The Art Institute of Chicago announced this week the acquisition of an extraordinary memorial window, attributed to Agnes F. Northrop and made by Tiffany Studios in 1917. Originally commissioned for the Central Baptist Church (now known as Community Church of Providence) as the gift of Mary L. Hartwell in memory of her husband, Frederick W. Hartwell, the window is a pinnacle achievement in the medium of stained glass.
Art Institute President and Eloise W. Martin Director James Rondeau shared: “It is with great pride we welcome this transformative work of art into the collection, an object that demonstrates the highest level of achievement in American glass production and exemplifies our ongoing commitment to excellence. Tiffany Studios became synonymous with radiant materials and technical brilliance, and this monumental work of stained glass by the firm is an unparalleled example of beauty, ingenuity, and universality. Prominently installed in our galleries, with the rich architectural history of Chicago as a stunning backdrop, this singular work will certainly inspire visitors and undoubtedly has the power to become one of the museum’s icons.”
The design of the window is attributed to Agnes F. Northrop, the firm’s leading landscape window designer. At twenty-three feet high by sixteen feet wide, and made up of 48 different panels, the scene depicts a distant view of Mount Chocorua, one of the most beloved peaks of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Numerous landscape painters including Thomas Cole and John F. Kensett memorialized the mountain as a powerful symbol of the American landscape. In its scale, intricacy of design, and complexity of glasswork, it is one of the largest and most ambitious landscape window projects ever undertaken by Tiffany Studios.
This majestic window had been housed in the sanctuary of the Community Church of Providence. Speaking on behalf of the church, Pastor Evan Howard noted: “Our congregation decided to find a new home for the window where it could be experienced by a broad public audience that includes scholars, artists, and visitors from around the world. The church approached a number of different museums and ultimately selected the Art Institute of Chicago as the ideal institution to care for and display the window.” Added Pastor Howard, “We are extremely pleased that this exceptional work of art has entered such a renowned collection.”
Sarah Kelly Oehler, Field–McCormick Chair and Curator of American Art stated: “Landscape windows are rare within the overall production of Tiffany Studios, and the opportunity to acquire such a superlative example of Tiffany glass is one that will likely never be repeated. The Art Institute has a strong commitment to collecting the work of women artists, and we are especially thrilled to showcase Agnes Northrop, whose vision truly shaped the aesthetic of Tiffany Studios. This acquisition positions the museum as a leading institution for visitors to experience the artistry and vitality of stained glass as it joins other works in the medium, especially the iconic America Windows by Marc Chagall. We are thrilled to be the stewards of this remarkable and deeply resonant work of art for future generations.”
The window is currently undergoing conservation treatment at the Art Institute of Chicago. It will be installed this fall in the Henry Crown Gallery at the top of the Woman’s Board Grand Staircase. Located near the Michigan Avenue entrance, it will welcome visitors as they begin their journey through the museum.
The Walker Arts Center continues to flesh out what is considerably a very dynamic exhibition schedule for the next two years. Additions to the Walker Art Center’s 2020–2021 exhibition schedule include two new solo exhibitions by female artists, Faye Driscoll: Thank You for Coming(February 27–June 14, 2020) and Candice Lin(April 17–August 29, 2021) as well as a Walker collection show of women artists, Don’t let this be easy(July 16–March 14, 2021). For her first solo museum exhibition, Faye Driscoll incorporates a guided audio soundtrack, moving image works, and props to look back across the entirety of her trilogy of performances Thank You For Coming—Attendance(2014), Play(2016), and Space(2019)—works that were presented and co-commissioned by the Walker and subsequently toured around the world over the past six years. Another newly added exhibition, Candice Lin, is the first US museum solo show by the artist, co-organized by the Walker Art Center and the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts (CCVA). Lin is creating a site-specific installation that responds to the space of the gallery at each institution, allowing the shape of the work to evolve over the course of its presentation.
