The Museum Of Modern Art To Present Its First Solo Exhibition Of The Artist Betye Saar And Her Iconic Work Black Girl’s Window

The Museum of Modern Art announces Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window, an in-depth solo exhibition exploring the deep ties between the artist’s iconic autobiographical assemblage Black Girl’s Window (1969) and her rare, early prints, made during the 1960s. On view from October 21, 2019, through January 4, 2020,

Betye Saar at her Laurel Canyon Studio, Los Angeles, California, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California. Photo David Sprague

Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window is drawn almost entirely from the Museum’s collection, and highlights the recent acquisition of 42 works on paper that provide an overview of Saar’s sophisticated, experimental print practice. The exhibition engages with the themes of family, history, and mysticism, which have been at the core of Saar’s work from its earliest days, and traces a link from her printmaking to the assemblages for which she is best known today.

Betye Saar. Black Girl’s Window. 1969. Wooden window frame with paint, cut-and-pasted printed and painted papers, daguerreotype, lenticular print, and plastic figurine, 35 3/4 × 18 × 1 1/2″ (90.8 × 45.7 × 3.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Candace King Weir through The Modern Women’s Fund, and Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds. © 2019 Betye Saar, courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Photo by Rob Gerhardt

Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window is organized by Christophe Cherix, The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator, and Esther Adler, Associate Curator, with Ana Torok, Curatorial Assistant, and Nectar Knuckles, Curatorial Fellow, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art. Saar’s Black Girl’s Window (1969), one of her best known works, is at the heart of this exhibition, which provides an opportunity for a close examination of its myriad details and references. The work also serves as a guide to the larger installation, its signature themes explored through other works that reflect the artist’s lifelong muses, including her three daughters, and a range of astrological and mystical symbols. New research into the construction and materials used to create Black Girl’s Window allows for a direct link to be made between Saar’s prints in the Museum’s collection and the assemblage itself. Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window is also the first dedicated examination of Saar’s work as a printmaker, demonstrating how her interest in found objects and assemblage appears even in her early works on paper through her experimental practice.

Betye Saar. Lo, The Mystique City. 1965. Etching with embossing, image: 18 1/2 × 19 13/16″ (47 × 50.4 cm); sheet: 19 13/16 × 22 15/16″ (50.3 × 58.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Candace King Weir Endowment for Women Artists. © 2019 Betye Saar, courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Photo by Rob Gerhardt
Betye Saar. To Catch a Unicorn. 1960. Etching and aquatint with watercolor additions plate: 14 3/4 × 8″ (37.5 × 20.3 cm); sheet: 16 3/4 × 9 7/16″ (42.6 × 24 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Candace King Weir Endowment for Women Artists. © 2019 Betye Saar, courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Photo by Rob Gerhardt

A major figure in postwar art, Betye Saar (b. 1926) has lived and worked in Los Angeles her entire life, and is part of a generation of artists who pursued assemblage there during the 1960s and ’70s, which also included Edward Kienholz, John Outterbridge, and Noah Purifoy. Although best known for sculptures made from found materials, particularly those that challenge derogatory stereotypes of African Americans, Saar’s earliest independent works are prints. Working in a range of techniques, including intaglio and lithography, she created works on paper that reveal a comfort with experimentation and an early interest in incorporating physical traces of the world within her art. The Museum now has the largest public collection of Saar’s printed work, which remains largely unknown even to those familiar with her oeuvre. The prints will be juxtaposed in the exhibition with Black Girl’s Window and a number of other early window assemblages.

Betye Saar. Anticipation. 1961. Screenprint, image: 18 1/8 × 14 7/16″ (46.1 × 36.7 cm); sheet: 21 11/16 × 16 15/16″ (55.1 × 43.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Candace King Weir Endowment for Women Artists. © 2019 Betye Saar, courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Photo by Rob Gerhardt

The exhibition will be accompanied by the catalogue Betye Saar: Black Girl’s Window, authored by Cherix and Adler, which situates this iconic work within Saar’s early career, and provides a link with the decades of work that follow it.

Michele Mattei. Betye Saar. 2012. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York. © Michele Mattei. © 2019 Betye Saar, courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles

SPONSORSHIP:

Major support of the exhibition is provided by The Modern Women’s Fund.

Generous funding is provided by the Alice L. Walton Foundation and the Robert Lehman Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art. MoMA Audio is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Leadership contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund, in support of the Museum’s collection and collection exhibitions, are generously provided by the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, Eva and Glenn Dubin, The Sandra and Tony Tamer Exhibition Fund, Alice and Tom Tisch, The David Rockefeller Council, The Contemporary Arts Council, Anne Dias, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Kenneth C. Griffin, The Keith Haring Foundation, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, and Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro.

