Lifetime Retrospective of Jasper Johns’s Work to Open Simultaneously in New York and Philadelphia on October 28

In Fall 2020, A Lifetime Retrospective Dedicated To Jasper Johns Will Be Presented Simultaneously In New York And Philadelphia

In an unprecedented collaboration, this major exhibition is jointly organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art

October 28, 2020–February 21, 2021

#JasperJohns

The most ambitious retrospective to date of the work of Jasper Johns, organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, will be presented simultaneously in New York and Philadelphia this fall. A single exhibition in two venues, this unprecedented collaboration, Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror, will be the artist’s first major museum retrospective on the East Coast in nearly a quarter century. It opens concurrently in Philadelphia and in New York on October 28, 2020. Visitors who attend the exhibition at one venue will enjoy half-price adult admission at the other when presenting their ticket. And throughout the duration of the exhibition, members of each institution will receive free admission at both venues. (Additional details will be available at whitney.org and philamuseum.org.)

Jasper Johns, Map, 1961. Oil on canvas, 78 x 123 1/4 in. (198.1 x 313.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Scull 277.1963 © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Filling almost 30,000 combined square feet across the two venues, the exhibition will contain nearly 500 works. It is the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to Johns, creating an opportunity to highlight not only his well-known masterpieces but also many works that have never been exhibited publicly. Conceived around the principles of mirroring and doubling that have long been a focus of the artist’s work, this two-part exhibition, which follows a loose chronological order from the 1950s to the present, offers an innovative curatorial model for a monographic survey. It will chronicle Johns’s accomplishments across many mediums—including paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, working proofs, and monotypes—and highlight the complex relationships among them.

Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director © 2019 Scott Rudd scott.rudd@gmail.com @scottruddevents

Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director, commented, “We are delighted to present this unique retrospective together with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, an important occasion for both museums, which have had connections with the artist going back decades. The Whitney has been collecting and showing Johns since the 1960s and we are thrilled to honor his ninetieth birthday in 2020, which also marks the ninetieth anniversary of the Whitney’s founding. Enigmatic, poetic, rich, and profoundly influential, Johns’s work is always ripe for reexamination.

Given the crucial place that Jasper Johns holds in the art of our time, this collaboration enables our two museums, together, to examine the artist’s vision in all its multiplicity and depth,” added Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO, Philadelphia Museum of Art. “The Philadelphia Museum of Art has long dedicated a gallery to the display of Johns’s work, which, given his admiration of Cézanne and Duchamp, richly resonates with our collection. Along with our colleagues at the Whitney, we hope to introduce a new generation of visitors in our respective cities to the exceptional achievements of this artist over the course of a career that now spans nearly seven decades.”

Jasper Johns (b. 1930), Three Flags, 1958. Encaustic on canvas, 30 5/8 × 45 1/2 × 4 5/8 in. (77.8 × 115.6 × 11.7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Gilman Foundation, Inc., The Lauder Foundation, A. Alfred Taubman, Laura-Lee Whittier Woods, Howard Lipman, and Ed Downe in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary 80.32. Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Jasper Johns (b. Augusta, Georgia, 1930) grew up in South Carolina where he pursued an interest in art at an early age. He attended the University of South Carolina before moving to New York in 1948, and briefly attended Parsons School of Design. For two years he served in the army and was stationed in South Carolina and Japan. He returned to New York in 1953, where he met Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, and Merce Cunningham, with whom he would famously collaborate. His work has been the subject of numerous retrospectives and solo shows, including Jasper Johns: A Retrospective at the Jewish Museum (1964), Jasper Johns at the Whitney (1977), Jasper Johns: Works Since 1974 at the PMA (1988–89, which traveled to the Venice Biennale, where Johns was awarded the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement), Jasper Johns: A Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1996–97, the last comprehensive East Coast survey), and most recently Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ at the Royal Academy, London, and The Broad, Los Angeles (2017–18). The innovative collaboration and structure of the Whitney and PMA’s retrospective distinguishes it from these previous shows and will account not only for the complexity and originality of Johns’s body of work at a new scale, but also will seek to test some of the conventional perceptions of it.