The Walker-organized exhibition Don’t let this be easy highlights the diverse and experimental practices of women artists spanning some 50 years through a selection of paintings, sculptures, moving image works, artists’ books, and materials from the archives.
The initiative is presented in conjunction with the Feminist Art Coalition (FAC), a nationwide effort involving more than 60 museums committed to social justice and structural change.
Other upcoming exhibitions include An Art Of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960–2018 (February 16–September 20, 2020), a survey of six decades of Johns’ work in printmaking drawn from the Walker’s complete collection of the artists’ prints including intaglio, lithography, woodcut, linoleum cut, screenprinting, lead relief, and blind embossing; The Paradox of Stillness: Art, Object, and Performance (formerly titiled Still and Yet) (April 18–July 26, 2020), is an exhibition that rethinks the history of performance featuring artists whose works include performative elements but also embrace acts, objects, and gestures that refer more to the inert qualities of traditional painting or sculpture than to true staged action.
Additional exhibitions include Michaela Eichwald’s (June 13–November 8, 2020) first US solo museum presentation, bringing together painting, sculpture, and collage from across the past 10 years of her practice; Designs for Different Futures (September 12, 2020 – January 3, 2021)—a collaborative group show co-organized by the Walker Art Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago—brings together about 80 dynamic works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may encounter in the years, decades, and centuries to come; Rayyane Tabet(December 10, 2020– April 18, 2021), a solo show by the Beirut-based multidisciplinary artist featuring a new installation for the Walker that begins with a time capsule discovered on the site of what was once an IBM manufacturing facility in Rochester, Minnesota.
AN ART OF CHANGES: JASPER JOHNS PRINTS, 1960–2018, February 16–September 20, 2020
When Jasper Johns’s paintings of flags and targets debuted in 1958, they brought him instant acclaim and established him as a critical link between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. In the ensuing 60 years, Johns (US, b. 1930) has continued to astonish viewers with the beauty and complexity of his paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints. Today, he is considered one of the 20th century’s greatest American artists.
In celebration of the artist’s 90th birthday, An Art of Changes surveys six decades of Johns’s work in printmaking, highlighting his experiments with familiar, abstract, and personal imagery that play with memory and visual perception in endlessly original ways. The exhibition features some 90 works in intaglio, lithography, woodcut, linoleum cut, screenprinting, and lead relief—all drawn from the Walker’s comprehensive collection of the artist’s prints.
Organized in four thematic sections, the show follows Johns through the years as he revises and recycles key motifs over time, including the American flag, numerals, and the English alphabet, which he describes as “things the mind already knows.” Some works explore artists’ tools, materials, and techniques. Others explore signature aspects of the artist’s distinctive mark-making, including flagstones and hatch marks, while later pieces teem with autobiographical imagery. To underscore Johns’s fascination with the changes that occur when an image is reworked in another medium, the prints will be augmented by a small selection of paintings and sculptures.
Curator: Joan Rothfuss, guest curator, Visual Arts.
Exhibition Tour Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh: October 12, 2019–January 20, 2020 Walker Art Center, Minneapolis: February 16–September 20, 2020 Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan: October 24, 2020–January 24, 2021 Tampa Art Museum, Florida: April 28–September 6, 2021
Highlighting one of the most important gifts in the history of the Prints and Drawings department at the Art Institue of Chicago, Pure Drawing: Seven Centuries of Art from the Gray Collection brings together more than 100 works from celebrated art dealer Richard Gray and art historian Mary L. Gray. Assembled over nearly 50 years, the Gray Collection encapsulates a long and distinguished history of artmaking dedicated to the medium of drawing. From January 25 to May 10, 2020, Pure Drawing documents that endeavor, showcasing one of the most immediate, exploratory, and intimate of art forms.
Showcasing one of the finest private collections of its kind, Pure Drawing traverses 700 years of artists’ myriad attempts to understand, reflect, and interpret the world through drawing.
