A collaborative art work created by Eugenia Butler
Curated by Corazon del Sol
Eugenia P. Butler (1947-2008) was a Los Angeles-based artist who played a formative but often overlooked role in the inception of American Conceptual art. Book of Lies is a collaborative project with works by seventy-six contributing artists. It is curated by Butler’s daughter, Corazon del Sol.
Begun in 1991 and continued until Butler’s death, the project is an examination of how we use “the lie to explore our relationship with the truth.” Butler held three artist dinners, where she asked her guests to consider the questions “What is the lie with which I am most complicit?” and “What is the truth that most feeds my life?” A wide range of artists and poets responded in unique and provocative ways, and a three-volume set of works was created.
Each contributing artist hand-made eighty versions of their artwork, which were then compiled into limited-edition artists’ books. The exhibition showcases these works as framed articles, but their significance is bound to their essentially interactive and tactile nature. The pieces themselves resonate with the time, love, and laborious processes that played a critical role in their creation. The project as a whole serves as a testament to Butler’s vision of “recalibrating” oneself to distinguish the truth within from the lies that surround us.
Each volume is a work of art unto itself that developed from the process of creating it, from the individual works themselves and from the relationships between the parts and the whole. At a certain point a bigger vision broke through – something beyond previous understandings – surpassing the initial ideas to become a singular artwork consisting of discrete and powerful works of art. Its subject matter is truth, lies, and the intimate power of a true work of art. — Eugenia P. Butler
Conceived as a global conversation about truth and lies, Book of Lies is a work of art made of other works of art that invites viewers into the intimate worlds of its creators, while considering universal questions of identity, reality, and existence. As Butler wrote, Enter with a mind as open as you can make it. My own has certainly become more sensitized to the numbness and depths of feeling that irradiate that unstable field of reality we call the truth.
VIEW Prospectus (PDF)
NUMBER OF WORKS:
Sizes range from 10 x 13 inches to 35 x 45 inches
Approximately 250 linear feet (76 linear meters)
Kim Ables, Lisa Adams, Robert Aitchison, Lita Albuqurque, Lynn Aldrich, Edgar Arceneaux, Eve Aschheim, Rod Baer, Biljana Bakaluca, Rita Barnes, Deanne Belinoff, Mirella Bentivoglio, Eugenia P. Butler. Theresa Chong, James Cobb, Ed Colver, Geoganne Deen, Steve DeGroodt, Corazon del Sol, Chiara Diamantini, Bronislava Dubner, Sally Elesby, Garth Erasmus, Sam Erenberg, George Evans, Meghan Ferrill, Lidia Fiabane, Janet Fitch, Xavier Fumat, Jill Giegerich, Allan Graham (a.k.a. Toadhouse), Gloria Graham, Elizabeth Grier, Marvin Harden, Marcel Hardung, Richard Haxton, Mary Beth Heffernan, Kady Hoffman, Diana Jacobs, Milt Jewell, Joan Jonas, Kim Jones, Seth Kaufman, Stephan Koehler, Rita Kondrup, Adophe Lechtenberg, Penelope Lee, Julia Lohmann, Tom Marioni, Kim McCarty, Michael McMillen, Jim Melchert, Gisella Meo, Gertrude Moser-Wagner, John David O’Brien, Minoru Ohira, John Outterbridge, Beverly Piersol, Maria Porges, Mary Rakow, Peter Reading, Ann Reiniger, Lala Rukh, Rhonda Saboff, Barry Sanders, Melissa Smedley, Eve Sonneman, Arthur Sze, Ilkka Juhani Takalo-Eskola, Matthew Thomas, Jenny Watson, Benji Whalen, Bruce Whiteman, William Wiley, Madam X, Maria Jose Zamora, and Daisy Zamora.
SELECTED REVIEWS AND NEWS
Joseloff Gallery | University of Hartford | West Hartford, CT
(October 25 – December 4, 2016)
Reese Bullen Gallery | Humboldt State University | Arcata, CA
(October 23 – November 20, 2014)
Albin Kuhn Library & Gallery | University of Maryland | Baltimore, MD
(April 7 – May 31, 2014)
James Cobb, The Big Lie: The Spider and the Fly, 2003
Georganne Deen, Mother’s Lies, 1994
Eve Sonneman, Disc Acrobat and Juggler, 1995
Benji Whalen, Rude Constellations, 2004
Eugenia Butler and Corazon del Sol, Where does the lie begin?, 2004
Daisy Zamora and Maria Jose Zamora, Mirage, 1996
Tom Marioni, Pi is a lie, 2005
Kim McCarty, Age is a Lie, 2003
Bruce Whiteman with Milt Jewell and Gloria Kondrup, Lies Above What Is, 2004
Eugenia Butler and Corazon del Sol, Where does the lie begin? 2004
Curated by Dr. Judith Bookbinder and Sheila Gallagher
Department of Fine Arts at Boston College
The Becker Archive contains approximately 650 hitherto unexhibited and undocumented drawings by Joseph Becker and his colleagues, nineteenth-century artists who worked as artist-reporters for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. They observed, drew, and sent back for publication images of the Civil War, the construction of the railroads, the laying of the transatlantic cable in Ireland, the Chinese in the West, the Indian wars, the Chicago fire, and other aspects of nineteenth-century American culture. There has been no major exhibition or scholarly survey featuring Civil War drawings since the 1961 centennial, and at that time the Becker Collection had not yet come to light. Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection is the first opportunity for scholars and enthusiasts to see selections from this important and unknown collection and appreciate these national treasures as artworks.