Jasper Johns, Watchman, 1964. Oil on canvas with objects (2 panels) 85 x 60 1/4 in. (215.9 x 153 cm). The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection). © Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY

Since the early 1950s, Jasper Johns (b. 1930) has produced a radical and varied body of work distinguished by constant reinvention. In his twenties, Johns created his now-canonical Flag (1954–55), which challenged the dominance of Abstract Expressionism by integrating abstraction and representation through its direct, though painterly, deadpan visual power. His works have continued to pose similar paradoxes—between cognition and perception, image and object, painting and sculpture—and have explored new approaches to abstraction and figuration that have opened up perspectives for several generations of younger artists. Over the course of his career, he has tirelessly pursued an innovative body of work that includes painting, sculpture, drawing, prints, books, and the design of sets and costumes for the stage.

“Corpse and Mirror II,” 1974-75, by Jasper Johns. Oil and sand on canvas (4 panels), 57 5/8 x 75 1/4 in. (146.4 x 191.1 cm). Collection of the Artist. © Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

The exhibition is conceived as a unified whole, comprising two autonomous parts, and is co-curated by two longtime scholars who each has a close relationship with the artist: Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the PMA, and Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator at the Whitney. Basualdo noted, “We attempted to create an exhibition that echoes the logic of Johns’s work, and it is structured in a mimetic relation to his practice. Galleries at each venue will serve as cognates, echoes, and inversions of their counterparts at the other, allowing viewers to witness and experience the relationships between continuity and change, fragment and whole, singularity and repetition which Johns has used throughout his career to renew and transform his work.”

“Flag,” 1954-55, by Jasper Johns. Encaustic, oil, and collage on fabric mounted on wood (3 panels), 41.25 X 60.75 in. (104.8 x 154.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Gift of Philip Johnson in honor of Alfred H. Barr, Jr. © Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.
Jasper Johns, Studio, 1964. Oil and fabricated chalk on linen, two parts, with screw eye, wire, cans, and brush, 88 1/16 × 145 1/2 × 8 1/8 in. (223.7 × 369.6 × 20.6 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with partial funding from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art 66.1a-c © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Rothkopf said, “One of our primary aims was to revivify the incredible sense of daring and discovery at the heart of Johns’s art. He stunned the establishment as a young man but continues to astonish audiences with surprising new ideas as he nears ninety. Surveying the whole of his career, we see an artist propelled by curiosity, constantly challenging himself—and all of us.

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The Whitney To Present “Making Knowing: Craft In Art, 1950–2019,” Highlighting Rarely Seen Artworks From The Museum’s Collection

On November 22, the Whitney Museum of American Art opens Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019, an exhibition that foregrounds how visual artists have explored the materials, methods, and strategies of craft. Beginning in the 1950s—at a time when many artists embraced fiber arts and ceramics to challenge the dominance of traditional painting and sculpture—Making Knowing moves through the next seven decades, presenting works that speak to artists’ interests in domesticity, hobbyist materials, the decorative, vernacular American traditions, “women’s work,” and feminist and queer aesthetics.

Drawn primarily from the Whitney’s collection, the exhibition features over eighty artworks in a variety of media, including textiles, ceramics, painting, drawing, photography, video, and large-scale sculptural installation. The more than sixty artists represented include Anni Albers, Richard Artschwager, Ruth Asawa, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Robert Gober, Shan Goshorn, Harmony Hammond, Eva Hesse, Sheila Hicks, Mike Kelley, Yayoi Kusama, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, Simone Leigh, Robert Morris, Claes Oldenburg, Pepón Osorio, Howardena Pindell, Ken Price, Robert Rauschenberg, Faith Ringgold, Miriam Schapiro, Arlene Shechet, Kiki Smith, Lenore Tawney, Peter Voulkos, Marie Watt, and Betty Woodman.