Prominent Chicago gallery owner Richard Gray and his wife Mary L. Gray were longtime benefactors and supporters of the city’s cultural institutions. Motivated by their deep sense of civic responsibility and longstanding relationship with the Art Institute of Chicago, they have given 91 works from the collection to the museum. The exhibition Pure Drawing celebrates their extraordinary legacy. With a deep and sustained interest in the variety of ways artists put pen or pencil to paper, the Grays built a collection that is exceptional in both quality and breadth. Focused on key periods and places—fifteenth to eighteenth-century Italy; seventeenth to twentieth-century France; seventeenth-century Holland; and twentieth and twenty-first century America—they sought out works defined by excellence and boldness of execution. The most celebrated names appear throughout: Peter Paul Rubens, François Boucher, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Canaletto, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock.
Extending from Renaissance drawings to works of art brut and beyond, Pure Drawing encompasses the richness of drawing techniques and media in the Western tradition, from black and red chalk, graphite, conté crayon, wash, and pastels to charcoal, watercolor, collage, and pen and ink. Although landscapes, still lifes, and the occasional abstraction are to be found in their collection, the Grays gave prominence to one of the great subjects in Western art: the human figure. A few examples give a sense of the scope of the exhibition. Tiepolo’s masterly red-and-white chalk drawing on Venetian blue laid paper, The Head of a Young Man in Profile to the Left (1749/50), conveys an immediacy of expression and empathetic rapport that suggest drawing from life. Jacques-Louis David’s Nude Soldiers Gesticulating with Their Weapons (1796/97) is a powerfully executed preparatory work for his iconic painting The Intervention of the Sabine Women (1799). Edgar Degas’s Study for a Portrait of Monsieur and Madame Louis Rouart (1904) evidences the artist’s relentless experimentation with the medium of pastel. Picasso’s Man with a Clarinet (1911) represents the consummation of Analytical Cubism, pulling apart and reassembling the figure in order to capture its totality.
“Richard and Mary’s unerring eye for drawings of extraordinary quality was legendary, and they demonstrated over and over again a level of collecting sophistication rarely matched,” said Kevin Salatino, Anne Vogt Fuller and Marion Titus Searle Chair and Curator of Prints and Drawings, and co-curator of the exhibition. “The importance of their gift to the Art Institute cannot be exaggerated, and reflects their abiding love for the museum and the city of Chicago—and for the medium of drawing,” Salatino added.
Designs for Different Futures is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
role of designers in shaping how we think about the future is the
subject of a major exhibition that will premiere at the Philadelphia
Museum of Art this fall. Designs for Different Futures
(October 22, 2019–March 8, 2020) brings together some 80
works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may
encounter in the years, decades, and centuries ahead. Organized by
the Philadelphia Museum of Art, theWalker
Art Center, Minneapolis,
and the Art Institute of Chicago,
Designs for Different Futures will be presented at the Walker
(September 12, 2020–January 3, 2021) and the Art Institute
of Chicago (February 6–May 16, 2021) following its
presentation in Philadelphia.
the questions today’s designers seek to answer are: What role
can technology play in augmenting or replacing a broad range of human
activities?Can intimacy be maintained at a distance? How can
we negotiate privacy in a world in which the sharing and use of
personal information has blurred traditional boundaries? How might we
use design to help heal or transform ourselves, bodily and
psychologically? How will we feed an ever-growing population?
no one can precisely predict the shape of things to come, the works
in the exhibition are firmly fixed on the future, providing design
solutions for a number of speculative scenarios. In some instances,
these proposals are borne of a sense of anxiety, and in others of a
sense of excitement over the possibilities that can be created
through the use of innovative materials, new technologies, and, most
importantly, fresh ideas.
