U.S.A. - Columbia-South Carolina - Cleve Gray: Man and Nature

Man and Nature #1 - 1980

Cleve Gray: Man and Nature, a 30-year retrospective of noted American painter Cleve Gray, will be on view at the Columbia Museum of Art from June 26 through September 27, 2009. The exhibition illustrates the full progression of Gray’s practice as he developed his signature gestural style between 1970 and 2004, the year he died. Man and Nature is the first comprehensive touring exhibition of Gray’s work and is the only museum exhibition to date to focus on his mature abstraction. The 47 paintings in the show follow the development of the artist’s color-based abstractions, forged out of introspection, his responses to his extensive travels, and his deep understanding of European and American modernism and Asian sources.

Cleve Gray (1918-2004) was an independent-minded artist whose work paralleled and reflected Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting but did not entirely embrace them. He had a lifelong interest in Asian art, and his interest began avidly when he was at Princeton University where he graduated summa cum laude. Gray developed considerable expertise in Chinese and Japanese art, and he wrote his Princeton thesis on Chinese landscape painting. During the last 30 years of his life, travel to the Middle East and trips to Southeast Asia continued to influence his series of paintings. The reconciliation of opposites also intrigued him, and during the 1980s and ‘90s, he went through phases of simplification and reduction, saying, “I’ve always been attracted to the Chinese sense of yin yang – opposites converging to make a harmony. Male, female, black, white: all coming together.”

Columbia Museum of Art - 26.06.2009-27.09.2009


U.S.A. - Dallas-Texas - American Art 1950s-1970s

The Dallas Museum of Art’s postwar American art holdings are among the great strengths of its collections. Rich in major abstract expressionist paintings, as well as responses to that movement in the collage-based work of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, the depth of our postwar holdings reflects several important developments in American art from the 1950s through the 1970s. In these decades, the dominance of European abstraction before World War II gave way to the rise of New York as a center of the avant-garde, while setting the stage for numerous movements and styles whose influence is still being felt today.
This exhibition brings together highlights from the collections to suggest the postwar era’s richness. It juxtaposes monumental, totem-like abstract expressionist canvases with an intimate box construction by Joseph Cornell and the brash and bold wit of pop artists like Tom Wesselmann and Richard Lindner. The installation’s thematic organization emphasizes the diverse connections among all these works and invites multiple interpretations from the viewer.

Dallas Museum of Art - 25.01.2009-11.10.2009

Website : Dallas Museum of Art

Website : City of Dallas

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U.S.A. - Chapel Hill-North Carolina - Saga in the Bamboo Grove

In 1998, Curator of Collections Timothy Riggs worked with the eminent Asian art scholar Sherman Emery Lee on plans to reinstall the Asian collection at the Ackland. Though Riggs had known Lee for years - and known of him for even longer - this was the first project on which he worked exclusively with Lee. Riggs was nervous when he first began a series of visits the Lees' house in Chapel Hill for discussions about the installation. "I was very much intimidated," Riggs said. "Sherman was a formidable figure." At the time, the Ackland had recently acquired a pair of screens called The Seven Sages in the Bamboo Grove, and after finding the Lees' house surrounded by a garden filled with rocks and bamboo, Riggs began to think of Lee as his own sage in the bamboo grove. It is an image that has stayed with him since, and was the inspiration for the title of this spring's exhibition Sage in the Bamboo Grove: The Legacy of Sherman E. Lee (February 28 - September 20, 2009).
"I learned just about all I know about Asian art from Sherman, beginning with that installation," said Riggs.
It was one of the Ackland's great strokes of fortune that Lee chose to live in Chapel Hill after retiring as director of the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1983. Recognized as one of the outstanding scholars of his generation in the field of Asian art, Lee spent the next two and a half decades assisting the Museum in building what is now the most significant collection of Asian art in North Carolina, and one of the premier collections in the south. When Lee passed away on July 9, 2008, the Ackland community was deeply saddened. This spring, the Museum celebrates Lee's life and contributions with Sage in the Bamboo Grove.
Sage in the Bamboo Grove is a multi-gallery exhibition showcasing the ways in which Lee helped to build the Ackland. As a connoisseur and scholar, he advised Ackland directors and curators on Museum purchases in the field of Asian art; he served as advisor to collectors who then donated to the Ackland Collection; and Lee and his wife Ruth gave generously through the years from their own collection. Sage in the Bamboo Grove will feature a selection of works drawn from these three areas, including screens, scrolls, sculpture, and ceramics of major aesthetic quality. All are treasures in the Ackland Collection.
Exhibition Curator Carol Gillham, who knew Lee for more than twenty-five years, said, "The works chosen for this exhibition will, I am sure, give abundant proof of Sherman Lee's invaluable support of the Ackland in its quest to build a collection of Asian art of great quality and historical value for the University."
The exhibition will fill four Ackland galleries. The magnificent Birds and Flowers by Sesshu Toyo (seen above), Japan's most renowned Zen Buddhist painter, and the screen Chang Kuo-lao (tsugen Sennin) and Other Taoist Immortals, will be on display Upstairs at the Ackland. Downstairs galleries will be reinstalled with scrolls, ceramics, and sculpture, including the Indian sculpture Standing Vishnu from the Chola period, a perennial favorite and one of the first pieces bought with Lee's advice. The exhibition will show not only works given by the Lees and purchased by the Museum on their advice, but many others that were given by significant Ackland donors with whom Lee was instrumental in developing important relationships. These include the collectors Gilbert and Clara Yager, Herbert and Eunice Shatzman, and Gratia and Osborne Hauge.

Ackland Art Museum 28.02.2009-20.09.2009

Website : Town of Chapel Hill


U.S.A. - Allentown-Pennsylvania - Fashion in Film

Janet Patterson Evening dress of gold lamé overlaid with black and gold net worn by Nicole Kidman as Isabel Archer in The Portrait of a Lady.Photography by Mark Thomas Photography, London, England.

Allentown Art Museum
May 17 – August 9, 2009
Fashion in Film: Period Costumes for the Screen

The mystique and allure of historical costumes never fail to fascinate, and when you add in the star power of Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Drew Barrymore and Madonna, the combination is potent for young and old, male and female alike. “Fashion in Film” showcases 36 period costumes worn by these and other high-profile celebrities in film classics known to all. The costumes, drawn from the collection of Cosprop Ltd., the renowned London costume house, present a sort of Project Runway that spans four centuries of style, from Elizabethan England to the “Golden Age” of 1890s America to 1950s Argentina. The films in which the costumes were used include“Elizabeth, Evita, Dangerous Liaisons,Ever After, Pride and Prejudice, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Out of Africa, and Titanic, among others. Mounted photo murals and posters from the films complete the show. The details and artisanship of the costumes is impressive, closely following the styles of the times they emulate, right down to the underwear. The costumes not only reflect the required period look so necessary for capturing the spirit of the films but also reflect a quality and authenticity that becomes part of the wearer’s dramatic support system.
The exhibition will also showcase some of the historical textiles in the Allentown Art Museum’s own collection. Textiles chosen from the periods represented by the films will be included in the exhibition to give attendees a sampling of the riches of our own collection as well as a look at authentic fabrics of the period. An embroidered muslin shawl from 1810, for example, might represent the era of Pride and Prejudice, and our gem-trimmed Indian prince’s vest will provide a dramatic accompaniment to the Little Maharajah’s robe from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Organized by the Trust for Museum Exhibitions, Washington, D.C. in cooperation with Cosprop Ltd., London, England

Website : Allentown Art Museum

Website : City of Allentown