By creating accurate combat sketches drawn not from their imagination, but from close, on-the-spot observation, [civil war sketch artists] caught the action and evoked the drama of being there, in the midst of war. Their genius as visual reporters was expressed in their ability to identify the focal point of a scene quickly, blocking out the composition with telling details in minutes, and fleshing it out later that night while their memories were still fresh. — Harry Katz, former Curator of Prints and Drawings of the Library of Congress
The first-hand drawings selected for this exhibition, most of which have never been published, document in lively and specific ways key developments in the history of America as it struggled to establish its national identity.
VIEW Prospectus (PDF)
NUMBER OF WORKS:
350 to 400 linear feet (120 linear meters)
First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection (McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, 2010)
SELECTED REVIEWS AND NEWS
New England Cable News, Jack Thurston, September 19, 2014
The Vermont Cynic, Ted Levin, September 16, 2014
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Frank Reeves, December 07, 2013
ArtDaily, November 08, 2013
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Kurt Shaw, November 06, 2013
The Sentinel, Joseph and Barrie Ann George, June 19, 2013
The Oregonian, Jeff Motley, February 13, 2013
PortlandArt.net, Jeff Jahn, February 05, 2013
National Geographic, Harry Katz, May 2012
UNC-TV, February 16, 2012
Star News Online, Ben Steelman, January 31, 2012
The Art Newspaper, Helen Stoilas and Javier Pes, February 03, 2011
New York Times, Eve Kahn, Antiques Columnist, January 06, 2011
Civil War Times, Helen Hannon, February 2010
Boston Globe, Sebastian Smee, October 02, 2009
Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art | Kansas State University
(September 10 – December 18, 2016)
The Old Jail Art Center | Albany, TX
(June 4 – September 4, 2016)
Lauren Rogers Museum of Art | Laurel, MS
(September 6 – November 15, 2015)
Mississippi Museum of Art | Jackson, MS
(January 31 – April 19, 2015)
Massillon Museum | Massillon, OH
(June 13 – August 16, 2015)
The Robert Hull Fleming Museum | The University of Vermont
(September 16 – December 12, 2014)
The Citadelle Art Foundation | Canadian, TX
(June 12 – August 10, 2014)
The Frick Art & Historical Center | Pittsburgh, PA
(November 9, 2013 – January 12, 2014)
The Trout Gallery | Dickinson College | Carlisle, PA
(June 7 – October 19, 2013)
Cooley Art Gallery | Reed College | Portland, OR
(February 11 – April 20, 2013)
The Mitchell Gallery | St. John's College | Annapolis, MD
(October 27 – December 12, 2012)
The Faulconer Gallery | Grinnell College | Grinnel, IA
(August 20 – October 17, 2012)
Museum of Texas Tech University | Lubbock, TX
(June 15 – August 15, 2012)
The Cameron Art Museum | Wilmington, NC
(February 3 – May 6, 2012)
Taubman Museum of Art | Roanoke, VA
(September 16, 2011 – October 30, 2011)
University of Richmond Museums | Richmond, VA
(January 15 – April 3, 2011)
John F.E. Hillen, Battle Two Miles West of Atlanta, July 30, 1864
Edward F. Mullen, Confederate Soldiers Taking the Oath of Allegiance, October 1, 1864
Francis H. Schell, Skirmish with the Texas Rangers on Tuesday the Eighteenth, December 18, 1861
Andrew McCallum, Siege of Petersburg: A Night Attack, March 31, 1865
Unknown, Sketches at the General Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, April 1865
James E. Taylor, Test Race for the Fastest Stock, 1864
Henri Lovie, Battle of Shiloh or Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee: Left Wing Near the Peach Orchard, April 6, 1862
Henri Lovie, Pontoon Bridge on the March, December 20, 1862
Joesph Becker, Choosing Day Workers, 1869 – 1870
Unknown, Negro Mob in Richmond, March 16, 1870
An exhibition of drawings from the Becker Collection premiered at the McMullen Museum at Boston College in the exhibition "First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection," which was organized by the McMullen Museum and underwritten by Boston College and Patrons of the McMullen Museum.
Curated by Rima Girnius, Ph.D.
Curator at the Figge Art Museum
Restoring the Spirit: Celebrating Haitian Art is a landmark survey of Haiti’s complex visual traditions from 1940 to the present, a portrait of its artists’ devotion to creative endeavors in the face of national adversity.
Recent generations of self-taught Haitian artists have invented a distinct style of art-making that reveals traditional values and belief systems. Ranging from vibrant paintings and sequin-covered textiles to sculpture created from reused oil drums and aluminum pans and other found materials, the works put vodou bliefs and practices into a contemporary context, document historical and political events and individuals, and provide details from small town or rural life, gatherings, and celebrations that are essential to Haitian culture. Perhaps most interesting is the critical function that many of these works played for the collective imagination: fantastic paintings of hallucinatory landscapes populated by exotic animals and vibrant culture serve as an escape from the reality of Haiti’s environmental and political woes. Image-making acts as both a removal from reality and a proposal for utopia.