Rub, the George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer of
the Philadelphia Museum of Art, stated: “We often think of
art museums as places that foster a dialogue between the past and the
present, but they also can and should be places that inspire us to
think about the future and to ask how artists and designers can help
us think creatively about it. We are delighted to be able to
collaborate with the Walker Art Center and the Art Institute of
Chicago on this engaging project, which will offer our visitors an
opportunity to understand not only how designers are imagining—and
responding to—different visions of the futures, but also to
understand just how profoundly forward-looking design contributes in
our own time to shaping the world that we occupy and will bequeath as
a legacy to future generations.”
about the future has always been part of the human condition. It has
also been a perennial field of inquiry for designers and architects
whose speculations on this subject—ranging from the concrete to the
whimsical—can profoundly affect how we imagine what is to come.
Among the many forward-looking projects on view, visitors to Designs
for Different Futures will encounter lab-grown food, robotic
companions, family leave policy proposals, and textiles made of
of these possibilities will come to fruition, while others will
remain dreams or even threats,” said Kathryn Hiesinger,
the J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative
Arts after 1700, who coordinated the exhibition in Philadelphia with
former assistant curator Michelle Millar Fisher. “We’d like
visitors to join us as we present designs that consider the possible,
debate the inevitable, and weigh the alternatives. This exhibition
explores how design—understood expansively—can help us all
grapple with what might be on the horizon and allows our imaginations
to take flight.”
exhibition is divided into 11 thematic sections. In Resources,
visitors will encounter an inflatable pod measuring 15 feet in
diameter, part of the work Another Generosity first created in
2018 by Finnish architect Eero Lundén and designed in this
incarnation in collaboration with Ron Aasholm and Carmen
Lee. The pod slowly expands and contracts in the space,
responding to changing levels of carbon dioxide as visitors exhale
around it, and provoking questions about the ongoing effect of the
human footprint on the environment.
section titled Generations will explore ways in which the
choices we make today may contribute to the well-being or suffering
of those who come after us. Here, visitors will find a model of the
Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a repository that stores the
world’s largest collection of crop seeds. Located within a mountain
on a remote island near the Arctic Circle, the facility is designed
to withstand natural or human-made disasters. The Earths section
of the exhibition speculates on the challenges of extra-terrestrial
communication in Lisa Moura’s Alien Nations installation and
showcases typeface from the 2016 science-fiction film Arrival.
Bodies, designers grapple with choices about how our physical and
psychological selves might look, feel, and function in different
future scenarios. Featured here is one of the world’s lightest and
most advanced exoskeletons, designed to help people with mobility
challenges remain upright and active. Also notable is the CRISPR
Kit, an affordable and accessible gene-editing toolbox, which has
the potential to revolutionize biomedical research and open
opportunities for gene therapy and genetic engineering.
is a section that explores how technologies and online interfaces may
affect love, family, and community. Here, urban experiences of sex
and love are the focus of Andrés Jaque’s Intimate
Strangers, an audio-visual installation focusing on the gay
dating app. Through internet-enabled devices, designers explore the
possibility of digitally mediated love and sex, suggesting what
advanced digital networks hold for human sexuality.
contains projects that explore the future of the human diet.
Among them is a modular edible-insect farm, Cricket Shelter,
by Terreform ONE, which offers a ready source of protein for
impending food crises. A kitchen installation suggests how technology
and design may contribute to new modes of food production, including
an Ouroboros Steak made from human cells.
sections of the exhibition will focus on the future of Jobs and how
Cities will function and look 100 years from now—with
robotic baby feeders, driverless cars, and other
developments—affording a glimpse at how we might navigate living
beyond this planet. Shoes grown from sweat are among the innovations
visitors will find in a section devoted to Materials, while
Power will look at how design may affect our citizenship and
help us retain agency over such essentials as our DNA, our voices,
and our electronic communications in a future where the lines between
record-keeping, communication, and surveillance blur. Data
acknowledges and questions the different ways that information
might be collected and used, with all its inherent biases and
asymmetries, to shape different futures.
curatorial team is comprised of: at the Philadelphia
Museum of Art, Kathryn B.
Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior
Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, and Michelle
Millar Fisher, formerly The Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant
Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700; At the Walker
Art Center, Emmet Byrne,
Design Director and Associate Curator of Design; and at the Art
Institute of Chicago, Maite
Borjabad López-Pastor, Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of
Architecture and Design, and Zoë Ryan,
the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design.
