“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.”

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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.

The Whitney Installs 142 New Works From Its Collection In Its Portrait Exhibition

Portraits are one of the richest veins of the Whitney’s collection, thanks to the Museum’s longstanding commitment to the figurative tradition, championed by its founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

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New Addition to The Whitney’s ongoing exhibition, Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection: Shirin Neshat (b. 1957), Unveiling, 1993, from the series Women of Allah, 1993–97. Gelatin silver print with ink, 59 3/4 × 39 3/4 in. (151.8 × 101 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Photography Committee 2000.267 © Shirin Neshat; courtesy Gladstone Gallery, N.Y. and Brussels

Drawn entirely from the Museum’s holdings, Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection features 230 works made from 1903 to 2016 by an extraordinary range of some 170 artists, more than half of whom are living. The works included in this exhibition propose diverse and often unconventional ways of representing an individual. Many artists reconsider the pursuit of external likeness—portraiture’s usual objective—within formal or conceptual explorations or reject it altogether. Through their varied takes on the portrait, the artists in Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection demonstrate the vitality of this enduring genre, which serves as a compelling lens through which to view some of the most important social and artistic developments of the past century.

Floor Six of the exhibition predominantly focuses on art since 1960, while Floor Seven includes works from the first half of the twentieth century alongside more contemporary offerings.

Over the past two months, 142 new works have been installed in the exhibition, allowing the inclusion of many artists not on view when the first phase of the show debuted last spring. Organized in eleven thematic sections on two floors of the Museum, with works in all media installed side by side, the exhibition is considerably transformed from its initial installation and will remain on view through February 12, 2017.

Artists newly added to the exhibition include Cory Arcangel, Anne Collier, Grace Hartigan, Josh Kline, Kerry James Marshall, Shirin Neshat, Martha Rosler, Alison Saar, Lucas Samaras, Collier Schorr, John Sonsini, and Jonas Wood, while other artists, including Jasper Johns, Catherine Opie, Charles Ray, Cindy Sherman, and Andy Warhol are represented by different works than before. Many iconic works from the collection by such artists as Alexander Calder, Arshile Gorky, Marsden Hartley, Edward Hopper, Alice Neel, and Georgia O’Keeffe, remain on view. (See complete list of included artists on whitney.org.)

Human Interest is curated by Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, and Dana Miller, former Richard DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Permanent Collection, with Mia Curran, former curatorial assistant; Jennie Goldstein, assistant curator; and Sasha Nicholas, consulting curator.

2017 Whitney Biennial, The First To Take Place In The Museum’s Downtown Building, To Open March 17

The formation of self and the individual’s place in a turbulent society are among the key themes reflected in the work of the artists selected for the 2017 Whitney Biennial, opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art on March 17, 2016 and running through June 11, 2017. Curated by the Whitney’s Nancy and Fred Poses Associate Curator Christopher Y. Lew and independent curator Mia Locks, this will be the first Biennial held in the Whitney’s (still new) home in the Meatpacking District. The country’s preeminent survey of the current state of American art, this is the seventy-eighth in the Museum’s ongoing series of Annuals and Biennials, initiated by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932.unnamed-1

Lew and Locks named the sixty-three participants (see complete list below), whose works will fill two of the four main gallery floors of the Whitney (including the 18,000-square-foot Neil Bluhm Family Galleries on the fifth floor) and numerous other spaces throughout the Museum. The participants range from emerging to well-established individuals and collectives working in painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, film and video, photography, activism, performance, music, and video game design.

Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs, said, “Since we opened our new building, we’ve reignited our emerging artist program with venturesome solo premieres and ‘snapshot’ shows of new tendencies. This Biennial, the largest ever in terms of gallery space, marks the capstone of these efforts. Chris and Mia have done an amazing job scouring the country to discover new talents, while creating lively connections to senior figures and our roiling social landscape.”

Lew commented that, “Throughout our research and travel we’ve been moved by the impassioned discussions we had about recent tumult in society, politics, and the economic system. It’s been unavoidable as we met with artists, fellow curators, writers, and other cultural producers across the United States and beyond.” Locks noted: “Against this backdrop, many of the participating artists are asking probing questions about the self and the social, and where these intersect. How do we think and live through these lenses? How and where do they fall short?

Rothkopf is leading a team of advisors who are working closely with Lew and Locks to help shape the exhibition. They include: Negar Azimi, writer and senior editor at Bidoun, an award-winning publishing, curatorial, and educational initiative with a focus on the Middle East and its diasporas; Gean Moreno, curator of programs at the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami and founder of [NAME] Publications; Aily Nash, co-curator of Projections, the New York Film Festival’s artists’s film and video section, and Film and Media Curator at Basilica Hudson; and Wendy Yao, a publisher and founder of both the exhibition space 356 South Mission Road and Ooga Booga, a shop with two Los Angeles locations that specializes in independent books, music, art, and clothing. Nash, together with the curators, is co-organizing the Biennial film program, which will screen in the Whitney’s third-floor Susan and John Hess Family Theater.

The 2017 Biennial will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue, designed by Olga Casellas Badillo of San Juan-based Tiguere Corp., which includes essays by the curators as well as Biennial advisors Negar Azimi and Gean Moreno, a conversation between the curators and Scott Rothkopf, and a roundtable with filmmakers moderated by Aily Nash. The book will also feature individual entries on each of the sixty-three participants in the exhibition along with reproductions of their work. It will be published by the Whitney Museum of American Art and distributed by Yale University Press.

The full list of artists are as follows: Continue reading

“Open Plan” Experimental Five-Part Exhibition At The Whitney

Beginning February 26 and running through May 14, 2016, the Whitney Museum of American Art will present Open Plan, an experimental five-part exhibition using the Museum’s dramatic fifth floor as a single open gallery, unobstructed by interior walls. The largest column-free museum exhibition space in New York, the Neil Bluhm Family Galleries measure 18,200 square feet and feature windows with striking views east into the city and west to the Hudson River, making for an expansive and inspiring canvas. Five artists have been invited to present solo projects in response to the space, lasting from a few days to just over two weeks. They include installation and performance artist Andrea Fraser; painter Lucy Dodd; sculptor and earth artist Michael Heizer; jazz composer and performer Cecil Taylor; and video- and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen.The Whitney Logo

The Whitney’s fifth- floor gallery was conceived as an unparalleled exhibition space to inspire artists and curators, as well as our visitors, with its openness and flexibility,” remarks Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. “To celebrate the end of our inaugural year downtown, we wanted to reveal this space for the first time in its entirety and give artists the opportunity to respond to the site with new projects or to display work from the collection that we couldn’t have previously shown. The featured artists span a broad range of ages, mediums, and approaches, and we’ve asked them to respond to the space with a light touch and without interior construction in order to lend Open Plan a lively and experimental spirit.”

The consecutive parts of the exhibition are scheduled as follows:

OPEN PLAN: ANDREA FRASER

FEB 26–MAR 13, 2016

Andrea Fraser’s (b. 1965) provocative work spans performance, institutional critique, video, and audience engagement. Open Plan: Andrea Fraser will present her site-specific project, Down the River, which uses audio recorded at a correctional facility to bridge the social, cultural, and geographic divide separating museums from correctional facilities. Since the mid-1970s, the United States has seen a parallel boom in museum and prison construction, with some states, such as New York, recently reversing this trend with prison closures. Fraser’s sound installation seeks to reflect on the parts we play in sustaining these disparate institutions.

Public seminars on Down the River occur daily on the third floor: Monday–Friday at 2 pm; Saturdays and Sundays at 1 pm.

Open Plan: Andrea Fraser is organized by Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator Scott Rothkopf and assistant curator Laura Phipps.Lucy Dodd (b. 1981), installation view of Wuv Shack at David Lewis Gallery, 2015. Courtesy the artist and David Lewis Gallery, New York. Photograph by Jenny Kim.

Lucy Dodd (b. 1981), installation view of Wuv Shack at David Lewis Gallery, 2015. Courtesy the artist and David Lewis Gallery, New York. Photograph by Jenny Kim.

OPEN PLAN: LUCY DODD

MAR 17–MAR 20, 2016

Lucy Dodd (b. 1981) turns the gallery into a site of artistic exploration and live action for her Open Plan presentation. Before the exhibition opens to the public, Dodd will create a new large-scale painting utilizing unusual materials like fermented walnuts, kombucha scoby, hematite, yerba mate, and pigments she has collected in her travels. The new painting will be surrounded by recently made shaped canvases that are intended to evoke sails or waves and respond to the gallery’s river views. By bringing her studio activities into the gallery and inviting musicians to perform, Dodd fosters what she calls “a space of ritual action and improvisation demanding a longer and broader engagement on the part of the audience.”

Open Plan: Lucy Dodd is organized by associate curator Christopher Y. Lew.96.137_heizerm.artist_preferred.v1_2340

Photo Credit: Michael Heizer (b. 1944), Actual Size: Munich Rotary, 1970. Six custom made aluminum projectors with steel stands and six black and white slides mounted between glass, Dimensions variable. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Virginia Dwan 96.137. Photograph © Museum Associates/ LACMA, CA

OPEN PLAN: MICHAEL HEIZER

MAR 25–APR 10, 2016

Michael Heizer’s (b. 1944) large-scale earth works have redefined the parameters of sculpture. He will be represented at the Whitney by his 1970 installation, Actual Size: Munich Rotary, a full-scale photographic documentation of the horizon from inside an 18-foot-deep hole that Heizer dug in the earth in Munich, Germany. Comprised of six black-and-white glass slide projections, six custom-made steel projectors, and six steel pipes with wood platforms, this vast projected work re-images the depression as seen from its center. This is the first time this iconic work in the Whitney’s collection will be shown in New York.Cecil Taylor in rehearsal at the Whitney Museum, November 2015.

Cecil Taylor in rehearsal at the Whitney Museum, November 2015.

OPEN PLAN: CECIL TAYLOR

APR 15–APR 24, 2016

Pianist Cecil Taylor (b. 1929) is one of America’s most innovative and uncompromising living musicians. A pioneer of free jazz whose work draws on a myriad of different musical styles conveyed through radical improvisation, he will take up residence in the fifth-floor gallery along with friends and fellow performers. This residency will feature a series of live performances amid a retrospective environment that will include documentation of Taylor’s career, including videos, audio, notational scores, photographs, poetry, and other ephemera.

Open Plan: Cecil Taylor is organized by curator and curator of performance Jay Sanders and Lawrence Kumpf, artistic director, ISSUE Project Room, with senior curatorial assistant Greta Hartenstein and Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow Lauren Rosati.Steve McQueen (b. 1969), ​End Credits, 2012. Sequence of digitally scanned files, sound, continuous projection

Steve McQueen (b. 1969), ​End Credits, 2012. Sequence of digitally scanned files, sound, continuous projection

OPEN PLAN: STEVE MCQUEEN

APR 29–MAY 14, 2016

Steve McQueen (b. 1969) is a visual artist and filmmaker, whose films include Hunger, Shame, and 12 Years a Slave, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. McQueen’s project for Open Plan will center on a newly expanded version of his work End Credits, which presents documents from the FBI file kept on the legendary African-American performer Paul Robeson.

Open Plan: Steve McQueen is organized by Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator Donna De Salvo, with curatorial assistant Christie Mitchell.

Major support for Open Plan is provided by the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation and the National Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Significant support is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston and Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Generous support is provided by Diane and Adam E. Max. Additional support is provided by Joseph Rosenwald Varet and Esther Kim Varet, and the Performance Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art.