities. Parks opened the field for African-American photographers with his accomplishments in documentary and fashion photography. His distinguished work for Life magazine was a pivotal influence on a new generation of black photographers who recorded the events of the Civil Rights Movement. On view through 28 September, 2008.

Lentos Art Museum celebrates Oskar Kokoschka ~ A Vagabond in Linz : Wild & Denigrated

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 07:05 PM PST

artwork: Oskar Kokoschka - Marianne Maquis, 1942 - Tate, London - © Fondation Oskar Kokoschka / VBK, Wien, 2008

LINZ, AUSTRIA - In the exhibition Oskar Kokoschka - A Vagabond in Linz. Wild, denigrated, celebrated, the Lentos Art Museum documents the great Austrian painter, who was a non-conformist all his life, and focuses on his contacts with Linz. This extensive show presents 40 paintings, 49 watercolors and drawings, and about 27 prints as well as 36 photographies from 20 museums, galleries and private collections abroad and ten from Austria. On exhibition through 5 October, 2008.
The Lentos Art Museum and the City Museum Nordico, which with five paintings, 15 drawings and over 100 lithographs are among the most important Kokoschka collections in Austria, show their rich Kokoschka holdings collected in an exhibition for the first time.

artwork: Oskar Kokoschka: Selbstporträt ,1917 Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal © Fondation Oskar Kokoschka / VBKKokoschka's personal contacts and friendships with art historians, gallerists, high-ranking city officials and politicians in Linz were the basis of the ties between the artist from Pöchlarn and the capital of the federal province of Upper Austria. The first contact was established by Wolfgang Gurlitt (1888-1965), art dealer from Berlin and founder of the New Gallery of the City of Linz, which became the Lentos Art Museum. His successors Walter Kasten and Peter Baum and the mayor at that time, Ernst Koref, maintained a close artistic exchange with Kokoschka through purchases, commissioned works and numerous exhibitions. This bears witness to the important art historical pioneering role of the city of Linz as well as to the city's special engagement in the relationship to Kokoschka.

 Kokoschka's first exhibition after World War II in Austria was shown at the New Gallery of the City of Linz in the summer of 1951. Several paintings from this sensational exhibition - Die Freunde (1917), Vater Hirsch (1909), Marcel von Nemes (1929) - and many print graphic works were added to the Museum Collection through purchase in 1953 and are still today among the international highlights of the Lentos Collection. This exhibition, which was highly successful and had a strong media presence, is reconstructed on the basis of the works shown then in rooms in the main square of Linz and supplemented with press reviews and photographic documents.

A special focal point deals with the National-Socialist understanding of art that branded Kokoschka as a "degenerate" artist. More than 400 of his works were confiscated, nine of them denounced in the exhibition "Degenerate Art" in 1937 in Munich and eleven other stations (including Vienna and Salzburg). Some of the "degenerate" and confiscated works are shown for the first time in this sensitive context. All the provenances of the Kokoschka holdings of the Lentos are published in the accompanying catalogue, which also details the complex history of purchases and origins of the works acquired by Gurlitt at the Fischer auction in Lucerne.

A special area is devoted to the photographs, which have been continuously collected and presented and developed in scholarly treatment since the opening of the New Gallery in 1946. The rich holdings of the Lentos Collection include incunabula of Austrian reportage photography, including works by Erich Lessing, Franz Hubmann and Peter Baum, which show Oskar Kokoschka in vitality and artistic passion.

artwork: Oskar Kokoschka: Monte Carlo 1925, Musée d'Art moderne et d'Art contemporain de la Ville de Liège, Belgien, © Fondation Oskar Kokoschka / VBK, 2008The exhibition covers a broad range: works are presented in the show from Kokoschka's controversial early work, from the lively years of traveling, and also paintings, watercolors, color pencil drawings and posters created in exile in England - a rich selection of exhibits with important paintings, illuminating photo documents and audio material presented for the first time, much of this with a unique relevance to Linz.

The exhibition comprising 139 works provides insights into an oeuvre marked by strokes of fate, which underwent a fascinating thematic and stylistic development. The presentation of over sixty years of creative production (the earliest watercolor is from 1905, the last from 1967) enables a comparison of styles from the different phases of the artist's work.

 As successor institution to the New Gallery of the City of Linz, the Lentos Art Museum, which opened in May 2003, is among the most important museums of modern art in Austria. 120 important art works from the collection of the Berlin art dealer Wolfgang Gurlitt (1888 - 1965), including paintings and graphic works by Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka, Nolde, Corinth and Pechstein, formed the foundation for the collection of the New Gallery of the City of Linz after World War II. Building on these holdings, the city of Linz decided in 1953 to continue the New Gallery as a city museum with an active exhibition program and acquisition policies.