Consulting curators are Andrew Blauvelt,
Director, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield
Hills, Michigan, and Curator-at-Large, Museum of Arts
and Design, New York; Colin Fanning,
Independent Scholar, Bard Graduate Center,
New York; and Orkan Telhan,
Associate Professor of Fine Arts (Emerging Design Practices),
University of Pennsylvania School of Design,
B. Hiesinger is the J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of
European Decorative Arts after 1700 at the Philadelphia
Museum of Art. Her work focuses on decorative arts and
design from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and includes
the exhibitions and publications Zaha Hadid: Form in Motion
(2011), Out of the Ordinary: The Architecture and Design of
Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates (2001),
Japanese Design: A Survey since 1950 (1994) and Design
since 1945 (1983).
Millar Fisher is the Ronald C. and Anita L Wornick Curator of
Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Museum
of Fine Arts, Boston. She is a graduate of the University
of Glasgow, Scotland, and is currently completing her
doctorate in architectural history at the Graduate
Center of the City University of New York. She is the
co-author, with Paola Antonelli, of Items: Is Fashion
Byrne is the Design Director and Associate Curator of Design at
the Walker Art Center in
Minneapolis. He provides creative leadership and strategic direction
for the Walker in all areas of visual communication, branding,
publishing, while overseeing the award-winning in-house design
studio. He was one of the founders of the Task Newsletter in
2009 and is the creator of the Walker’s Intangibles platform.
Borjabad López-Pastor is the Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of
Architecture and Design at the Art Institute
of Chicago. She is an architect and curator educated at
the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Columbia
University, New York. She is the author and curator of
Scenographies of Power: From the State of Exception to the Spaces
of Exception (2017). Her work revolves around diverse forms of
critical spatial practices, operating across architecture, art, and
Ryan is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and
Design at the Art Institute of Chicago.
She is the editor of As Seen: Exhibitions That Made Architecture
and Design History (2017) and curator of In a Cloud, in a
Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury (2019)
and the 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial, The Future is Not
What it Used to Be. Her projects explore the impact of
architecture and design on society.
on the innovative contemporary design objects, projects, and
speculations of the exhibition’s checklist, the accompanying volume
proposes design as a means through which to understand, question, and
negotiate individual and collective futures, giving provocative voice
to the most urgent issues of today. It asks readers to contemplate
the design context within broader historical, social, political, and
aesthetic spectrums. Designs for Different Futures addresses
futures near and far, exploring such issues as human-digital
interaction, climate change, political and social inequality,
resource scarcity, transportation, and infrastructure.
primary authors are Kathryn B. Hiesinger, Michelle Millar Fisher,
Emmet Byrne, Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, and Zoë Ryan,
with Andrew Blauvelt, Colin Fanning, Orkan Telhan, Juliana Rowen
Barton, and Maude de Schauensee. Additional contributions
include texts by V. Michael Bove Jr. and Nora Jackson,
Christina Cogdell, Marina Gorbis, Srećko Horvat, Bruno Latour,
Marisol LeBrón, Ezio Manzini, Chris Rapley, Danielle Wood, LinYee
Yuan, and Emma Yann Zhang; and interviews with Gabriella
Coleman, Formafantasma (Andrea Trimarchi and Simone
Farresin), Aimi Hamraie and Jillian Mercado, Francis
Kéré, David Kirby, Helen Kirkum, Alexandra Midal, Neri Oxman,
and Eyal Weizman.
for Different Futures will be distributed by Yale University
Press. The book was overseen by Philadelphia Museum of Art
publishing director Katie Reilly and editors Katie Brennan
and Kathleen Krattenmaker. It is designed by Ryan Gerald
Nelson, Senior Graphic Designer at the Walker Art Center, under the
direction of Walker design director Emmet Byrne.
