Philadelphia Museum of Art Advanced Schedule of Exhibitions Through May 2010
The first traveling retrospective devoted to the Armenian-born American painter since 1981 is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art where it debuts. Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective includes 180 paintings, sculptures and works on paper reflecting the scope of a prolific career that ultimately exerted a profound effect on American art of the Post World War II period. Born Vosdanig Adoian, around 1904, near Lake Van in Ottoman Turkey, the young boy immigrated to the United States, settling in New York where he changed his name and became a largely self-taught painter.
(Media-Newswire.com) - The first traveling retrospective devoted to the Armenian-born American painter since 1981 is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art where it debuts. Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective includes 180 paintings, sculptures and works on paper reflecting the scope of a prolific career that ultimately exerted a profound effect on American art of the Post World War II period. Born Vosdanig Adoian, around 1904, near Lake Van in Ottoman Turkey, the young boy immigrated to the United States, settling in New York where he changed his name and became a largely self-taught painter. Drawn from public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe, this retrospective reveals the evolution of Gorky’s vision and mature style.
New and Upcoming Exhibitions
Frederick Sommer Photographs October 3, 2009 - January 3, 2010
Frederick Sommer ( 1905-1999 ) crafted a body of art inflected by Surrealist ideas and distinguished by his meticulous love for the art of photographic printing, his broad knowledge of art history, and a keen sense of how the parts of a picture come together to produce meaning. This exhibition surveys five decades of his photography, including disorienting compositions such as “Arizona Landscape” ( 1943 ), a horizon-less image that only gradually resolves its components into a desolate desert scene, and equally bewildering subjects such as “Max Ernst” ( 1946 ), an exhibition highlight, in which Sommer experimented with layered negatives, superimposing an image of a rock onto a portrait of his friend Ernst, the pioneering Dada and Surrealist artist, to create the illusion of a human morphing into rock.
The first exhibition of Sommer’s work in Philadelphia since 1968, Frederick Sommer Photographspresents some 40 images spanning the artist’s career, along with a small number of drawings and collages. Included is a rare suite of macabre yet poignant photographs the artist made in 1939 using chicken parts collected from his butcher.
Curator: Peter Barberie, Curator of Photographs, with Julia Dolan, The Horace W. Goldsmith Curatorial Fellow in Photography Location: The Alfred Stieglitz Center Gallery
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Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective October 21, 2009 - January 10, 2010
In a brief life that endured considerable tragedy, Armenian-born artist Arshile Gorky ( 1904-1948 ) built upon the achievements of early modern artists to become a seminal figure in the movement toward abstraction that transformed American art in the years after World War II.
The first comprehensive retrospective devoted to Gorky in nearly three decades, this exhibition includes 180 paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints drawn from public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe. Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective benefits from the publication of three recent biographies of the artist and will, for the first time in a major museum exhibition, acknowledge the influence of Gorky’s Armenian identity on the artist’s work. A survivor of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, Gorky dealt with issues of trauma, displacement, and memory through his painting in moving, evocative works, such as the two canvases titled “The Artist and His Mother,” both of which will be presented in the exhibition alongside several of their studies.
The exhibition also highlights Gorky’s engagement with the Surrealist movement in America, and the development of his unique visual vocabulary in works such as “Water of the Flowery Mill” ( 1944 ), which reflects his deep absorption in nature-based abstraction and “The Plow and the Song” series ( 1944-1947 ), which reflects Gorky’s continuing engagement with memories of his rural Armenian childhood. Other notable works to be included are “Agony” ( 1947 ), Gorky’s haunting late painting, a product of his increasingly tormented imagination in the late 1940s, and “The Black Monk ( Last Painting ),” which was left unfinished on Gorky’s easel at the time of his death in 1948. Some of the works represented have never been publicly exhibited before, among them the wood sculptures “Haikakan Gutan I, II, and III” ( “Armenian Plow I, II and III” ), of 1944, 1945, and 1947 ( collection of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America Eastern ), on deposit at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon ), as well as the Museum’s recently acquired “Woman with a Palette” ( 1927 ).
Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective will be presented in a generally chronological sequence, including several thematic groupings, to demonstrate all phases of Gorky’s short, yet fascinating career, which underwent an astonishing metamorphosis as he assimilated the lessons of earlier masters and movements, and utilized them in the service of his own artistic development. The groupings reflect the artist’s early intense fascination with Paul Cézanne, then with Cubism, followed by his projects for the Works Progress Administration that provided steady income in the 1930s. In the 1940s, Gorky’s contact with Surrealism informed the visionary works made in his spacious, light-filled studio on Union Square, which he called his “Creation Chamber.” Several galleries in the exhibition will serve as “creation chambers” in their own right, highlighting the artist’s working process by presenting Gorky’s most significant paintings alongside the painstaking studies, drawings and pastels that informed their making.
Catalogue: The exhibition will be accompanied by a 400-page catalogue, Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective, published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in association with Yale University Press. The catalogue ( 60 b/w + 270 color illus; ISBN# 978-0-87633-213-9; $65 ) will include essays by a group of noted art historians, curators, and artists: Harry Cooper, Jody Patterson, Robert Storr, Michael Taylor, and Kim Theriault, who will present new theoretical approaches to the artist’s work. The essays will build upon new biographical details about the artist’s Armenian background that have emerged in recent years, while also exploring Gorky’s creative thinking, his unique experimentation, and his extraordinary command of materials and imaginative exploration of various themes. The essays will be followed by a lavishly illustrated plate section, as well as sections devoted to Gorky’s exhibition history, bibliography and a chronology of his life and work.
Itinerary: Following its presentation in Philadelphia, the exhibition will travel to the Tate Modern, London ( February 10 – May 3, 2010 ), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles ( June 6 – September 10, 2010 ). Curator: Michael R. Taylor, The Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art Location: Dorrance Galleries
The international tour is made possible by the Terra Foundation for American Art. The U.S. tour is supported by The Lincy Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
In Philadelphia, the exhibition is made possible by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, and by the Neubauer Family Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Dadourian Foundation, The Robert Montgomery Scott Fund for Exhibitions, the Locks Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Hirair Hovnanian and other Friends of Arshile Gorky, a group of generous individuals. Promotional support is provided by NBC 10 WCAU.
The catalogue was made possible by Larry Gagosian and The Andrew W. Mellon Fund for Scholarly Publications, with additional support provided by Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.
Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in association with Tate Modern, London, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
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Pleasures and Pastimes in Japanese Art November 2009 - Spring 2010
From representations of classical Noh theater masks and costumes to depictions of poetry competitions and of the joys of fishing, Pleasures and Pastimes in Japanese Art examines the myriad ways in which leisure time was examined and interpreted across all social classes in Japanese art.
The 70 or so objects on view, spanning the period from the 16th to the 20th century, encompass activities ranging from libretti and musical instruments of the theater, attended by Japanese nobility, to scroll painting and ceramics depicting fishing trips enjoyed by members of all social classes. The importance of gourmet food and drink to Japanese culture is also documented by ceramic vessels intended for sake, as well as by food containers on view.
Other pleasures and pastimes represented include intricately designed incense burners, painted versions of ikebana—or flower arrangements—and a set of playing cards, based on 100 classical poems, still used during New Year’s celebrations in Japan today.
Curator: Felice Fischer, The Luther W. Brady Curator of Japanese Art and Curator of East Asian Art Location: East Asian Art, Galleries 241, 242, 243.
