6 July - 24 August 2019
“Not everybody seems to see the world that they’re living in […] and it’s such a kick, really, seeing things.”
– Lois Dodd
Modern Art is pleased to announce a major exhibition of paintings by Lois Dodd spanning the last six decades of the artist’s career. This is Dodd’s first exhibition with the gallery and her first survey outside America. The show will include works encompassing the breadth of Dodd’s output and covering key motifs including landscapes, isolated architectural elements, nocturnal scenes and burning houses.
Lois Dodd (b. Montclair, New Jersey, 1927) has spent more than seventy years attentively observing the natural and manmade architectures of her surroundings and recording them in paint. Her works preserve the beauty camouflaged in ordinary and occasionally enigmatic details such as windows, wood siding, greenery and washing lines. Dodd’s quintessentially American pictures recount a life spent painting outdoors, much of it in the Delaware Water Gap and the bucolic settings around her summer home in Midcoast Maine, in addition to time in her Manhattan studio. At 92, she continues to produce new work.
Lois Dodd attended Cooper Union in New York from 1945 to 1948, where she studied textile design. She also painted throughout her schooling, and soon after graduating would shift her focus entirely to painting. In 1951, she moved to Italy for a year with the sculptor William King. Upon their return, Dodd and King founded a small cooperative gallery in Manhattan’s Tenth Street with Charles Cajori, Angelo Ippolito and Fred Mitchell. Operating from 1952 until 1962, Tanager Gallery was soon populated by figures such as Alex Katz, Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston and Helen Frankenthaler, and became undisputedly the most influential of all the artist-run spaces in the experimental Tenth Street milieu.
Dodd’s painting practice first concretised during this period. Influenced by principles of observed natural light and repeated looking that characterise the work of artists such as Edward Hopper and Paul Cézanne, Dodd quickly adopted a subdued palette of pale greens, rusty oranges, rich creams and browns, and a shorthand of synoptic brushstrokes and economical paint applications with which to impart her vision.
Her works from the 1950s demonstrate an explorative period with a visual language of largely amorphous shapes tending towards pure abstraction. By the following decade, Dodd had located an instinctive vernacular in fertile transcriptions of branches and skies, and hazy views of buildings. In a longstanding series of windows for which she has garnered much attention, Dodd’s works range from Hitchcockian voyeurism to meditations on opacity and the curiosity in dilapidation. Dodd’s observational painting over the years has become an ode to nature in its short-term flux and long-term rhythms, whether it is witnessed directly or through panes of glass. Consistent throughout her work, however, is the affirmation that she is not striving for illusion, but instead that her images are constructed of paint.
Lois Dodd’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions throughout the United States, including Ogunquit Museum of American Art, ME (2018); Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME (2014); Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME (2004); Montclair Art Museum, NJ (1996); and Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (1990). A retrospective organised in 2012 by the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, travelled to Portland Museum of Art, ME, the following year. From 1971 to 1992, Dodd taught at Brooklyn College, NY. She has also held positions at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and Vermont Studio Center. Her work can be found in collections including The Art Institute of Chicago; Hall Art Foundation, Holle; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. In Autumn 2017, a major monograph was published by Lund Humphries. A new publication by Modern Art will be released on the occasion of the exhibition.
Through February 9, 2020.
Slab City Rendezvous, whose title comes from a 1964 painting by Red Grooms, features the work of a group of young New York-based avant-garde artists who in the years following World War II discovered the pleasures of summering and working in Maine. They became some of the most successful and important artists of their generation, charting new directions for contemporary art. Their work presented a return to realism and figuration in the face of Abstract Expressionism, the style then dominating the increasingly important center of international contemporary art in New York. Their accomplishments formed another chapter in the story of Maine’s ongoing role in American art.
The exhibition will include works by Rudy Burckhardt, Lois Dodd, Rackstraw Downes, Red Grooms, Mimi Gross, Yvonne Jacquette, Alex Katz, Neil Welliver, and Bernard Langlais, among others.
