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.
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.
"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.
Over the past three decades, the art of Cuba has had a remarkable impact on emerging global contemporary art. Drawing on a variety of experimental, conceptual, and postmodern strategies, contemporary Cuban artists have challenged accepted artistic and political discourse not only in their own society but in the international arena, reversing conventional art-world notions of “center” and “periphery” and embodying a provocative, ironic, and omnivorously critical approach.
Cuba Avant-Garde encompasses the full scope of contemporary Cuban art beginning with the crucial period of the early 1980s, which saw the resurgence in artistic production and political openness that marked the birth of “New Cuban Art.”
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.
Widely regarded as Japan’s greatest living photographer, Eikoh Hosoe explores the strata of the human subconscious through a powerfully evocative use of visual metaphor. META, a retrospective exhibition spanning three decades, presents ten different chapters of Hosoe’s innovative work, charting his remarkable evolution as an artist whose iconoclastic images have consistently questioned the identity of the individual in Japanese society.
“I have some pictures tonight, and will have more tomorrow…”
—Walker Evans, from a handwritten note to Ernest Hemingway
These cryptic words, from Evans, the great American photographer, to Hemingway, the great American writer, are part of a mystery that is only now coming to light. A friendship between Evans and Hemingway began in Havana in May 1933. The three weeks they spent together in Cuba left a lasting imprint on both men. The events they witnessed, the political upheaval they observed, and their numerous late-night discussions persuasively affected both of their sensibilities and powers of observation for the rest of their lives.
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.
Curated by Linda Benedict-Jones and Barbara Hitchcock
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), andMoon 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.
Edward Weston: Life Work is a 99-image survey of this great American artist, containing an outstanding grouping of vintage prints from all phases of Weston’s five-decade career. Previously unpublished masterpieces are interspersed with well-known signature images. A striking 1909 outdoor Pictorialist study of his wife Flora is perhaps Weston's first nude. A 1907 landscape features a cow skull in the Mojave desert and presages by thirty years his later interest in death in the desert. A smoky view of the Chicago River harbor, from 1916, pays homage to Coburn and Stieglitz, and anticipates the urban modernism famously captured by Armco Steel, Ohio, 1922, which marked Weston’s final break from the confines of Pictorialism and studio work, and the emergence of a sharply focused style.
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.”
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.
From 1920 to 1924, George Bellows (1882–1925) and his family spent a part of every year in Woodstock, New York, where he was inspired by the mountains, lakes, and fields surrounding the tiny village that was fast becoming a center for landscape artists. Bellows ventured out regularly to paint the local scenery, often doing sketches that he took back to New York with him in the winter to use as studies for finished paintings. Woodstock interiors appear as backdrops for well-known portraits of his family and friends. Photographs of the period show the Bellows family at the center of activities, including the annual bohemian Maverick Festival. Here he found the perfect combination of nature and neighborhood that imbued his work with the maturity and vision that characterize his final five years.
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.
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.
Steve Yates, Curator
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.
From the horrific purges of the Stalin era to the time before glasnost when failure to conform could result in loss of employment or imprisonment, Soviet artists have had to struggle at great risk to maintain aesthetic and intellectual freedom. The sweeping cultural reforms presided over by Gorbachev brought an end to decades of censorship, and new intellectual freedoms allowed scholars in and outside of Russia to begin to trace the outlines of a broad category of artistic production known today as nonconformist art. Roughly bounded by the reforms following the death of Stalin in the mid-1950s and a landmark sale at Sotheby’s on July 7, 1988, this period encompasses a vast range of media, styles, and concerns.
In 1954, world-renowned Surrealist painter Salvador Dali (1904–1989) and Philippe Halsman (1906–1979), one of the leading portrait photographers of his time, published Dali’s Mustache, a witty and often absurd verbal and photographic exchange between two friends. A scarce cult classic since its original publication, the book was recently reprinted by Flammarion in Paris. Now, organized by the Philippe Halsman Archive in association with Curatorial Assistance, a touring exhibition of Halsman’s original photographs for Dali’s Mustache is available for tour. The exhibition, which includes 32 works, demonstrates the inventiveness and humor that made Halsman one of the most successful celebrity photographers during and after the Second World War.
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.”
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.
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.
Czechoslovakia’s 1989 Velvet Revolution brought an end to four decades of Communist rule, attracting a flood of tourists from around the world—7 million in 1996—and sparking renewed interest in the country’s rich cultural heritage. Closer to Paris than to Moscow, the city of Prague and the people of the Czech lands share Western religious and cultural traditions. That tradition was first broken by Nazi domination in 1938, and then by the imposition of Communist rule in 1948. But in the early years of the century and between the wars, Czech artists were passionate participants and innovators in the movements that transformed the art of the Western world.