Liza Lou (b. 1969), Kitchen, 1991–96. Beads, plaster, wood and found objects, 96 × 132 × 168 in. (243.8 × 335.3 × 426.7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Peter Norton 2008.339a-x. © Liza Lou. Photograph by Tom Powel, courtesy the artist

One of the greatest pleasures and responsibilities that comes with digging into the Whitney’s collection is the way it continually compels us to reevaluate our received ideas about taste, style, and even what counts as art at any moment,” remarks Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. “By focusing on materials and techniques associated with craft, Making Knowing will offer jolts of surprise, emotion, provocation, and discovery through an incredible range of works, more than half of which have never been on display in our galleries.”

Harmony Hammond (b. 1944), Hug, 1978. Acrylic on fabric and wood, 64 × 30 1/4 × 14 in. (162.6 × 76.8 × 35.6 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Rosemary McNamara 2017.208a-b. © 2019 Harmony Hammond/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Making Knowing is organized chronologically and thematically, beginning with a gallery of works from the 1950s. Throughout this decade, artists such as Ruth Asawa, Robert Rauschenberg, and Peter Voulkos experimented with wire, scavenged fabric, and clay. Others, including Sheila Hicks, Lenore Tawney, and Ann Wilson, explored weaving, both on and off the loom, and painting on found quilts. By employing marginalized craft media, they challenged the power structures that determined artistic value. Presenting these artists together reveals the profound influence that craft had on abstraction during this period.

Betty Woodman (1930–2018), Still Life #11, 1990. Glazed and polychromed ceramic, 35 × 10 1/4 × 7 5/8 in. (88.9 × 26 × 19.4 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Julia Childs Augur 92.25. © Betty Woodman0

Subsequent galleries demonstrate how artists working in the 1960s and 1970s frequently questioned why fine art was more accepted and valued than more vernacular or utilitarian traditions. Among them, Richard Artschwager, Eva Hesse, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Morris, Howardena Pindell, and Alan Shields experimented with unconventional materials such as rope, felt, and string, and in doing so influenced various art historical movements, including Pop Art, Minimalism, and Process art. In Shields’s J + K, 1972, the canvas border creates a satirically legitimizing frame for craft materials like strands of beads.

Alan Shields (1944–2005), J + K, 1972. Acrylic, thread, beads on canvas, 107 × 252 7/8 × 2 3/4 in. (271.8 × 642.3 × 7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Paula Cooper 2017.165a-l. © Estate of Alan Shields

Making Knowing also highlights modes of making from the 1970s and 1980s frequently categorized as “women’s work.” While this phrase denigrated certain materials and aesthetics associated with femininity, artists purposefully worked in these ways in order to question gender roles in both the art world and society at large. Artists such as Barbara Chase-Riboud, Harmony Hammond, Kim MacConnel, Elaine Reichek, Miriam Schapiro, and Betty Woodman used cloth, embroidery, sewing, and ceramics to elevate the often-disparaged tradition of the “decorative,” and to attest to the impossibility of tethering these techniques to a single use or means of expression.

The works on display from the 1980s and 1990s exemplify how artists during this period looked at art and its relationship to devotional practices and often grappled with an ambivalence towards organized religion. Arch Connelly, Robert Gober, Mike Kelley, Lucas Samaras, Kiki Smith, and Rosie Lee Tompkins used wide-ranging materials including quilts, found and sewn textiles, candles, artificial flowers, and beads in artworks that reveal the relationship between the spiritual and the worldly. Working at the height of the AIDS crisis, several of these artists’ attention to handcrafting objects attempted to provide an emotionally reparative experience in the absence of aid from the government or religious authorities.

A gallery dedicated to artwork from the mid-1990s to the present broadly addresses issues of the body and place. Liza Lou’s monumental installation Kitchen, 1991–1996, is a handmade, life-size kitchen composed of sparkling beads. Through subject matter and materials, Lou combines the physical labor of domestic life and the painstaking making of an artwork. On view for the first time here are recent acquisitions by Shan Goshorn, Kahlil Robert Irving, Simone Leigh, Jordan Nassar, and Erin Jane Nelson.