Katonah Museum of Art
March 17 - June 16, 2019
LandEscape explores the early 20th century American modernists who exhibited their innovative paintings at the groundbreaking 1913 Armory Show, and compares it to the work of artists from the 21st century who have rediscovered and reinvigorated the genre. This show is comprised of approximately 30 works and reveals how a diverse range of artists broke from the established landscape painting traditions of their predecessors to create a new visual language that profoundly changed the way landscape was perceived. Artists such as Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Alfred Maurer, Helen Torr and Marguerite Zorach all engaged with what was considered to be an unexceptional genre. One hundred years later the same innovative impulse has once again emerged in the works of contemporary artists Jo Baer, Lois Dodd, April Gornik, Shara Hughes, Alex Katz and Judy Pfaff who have again reinterpreted the landscape. Curated by Olga Dekalo.
Techniques of the Observer
Gillian Carnegie, Lois Dodd, Thomas Eggerer, Michael Fullerton, Michael Krebber, Stuart Middleton, Elizabeth Peyton, Walter Price, Elliott Jamal Robbins, Giangiacomo Rossetti, Nolan Simon, Katharina Wulff
February 5th—March 9th, 2019
Visual culture is currently undergoing a major historical rupture: for the first time, mechanical imagery no longer follows a humanist model, mimicking the neural and physiological design of retinal sight. Technology has developed new models of visualization indifferent to the codes by which we’ve long processed images and organized their logic. Observation, as Jonathan Crary has indicated in 24/7, has become systemized and quantifiable – mediated intake of images can be monitored and surveilled. This exhibition will survey the persistence of observational painting within this charged arena, presenting artists who take both radical and restorative approaches, both responding to current visual codes and bypassing their interferences. Some artists reflect back the cool detachment that has infiltrated realism through digital techniques, others practice with an immediacy and sensuality more closely related to the impressions of the human eye. All of the artists on view engage representation as the concept itself rapidly shifts.
Thomas Eggerer’s vertiginous new paintings portray fragmented young bodies from impossible angles, strangely coalescing around signifiers of consumption and authority. Painting from an aerial and perpendicular view, Eggerer’s vantage point underlines the use of both aerial and subterranean space to maximize urban real estate and infrastructure. Eggerer eliminates horizon lines and suggests what’s underneath rather than what’s beyond—an effect compounded by the painting’s central manhole, which signifies depth without proffering it. Depicted in cool tones, the folds in his clothes and topography of his face expertly contoured against a hard horizon line in the background, the young man depicted in S (2016) is among Gillian Carnegie’s serial subjects. Carnegie approaches the rigor of genre painting as readymade, circumscribed parameters in which to explore multiple valences of perception. Repeatedly engaging with her subject under various conditions, her still lifes, portraits, and other sources splinter into a series of impressions, exposing their bare materiality and that of paint itself.
Michael Krebber’s Untitled (2007) obscures its source—the backdrop of Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures—through several layers of mediation. Likely a painted backdrop to begin with, Krebber compounds his subject’s filmic translation, generating a sequence of facsimile ever further removed from its source. The result is a distilled, archetypal still life, its ghostly tonal inversions recalling a retinal afterimage. Elizabeth Peyton paints from a photograph of a video of classical pianist David Frey, not only forging a distance between her painting and its source, but also enforcing a mediatic shift: Frey is isolated from sound, movement, and his craft, his contemplation rendered enigmatic.
Lois Dodd’s window paintings navigate a tension between observational transcription and predetermined geometry. In Back of Men’s Hotel (from My Window) (2016), Dodd paints the view from the quintessential portal for observation, reciprocated across the street by a series of reflective squares, each shining back a varied night sky. Walter Price’s invented spaces incorporate abstraction to achieve their structural ambiguity. Realism is detectable in signifiers and tenuous spatial organization; yet Price’s topographic surface of paint resists an imagistic reading.