This exhibition, an important survey of Haitian art, demonstrates that, despite Haiti’s turbulent and often bloody political history, the country has developed a flourishing artistic tradition that speaks to the vitality of Haitian culture and the indomitable spirit of its people.
VIEW Prospectus (PDF)
NUMBER OF WORKS:
33 paintings, 5 sculptures, 2 ceremonial flags
234 linear feet (72 linear meters)
This exhibition is organized by the Figge Art Museum
Lionel St. Eloi, Angel of Justice, 2004
Riguad Benoit, Bal du Carnaval (Carnival Ball), 1979
Stivenson Magloire, Divided Spirit, ca. 1989
Pierre Edugene, The Feast, n.d.
Wilson Biguad, Interior (a Table), ca. 1950
"On Reading", a series of photographs made by legendary Hungarian photographer Andre Kertész in Europe, Asia, and the United States over a fifty year period, illustrates the artist's penchant for the poetry and choreography of life in public and also private moments at home, examining the power of reading as a universal pleasure. Balanced between geometric composition and playful observation, it is easy to understand how these glimpses of everyday people and places changed the course of photographic art.
The 104 photographs in the exhibition are drawn from the collection of Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago. Approximately half where published in the book On Reading (Grossman, New York) in 1971, and subsequently republished by W. W. Norton in 2008.
VIEW Prospectus (PDF)
Academy Art Museum | Easton, MD
(November 17, 2011 - January 15, 2012)
Carnegie Museum of Art | Pittsburgh, PA
(October 23, 2010 - February 13, 2011)
Cannon Art Gallery | Carlsbad, CA
(February 20 - April 18, 2010)
Cornell Fine Arts Center | Winter Park, FL
(September 12 - December 31, 2009)
Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery | Art Center College of Design | Pasadena, CA
(June 20 - August 23, 2009)
Grand Rapids Art Museum | Grand Rapids, MI
(January 23 - March 22, 2009)
Portland Museum of Art | Portland, ME
(August 30 - November 16, 2008)
CAPTIONS (all works by Andre Kertesz)
Paris (James in Study), December 9, 1963
Greenwich Village, New York (woman on rooftop reading), May 30, 1963
Pont des Arts, Paris (man reading between trees), 1963
Thumbnail: New York (fruit bowl and painting), February 25, 1951
Curated by Graham Howe and Ingrid Schaffner.
Dream, metaphor, fetishism, nonsense, and play were among the defining characteristics Julien Levy (1906–1981) ascribed to Surrealism; they are also, fittingly, among the marvels of this exhibition, based on Levy’s collection of Surrealist art.
Levy was one of Modernism’s pre-eminent art dealers, operating from his eponymous gallery in New York City. Mentored by the great American dealer and photographer Alfred Stieglitz, Levy opened his gallery to showcase a Surrealist approach to photography. As embraced by Eugène Atget, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray, and Lee Miller, this approach favored psychological complexity over pictorial clarity. Levy’s second “godfather” was the artist Marcel Duchamp, with whom Levy shared a love of gizmos, graphics, and games. Levy was an active participant in the creative lives of the artists he represented, making Surrealist films, composing a Surrealist history, and even initiating a Surrealist “fun house” for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. His most sustained project, however, was amassing a collection of Surrealist art ranging from paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, sculptures, and books to toys, seashells, cabaret posters, and chessboards. As sampled through the singular thread of works on paper, the art in this exhibition attests to Levy’s vigorous appreciation of Surrealism as a whole. A great number of the works in the show were made by artists Levy promoted, including the subjects of the gallery’s first and last shows: Max Ernst in 1931 and Arshile Gorky in 1949. Levy’s collection also prominently featured women, both as artists (Leonora Carrington, Leonora Fini, Mina Loy, for example) and as subjects (the Surrealists fetishized women as muses to all manner of unrestrained activity). One of the most provocative (and entertaining) art movements of the twentieth century, Surrealism sought to depict (and see) reality destabilized, whether through shocking juxtapositions, biomorphic abstractions, theatrical excess, or comic satire—all of which are in evidence here. For Julien Levy, Surrealism was, quite simply, a way of being.
The works on paper in this exhibition are lent courtesy the Julien Levy Estate. The photographs are lent courtesy David Raymond, New York, and select public collections.
NUMBER OF WORKS: 110
TOUR DATES: September 2004 - March 2006
PUBLICATION: Accommodations of Desire: Surrealist Works on Paper (Curatorial Assistance, Inc., 2005)
Curated by Craig Krull
The Happenings of the 1950s began a movement of staged activities in art in which the photograph played an integral role. Performance and conceptual artists in the 1960s and 1970s often orchestrated events specifically for the camera, events as art intended to occur only once at a given moment in time. The resulting images then became documentary records of the events, and in some cases, art objects in themselves.
Curated by Craig Krull, Action/Performance and the Photograph is an ambitious attempt to follow the evolving role of the photograph in these movements. “This photographic perspective,” Krull writes in his introduction to the catalogue for the exhibition, “considers the inherent technical qualities of the camera, its ability to stop or manipulate time, the question of truth vs. fiction, the symbolic or abstract quality of the still image, the act of photography as an action in itself, and the myriad conceptual differences that lie between catching action and orchestrating it for the camera.”