As a museum today, Lentos presents and communicates significant themes and positions of contemporary art production in relation to 20th century art history. This is exemplified by displaying works and schools of modern art and their consequences, whereby the Lentos collection is highlighted in specific selections according to alternating focal points.
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"Charles Addams's New York" at The Museum of the City of New York

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 07:04 PM PST

artwork: Charles Addams's New York - "Boats to New York City" - © Charles Addams - Permission of Tee and Charles Addams Foundation

New York, NY - Charles Addams's New York   is an exhibition of original artworks by the legendary New Yorker magazine cartoonist that capture Addams's quintessentially idiosyncratic and slyly subversive view of the city, depicting his signature macabre characters, twisted situations, and distorted reimaginings of the cityscape. The works in the exhibition include watercolors, preliminary pencil sketches, completed cartoons, and examples of published work from the cover of the New Yorker. On view at the Museum of the City of New York through 16 May, 2010.

Moderna Museet Malmö Features Diane Arbus: A Retrospective, 1960-1971

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 07:03 PM PST

artwork: Diane Arbus - "Twins" then and 30 years later.

MALMO, SWEDEN - The French artist Pierre Leguillon has compiled a unique retrospective on the large body of work produced by Diane Arbus for the Anglo-American press in the 1960s. This spring and summer, the exhibition is being shown at Moderna Museet Malmö, featuring some 100 photos in their original context – on the pages of magazines. On exhibition through 1 August, 2010.

Museum of Monaco Launches Major Exhibition by Damien Hirst

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 07:02 PM PST

artwork: British artist Damien Hirst poses in front his sculpture 'The Immortal' at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco. The Museum launches its centenary celebrations with a major exhibition, entitled 'Cornucopia,' of paintings and sculptures by Hirst from 02 April to 30 September.

MONACO.- The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, which this year celebrates its centenary, opens its galleries to contemporary art for the first time, to present a major exhibition of works by celebrated British artist Damien Hirst. CORNUCOPIA is the title of the exhibition, which spans the last 15 years of the artist's career and comprises over 60 key works, including early paintings and sculptures. The exhibition is presented with the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco. On view 02 April through 30 September, 2010.

Neue Galerie Museum exhibits "Wiener Werkstätte Jewelry"

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 07:01 PM PST

artwork: Josef HOFFMANN (1870-1956) - Brooch, 1907 - Silver, partly gilt; agate, coral, lapis lazuli, malachite, turquoise, and other semi-precious stones - Private Collection  

New York, NY - The Neue Galerie Museum opened "Wiener Werkstätte Jewelry," with more than forty precious objects drawn from public and private collections. The exhibition will highlight masterpieces created by the Wiener Werkstätte between the firm's inception in 1903 and 1920. It will feature significant pieces by Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Carl Otto Czeschka, and Dagobert Peche, among others. Supplemental materials will include design drawings and photographs of prominent clients, with an emphasis on fashion designer Emilie Flöge, confidante of Gustav Klimt, who assembled a large collection of Wiener Werkstätte jewelry.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to feature Alice Neel ~ 'Painted Truths' a Retrospective

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 07:00 PM PST

artwork: Alice Neel, (American, 1900-84) - 9th Avenue EL, 1935 - Oil on canvas. Private Collection. Courtesy Cheim & Read, NY - © Estate of Alice Neel

HOUSTON, TX.- 68 paintings by Alice Neel, the indomitable 20th-century portrait painter who captured the character of her time and the gamut of New York life over seven decades, will be on view in Alice Neel: Painted Truths at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, starting March 21, 2010. Committed to portraiture throughout her life, an era when the genre was considered practically obsolete, Neel captured both the physical likenesses and the psychological essences of her sitters in bold, sometimes searing paintings. Neel painted neighbors in her gritty Manhattan district and members of the art-world elite, as well as her lovers, friends and children. Alice Neel: Painted Truths is the first major museum exhibition of Neel´s work in ten years, and the first to present her work in Europe. The show examines Neel´s oeuvre from a highly focused perspective, showcasing masterworks culled from the 1920s to the 1980s. Along with her famous portraits, a section of the show will also be devoted to her lesser-known cityscapes that document tenement life from the inside.

Alice Neel: Painted Truths is organized by the MFAH and co-curated by Barry Walker, MFAH curator of modern and contemporary art and curator of prints and drawings, and Jeremy Lewison, former Director of Collections of London´s Tate Gallery and currently an independent curator and advisor of the estate of Alice Neel. After the presentation in Houston, the show will travel to Whitechapel Gallery in London and Moderna Museet in Malmö. The show will be accompanied by a major catalogue distributed by Yale University Press.

artwork: Alice Neel, (American, 1900-1984) Last Sickness, 1953. Oil on canvas. Philadelphia Museum of Art; Gift of Hartley S. Neel & Richard Neel, 2003 - © Estate of Alice Neel."Despite almost single-handedly reviving portraiture in the 20th century—with a little help from contemporaries like Andy Warhol, of course—Neel did not receive recognition until late in life," said Dr. Peter C. Marzio, MFAH director. "Neel´s work is a true tour de force, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is pleased to present a selection of the most compelling paintings by this seminal American artist. The tour will give European audiences their first opportunity to assess the full range of her achievement in a large-scale museum exhibition."