Elliott Jamal Robbins’ work intersects social construction and self-perception to produce violently fractured narratives. In his Walk Series, installed here in sequence, Robbins paints stereotyped images in motion, only to repeatedly obliterate them—suggesting impeded progress. Stuart Middleton’s drawings of cattle constitute pristine renderings of the sanitized violence of the livestock industry, confirming the image as a distancing mechanism. Drawn from photographs by the artist, taken at a county fair where the livestock was showcased, Middleton faithfully renders the animals’ musculature and adornments. Middleton’s practice on the whole examines the specific application of animal psychology to the livestock industry—an example of exploiting evolutionarily learned behavior to optimize production. In Nolan Simon’s work, the most circulated, and opposed, of visual content collide—the religious motif, pornography, and social media. The work on view refers simultaneously to religious gesture and fetish, while also betraying the lighting of amateur photography to inflect the personal—executed with cool precision, the image is rendered a neutral space of projection.
Michael Fullerton’s portraiture depicts figures at the intersection of media, technology, and power. For this exhibition, Fullerton presents Groupie: painted from a picture of a pre-teen model affecting an aloof adult, Fullerton titles the work for a term that, since the 1960s, has evolved from a descriptor of sexual agency to that of a power imbalance. On view by Katharina Wulff are two sparsely occupied and delicately rendered scenes, exemplifying the artist’s engagement with, and updates of, German romanticism—transported to the artist’s adopted home of Morocco. Each strangely halting in their articulation, these representational works become fantastic by way of what is omitted. Giangiacomo Rossetti’s Capriccio sopra la lontananza del suo fratello dilettissimo (2019)—translates to Capriccio on the departure of a beloved brother, and originates from a seminal composition by J.S. Bach. Bach’s piece was written as his brother left for Sweden, Rossetti’s work was occasioned by his own departure from Milan. The work is sourced from his brother’s Instagram, and framed with the oroboro – a snake eating its own tail.
Most people use five-by-seven-inch sheets of aluminum as a refuge against the outdoors—they help keep a roof watertight. Not Lois Dodd, who, at ninety-two, still carries them into the landscape of Maine to paint en plein air, as she has for decades, part poet and part reporter. Flashing, the material’s name, also tidily summarizes her process: Dodd paints quickly with oils, wet into wet, finishing each little gem in one session. Eighty-five of these pictures line the walls of the Alexandre gallery, in midtown (through Feb. 9). The time of day and the scale both shift, as Dodd zooms out to float a dime-size amber moon in an inky night sky or zooms in to discover a yellow sunflower petal in a shady patch of green grass. Bodies appear, most endearingly as a series of fleshy female nudes. The show is an antidote to ostentation, until Dodd introduces a handful of non-plein-air Trumps, a jarring reminder that there’s now no respite from politics in American life.
—Andrea K. Scott
John Walker: Moments of Observation
January 18, 2019 through July 14, 2019
The vicissitudes of land and sea have provided rich subject matter for John Walker’s paintings over the past fifteen years. Sheldon’s exhibition features both large- and small-scale works created by the artist in response to living much of this period on the coast of Maine. Born in Birmingham, England, in 1939 and trained in the UK and France, Walker was selected to represent Great Britain in the 1972 Venice Biennale. Widely traveled, he currently resides in the US.
On March 5, in the exhibition galleries, John Walker discussed his creative process and fascination with the coastline of Maine with writer and art historian Jennifer Samet, who first interviewed him in 2013 for her ongoing column in Hyperallergic, “Beer with a Painter.”
Opening Reception at 499 Park Avenue Wednesday, September 26, 5:00 to 7:00 pm
September 15, 2018 - March 30, 2019
Illustrated brochure with text by Karen Wilkin available
The declarative stripes and zigzags that populate Walker’s recent works, made with emphatic, nested strokes of a loaded brush, can be read in many ways. They announce the abstractness of the picture, asserting its existence as a confrontational object with their generous scale and unabashed geometry. For anyone aware that Walker’s history includes an extended sojourn in Australia, the repetitive, varied patterns of the stripes and angles might provoke associations with Aboriginal or tribal art of the Pacific, which sometimes had repercussions in his earlier work. But these elements take on other meanings, in relation to coastal Maine. The insistent but irregular rhythms of the nested stripes can be seen as graphic versions of the changing rhythms of how the ocean meets the shore, as waves or tide, while the dizzying repetitions of the strokes can be interpreted as distillations of the hypnotic effect of breakers. And more. Or less.