Notations/Bruce Nauman: Days and Giorni November 21, 2009 - April 4, 2010
The Museum hosts the U.S. premiere of Bruce Nauman’s two new sound installations, Days and Giorni ( both 2009 ). These groundbreaking works were exhibited as integral parts of Bruce Nauman, Topological Gardens, the U.S. representation at the 53rd International Art Exhibition—La Biennale de Venezia, which in June was awarded the prestigious Golden Lion for the Best National Participation
In these new works created for the Biennale, the days of the week are recited in subtly varying combinations by a range of participants and recorded as individual audio tracks. The voices differ in language—English in Days and Italian in Giorni—and also rhythm and progression. Whereas Days was recorded and edited over a long period of time, Nauman worked with the participants that gave voices to Giorni ( the students and faculty of the Iuav University ) during a single day in Venice.
New Yorker critic Calvin Tomkins described the community of voices that emerge in the works as “discrete ribbons of sound” in which we hear the “human voice making unintentional music as it evokes the passage of time.” Mesmerizing and moving, the effect of Days and Giorni is also forceful and unrelenting. As Nauman both repeats and deftly rearranges the days of the week, he alters and undermines the sequence that normally measures the passage of time.
Days and Giorni will be presented in the main Museum building’s Gisela and Dennis Alter Gallery ( 176 ) and the Perelman Building’s Exhibition Gallery.
Curator: Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Curator of Contemporary Art and Erica F. Battle, Project Curatorial Assistant, Modern and Contemporary Art Location: Modern and Contemporary Art, The Gisela and Dennis Alter Gallery 176, and Exhibition Gallery, Perelman Building.
Notations/Bruce Nauman: Days and Giorni is made possible by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Henry Luce Foundation, and The Pew Charitable Trusts, with additional funding from Agnes Gund, Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmann, Sperone Westwater Gallery, and many other Friends of Bruce Nauman. The related catalogue was made possible by Isabel and Agustín Coppel, and was published on the occasion of the premiere of these works in Bruce Nauman: Topological Gardens, the official U.S. representation at the 53rd International Art Exhibition---La Biennale di Venezia, which was organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Flora and Fauna in Korean Art March 2010 - Spring 2011
Depictions of flora and fauna based on Chinese works of art as well as those indigenous to each region greatly inspired artists in East Asia. The fine arts and crafts in this exhibition of 45 objects from the 5th to early 20th century feature diverse representation of animals and plants that often served as living symbols of philosophical, historical, and metaphorical associations in Korea.
Drawn from the collection, the works offer images of mythical animals like the dragon and phoenix, believed to protect against evil spirits, as well as plum trees, orchids, chrysanthemum, and bamboo, considered the “four friends” of literati gentlemen. Often, the metaphor of animals and plants was based on word play, giving certain combinations of selected animals or plants additional meaning. The Korean pronunciation of the characters for "reed" and "old man" are the same ( no ), as are the words for "geese" and "comfort"( ahn ); thus, traditional Korean paintings of reeds and geese represent a wish for a peaceful life in later years.
The highlight of the paintings, ceramics and lacquer objects on view is a pair of court paintings of phoenixes and peacocks with a paulownia and peach tree. These rare and exquisite paintings of the 19th-century Joseon dynasty have been newly conserved and remounted in Korea, and make their debut in this exhibition. Directly attached to the wall of a Joseon palace, they would have functioned both as wall decoration and as an emblem of good fortune.
Owing to the fragility of works on paper and silk, the paintings will be rotated periodically.
Curator: Hyunsoo Woo, The Maxine and Howard Lewis Associate Curator of Korean Art Location: Gallery 237 and Gallery 238 ( The Baldeck Gallery )
Late Renoir June 17 - September 6, 2010
Focusing on the final three decades of his career, Late Renoiri explores the innovative techniques Pierre-Auguste Renoir ( French 1841-1919 ) adopted in response to his dissatisfaction with the limitations of the Impressionist method and subject matter.
Devoting himself instead to joyful subjects such as bathers, domestic scenes, and landscapes, Renoir used fluid brushstrokes and a remarkable palette to depict scenes influenced by classical mythology and his recent move to the south of France. Troubled by arthritis and increasingly limited in his movements, he turned for inspiration to the scenes around him, winning the admiration of the modernist avant-garde who recognized in the monumentality of his figures and smooth handling of paint that Renoir had gone beyond Impressionism to create art that was both classical and modern.