Major contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund are provided by the Estate of Ralph L. Riehle, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, The Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, Clarissa Alcock and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Agnes Gund, and Oya and Bülent Eczacıbaşı.

The Museum Of Modern Art Announces The First Major Dorothea Lange Solo Exhibition At Moma In 50 Years

The Museum of Modern Art announces Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, the first major solo exhibition at the Museum of the photographer’s incisive work in over 50 years. On view from February 9 through May 2, 2020, in The Paul J. Sachs Galleries in The David and Peggy Rockefeller Building,

Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures includes approximately 100 photographs drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection. The exhibition also uses archival materials such as correspondence, historical publications, and oral histories, as well as contemporary voices, to examine the ways in which words inflect our understanding of Lange’s pictures. These new perspectives and responses from artists, scholars, critics, and writers, including Julie Ault, Wendy Red Star, and Rebecca Solnit, provide fresh insight into Lange’s practice. Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures is organized by Sarah Meister, Curator, with River Bullock, Beaumont & Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow, assisted by Madeline Weisburg, Modern Women’s Fund Twelve-Month Intern, Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art.

Dorothea Lange. Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California. 1936. Gelatin silver print, 11 1/8 x 8 9/16″ (28.3 x 21.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase

Toward the end of her life, Dorothea Lange (1895–1965) remarked, “All photographs—not only those that are so-called ‘documentary,’ and every photograph really is documentary and belongs in some place, has a place in history—can be fortified by words.”

Dorothea Lange. Tractored Out, Childress County, Texas. 1938. Gelatin silver print. 9 5/16 x 12 13/16″ (23.6 x 32.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase

Organized loosely chronologically and spanning her career, the exhibition groups iconic works together with lesser known photographs and traces their varied relationships to words: from early criticism on Lange’s photographs to her photo-essays published in LIFE magazine, and from the landmark photobook An American Exodus to her examination of the US criminal justice system. The exhibition also includes groundbreaking photographs of the 1930s—including Migrant Mother (1936)—that inspired pivotal public awareness of the lives of sharecroppers, displaced families, and migrant workers during the Great Depression. Through her photography and her words, Lange urged photographers to reconnect with the world—a call reflective of her own ethos and working method, which coupled an attention to aesthetics with a central concern for humanity.

Dorothea Lange. The Defendant, Alameda County Courthouse, California. 1957. Gelatin silver print. 12 3/8 x 10 1/8″ (31.4 x 25.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase

It seems both timely and urgent that we renew our attention to Lange’s extraordinary achievements,” said Meister. “Her concern for less fortunate and often overlooked individuals, and her success in using photography (and words) to address these inequities, encourages each of us to reflect on our own civic responsibilities. It reminds me of the unique role that art—and in particular photography—can play in imagining a more just society.

The exhibition begins in 1933, when Lange, then a portrait photographer, first brought her camera outside into the streets of San Francisco. Lange’s increasing interest in the everyday experience of people she encountered eventually led her to work for government agencies, 2 supporting their objective to raise public awareness and to provide aid to struggling farmers and those devastated by the Great Depression. During this time, Lange photographed her subjects and kept notes that formed the backbone of government reports; these and other archival materials will be represented alongside corresponding photographs throughout the exhibition. Lange’s commitment to social justice and her faith in the power of photography remained constant throughout her life, even when her politics did not align with those who were paying for her work.

A central focus of the exhibition is An American Exodus, a 1939 collaboration between Lange and Paul Schuster Taylor, her husband and an agricultural economist. As an object and as an idea, An American Exodus highlights the voices of her subjects by pairing first-person quotations alongside their pictures. Later, Lange’s photographs continued to be useful in addressing marginalized histories and ongoing social concerns. Throughout her career as a photographer for the US Government and various popular magazines, Lange’s pictures were frequently syndicated and circulated outside of their original context. Lange’s photographs of the 1930s helped illustrate Richard Wright’s 12 Million Black Voices (1941), and her 1950s photographs of a public defender were used to illustrate Minimizing Racism in Jury Trials (1969), a law handbook published after Black Panther Huey P. Newton’s first trial during a time of great racial strife.

This collection-based exhibition would not be possible had it not been for Lange’s deep creative ties to the Museum during her lifetime. MoMA’s collection of Lange photographs was built over many decades and remains one of the definitive collections of her work. Her relationship to MoMA’s Department of Photography dates to her inclusion in its inaugural exhibition, in 1940 which was curated by the department’s director, Edward Steichen. Lange is a rare artist in that both Steichen and his successor, John Szarkowski, held her in equally high esteem. More than a generation after her first retrospective, organized by Szarkowski at MoMA in 1966, Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures uses both historical and contemporary words to encourage a more nuanced understanding of words and pictures in circulation.