- Karen Wilkin, 2018
At the Edge of Land and Water: John Walker’s Landscapes
by Wendy Gittler
At first glance, the bold patterns in John Walker’s recent paintings and drawings appear to mark a change in direction from the large gritty paintings of tidal pools of Maine that were his last body of work. On further viewing, it becomes apparent that his familiar landscapes of mud, water, fire and tides have become compressed into signs or ideograms. These perhaps reflect time spent in Australia during the1980s when he made a study of boriginal bark and cave paintings as well as the abstract lineage of modernism.
The intimate, explorative exhibition at the New York Studio School exposes his complex interaction with a particular place and its shifting transient nature. Walker has often spoken about rejecting the picturesque in favor of primordial nature as represented by mud, dirt and water. In the region of Maine’s Seal Point and John’s Bay, he has found these necessary elemental motifs. At the edge of land and water, he has become immersed in the visceral experience of light, space and motion. There he has sought to bridge the atmospheric, volumetric world of matter and its equivalence in signs. Landscape thus becomes an arena not only to view the fleeting nature of the elements with its seasonal and biological cycles but also a vessel for thought and process within the context of various pictorial languages.
In Fire and Tide and Two Brush Fires, some of his former complex spatial panoramas with their diverse vantage points and horizon lines remain. Walker, however, has often changed his viewing perspective. At times, he has vicariously crawled along the surface of the earth or seen things as a fish traversing water or as a bird from above or a combination of different vantage points in the same painting. In Two Brush Fires a vertical panoramic space is grounded by two trees uniting land, fire, water and sky seen both from above and at the horizon. By contrast, John’s Bay Pollution” reveals a flatter, condensed spatial world of water patterns containing floating interactive shapes. Viewed from above, a brown form hovers over incoming and outgoing tides acting as a magnifying glass revealing particles of pollution. This pivotal form compresses the action of the bird/fish and shield shapes reminiscent of the mapping of animal and water trails found in Australian aboriginal painting.
Sign language becomes even more evident in black and white drawings that evoke musical exercises with their motifs and recapitulations of the ebb and flow of tides: times of day amidst floating objects pulled by currents. Walker has stated that all his abbreviations of shapes and forms come from acute observation of particular sites. His drawings reflect these observations of a sea world with undulating patterns, horizontal and vertical lines that act as cross currents creating pulsating tensions. Fish, ice cakes, detritus, clam markings, and fragments of land intermesh with the tides.
Walker’s quest to reassemble pictorial language from a diverse painting vocabulary is no easy task. Throughout his long career he has searched for ways to meld the painterly traditions of Goya, Constable, Turner and Abstract Expressionism with the more formal language of Matisse, Malevich and Ethnographic Art. Over the past decades he has been moving back and forth between both pictorial concepts, sometimes emphasizing his love of light and expressive painterly forms, other times using abbreviated signs, and sometimes managing to simultaneously employ both modes. In his painting series, “A Theater of Recollections” (about his father in the muddy trenches of World War I) he combined ideograms, patterns, and words from poems that interact with volumetric shapes and atmospheric moods. The Studio School show is a good introduction to his innovative merging of the physical tactile world with a formal language of signs, ideograms and pictographs, expanding the painter’s language in this time.
New York Studio School
8 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011
Exhibition Dates Mon, December 11, 2017 - Sun, January 21, 2018
Opening Reception & Lecture, Tuesday, December 12, 5:30-8pm
Lecture: William Corbett: John Walker Drawing, 6:30pm-7:30pm
Join us for the Opening Reception of John Walker in the NYSS Gallery, 5:30-6:30, and again after the lecture, until 8 pm.
Closing Reception with the Artist, Thursday, January 18, 6-8pm
The New York Studio School and Alexandre Gallery present John Walker: The Sea and The Brush, an exhibition featuring new paintings and works on paper that capture the power, rhythms and raw beauty of the Northern New England sea coast.