Many of the artists in Making Knowing have taken up historically marginalized materials in order to upend hierarchies that have persisted in art history and in museum collecting practices,” explains co-curator Jennie Goldstein. Elisabeth Sherman, co-curator, continues, “Together they demonstrate that craft-informed techniques of making carry their own kind of knowledge, one that is indispensable to a more complete understanding of the history and potential of art.

Making Knowing offers a fresh look at a prominent, ever-present thread of the Whitney’s collection. The exhibition’s title reformulates the historical tension often separating craft and fine art by leveling the distinction between the world of the handmade, “making,” and the world of ideas, “knowing.”

Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 will be on view beginning November 22, 2019, in the Museum’s sixth-floor collection galleries. The Whitney’s sixth-floor galleries continue to serve as a space to present challenging, thematic exhibitions that explore and rethink various threads of the Museum’s collection. Past sixth-floor collection exhibitions include An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1940–2017 (2017–2018) and Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018 (2018–2019).

Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 is curated by Jennie Goldstein, assistant curator, and Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curator, with Ambika Trasi, curatorial assistant.

Support for Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 is provided by the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation.

Public Art Installation By Derek Fordjour Debuts This Fall at The Whitney

Half Mast, a new work by Derek Fordjour (b. 1974, Memphis, TN) will be the eighth work in the ongoing series of public art installations on the façade of 95 Horatio Street, located directly across from the Whitney Museum of American Art and the High Line. The installation marks the artist’s first museum solo exhibition.

Derek Fordjour (b. 1974), Half Mast, 2018. Collection of the artist; courtesy Night Gallery, Los Angeles

Derek Fordjour (b. 1974), Half Mast, 2018. Collection of the artist; courtesy Night Gallery, Los Angeles

Half Mast is organized by the Whitney in partnership with TF Cornerstone and High Line Art. The series has featured works by Alex Katz (2014), Michele Abeles (2015), Njideka Akunyili Crosby (2015–2016), Torbjørn Rødland (2016-2017), Puppies Puppies (2017), Do Ho Suh (2017-18), and Christine Sun Kim (2018).

Fordjour works primarily in the realm of portrait painting to create vibrant scenes that subtly address subjects of systemic inequality, race, and aspiration, particularly in the context of American identity. Half Mast, a 2018 painting reproduced as a 17 x 29-foot vinyl print, will be unveiled this fall on the southwest corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets.

Half Mast considers the recent national conversation around gun violence, speaking in particular to the surge of school shootings and to the everyday atrocities impacting Black and Brown communities in the United States. The piece offers a portrait of this complex moment in U.S. history by presenting many figures that are part of this conversation in one compressed, shared space. Seen in the crowd are law enforcement officials and civilians, including students, as well as absent figures, bodies marked with targets, and teddy bears and balloons reminiscent of street-side memorials.

Printed brightly in Fordjour’s signature graphic style, Half Mast retains a disquietingly buoyant quality while reflecting on loss and the abuse of power. In Half Mast and other work, the artist draws on the language of games, sports, and the carnivalesque, layering the canvas with humble materials—such as newspaper, oil pastels, and charcoal. His palette and use of pattern allude to Americana and Pop Art as well as the visual culture of his Ghanaian heritage.

The work speaks to the sense of unease and gross neglect that colors much of contemporary life in the United States and serves as a public acknowledgment of loss. Yet the meaning of Derek’s image can also flip. Half Mast alludes to possibilities of a civic movement or celebration and is a reminder of the power of individuals to resist and shape their everyday conditions,” says Allie Tepper, the curatorial project assistant organizing the installation.

Fordjour’s practice frequently engages with the use of public space, and Half Mast is one of two current commissions of major public work. The artist is also the recipient of a 2018 MTA Commission for a permanent installation at the 145th Street subway station in Harlem.