The exhibition includes images with or by several pioneering European artists, including Yves Klein’s famous Leap Into the Void and Joseph Beuys, I like America and America Likes Me. Various interpretations of the female nude are addressed in works including Carolee Schneemann, Up to and Including Her Limits; Hannah Wilke, So Help Me Hannah; and Marcel Duchamp, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors (Chess Game at Pasadena Art Museum). Sculpture and performance within the landscape are explored in pieces such as Andy Goldsworthy, Hazel Stick Throws. Also included are works by Jean Tinguely, Christo, Vito Acconci, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Allan Kaprow, Eleanor Antin, Chris Burden, Lynda Benglis, Anslem Kiefer, and the Viennese Actionists (Gunther Brus, Hermann Nitsch, and Rudolph Schwarzkogler), among many others. Seen together, the work of these artists—whose attitudes toward the photograph are as varied as their artistic approaches—represents yet another example of the pivotal role photography played in the development of contemporary art in all of its many forms, and provides a fascinating sketch of the evolution of the Happening, Performance, Conceptual and related movements.
NUMBER OF WORKS: 50 (many works contain multiple prints)
TOUR DATES: August 1995 - May 2007
PUBLICATION: Exhibition Catalogue
Contemporary Art Museum | St. Louis, MO
The Hatton Gallery | Newcastle University | Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Reese Bullen Gallery | Humboldt State University | Arcata, CA
Art Gallery | Mount Saint Vincent University | Halifax, Nova Scotia
Allen Memorial Art Museum | Oberlin College | Oberlin, OH
Presentation House Gallery | North Vancouver, BC
Ulrich Museum | Wichita, KS
The New York Times, 2000
The Los Angeles Times, 1993
Curated by Judith Bettelheim
Organized by the San Francisco State University Fine Arts Gallery
AFROCUBA: Works on Paper, 1968-2003 is a groundbreaking exhibition of fifty-six prints and drawings by twenty-six artists from Havana and Santiago de Cuba. The artists in this exhibition represent a cross section of Cuban society, and their works exhibit a diverse range of subject matter, styles, and techniques, including lithographs, collographs, woodcuts, screen prints, and ink and crayon drawings. Organized thematically and following a loose chronological order, this exhibition is the first to focus on AfroCuban artists and themes through a historical-thematic lens—and the first time this work has been grouped together in a major exhibition outside of Cuba.
The exhibition features contributions by artist-members of Grupo Antillano, which evolved in the late 1970s and whose work underscores Cuba’s African heritage; artists who were sent to Africa, particularly Angola, either as combatants in revolutionary struggles or as cultural attachés; artists whose imagery is derived from AfroCuban religious expressions, including Santería; as well as artists whose works comment on Cuban politics and race and social relations today.
Included in AFROCUBA: Works on Paper, 1968-2003 are prints by Manuel Mendive, who first traveled to Africa in the early 1980s and whose artistic concerns address AfroCuban religious iconography. This section of the exhibition also contains a series of mural-size prints (collographs) produced in the 1990s by Belkis Ayón, who consistently deconstructed popular attitudes about the all-male, Havana-based Abakuá Society and inserted in her art her own AfroCuban female identity.
Of the more contemporary works on paper in the exhibition, artists cast a more critical eye on their country’s social, political, and economic conditions. This new generation’s aesthetic offerings range from takeoffs of 1950s-style movie posters (which celebrate fictional films starring the AfroCuban artist Elio Rodríguez and his wife), to the powerful, dark drawings of Juan Roberto Diago (inscribed with such acerbic commentaries as “My skin also is good” and “All Blacks do not drink coffee”), to Ibrahim Miranda, in whose Black Tears series, woodblock prints of distinctly rendered tears are printed over historic maps of Cuba and the transatlantic passage. As a group, and as a statement, this thirty-five-year chronicle of AfroCuban art testifies to the vitality and richness of work produced (and still being produced) on this nearby island.
The exhibition is curated by art historian Judith Bettelheim, Ph.D., author of two books and numerous articles about Caribbean art and culture. Dr. Bettelheim has worked in Cuba since 1985, and for this exhibition she interviewed numerous artists and collected work that attests to these artists’ involvement in AfroCuban culture.
NUMBER OF WORKS: 56
TOUR DATES: February 2005 - February 2008
PUBLICATION: Exhibition Catalog (San Francisco State University Gallery, 2005)
Indianapolis Museum of Art | Indianapolis, IN
Art Gallery | Kennesaw State University | Kennesaw, GA
Lowe Art Museum | Coral Gables, FL
McColl Center for Art + Innovation | Charlotte, NC
Rafael Queneditt Morales, Elebwa (Eleggua), 1970
Elio Rodriguez Valdes, The Temptation of the Joint Venture de la serie Las perlas de tu boca (from the series The Pearls of Your Mouth), 1995
Juan Roberto Diago Durruthy, No me pises (Don't Step On Me), 2002
Thumbnail: Choco (Eduardo Roca Salasar), La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, 2002
Curated by Linda Benedict-Jones and Barbara Hitchcock
American photographer Ansel Adams (1902–1984) possessed a unique sensitivity to the power of light. This gift allowed him to reveal both the delicate details and the vast beauty of the natural environment. He is widely recognized for the superb aesthetic and technical qualities of his photographs and for the central role he played in the acceptance of photography as fine art.