As with the landscape, the works present themselves as simultaneously tight and loose, primal and poetic. Each piece seems to reconsider the systems of nature from which they are derived. Walker’s line work, its zigs and zags, elucidate the artist’s attempt to grasp what can’t be held—the lapping water, disintegrating horizon, evaporating marks in the muddy shoreline. The works contain the repetitive restlessness of Kusama’s infinity works and the clarity of Matisse cut outs.
The drawings show an intimate side of Walker’s process and initial impulses. They are fast, but not casual, real, but far from literal. A viewer unaware of Walker’s attachment to the Maine landscape may not realize that this scene sparks the works, yet for Walker these works hold the essential elements of this place. With his brush, Walker transforms the personal into the heroic.
John Walker (b. 1939) is British born American abstract painter whose work is inspired in part by observation of the landscape and sea. He has had numerous exhibitions both domestically and abroad. Walker studied at Birmingham College of Art, The British school in Rome, and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris. John Walker was a Gregory Fellow at Leeds University. He was awarded a Harkness Fellowship to the United States (1969–70) and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1981. He has been artist-in-residence at Oxford University (1977–78), and at Monash University, Melbourne (1980). In the 1980’s he was Dean of Victoria College of Art in Melbourne, Australia. He is professor Emeritus of Art and former head of the graduate program in painting at Boston University School of Visual Arts, where he taught from 1993 to 2015.
His work can be found in museum collections, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; The Guggenheim Museum, New York; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Gallery, Edinburgh; Tate Gallery, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut.
Will Barnet: Family Homage
July 1 – August 29
Will Barnet is a giant in the history of 20th Century American Art. He was widely associated with the most prominent figures in painting spanning several generations and movements, from Stuart Davis and Yasuo Kuniyoshi, to James Rosenquist and Cy Twombly. Entwining figurative and abstract elements with personal and universal themes, Barnet’s practice charts an extraordinary progression through 20th Century American painting. Will Barnet: Family Homage features 29 rarely exhibited paintings drawn from the artist’s most personal body of work, those retained by his family and a foundation created in his name. The exhibition is organized by the Ogunquit Museum of American Art in collaboration with the Barnet Foundation.
JOHN WALKER | FROM SEAL POINT
JUNE 24 - OCTOBER 29
For more than two decades, artist John Walker has been painting the view from his property at Seal Point, Maine, and his tough, lush, muscular paintings from this place have been described as “existential images.” Seal Point is for Walker what Mont Saint Victoire was for Cezanne, a subject to be revisited time and again until, as the artist says, “one knows more about it than anyone else. That is what Seal Point is to me.”
For the first time, Walker’s most recent paintings of Seal Point are exhibited together near their place of origin. The exhibition includes paintings and small works on paper created over the past five years and updates the exhibition, Looking Out to Sea, presented at Alexandre Gallery in NYC in 2015.
An esteemed figure in contemporary painting, Walker has been called “one of the standout abstract painters of the last fifty years” by The Boston Globe. And art critic John Yau writes, “He makes paintings that you can move around in, argue with, think about, and chew on.” From 1999 to 2014, Walker led the Graduate Program in Painting at Boston University, helping to make it known for excellence in painting at the graduate level. Prior to that he taught at Cooper Union and Yale University.
John Walker was born in 1939 in Birmingham, England, and studied at the Birmingham School of Art and at La Grande Chaumière in Paris. He has exhibited widely internationally, including representing England at the 1972 Venice Bienniale.
Concurrently, The Bowdoin College Museum of Art will feature six large scale drawings in the exhibition John Walker: A Painter Draws, on view May 18 – August 20.
John Walker: A Painter Draws
On view May 18, 2017 - August 20, 2017
The focus of this exhibition is a series of six large works on paper created by John Walker during a visit to Sydney, Australia, in 2012. Titled Sydney Botanical Garden they respond to a bamboo plant that the artist encountered. Walker worked on-site, often attracting onlookers, when he captured his subject in ink and acrylic and subsequently tore and collaged several of the works. Exhibited here for the first time, these stunning works surround viewers with a luscious, richly textured and colored, immersive environment. John Walker’s art offers a bold and imaginative demonstration of the possibilities inherent in the medium of drawing today.