part of the exhibition, visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art
galleries will also encounter a space for community meetups, public
programs, school visits, and self-directed activities. The Futures
Therapy Lab will weave personal connections between visitors and
the exhibition as part of a collaboration between the museum’s
Education Department and the curatorial team. Weekly programs,
many of which will occur on Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday Nights,
will connect visitors with designers, artists, and locally based
creatives. The Futures Therapy Lab will contain a crowdsourced
Futures Library that includes everything from science-fiction
books to the exhibition catalogue. “Thinking about possible
futures is both exhilarating and anxiety-provoking,” said
Emily Schreiner, the Zoë and Dean Pappas Curator of Education,
Public Programs. “The Futures Therapy Lab is a place for
conversation, critique, and creativity in which visitors can imagine
their own hopes, fears and solutions for the future through
reflection, discussion, and art making.”
Philadelphia, this exhibition is generously supported by the
Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions, the Robert
Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, the Kathleen C.
and John J.F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions,Lisa Roberts and
David Seltzer in Honor of Collab’s 50th Anniversary, the Women’s
Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Laura and
William C. Buck Endowment for Exhibitions, the Harriet and
Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Jill and
Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, and an anonymous donor.
Futures Therapy Lab will host a series of weekly happenings:
in the Lab
and designers share their work through talks, demonstrations, and
workshops. Wednesday Nights, 5:00–8:45 p.m.
Designer is In
it out. One-on-one sessions with local designers offer new
perspectives on your everyday life. Thursdays & Saturdays,
readings that explore narratives of the future. Select Sundays,
The Whitney To Present Grant Wood: American Gothic And Other Fables
The upcoming Grant Wood retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art will reassess the career of an artist whose most famous work, American Gothic—one of the most indelible emblems of Americana and perhaps the best-known work of twentieth-century American art—will be making a rare voyage from the Art Institute of Chicago for the occasion. Organized by Whitney curator Barbara Haskell, with senior curatorial assistant Sarah Humphreville, this exhibition is Wood’s first museum retrospective in New York since 1983 and only the third survey of his work outside the Midwest since 1935. It will be on view in the Whitney’s fifth-floor Neil Bluhm Family Galleries from March 2 through June 10, 2018.
Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables brings together the full range of Wood’s art, from his early Arts and Crafts decorative objects and Impressionist oils through his mature paintings, murals, works on paper, and book illustrations. The exhibition reveals a complex, sophisticated artist whose image as a farmer-painter was as mythical as the fables he depicted in his art.
Grant Wood (1891–1942) achieved instant celebrity following the debut of American Gothic at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1930. Until then, he had been a relatively unknown painter of French-inspired Impressionist landscapes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His relatively short mature career, from 1930 to 1942, spanned a tormented period for the country, as the United States grappled with the aftermath of an economic meltdown and engaged in bitter debates over its core national identity. What emerged as a powerful strain in popular culture during the period was a pronounced reverence for the values of community, hard work, and self-reliance that were seen as fundamental to the national character, embodied most fully in America’s small towns and on its farms. Wood’s romanticized depictions of a seemingly more innocent and uncomplicated time elevated him into a popular, almost mythic figure, celebrated for his art and promotion of Regionalism, the representational style associated with the Midwest that dominated American art during the Depression.
As Barbara Haskell has noted, “The enduring power of Wood’s art owes as much to its mesmerizing psychological ambiguity as to its archetypal Midwestern imagery. An eerie silence and disquiet runs throughout his work, complicating its seemingly bucolic, elegiac exterior. Notwithstanding Wood’s desire to recapture the imagined world of his childhood, the estrangement and isolation that came of trying to resolve his loyalty to that world with his instincts as a shy, sexually closeted Midwesterner seeped into his art, endowing it with an unsettling sadness and alienation. By subconsciously expressing his conflicted relationship to the homeland he professed to adore, Wood created hypnotic works of apprehension and solitude that may be a truer expression of the unresolved tensions of the American experience than he might ever have imagined, even some seventy-five years after his death.”