Edwin H. Land, Adams’ contemporary, was a brilliant young scientist in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who pioneered the invention of instant film and cameras in the late 1940s. In 1948 Land invited Adams to the Polaroid factory to experience firsthand the new technology. After that first visit, Adams wrote to Land: “I look forward to trying the camera out . . . I am tremendously excited about the actual use in the field and studio. I think it promises to be one of the greatest steps in the development of photography. I only hope it will not be presented as a curiosity. I think the first presentation should include work by top photographers and show a broad range of application.”
As a consultant to Polaroid Corporation, Ansel Adams became close fiends with Edwin Land, and the two—the artist and the inventor—exchanged ideas and began a deep friendship that inspired each other to explore new directions in their respective fields. This long-term collaboration resulted in Adams and Land going on many expeditions together to test film and equipment.
Ansel Adams & Edwin Land: Art, Science, and Invention features pristine, one-of-a-kind black-and-white Polaroid prints made by Adams, lively correspondence between Adams and Land, humorous postcards, and rare examples of Adams’ early commercial work. The exhibition also presents more than 80 prints, including vintage enlargements of Adams’ famed images Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico (1941), and Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park (1960), as well as five photomurals of the American landscape. In all, the works in this show demonstrate the uncommon beauty that can occur through the conjunction of science and art.
NUMBER OF WORKS: 100
TOUR DATES: May 2004 - September 2007
Palmer Museum of Art | Pennsylvania State University | University Park, PA
July 12 - September 9, 2007
Heckscher Museum | Huntington, NY
March 31 - June 24, 2007
Longmont Museum & Cultural Center | Longmont, CO
December 9, 2006 - February 4, 2007
Grand Rapids Art Museum | Grand Rapids, M
June 23 - August 27, 2006
Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens | Jacksonville, FL
March 25 - June 4, 2006
Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery | Reading, PA
October 1, 2005 - January 1, 2006
Vero Beach Museum of Art | Vero Beach, FL
April 8 - June 12, 200
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center | Colorado Springs, CO
August 29 - October 24, 2004
Naples Museum of Art | Naples, FL
May 19 - July 31, 2004
CAPTIONS (all work by Ansel Adams)
Self-Portrait, c. 1971, Polaroid SX-70 photograph, 11 x 9 inches
Installation shots from Naples Museum of Art | Naples, FL
Thumbnail: Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite, c. 1967, Polaroid PolaPan 4x5 Land film type 55, 15 x 12 inches
"Homelessness," writes photographer Lewis Baltz in his introduction to Landscapes for the Homeless, "as a contemporary, industrial-scale phenomenon probably began in California in the late sixties when Governor Ronald Reagan closed the state mental institutions and turned the mad loose on the streets (a condition Baudrillard likened to the breaking of a Seal of the Apocalypse). Not really the dangerously mad, just the weak, the helpless, and the incompetent. Even the word homeless, as a noun, is recent."
In the last decade, particularly in temperate Southern California, the presence of an ever-increasing homeless population has become an undeniable fact of social life. Although estimates vary, thousands of homeless men, women, and children reside in the Los Angeles region. In the best tradition of documentary photography, Anthony Hernandez set out to record the hidden dwelling places of this marginalized population, which he found in vacant lots, under freeways, and in scores of abandoned sections of the city. "In Hernandez's photographs," critic Deborah Irmas has written, "it is the way the details are drawn that makes the work so powerful: a safely-stowed plastic shopping bag half-filled with food; a pair of greasy combs and an old jacket; an undulating blanket sprinkled with pepper tree leaves; a still-warm grill, silvered with ash. These objects deliver with aching force the recent or distant presence of human beings, those all-too real people we see each day in Los Angeles and from whom we instinctively turn away."
Hernandez, however, actively resists sensationalizing both the content and its context; his vision, while decidedly unsentimental, remains at once objective and almost crushingly intimate. This successful if precarious hybrid of artistic attitude is due largely to Hernandez's maintenance of a respectful psychological and social distance from the subject matter. "Anthony Hernandez isn't, can't be, and doesn't pretend to be the voice of the homeless," insists Lewis Baltz, "Nor does he spectacularize their condition. His work offers an index of those conditions, or, more exactly, of those conditions that can be seen or photographed." Hernandez's photographs, then, manage to personalize that which is inherently political, and simultaneously to politicize the intensely personal. The result is, finally, the sensitive capture of a disturbing, yet profoundly American zeitgeist, one which speaks to both the fundamental abjectness and the resilience of the human condition.
NUMBER OF WORKS: 32
TOUR DATES: December 1997 - March 2000
PUBLICATION: Exhibition Catalog (DG BANK-Förderpreis Fotograpfie, 1995)
Curated by Mark Rosenthal
In the years since its founding in 1966, Gemini G.E.L. has established itself as one of the most highly regarded and influential printmaking workshops in the country. The Gemini G.E.L. studio in Los Angeles has been at the center of the printmaking renaissance that began in the mid-60s, providing an atmosphere of profound creative and experimental freedom that has led to brilliant collaborations between master printers and prominent artists, and to the development of many new printmaking technologies.