Walker has held a residence in Maine since the 1980s and, after concluding his service as director of Boston University’s Graduate Program in Painting and Sculpture, now lives in Walpole. John Walker has represented Britain in the Venice Biennale and has received numerous awards and distinctions. The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; The Tate Gallery, London; the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, all exhibited his work in solo exhibitions. The Bowdoin College Museum of Art organized an exhibition of Walker’s work in 2001. The Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland, Maine, presents John Walker: From Seal Point, from June 17 through October 29, 2017.
Why Draw? 500 Years of Drawings and Watercolors at Bowdoin College
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
May 3, 2017 - September 3, 2017
A drawing by gallery artist Neil Welliver is included in the exhibition, "Why Draw? 500 Years of Drawings and Watercolors at Bowdoin College"
This exhibition surveys the Museum’s distinguished collections of drawings, which was founded by James Bowdoin with a bequest in 1811 and is widely regarded as the first in the country. This overview features rarely seen works by artists from Carlo Maratti and Peter Paul Rubens to Winslow Homer, Ed Ruscha, Eva Hesse, and Natalie Frank. Throughout the last 500 years, artists found ingenious ways to capture their observations, visualize information, and work through pictorial ideas. They drew to learn, to teach, and to communicate with workshops, colleagues, and collectors. The intimacy of drawing makes it an absorbing field of study for anyone interested in human imagination and creativity.
What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week
With their frequently scant brushwork, marks and indications of natural phenomena, the 10 landscape paintings and three graphite drawings in “Lois Dodd: Early Paintings” at Alexandre Gallery form a real eye-opener. Ms. Dodd, who is 89 and has only lately been receiving the attention she deserves, made these works between 1958 and 1966. This show is probably their biggest reunion since then.
The gathering reveals an ambitious, sometimes awkward painter devoted to working in the open air who felt compelled to respond to Jackson Pollock and the radical allover compositions of his abstract drip paintings. Alex Katz had done something similar in the early 1950s in paintings in which he worked the branches of bare winter trees into black crisscrossing networks.
Ms. Dodd found a different solution: the dispersion, sometimes across nearly empty backgrounds, of discrete brush strokes that sometimes but not always hint at leaves, grass, trees, rocks and streams, along with a couple of tiny fairylike figures. The freest, most notational works are two titled “Figure in Landscape” (1962-63 and 1963) and a third, “Yellow Pond” (also 1963). But abstraction was ultimately not in Ms. Dodd’s game plan. She circles it with marvelous aplomb in two fuller but still scattered compositions, both titled “Pond,” from 1962.
In several other paintings, cows enter the picture, most decisively in “Cows and Clouds” from 1961, in which two animals seen from awkward perspectives lead into a wonderfully painted, relatively conventional vista. With the 1966 “Apple Tree,” all seems resolved. The representational style that Ms. Dodd has since explored comes into focus with paint handling and abbreviation yielding their own abstract forms. This is a great show for painting students and also for students of painting.
Text courtesy Grey Art Gallery:
Tenth Street Days
In conjunction with the exhibition Inventing Downtown:
Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965
Moderator Irving Sandler, art historian and critic, in conversation with artists Lois Dodd and Philip Pearlstein, will reflect on their early days at the Tanager Gallery.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Art & Art Professions (Steinhardt) and Grey Art Gallery.
Starts: 3/6/17 7:00 pm
Ends: 3/6/17 8:30 pm
Participants: Irving Sandler, Lois Dodd, and Philip Pearlstein
Location: Einstein Auditorium, Barney Building, 34 Stuyvesant Street (between 3rd Ave. and 9th St.)