The exhibition is accompanied by the catalogue Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, capturing this renewed consideration of Lange’s work through the particular lens of its relationship to words. Contributors to the exhibition and the catalogue include artists and curators Julie Ault, Sam Contis (in collaboration with Tess Taylor), Sandy Phillips, Wendy Red Star, and Sally Mann; scholars and writers Kimberly Juanita Brown, Jennifer Greenhill, Christina Sharpe, Robert Slifkin, and Rebecca Solnit.

The exhibition is supported by the Annual Exhibition Fund.

J.Jill Launches Inclusive Capsule Collection in Collaboration With Designer Christian Siriano

The nationally recognized women’s apparel brand has partnered with designer Christian Siriano on a series of capsule collections focused on age and size diversity

J.Jill, Inc. announced the brand’s first ever design collaboration with CFDA designer Christian Siriano on a series of capsule collections, the first launched on September 12 in stores and on JJill.com. A vocal advocate for body and age inclusivity in fashion, Siriano’s first capsule collection includes an array of elevated style essentials and extra-special pieces that are perfect for fall. Sharing J.Jill’s philosophy that style is for every size and shape, each piece in the collection is available in a wide range of sizing, including XS–4XL or 0–28 as well as Petite and Tall categories.

J.Jill Logo

Christian Siriano is one of today’s most influential fashion designers and a celebrity red-carpet favorite,” said Linda Heasley, President and CEO of J.Jill. “Christian is known for his design inclusivity and, like J.Jill, believes that style is for everyone. He’s a natural collaborator for us.”

The September capsule drop includes a white shirt collection featuring the classic staple in various iterations available in-store and on JJill.com. Launching exclusively on JJill.com, the rest of the September collection includes dresses with elevated design elements such as flared sleeves, waist-conscious silhouettes, draping detail, as well as a chic, nature-inspired print. Other key pieces in the collection include a teal tie-waist puffer jacket, a faux-suede skirt and a shawl lapelled blazer with zipper detailing that can be taken from day to night.

Christian Siriano with Candice Huffine, Maye Musk and Marquita Pring wearing the first Christian Siriano for J.Jill Collection. (Photo: Business Wire)

J.Jill is a brand that designs for all women, and that’s been a part of my ethos as a designer since the very beginning,” said Siriano. “I think fashion is something we all should have a piece of. It’s celebrating people and this idea of beauty. And what’s beautiful? For me, it’s all different types of women—shapes, sizes and ages.”

A key element of the brand’s values and a focus of Christian Siriano’s first collection is the J.Jill Compassion Fund Tee. Designed with a simple, yet powerful message: Kindness is strength, 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of the tee shirt will benefit the J.Jill Compassion Fund. Since its inception, the J.Jill Compassion Fund has given more than $17 million in grants and in-kind donations to community-based organizations across the country that support and empower women to move forward faster and establish a better life for themselves, their children and their families.

Available November 6, the Christian Siriano for J.Jill Holiday Collection features model ambassadors Candice Huffine, Maye Musk and Marquita Pring, who were selected for their commitment to women’s empowerment as well as body and age positivity, which is core to the mission of the J.Jill brand. The holiday collection includes beautiful winter-inspired design elements and glamourous touches to make dressing for a special occasion feel easy, yet memorable. The multimedia holiday campaign will live on JJill.com, in the brand’s holiday catalog, in stores, as well as on social media platforms.

The Museum Of Modern Art Announces Sur Moderno: Journeys Of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps De Cisneros Gift

Major Exhibition at the Opening of New MoMA Will Display Over 100 Important Works by Latin American Artists

The Museum of Modern Art announces Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction―The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, a major exhibition drawn primarily from the paintings, sculptures, and works on paper donated to the Museum by the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros between 1997 and 2016.

Since its founding in 1929, The Museum of Modern Art has collected, exhibited, and studied the art of Latin America. Today, MoMA’s collection includes more than 5,000 works of modern and contemporary art by artists from Latin America distributed across its six curatorial departments, representing important figures in early modernism, Expressionism, Surrealism, abstraction, architecture, and Conceptual and contemporary art.

Alfredo Hlito (Argentine, 1923–1993). Ritmos cromáticos III (Chromatic Rhythms III), 1949. Oil on canvas, 39 3/8 × 39 3/8″ (100 × 100 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund

On view from October 21, 2019, through March 14, 2020, Sur moderno celebrates the arrival of the most important collection of abstract and concrete art from Latin America by dedicating an entire suite of galleries on the Museum’s third floor to the display of artists from Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, and Uruguay.