Derek Fordjour has exhibited in numerous venues including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Sugarhill Children’s Museum, and the Taubman Museum. He is a graduate of Morehouse College and earned a Master’s Degree in Art Education from Harvard University and an MFA in Painting at Hunter College. He currently serves as a Core Critic at the Yale University School of Art. Fordjour is the recipient of a 2018 MTA Commission for the entire 145th Street subway station in Harlem. He was awarded a 2018 Deutsche Bank NYFA Fellowship and was a 2017-18 artist-in-residence at the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program in New York. He will present a solo exhibition at Night Gallery in Los Angeles in winter 2019.

Derek Fordjour: Half Mast is part of Outside the Box programming, which is supported by a generous endowment from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation.

“The Face In The Moon: Drawings And Prints By Louise Nevelson” Explores The Late Artist’s Works On Paper

The Face in the Moon: Drawings and Prints by Louise Nevelson opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art on July 20, 2018. Drawn entirely from The Whitney’s extensive holdings of her work, this exhibition presents a career-spanning selection of works on paper by Louise Nevelson (1899–1988).

The Face in the Moon: Drawings and Prints by Louise Nevelson will be on view in the Susan and John Hess Family Gallery on the Museum’s third floor and is organized by Clémence White, curatorial assistant.

Drawings and Prints by Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson (1899-1988), The Face in the Moon, 1953-55. Etching: sheet, 20 × 26 1/16 in. (50.8 × 66.2 cm); plate, 17 7/8 × 21 5/8 in. (45.4 × 54.9 cm). Edition 1/20. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of the artist 69.247. © 2018 Estate of Louise Nevelson/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Nevelson emphasized her reliance on the processes of drawing and collage to create the monochromatic wooden sculptures for which she is best known. This exhibition will be an opportunity to focus closely on her use of these processes in her works on paper, many of which, like her sculptures, involved building compositions out of unconventional or recycled materials.

The human figure is at the center of Nevelson’s early line drawings, often depicted from multiple perspectives. Over time, her figures became increasingly schematic as she deepened her interest in modern dance and the constraints of the body.

The prints on view in this exhibition include works from her two most significant bodies of print works, those made in the mid-1950s at Atelier 17 in New York City and those made in the mid-1960s at Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles. In her prints, she layered scraps of fabric to create deeply textured compositions inhabited by mystical figures and architectural forms. Similarly, her collages reconfigure the disparate materials from which they are composed, including scraps of paper and foil, into unexpected compositions.

Clémence White, curatorial assistant, remarked, “Nevelson’s works on paper help to elucidate the processes of this artist whose transformation of her materials challenges us to notice the expressive potential of common or overlooked things, and through this, to see our environments differently.”

American Gothic, Wood’s Best Known Painting, To Travel To The Whitney Museum of American Art

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 (1891–1942), American Gothic, 1930.

Grant Wood (1891–1942), American Gothic, 1930. Oil on composition board, 30 3⁄4 x 25 3⁄4 in. (78 x 65.3 cm). Art Institute of Chicago; Friends of American Art Collection 1930.934. © Figge Art Museum, successors to the Estate of Nan Wood Graham/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photograph courtesy Art Institute of Chicago/Art Resource, NY

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

Everson Museum of Art Opens “Bradley Walker Tomlin: A Retrospective,” a Major Retrospective Exhibition of the Syracuse Native

The Everson Museum of Art, in partnership with the Dorsky Museum, presents the first retrospective of American painter Bradley Walker Tomlin (1899-1953)

bradley-walker-tomlin-as-they-walked-along-together-1921-pencil-ink-and-gouache-on-paper-14-in-x-1-%c2%bc-in-everson-museum-of-art-gift-of-isabelle-mcconnel

Bradley Walker Tomlin, As They Walked Along Together, 1921 Pencil, ink, and gouache on paper, 14 in x 1 ¼ in. Everson Museum of Art Gift of Isabelle McConnel

since 1975. This major exhibition, including more than 40 paintings, works on paper, and printed materials, charts Tomlin’s development from Art Nouveau illustrations of the 1920s to large-scale Abstract Expressionist paintings of the 1950s, for which he is best known. Bradley Walker Tomlin: A Retrospective will be on view February 11 May 14, 2017. The exhibition originated at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, the State University of New York at New Paltz and is accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalog.