Despite the acclaim received in his lifetime, Renoir’s late work began to fall out of favor with critics in the mid-20th century. The exhibition will provide an opportunity to revisit this period of Renoir’s career and to assess his substantial legacy for younger painters such as Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso. Approximately 80 paintings, drawings, and sculptures by Renoir will be displayed alongside 20 works by emerging artists.
Itinerary: The Grand Palais, Paris ( September 23, 2009-January 4, 2010 ); Los Angeles County Museum of Art ( February 14-May 9, 2010 ); Philadelphia Museum of Art ( June 17-September 6, 2010 ) Curator: Jennifer Thompson, Associate Curator, European Painting Before 1900 Location: Dorrance Galleries
Late Renoir is organized by The Réunion des Musées Nationaux, the Musée d'Orsay, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This exhibition is supported in part by The Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions and the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Major foundation support for this exhibition is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Lehman Foundation.
Desert Jewels: North African Jewelry and Photography from the Xavier Guerrand-Hermès Collection September - November 2010
Three decades of objects collected by Xavier Guerrand-Hermès, of the renowned Paris-based fashion empire, illuminate the diversity and beauty of traditional North African jewelry design through some 80 pieces of jewelry and nearly 30 late-19th- and early-20th-century photographs by artists from Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia.
Desert Jewels features ornate necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings, most of which have never been publicly displayed. Designers working with inventive combinations of silver, coral, amber, coins, and semi-precious stones highlight cultural threads shared by many North African societies, while exploring local variations in materials and motifs.
North African jewelry came to the attention of Western collectors in the 19th century, when archaeological monuments in North Africa were being explored, visited, and in some cases, pillaged. The jewelry was also captured in photographs by artists including the Scotsman George Washington Wilson, the Neurdine brothers from France, and the Turkish photographer Pascal Sabah, who visited the region and photographed landscapes, architecture, markets, and people adorned in their jewels. Some of these images were used for postcards, while other remained hidden in little-known collections.
This exhibition is organized by the Museum for African Art in New York.
Curator: Dilys Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles Location: Spain Gallery, Perelman Building
Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One to Many, 1956-73 Fall 2010
Michelangelo Pistoletto ( born 1933, Italy ) is widely recognized in Europe as one of its most influential contemporary artists and is increasingly gaining recognition in the United States as forerunner to contemporary participatory practices. As the artist’s first focused survey in the United States in more than two decades, this exhibition places Pistoletto’s work in the context of the post-war socio-cultural transformations of Italy, Western Europe, and North America while also exploring its relationship to pop, minimalism, and conceptual art. The exhibition will include more than 80 works of art—many of which have never before been seen in the United States—that will range from his early self-portraits to subsequent series of works, including “Quadri Specchianti” ( Mirroring Paintings ), “Oggetti in Meno” ( Minus Objects ), and “Stracci” ( Rags ). The works on view will trace the progression of Pistoletto’s artistic focus from a rigorous investigation of the representations of the self in the mid-1950s to his collaborative actions of the mid-1970s that lie at the heart of many artists’ participatory practices today.
The Museum will also present the artist’s current work at his interdisciplinary laboratory, Cittadellarte, in the Perelman Building’s Exhibition Gallery. Michelangelo Pistoletto: Cittadellarte will highlight the intellectual, political, and social dialogues fostered by Cittadellarte, which was founded by the artist in 1998 by in Biella, Italy. The installation will play host to a series of performances, lectures, and workshops bringing the innovative spirit of this artistic center to the Museum and the city of Philadelphia.
Curator: Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Curator of Contemporary Art Location: Gisela and Dennis Alter Gallery ( 176 ) in the Main Building and Exhibition Gallery, Perelman Building.
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