February 25 - July 2, 2017
GemeenteMuseum Den Haag
Stadhouderslaan 41, 2517 HV Den Haag
click here for more information
Text courtesy the GemeentaMuseum:
Since her first exhibitions at New York’s Leo Castelli Gallery in 1960 and 1962, the work of the American artist Lee Bontecou (b. 1931) has occupied an entirely individual place in contemporary art. Its importance was immediately recognized and was widely exhibited through the 1970s and 1980s. A major touring retrospective of her work was presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, with a concluding presentation at The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2003-2004. Significant works however, many from her years in Europe in the late 1950s, have never been exhibited outside the studio. However, for the first time, Bontecou has collaborated with the Gemeentemuseum on a unique exhibition of work from every stage of her career, including many drawings and sculptures never previously exhibited. In addition a new, installation, a ‘Sandbox’, has been created especially for inclusion in the exhibition.
In 2010 the Gemeentemuseum acquired Lee Bontecou’s bas-relief sculpture, Untitled (1960). The purchase sparked a desire to show this important work in the context of Bontecou’s rich and varied oeuvre. Although all stages of Bontecou’s artistic development are represented in the new exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum, the focus is not a chronological overview. Rather, it is centered on the coherent interconnections between works from different periods and in different media. Drawings made during Bontecou’s years in Greece and Italy in the late 1950s - never previously exhibited - are shown in relation to an imposing suspended sculpture from the 1980s. A reconstruction of a wall of drawings in her studio illustrates the vital role played by drawings in her artistic practice, both in their own right and as they relate to her sculptures.
The new Sandbox created for the exhibition together with Bontecou’s artist friend Joan Banach is her largest in this format and her most recent work. It features a compilation of Bontecou’s sculptural objects spanning the period from the early 1960s to the present. The installation underlines not only the coherence between the different parts of her oeuvre and works in different media, but the relationship between her work and the natural world. The objects that are positioned on and suspended over its white sand represent the array of material and technique in which Bontecou has worked: clay, porcelain, vacuum-formed plastic, wire, steel and wood. The found objects accompanying them – stones, dried botanical specimens, fossils and fragments of bone – reveal the organic sources of Bontecou’s creations.
However abstract it may be, Bontecou’s work invariably evokes associations to the natural world. Her oeuvre is well-suited to the Gemeentemuseum and its collection. The edifice designed by Dutch architect H.P. Berlage is regarded as one of the earliest truly modern museum buildings in the world. The daylighting and human scale of the exhibition areas create a sense of intimacy that suits the proportions, details, and textures of Bontecou’s work. The skylight over the Sandbox will allow for cast illumination to create shadows and a constantly changing impression of the composition.
Alexandre Gallery is pleased to announce recent museum acquisitions by Amon Carter Museum of Art, Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Sheldon Museum of Art, and the Phillips Collection.
George Bellows at Amon Carter Museum of Art, Fort Worth, Texas
Excerpted from the museum release:
“This painting is one of the museum’s most significant acquisitions in the last 10 years,” says Andrew J. Walker, executive director of the Amon Carter. “Bellows is perhaps most famous for his gritty depictions of early 20th-century New York urban life, but he was equally adept at depicting the powerful force of the American landscape. This fascinating painting adds invaluable depth to our collection and will surely become a visitor favorite.”
Tom Uttech at Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.
Lois Dodd at Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska
Lois Dodd, Ice Opening and Shadow, 2001 acquired by the Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Gregory Amenoff at The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
Lois Dodd, Sally Hazelet Drummond and the Tanager Gallery at NYU Grey Art Gallery's current exhibition
Gallery artists Lois Dodd and Sally Hazelet Drummond have both been included in the exhibition "Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965" at NYU's Grey Art Gallery. The exhibition will run from January 10 - April 1, 2017. Dodd and Drummond were both members of the artist-run gallery scene which operated primarily in downtown New York and set the stage for the art meccas of Chelsea and the Lower East Side. The exhibition is accompanied by a 296-page book of the same name. For more information, please visit Grey Art Gallery's webpage.
Recent press for the exhibition includes an article titled 'Inventing Downtown' Recalls When Artists Ran the Galleries, written by Randy Kennedy of The New York Times. Click here to read the article.
Below are two paintings included in the exhibition by Sally Hazelet Drummond: