Embracing Modernism: Ten Years of Drawings Acquisitions » The Morgan Library & Museum

February 13 through May 24, 2015

This exhibition marks the 10th anniversary of the Morgan Library & Museum‘s pivotal decision to collect and exhibit modern and contemporary drawings. Long noted for its holdings of Old Master drawings, the Morgan over the last decade has been able to acquire hundreds of exceptional works by some of the greatest artists of our time. The show will include more than ninety drawings created between 1900 and 2013 by artists from Matisse, Mondrian, and Schiele to Pollock, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Twombly, and—more recently—Kippenberger and Dumas.

Curated by Isabelle Dervaux, who has guided the Morgan’s acquisitions and exhibition program in this area since her appointment as the first curator of modern and contemporary drawings at the Morgan in 2005, the show will propose a reflection on twentieth-century drawing, looking notably at the characteristics that define its modernity in relation to the historical tradition.

Embracing Modernism: Ten Years of Drawings Acquisitions is made possible by the Ricciardi Family Exhibition Fund and the Rita Markus Fund for Exhibitions.

Richard Pousette-Dart’s Passacaglia, 1941–42 will be included in this exhibition.

Image Caption:
Roy Lichtenstein (1923–1997), No Thank You! (Study), 1964, graphite and colored pencil on wove paper, The Morgan Library & Museum. Gift of James and Katherine Goodman, 2011.40. Photography by Graham S. Haber, 2013. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

From Picasso to Fontana » Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum


January 23, 2015 through April 13, 2015

In the 1960s works by some of the most significant European artists of the first half of the twentieth century—including Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso, as well as seminal contemporary figures, such as Alberto Burri, Lucio Fontana, Pierre Soulages, and Antoni Tàpies—were donated to or purchased for the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (then the Washington University Gallery of Art). William N. Eisendrath, Jr., served as curator and later the first director of the Museum during this period, shepherding the collection as it grew to include over fifty new acquisitions of European modernism and cutting-edge post-World War ll abstraction. Among the works that entered the collection at this time is Pablo Picasso’s Women of Algiers, Variation “N” (1955), one of a series of fifteen paintings that Picasso made after Eugène Delacroix’s well-known painting The Women of Algiers in their Apartment (1834) in the Musée du Louvre in Paris. A gift of Etta Steinberg to commemorate the 1960 dedication of Washington University’s Steinberg Hall, it demonstrated the Museum’s commitment to collecting contemporary European trends.

Building on the legacy of collecting and exhibiting art of the time established by his predecessors H. W. Janson and Frederick Hartt, Eisendrath presented a series of landmark international loan exhibitions that reinforced the significance of European and American modernism, including exhibitions of the work of Alexander Calder, Max Ernst, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee. Under his leadership, the Museum also hosted traveling exhibitions of some of the most experimental art of the post-World War ll period, bringing the work of a new generation of European and American abstract artists to the contemporary scene in St. Louis. These exhibitions encouraged donations of both European modernism and postwar abstraction by many prominent St. Louis collectors—including Morton D. May, Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., the Sydney M. Shoenberg family, Etta Steinberg, and Florence and Richard K. Weil, among others—significantly enriching the Museum’s collection. Part of a series of exhibitions looking at the development of the Kemper Art Museum’s collection in the 1940s, the 1950s, and now the 1960s, this exhibition presents, on view together for the first time, the seminal artworks that entered the collection under Eisendrath’s leadership.

Richard Pousette-Dart’s painting Blue Presence (1958) is included in this exhibition.

Support for the exhibition is provided by the William T. Kemper Foundation, the Hortense Lewin Art Fund, the Yeatman Fund, and members of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.

Image credit
Pablo Picasso, Les femmes d’Alger (Women of Algiers), Variation “N”, 1955. Oil on canvas, 45 x 57 5/8″. Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis. University purchase, Steinberg Fund, 1960. © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Absence / Presence: The Photographs of Richard Pousette-Dart » Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute

November 8, 2014 through January 4, 2015

Abstract Expressionist painter Richard Pousette-Dart (1916-92) pursued photography as a serious visual enterprise throughout his long and distinguished career, creating brilliant nature studies and portraits, including those of New York School colleagues Mark Rothko, Betty Parsons, John Graham, Barnett Newman and Theodoros Stamos. In 1948 Pousette-Dart’s photographs were presented in a one-man show at the Betty Parsons Gallery and in 1953 honored by Photography Magazine, yet today this penetrating body of work is overshadowed by the artist’s immense achievements in painting. The Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute is proud to organizeAbsence/Presence, the first museum survey of Pousette-Dart’s photographic work, which is available for tour to two additional museum venues. The exhibition draws together approximately 45 vintage photographs printed by the artist between the 1930s and 1980s, including unique examples with hand-applied pigments. Absence/Presence is additionally supported by archival display materials and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.

Absence/Presence demonstrates that Richard Pousette-Dart was a masterful, innovative photographer working in dialogue with avant-garde strains of the medium and the visual language of painting. Compelling images of fellow artists, musicians, filmmakers and writers reveal the rich intellectual milieu in which the artist flourished, his subjects often suspended within veils of timeless “presence” fashioned through multiple exposure and superimposition. Sumptuous photographic images of the natural world mirror the spiritual and transcendent properties of light, form and line at the heart of Pousette-Dart’s abstract painting. Presenting the extraordinary vision of one of the 20th century’s leading abstract artists as captured through the camera’s lens and further shaped by advanced darkroom approaches, Absence/Presenceilluminates Richard Pousette-Dart as a multifaceted Abstract Expressionist fascinated by the universal possibilities inherent at the nexus of hand and eye.

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute is located at 310 Genesee Street, Utica, NY 13502.

Sponsored By Citizens Bank

Full Circle: Works on Paper by Richard Pousette-Dart » Philadelphia Museum of Art

September 13, 2014 through November 30, 2014

Full Circle surveys the long and extremely prolific career of one of the twentieth century’s most creative draftsmen, Richard Pousette-Dart (American, 1916-1992). Focused on his works on paper, the exhibition explores his remarkably varied use of materials and techniques, which often involved layering and scraping, scribbling and dripping, dotting and blotting. Over the course of nearly seventy years, his imagery evolved through various approaches in an attempt “to express the spiritual nature of the universe.”

In the 1940s and 1950s, Pousette-Dart was associated with Abstract Expressionists like Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Motherwell, artists with whom he exhibited in New York galleries. During this period, he created densely layered, semiabstract images that incorporated pictographic, geometric, and organic shapes emerging among spontaneous markings and multiple layers of pigment. His methods included automatic drawing as well as layering and dripping paint, practices most associated with Pollock. He also painted small, glowing watercolors inspired by Byzantine mosaics and Gothic stained-glass windows. Forms from these early works–circles and concentric circles, rectangles and squares, ovals and eye shapes–endured throughout the artist’s entire body of work.

In the 1960s, Pousette-Dart eliminated line and used carefully modulated dots of color to produce glowing auras of light. From about 1976 to the end of his career, his works on paper reveal myriad new approaches to radiant imagery along with an incredible diversity of materials often employed in novel combinations. These include evocative pencil drawings touched with white paint, delicate hand-colored etchings, bold black-and-white paintings of geometric forms, and colorful acrylics on handmade paper. Full Circle, which presents about sixty of the finest examples of Pousette-Dart’s works on paper as well as six of his notebooks, demonstrates that no matter how varied and complex his approaches, the sources of his inspiration remained intensely focused throughout his entire career.

The exhibition is generously supported by The Robert Montgomery Scott Fund for Exhibitions. The accompanying publication is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Fund for Scholarly Publications at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Innis Howe Shoemaker, The Audrey and William H. Helfand Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Honickman and Berman Galleries, ground floor