Lygia Clark (Brazilian, 1920–1988). Contra relevo no. 1 (Counter Relief no. 1). 1958. Synthetic polymer paint on wood, 55 1/2 × 55 1/2 × 1 5/16″ (141 × 141 × 3.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund. Courtesy of “The World of Lygia Clark” Cultural Association

The exhibition highlights the work of Lygia Clark, Gego, Raúl Lozza, Hélio Oiticica, Jesús Rafael Soto, and Rhod Rothfuss, among others, focusing on the concept of transformation: a radical reinvention of the art object and a renewal of the social environment through art and design. The exhibition is also anchored by a selection of archival materials that situate the works within their local contexts. Sur moderno is organized by Inés Katzenstein, Curator of Latin American Art and Director of the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America, The Museum of Modern Art, and consulting curator María Amalia García, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)–Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Argentina, with Karen Grimson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art.

María Freire (Uruguayan, 1917–2015). Untitled. 1954. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 × 48 1/16″ (92 × 122 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund in honor of Gabriel Pérez‑Barreiro

The exhibition is divided into two main sections based on the concept of transformation. The first section, “Artworks as Artifacts, Artworks as Manifestos,” presents a group of works that subverted the conventional formats of painting and sculpture. Cuts, folds, articulated objects, cut-out frames, and experiments that question the autonomy of the art object are some examples of these artists’ material explorations. One of the first works visitors encounter in the exhibition, Willys de Castro’s Active Object (1961), fuses the materiality of painting with the principles of free-standing sculpture, inviting the viewer to circle around a painted canvas. Another work in this section, Gyula Kosice’s Articulated Mobile Sculpture (1948), questions the grounds of traditional sculpture by combining strips of brass to create a movable structure that defies classification.

Hélio Oiticica (Brazilian, 1937–1980). Relevo neoconcreto (Neoconcrete Relief) 1960. Oil on wood, 37 7/8 × 51 1/4″ (96 × 130 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in honor of Gary Garrels. © Projeto Hélio Oiticica

The exhibition’s inclusion of Spatial Construction no. 12 (c. 1920) by Aleksandr Rodchenko highlights the influence of Russian Constructivism on South American art. Similarly, images of Piet Mondrian’s works were widely circulated and had a great impact on the development of abstraction in the region. His Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942–43), on view in the exhibition, inspired investigations of kineticism among artists such as Jesús Rafael Soto, whose Double Transparency (1956) is an attempt to transform the two-dimensionality of Mondrian’s painting into a three-dimensional experience.

Lygia Pape (Brazilian, 1927–2004). Untitled. 1956. Acrylic on wood, 13 3/4 × 13 3/4 × 3 1/8″ (35 × 35 × 8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund in honor of Sharon Rockefeller. Courtesy of Projeto Lygia Pape

In the second section, “Modern as Abstract,” the language of abstraction is displayed as both a product of and a catalyst for the transformation of the artists’ surroundings. The geometrical principles of abstract painting carried over into the everyday, where artists and architects recognized one another as allies, leading to a shared operation and set of ideals. Here, María Freire’s Untitled (1954), for example, is displayed alongside archival materials and works from MoMA’s Architecture and Design collection, in an exploration of public sculptural projects and furniture design.

The final part of the exhibition is dedicated to the grid, one of modern art’s central motifs of experimentation. Gego’s Square Reticularea 71/6 (1971) and Hélio Oiticica’s Painting 9 (1959) are two examples of works in the exhibition that approached the transformation and expansion of the rational grid in different ways. Oiticica disrupted the strict geometric system with his rhythmically arranged rectangles, while Gego warps and deconstructs the reticular structure.

Over the last 25 years, the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros has donated more than 200 works by Latin American artists to The Museum of Modern Art. In addition to those generous donations, in 2016 the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros established the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America at MoMA. The Institute’s programming includes fellowships for scholars, curators and artists, and an extended research initiative that contributes to a series of public programs hosted by the Museum, as well as symposia in Latin America, and publications in digital and printed format.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, with contributions from such prominent scholars in the field as María Amalia García, Irene V. Small, and Mónica Amor. The volume also includes a conversation between Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry, and a dialogue between Inés Katzenstein, the Museum’s current curator of Latin American art, and Luis Pérez-Oramas, who, in addition to serving as MoMA’s Latin American art curator between 2003 and 2017, was one of the principal curators involved in the development of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.

SPONSORSHIP:

Generous funding for the exhibition is provided by Agnes Gund.

Additional support is provided by Adriana Cisneros de Griffin and Nicholas Griffin.

Leadership contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund, in support of the Museum’s collection and collection exhibitions, are generously provided by the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, 3 Eva and Glenn Dubin, The Sandra and Tony Tamer Exhibition Fund, Alice and Tom Tisch, The David Rockefeller Council, The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Anne Dias, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Kenneth C. Griffin, The Keith Haring Foundation, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, and Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro.

Major contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund are provided by the Estate of Ralph L. Riehle, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, The Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, Clarissa Alcock and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Agnes Gund, and Oya and Bülent Eczacıbaşı.