“This exhibition is an interrogation—not a reification—of stereotypes, values, and reputations,” writes Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director, in his foreword to the exhibition catalog. Rather than celebrating a nostalgic American past that never was, the exhibition is “a quest to understand how a remarkable artist created mythic images, images that are not as unequivocal or as unambiguous as some might think or, yet, as some might wish…What one discovers, looking deeply into Wood’s paintings, is that, for all their apparent clarity and precision of style, in the best of them what is depicted is not at all straightforward. The images put forth are often conflicting and ambiguous. They reveal a collision of amplified meanings, sublimated feelings, and layered evidence.”
Wood began his career as an Arts and Crafts decorative artist. Even after he shifted to fine arts, he retained the movement’s ideology and pictorial vocabulary. To it, he owed his later use of flat, decorative patterns and sinuous, intertwined organic forms as well as his belief that art was a democratic enterprise that must be accessible to the average person, not just the elite. Wood’s training in the decorative arts began early. He studied at the Handicraft Guild in Minneapolis for two summers after graduating from high school before moving to Chicago to join the Kalo Arts and Crafts Community house. In 1914, he opened the Volund Crafts Shop with a fellow craftsman and began to exhibit his jewelry and metalwork in the Art Institute of Chicago’s prestigious decorative arts exhibitions. Despite this recognition, commercial success eluded him and he closed the shop and returned to Cedar Rapids in 1916 to begin his painting career. The decision did not mean the end of his work in decorative arts, however, as is evident from the 1925 Corn Cob Chandelier included in the exhibition and the 1928 stained-glass window he designed for Cedar Rapids’ Veterans Memorial Building, replicated at half-scale in the exhibition. Even after the success of American Gothic, he continued designing objects for popular use. His Spring Plowing fabric design, armchair and ottoman, Steuben glass vase, eight book covers and illustrations for two books—all made after 1930—are also included in the exhibition.Continue reading →
The Philadelphia Museum of Art(2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130, 215-763-8100)announced the acquisition of five major sculptures by Cy Twombly, one of the foremost American artists of the 20th century. This generous gift of theCy Twombly Foundationwill make these works, which were initially selected for exhibition at the Museum in 2011 by the artist himself, a permanent part of the Museum’s collection.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art contains one of the country’s most important collections of Cy Twombly’s works. In 1989, the Philadelphia Museum of Art became the first public institution in the United States to devote a room to the permanent display of Twombly’s art with Fifty Days at Iliam. From April 2012 until March 2016, a selection of six sculptures, including the five works recently given to the Museum, was placed on view in the Atrium Gallery of Perelman Building.
These bronzes including Untitled, Rome, 1980; Rotalla, Zurich, 1990; Untitled, Rome, 1997; Victory, conceived 1987, cast 2005; and Anabasis (Bronze), 2011, were chosen by Twombly because they complemented his masterful Fifty Days at Iliam, 1978, a suite of 10 monumental canvases that the Museum acquired in 1989. Varied in size and shape, with richly textured surfaces, these works, although fundamentally abstract, are informed by a classical sensibility and clearly reflect the artist’s sustained engagement with the art of the ancient world. On November 19, 2016, the sculptures will be placed on view in galleries 184 and 185, alongside related loans and works by Twombly from the collection.
Timothy Rub, The George D. Widener Director and CEO, stated: “The Museum is deeply grateful to the Cy Twombly Foundation for this extraordinary gift. Like the artist’s Fifty Days at Iliam, this remarkable group of sculptures evokes the timeless themes sounded in Homer’s account of the Trojan War and offers a profound meditation on both classical history and the nature of modernity. They represent an enormously important addition to our holdings of work by this great artist, who is a key figure in the history of contemporary art. They will be united with a sixth sculpture by the artist, which is a promised gift of Keith L. and Katherine Sachs, and two important paintings from the bequest of Daniel Dietrich.”