Both Life and Art takes its title from Robert Rauschenberg's well-known statement that he operates in the gap between art and life. Through its long history, Gemini has sought to bridge the gap between art and life by maintaining a working environment famous for its open spirit and uncompromising technical achievements. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Gemini invited many of the well-known artists who had produced works at the workshop to select from the resulting print suites.
The media represented include etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, ceramics, and assemblage. These works display a major panorama of styles: Richard Diebenkorn and Mark di Suvero are from the post-New York School of abstraction; Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Licthenstein, Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz, Claes Oldenburg, and Malcolm Morley represent the shift toward the explicit subject matter associated with the Pop Art movement; Ellsworth Kelly and Richard Serra exemplify the tough expressive potential of minimal abstraction; Kenneth Price bridges the distinction between craft and fine art; and John Baldessari and Jonathan Borofsky epitomize the more recent practice of expressing personal fantasies through media-saturated images.
Both Life and Art, curated by the National Gallery of Art's Mark Rosenthal, offers museum docents, students, and visitors a concise overview of many of the most important art movements and techniques that have emerged over the last several years. "My approach to curating," says Rosenthal, "is to emphasize the experience of the work of art. I try to stand aside and let art do its magic. What is most remarkable about Gemini at 25 is the extraordinary range of work, from the cool, beautiful abstractions of Ellsworth Kelly to the playful quality of Lichtenstein and Oldenburg, to the raucous person art practiced by Jonathan Borofsky. This exhibition is not only a fine cross section of some of the best contemporary work, but it also embodies a major theme in twentieth-century art: the breaking down of traditional categories."
NUMBER OF WORKS: 69
TOUR DATES: February 1994 - December 1996
Curated by Jon Burris
As the second son of Edward Weston, it was predictable that Brett Weston (1911–1993) would become an accomplished photographer after he was removed from school at the age of twelve and taken to live with his father and Tina Modotii in Mexico. At his father’s side, he began making photographs that astonished audiences when they were first exhibited in the 1920s. By the time he was a teenager, he was producing work that rivaled that of his father, and it was assumed that his photographic career would be equally stellar. However, instead of stepping forward to embrace his celebrity and build a public career, the younger Weston chose a quieter life, dedicating himself to a relentlessly individual pursuit of his art. Enormously prolific, he was however, highly selective about what he exhibited during his lifetime. Today, the numerous prints in the care of the Brett Weston Archive from the Christian Keesee Collection represent a lifetime in photography that we are only now beginning to assess.
The first in a series of exhibitions aimed at rediscovering the work of this respected American modernist photographer, Brett Weston in New York is a window into this brilliant artist’s wartime imagery from late 1943 to 1945. Drafted into the United States Army, Weston found himself stationed on Long Island under the command of a sympathetic ex-FSA photographer, Arthur Rothstein, who charged him with photographing New York City. After completing his assignments, Weston was free to explore the city’s endless visual resources on his own, and the photographs made during this fortuitous period remain fresh and revealing documents.
Weston was already an experienced architectural photographer upon his arrival in New York, having created a number of notable panoramas of San Francisco. In New York, he perfected his craft in evocative studies of the rooftops, towers, doorways, fences, streets, and bridges of the bustling metropolis. With his notoriously precisionist style, large-format cameras—the cumbersome 8 x 10 and 11 x 14 view cameras were his tools of choice—and exquisite contact printing method, Weston captured details of city life that went unmentioned in other documentarists’ pictures. In photographs such as Brooklyn Bridge—a ubiquitous subject to be sure—the photographer’s democratic technique captures the specific characteristics of the bridge, along with a whole universe of supporting details that make for an incredibly rich evocation of the urban fabric. Here and there in the photographs are familiar glimpses of classic New York—stationary delivery trucks, chaotic signage, the Chrysler building in the distance beyond jumbled rooftops—but, more importantly, each image displays a formalist’s love of structure, pattern, and form in the city’s often random juxtaposition of architectural styles, textures, and materials.
Brett Weston in New York focuses on an important transitional period for the photographer, a time when he refined and expanded his approach to photography, preparing him for the diverse subjects he would later document in exotic locales around the world.
NUMBER OF WORKS: 76 vintage prints by Weston, one vintage portrait of Weston
TOUR DATES: September 1997 - November 1999
The Bruce Museum | Greenwich, CN
(October 1 - November 19, 1999)
Museum of Photography | Antwerp, Belgium
(September 15 - November 15, 1998)
International Center of Photography | Uptown, New York
(September 19 - November 30, 1997)
CAPTIONS (all works by Brett Weston)
Curated by Graham Howe
Using a Leica and his insider advantage as the close friend and confident of Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart, John Swope (1908-1979) documented Hollywood not as an idealized landscape but as a working town full of struggle, hope, and success. He saw the men and women who make the movies as regular folk, be they Fonda, Stewart or the would-be actors and film grips waiting for their unemployment checks. Hollywood was a town in the very real business of creating the unreal “elsewhere.”
Like Robert Frank's classic view of the disquiet beneath the American post-war prosperity in The Americans, Swope shows us Hollywood's underbelly. His formal agility is akin to that of Frank, albeit in a body of work made about a dozen years earlier. The small camera is used to its greatest advantage in gaining unusual vantage points, taking pictures of unsuspecting subjects and fixing their fleeting expressions all on the fly. He shows cinematographer giant James Wong Howe dwarfed beneath his camera rig, seemingly more at its mercy than of its command. John Barrymore motors by, the celebrity of a Hollywood Shriners parade, only to be shown in Swope’s view as a disembodied carnival clown being wheeled past the public dais. Swope also shows us moments of genuine tenderness. Jimmy Stewart and Olivia de Havilland are supine and napping on the grass in the late day sun, a portable gramophone providing background music to their simple outdoor pleasure. What we see is more like a rehearsal for It's A Wonderful Life than behind-the-scenes Hollywood. Reality is fugitive in this town.
