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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Notable Contemporary Art Exhibits: East,West and Mid U.S.

New York City
 through June 8th
Focuses on Paul Gauguin’s rare prints and transfer drawings, and their relationship to his better-known paintings and sculptures in wood and ceramic. Approximately 150 works, including some 120 works on paper and a selection of some 30 related paintings and sculptures, it is the first exhibition to take an in-depth look at this overall body of work.
Created in several discreet bursts of activity from 1889 until his death in 1903, these remarkable works on paper reflect Gauguin’s experiments with a range of media, from radically “primitive” woodcuts to jewel-like watercolor monotypes and large, mysterious transfer drawings. Gauguin’s creative process often involved repeating and recombining key motifs from one image to another, allowing them to evolve and metamorphose over time and across media.

Also at MOMA 
through June 1, 2014
Celebrates the recent joint acquisition of Frank Lloyd Wright’s extensive archive by MoMA and Columbia University’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library. Through an initial selection of drawings, films, and large-scale architectural models, the exhibition examines the tension in Wright’s thinking about the growing American city in the 1920s and 1930s, when he worked simultaneously on radical new forms for the skyscraper and on a comprehensive plan for the urbanization of the American landscape titled “Broadacre City.”   
Highlighting Wright’s complex relationship to the city, the material reveals him to have been a compelling theorist of both its horizontal and vertical aspects. His work, in this way, is not only of historic importance but of remarkable relevance to current debates on urban concentration.

Los Angeles
At The Hammer Museum  
through May 18, 2014
Approximately 100 works, including prints as well as rare books and ephemera (such as menus, theater programs, and music scores). This array of objects gives the exhibition an intimate quality, revealing much about how women – and men – lived their lives during a time of great social upheaval and artistic innovation. 
Whether as angelic creatures or exotic lures, women filled the imaginations of artists and were a frequent subject of fin-de-siècle art. Those who had leisure time were depicted relaxing with an afternoon cup of tea, as seen in a Mary Cassatt etching, whereas other artists portrayed the drug addiction common to women facing harsh economic realities.

Also at The Hammer Museum  
through May 18, 2014
Focuses on the intersection of two important genres of contemporary art: appropriation (taking and recasting existing images, forms, and styles from mass-media and fine art sources) and institutional critique (scrutinizing and confronting the structures and practices of our social, cultural, and political institutions). The exhibition brings together works by thirty-six American artists who came to prominence between the late 1970s and the early 1990s. 
The majority of the works on view are from the 1980s and 1990s, a groundbreaking period that was shaped by the feminist and civil rights movements of the previous decades. Conscious of the profound impact on society of mass media such as television, newspapers, and film, artists examined critical questions of identity and representation via politically and socially engaged practices.

San Francisco
NEWS:  the SFMOMA building is closed for expansion through early 2016. But in the interim, you can experience SFMOMA's exhibitions and events at locations around the Bay Area. Check the website for info. 

At the Museum of Contemporary Art through Jun 15, 2014
 The 1960s were important years for artists and friends Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987) and Marisol (Marisol Escobar, American, b. France, 1930), and marked a formative period in the development of their individual careers. Warhol began using his celebrated silk screen techniques to produce serial paintings, often based on mass media images. Marisol made the first of many portraits and developed her signature style, wooden sculptures with flat painted surfaces and additional elements such as everyday objects or plaster castings. Both were prominent figures in New York City’s lively art scene during this time.
Inspired by the multifaceted relationship of these two artists, the show presents a focused selection of their works, side-by-side.

Also at the Museum of Contemporary Art 
through Aug 17, 2014
MCA DNA: AlexanderCalder 
Traces the development of the artist’s ideas over a fifty-year career, in particular, his exploration of how art can move in response to its physical environment. The exhibition presents examples of Alexander Calder’s (American, 1898–1976), mobiles, stabiles, and works on paper dating from the 1920s to the 1970s—a selection of the museum’s in-depth holdings of the seminal artist’s work.
Trained as an engineer, Calder applied his knowledge of mechanics to colorful abstract shapes. Activated by air currents, his dynamic mobiles are ever-changing compositions. Marcel Duchamp invented the word mobile to describe Calder’s revolutionary work.


At the Walker Art Center 
through June 20, 2014
The first major museum exhibition to focus on the drawings and creative process of Edward Hopper (1882–1967), surveys his significant and underappreciated achievements as a draftsman. More than anything else, Hopper’s drawings reveal the continually evolving relationship between observation and invention in the artist’s work. Includes pairings of many of his greatest oil paintings with their preparatory drawings and related works.

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