Carlos Basualdo, the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, said: “For more than 25 years our Museum has dedicated a gallery to the display of Twombly’s work. The generous gift of this extraordinary group of sculptures deepens even further the strong connection between Philadelphia and the work of an artist whose influence and legacy are more than ever strong and alive.”
Cy Twombly (1928–2011) was born in Lexington, Virginia. He attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1947-49), Art Students League, New York (1950-51), and Black Mountain College, North Carolina (1951-52). He lived much of his later life in Rome.
Award Includes $100K Prize, Artist Residency, Gala And Four Public Programs At MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announce that architectDavid AdjayeOBE is the recipient of the 2016 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT.The $100K prize awarded at a gala in his honor also includes an artist residency at MIT in spring 2016, during which Adjaye will participate in four public programs. These events will include panels and symposia focused on the future of the museum, library and campus, as well as a keynote lecture about his own body of work.
David Adjaye Awarded the 2016 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT
The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT was established in 1974 by the Council for the Arts at MIT to recognize innovative talents in any arts discipline and offers its recipient a $100,000 cash prize and a campus residency. The selection process reflects MIT’s commitment to risk taking, problem solving, and the idea of connecting creative minds across disciplines. The Award honors Eugene McDermott, cofounder of Texas Instruments and long-time friend and benefactor of MIT.
Upon receiving the news, Mr. Adjaye’s remarked, “In my career I have sought to cross creative platforms, to collaborate with artists and designers from different disciplines and to focus on the creative discourse surrounding the act of making things. I believe it is this dialogue – the cultural intersection – that moves us forward, generates new possibilities and creates greatness. The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT has long stood for exactly this principle, and it for this reason I am both supremely honoured and supremely humbled to be named as this year’s recipient.”
David Adjaye OBE is recognized as a leading architect of his generation. Born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents, his influences range from contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities. He founded Adjaye Associates in 2000 and immediately won several prestigious commissions. In Oslo he designed the NOBEL PEACE CENTRE in the shell of a disused railway station (completed in 2005). In London his design for the WHITECHAPEL IDEA STORE pioneered a new approach to the provision of information services (2005). Later projects in London included the STEPHEN LAWRENCE CENTRE, with teaching and community spaces (2007), RIVINGTON PLACE, an exhibition venue and resource centre (2007), and the BERNIE GRANT CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS (2007).
Adjaye Associates now has offices in London, New York, and Accra and is working throughout the world. In the United States, Adjaye is the designer of a new home for the MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART in Denver (2007), two public libraries in Washington DC (2012), the SUGAR HILL low income housing development in Harlem (2014) and the redesigned ETHELBERT COOPER GALLERY OF AFRICAN & AFRICAN AMERICAN ART at Harvard’s HUTCHINS CENTER (2014). Adjaye Associates’ largest completed project to date is the £160 million MOSCOW SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT SKOLKOVO (2010).
Current high profile architectural projects include $360 million THE SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE on the National Mall in Washington, DC, the Alara concept store in Lagos, the AISHTI FOUNDATION ARTS AND RETAIL CENTRE in Beirut, a new headquarters building for the INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION in Dakar, the new home for The Studio Museum in Harlem, the CENTER FOR ART AND CULTURE at Colgate University, and a condominium development for FOUR SEASONS in Washington, DC.
Adjaye recently collaborated with Okwui Enwezor on the design of the 56TH VENICE ART BIENNALE (2015). Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye, a comprehensive retrospective exhibition, was held at Haus der Kunst in Munich and is at the Art Institute of Chicago September 19, 2015–January 3, 2016.
The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT celebrates individuals whose artistic trajectory reveals that they will achieve the highest distinction in their fields and continue to produce inspiring work for many years to come. The $100,000 prize represents an investment in the recipient’s future creative work, rather than a prize for a particular project or lifetime of achievement. The official announcement will be made at the Council for the Arts at MIT’s 43rd annual meeting at MIT on October 30, 2015 and Mr. Adjaye will be presented with the award at a gala in his honor on March 29, 2016. Continue reading →