Hollywood sets are seen more from their backside than their façade. An extra sleeps on the grass between takes with his whisky bottle, actors play poker as they wait for the next shoot, an actress washes her laundry in the sink of her tiny apartment. John Swope shows us the Hollywood of labor as well as glamour, the stars and the ever-hopeful. Temporalities and geographies merge into the gritty whole of Hollywood, as the illusions of show business become hopes for success and what is behind the scenes becomes hard living for those in Hollywood.
Heralded as a masterwork of behind-the-scenes documentary, Camera Over Hollywood was first published by Random House in 1939. Its republication is commemorated with the exhibition tour of this important and until recently forgotten body of work.
NUMBER OF WORKS: 63 vintage photographs
TOUR DATES: June 2000 - November 2001
PUBLICATION: Camera Over Hollywood (Art Publishers, 1999)
Santa Barbara Museum of Art | Santa Barbara, CA
(June 10 - August 20, 2000)
Presentation House Gallery | Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
(September 2 - October 28, 2000)
Walter Greer Gallery | Self Family Arts Center | Hilton Head Island, SC
(June 14 - July 21, 2001)
Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenberg County | Charlotte, NC
(July 28 - September 9, 2001)
Fresno Metropolitan Museum | Fresno, CA
(October 4 - November 18, 2001)
Curated by Kerry Oliver-Smith
Organized by the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida
Vaslav Nijinsky (1889–1950) was one of the most celebrated dancer-choreographers of the twentieth century. A legendary performer with Serge de Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and indisputably the greatest male dancer of his era, he choreographed four great ballets—including Debussy’s L’Après-midi d’un Faune and Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps—and worked closely with Cocteau, Ravel, and Bakst.
As no film of Nijinsky’s performances exists, his genius as a dancer is known to the world only through personal accounts by those who saw him perform. Yet Nijinsky’s own words—a series of detailed diaries—provide the best window available onto the artist’s intense, creative spirit. Now that Nijinsky’s complete diaries have been published for the first time in English, his artistry is accessible to a whole new audience.
The Vaslav Nijinsky: God of Dance exhibition is drawn from the Nijinsky Archives. It is the largest single body of artwork by and about Nijinsky, and the only exhibition of its kind ever assembled for tour. Supported by quotes from the diaries, the over 170 objects construct an intimate portrait of both the performer and the man. Included are photographs, drawings, costumes, documents, letters, and personal effects.
Also included is the lesser-known body of works on paper created by Nijinsky from 1918 to 1919, works that reveal many of the aesthetic concerns and motifs reflected in his revolutionary approach to dance. The noted art historian Herbert Read wrote in the preface to the catalogue for the 1937 showing of the work in London, “These drawings have a general characteristic which immediately suggests the fully conscious art of Nijinsky—his ballets. Their rhythm is a dancing rhythm.” These compelling works may also give a glimpse into the debilitating mental illness that ended Nijinsky’s dancing career, necessitating an isolation that only increased Nijinsky’s mystique and reputation as a transcendent “god of dance.”
The Estate of Vaslav Nijinsky is represented by Curatorial Assistance.
NUMBER OF WORKS: 172
TOUR DATES: September 1997 - May 2003
SUPPORT MATERIALS: Publication, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts | New York, NY
(February 13 - May 3, 2003)
Fundacion Bancaja | Valencia, Spain
(July 16 - September 29, 2002)
Philharmonic Center for the Arts | Naples, FL
(January 26 - March 14, 1998)
Charles and Emma Frye Museum | Seattle, WA
(September 26 - November 16, 1997)
This ambitious exhibition presents a chronological survey of the Greenes’ lives and careers over a nearly 90-year period. Representative objects from 30 of the brothers’ commissions, including significant examples from the best-known period of their work between 1906 and 1911, explores important points in the evolution of their unique design vocabulary. In all, the show features approximately 140 objects from the collections of The Huntington, the Gamble House, and other private and institutional lenders. Many of the works on view have never before been seen by the public. Included are examples of beautifully inlaid furniture, artfully executed metalwork, luminous art glass windows and light fixtures, and rare architectural drawings and photographs.
Among the items on display are nearly 15 pieces of furniture from the Robert R. Blacker House (1909) in Pasadena, including the iconic mahogany entry-hall bench and delicately inlaid dining table. Other highlights of the exhibition include the spare and highly modern mahogany hall chair for the William T. Bolton House (1906) in Pasadena, the beautiful early art glass panel for the Jennie A. Reeve House (1904) in Long Beach, and the leaded-glass window for the Carrie Whitworth House (1918) in Altadena, which is an exceptional example of Henry Greene’s work in glass design.