Born in Syracuse, NY in 1899 and active in New York City and Woodstock, Tomlin bridged two generations and participated in the evolution of American art from local modernism to international avant-garde. 

He participated in the famous ‘’Ninth Street Show.’’ According to John I. H. Baur, Curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art, “Tomlin’s life and his work were marked by a persistent, restless striving toward perfection, in a truly classical sense of the word, towards that “inner logic” of form which would produce a total harmony, an unalterable rightness, a

photograph-by-eugene-reynal

Bradley Walker Tomlin. Photograph by Eugene Reynal

sense of miraculous completion…It was only during the last five years of his life that the goal was fully reached, and his art flowered with a sure strength and authority”.

Organized chronologically, Bradley Walker Tomlin: A Retrospective considers Tomlin’s accomplishments as an illustrator, educator, and modern painter as equally significant. Highlights include original cover designs for Condé Nast’s House & Garden magazine, decorative still life paintings, Cubist-Surrealist compositions, and major Abstract Expressionist canvases. Photographs of Tomlin and his professional peers and related archival materials reveal the artist’s contexts and influences.

A century ago, Syracuse native Bradley Walker Tomlin was considered one of the city’s most promising young artists. This exhibition not only serves to restore attention to a hometown talent but more importantly, to shed new light on a fascinating yet overlooked figure in the history of modern American art,” says Elizabeth Dunbar, Director, and CEO of the Everson Museum of Art Continue reading

The Whitney To Open On A Pay-What-You-Wish Basis On January 20 With Special Programming

This coming Friday, Inauguration Day, with the installation of the 45th President of the United States, is either the beginning of a bright new day in America or the beginning of bad things for the next eight years. If you believe it to be the latter, then you will simply have to find something else to do or somewhere else to be.screen-shot-2013-05-15-at-1-37

On Friday, the Whitney Museum of American Art will open from 10:30 am to 10 pm on a pay-what-you-wish basis. Throughout the day, the Museum will offer special programs that affirm its commitment to open dialogue, civic engagement, and the diversity of American art and culture. Events will include “My America” guided tours; a speak-out convened by the arts collective Occupy Museums; and open discussions moderated by artists, critics and Whitney staff.

My America” Guided Tours

Meet on Floor Seven, 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, 7 pm, and 8:30 pm

These hour-long tours, led by Whitney Teaching Fellows, will explore the complexity of American identity through the works on view in Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection. Tours meet in the galleries.

Speak Out on Inauguration Day

Susan and John Hess Family Theater, Floor Three; 11 am–2 pm

Artists, writers, and activists will affirm their values in response to the current political climate. Speakers will include Gina Beavers, Chinatown Art Brigade, Aruna D’Souza, Avram Finkelstein, Chitra Ganesh, Guerrilla Girls, Paddy Johnson, Kalup Linzy, Naeem Mohaiemen, Tracie Morris, Uche Nduka, Trace Peterson, Laura Raicovich, Martha Rosler, Mira Schor, Dread Scott, Gregory Sholette, and others to be announced.

This event is organized by Occupy Museums, an arts collective that explores the connections between economics, finance, and the art world. Their work will be included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial.

Open Discussions: America 2017

Hearst Artspace, Floor Three; 3–4 pm, 5–6 pm, and 7–8 pm

Artists, writers, and Whitney curators and educators will lead conversations about art and American identity. These discussions will use artworks to focus on critical contemporary issues, including immigration; race and ethnicity; and inclusive democracy. Visitors are welcome to contribute a short text or image that speaks to their perspectives.

Current Exhibitions includes:

Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 Through February 5, 2017

Virginia Overton: Winter Garden Through February 5, 2017

Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection Through February 12, 2017

MPA: RED IN VIEW Through February 27, 2017

All events are free, and no reservations are necessary. For further information and program updates, visit whitney.org.