"Because so many exhibitions have plumbed Alice Neel´s engaging bohemian life to interpret her work, we have focused on the art rather than the biography in Painted Truths, examining it from both traditional and postmodern points of view," states Walker. "This is, to use a politically incorrect term, a ´masterpiece show,´ tracing the evolution of the artist´s work through what are, arguably, her very best paintings."

The presentation will be divided into sections according to Neel´s thematic preoccupations: allegory, the essential portrait, the psychological portrait, portraits from memory, cityscapes, nudes, parents and children, the detached gaze, and old age. In addition, two archival films will play on loop in the gallery: an eight-minute silent film by Neel´s son Hartley, documenting the artist painting her daughter-in-law Ginny; and Michel Auder´s film showing Neel painting Margaret Evans Pregnant.

Alice Neel
Alice Neel (1900-1984) was born in rural Pennsylvania at the turn of the 20th century. On scholarship three out of four years, she attended the first women-only art school in America (now Moore College of Art and Design), where she excelled at painting from the figure. At 25, she married a fellow artist, Carlos Enríquez, and moved to his native Cuba. The couple had two daughters, whom Neel would lose: the first, Santillana del Mar, died of diphtheria in New York. Two years later, Enríquez took their second daughter, Isabetta, to Havana so that his sisters could raise her. These losses led to a nervous breakdown, and Neel was hospitalized.

artwork: Alice Neel - The Spanish Family, 1943 Oil on canvas @ Estate of Alice Neel ( Not in this exhibition)Alice Neel - The Spanish Family, 1943 Oil on canvas @ Estate of Alice Neel (Not in this exhibition)A few months after her release, Neel settled down to eke out an artist´s existence in Greenwich Village (New York), always painting prolifically. During the Depression, she was one of the first join the Easel Division of the Work Progress Administration (WPA), which provided canvases and allowed artists to work from home. Unlike other urban realists on the Project, Neel brought an expressionistic vigor to her depictions of the lives of working-class New Yorkers. In a drug-induced rage in 1934, Neel´s then-lover, Kenneth Doolittle, burned 300 of her watercolors and drawings and slashed 50 paintings. Ten years later, the now-defunct WPA sold its collection of paintings at four cents a pound to a junk dealer. Neel was able to buy a few of her works back, but again suffered the loss of a considerable body of her early work.

In 1938, Neel moved to Spanish Harlem to "find more truth," continuing to paint family, friends, and neighbors, and giving birth to two sons (Richard and Hartley). She lived there for almost 25 years, honing her skills as a portraitist despite the ascendance of abstraction, a movement dominated by male artists. Upon moving to the Upper West Side in 1962, Neel began to re-engage with the New York art world. Along with friends and family, curators, critics, dealers, art historians, and art world celebrities came to sit for her in her West 107th Street apartment/studio. At age 74 Neel was finally recognized with a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

During the last two decades of her life, Neel became a cult figure, revered as much for her cheeky personality as for reinvigorating the sleepy genre of figuration and giving voice to a generation of women artists. An on-and-off member of the Communist Party, Neel, when interviewed by two FBI agents at the height of the McCarthy era, fearlessly asked the agents to pose for her, an offer that they unfortunately declined. After becoming a regular on the lecture circuit, she made two appearances on Johnny Carson´s The Tonight Show. In October 1984, ARTnews paid tribute to Neel by featuring her as the cover story, Alice Neel and the Human Comedy. She died of cancer that same month, surrounded by family in her apartment. At her memorial service, Allen Ginsberg read his poem The White Shroud.

At the dawn of the 21st century, some 15 years after Neel´s death, the Whitney—together with the Philadelphia Museum of Art—would again exhibit Neel´s work, this time with a full retrospective. The MFAH´s 2010 presentation will be the first scholarly examination of her work in a decade. Visit :

Art Knowledge News Presents "This Week In Review"

Posted: 13 Nov 2011 06:45 PM PST

This is a new feature for the subscribers and visitors to Art Knowledge News (AKN), that will enable you to see "thumbnail descriptions" of the last ninety (90) articles and art images that we published. This will allow you to visit any article that you may have missed ; or re-visit any article or image of particular interest. Every day the article "thumbnail images" will change. For you to see the entire last ninety images just click : here .

When opened that also will allow you to change the language from English to anyone of 54 other languages, by clicking your language choice on the upper left corner of our Home Page.  You can share any article we publish with the eleven (11) social websites we offer like Twitter, Flicker, Linkedin, Facebook, etc. by one click on the image shown at the end of each opened article.  Last, but not least, you can email or print any entire article by using an icon visible to the right side of an article's headline.

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