Photographs, drawings, and descriptions of the Greenes’ major architectural works that include the Blacker House as well as the Gamble (1908), Robinson (1906), Tichenor (1905), and Culbertson (1913) houses provide points of departure for interpreting the objects on display. Archival images are complemented by a dedicated education room featuring a video presentation of selected examples of the Greenes’ houses as they appear today. This space also includes a timeline of the architects’ key projects, plus a hands-on display of building materials they used.
Major thematic influences on the Greenes’ work is explored, such as the roles of Japanese architecture, traditional wood joinery, and classical proportion in shaping their own design sensibilities. To this end, the exhibition re-creates an exterior covered corridor of the Arturo Bandini House designed in 1903 but demolished more than four decades ago.
“The Greene brothers created a new paradigm in the American Arts and Crafts movement,” says Edward R. Bosley, James N. Gamble Director of the Gamble House and a co-curator of the exhibition. “They inspired their clients to go the extra mile to create a rarefied stratum of architecture.”
As did their contemporary Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Henry Greene believed architecture to be no less than a design language for life, imbuing their houses and furnishings with an expressive sensitivity for geography, climate, landscape, and lifestyle.
“The Greenes were looking for ways to build in this environment that made sense to them,” says Gamble House curator Anne Mallek, who is co-curating the exhibition with Bosley. “This environment” was their new home of Pasadena, to which they came in 1893 after being raised in the Midwest and attending the Manual Training School in St. Louis and MIT in Boston. Newly founded, Pasadena was a sophisticated town that had become the state’s preeminent resort for tourists from the East. The brothers established their practice and soon were designing homes for wealthy clients, many of them transplants from the Midwest like the Greenes.
NUMBER OF WORKS: 160
TOUR DATES: October 2008 - February 2010
The Museum of Fine Arts | Boston, MA
(July 14 - October 18, 2009)
The Renwick Gallery | The Smithsonian American Art Museum | Washington, D.C.
(March 13 - June 7, 2009)
The Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery | San Marino, CA
(October 18, 2008 - January 26, 2009)
CAPTIONS (all works by Green & Greene)
South elevation, 1908
Entry-hall mirror, 1909
Steve Yates, Curator
The experimentation of Alexander Rodchenko (1891—1956) stands as one of the most innovative efforts in establishing the visual language of modern art through photographic expression in the early 20th century. From Russia’s political October Revolution in 1917, Rodchenko sought to create a corresponding artistic landmark, believing that new ideologies demand new artistic forms for a modern culture. By late 1923, he began to abandon easel painting and sculpture, substituting the camera as the primary imager-making tool for the modern artist. For Rodchenko it enabled “contradiction of perspective, Contrasts in light. Contrasts of form…moments altogether new” for the visual arts. In establishing the revolutionary and influential style of Constructivism, his avant-garde experiments and theories became central to Modernist discourse, along with other proto-Modernist, such as László Maholy-Nagy, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Pierre Dubreuil, Man Ray, Paul Strand, Charles Sheeler, El Lissitzky, Bernard Shea Horne, E. O. Hoppé, and Edward Weston.
Rodchenko: Modern Photography, Photomontage, and Film makes it clear that Rodchenko’s contribution to photomontage, cinema, and photography continue to be artistically relevant through their unique ability to maximize the graphic impact of all visual experience. Everyday scenes are viewed with dynamic perspectives and viewpoints that utilize abstraction, not to suppress the meanings of reality, but rather to instill life with new possibilities. Original photographic publications and cinematic montages created with avant-garde artists and literary figures, such as filmmaker Dziga Vertov, share this unprecedented exploration of graphic design united with form and line.
The exhibition includes portraits by Rodchencko of his contemporaries during the unparalleled years of Russian avant-garde. Included are portraits of the artist, his wife Varvara Stepanova, their daughter, leading poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, critic Osip Brik, Cubist-Futurist painter Liubov Popova, and many others who significantly shape the history of Modernism.
Because of his desire to integrate art into modern culture, Rodchenko employed nontraditional approaches to tradition mediums and thus realized a modern vision in both graphic and photographic art. His efforts to embody art and life through inventive forms were an impetus against the growing oppression of communist ideology that would eventually extinguish the avant-garde. His modern contributions continue to provide an engaging paradigm for the discussion of artistic innovation and idealism in the history of photography and art. Despite Constructivism’s claim of using the intellect with vision, rather than the soul, as the new motivation of art, Rodchenko’s passion and dedication cannot help but be felt in the visually stunning and formally dynamic artworks selected for this exhibition.
NUMBER OF WORKS: 80
TOUR DATES: November 2001 - March 2003
Haute couture found its way into the theatre in 1924, when Sergej Pavlovich Diaghilev (1872-1929) invited Coco Chanel to design the costumes for Le Train Bleu, a new ballet for the legendary Ballets Russes company, based on an ironic story conceived by Cocteau depicting the seaside escapades of upper class Parisians holidaying on the Côte d'Azur; the stage design was by Picasso.
During the twentieth century Italian fashion was also involved in theatre. From the early eighties onwards the most prestigious opera and ballet companies collaborated with the great Italian stylists: Armani, Balestra, Capucci, Coveri, Fendi, Ferretti, Gigli, Marras, Missoni, Prada, Ungaro, Valentino and Versace.
Through sketches, drawings, costume designs and videos of performances, this exhibition examines one of the most glamorous moments of modern international theatre, thus bringing together for the first time the theatrical output of some of the greatest contemporary designers.