Exhibition | Marie-Antoinette’s Japanese Lacquer

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on January 26, 2018

On view this year at the Getty Center:

A Queen’s Treasure from Versailles: Marie-Antoinette’s Japanese Lacquer
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 23 January 2018 — 6 January 2019

Curated by Jeffrey Weaver

Hen-shaped Tiered Box, Edo Period, late 17th–mid-18th century, artist unknown, lacquer (Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon; photo by Thierry Ollivier).

This exhibition showcases Japanese lacquer from the private collection of the French queen Marie-Antoinette. Her collection of small lacquer boxes was one of the finest in Europe, and she considered it to be among her most cherished possessions. The elaborate works reveal the queen’s personal taste and demonstrate the high level of achievement attained by Japanese lacquer artists during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The loan of the boxes is part of an artistic exchange between the J. Paul Getty Museum and Versailles, where an important desk made for Louis XVI from the Museum’s collection is currently on long-term loan.

Exhibition | Finding Form

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on January 26, 2018

Press release for the exhibition now on view at the Getty Center:

Finding Form
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 12 December 2017 — 11 February 2018

Curated by Annie Correll and Julian Brooks

Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, Head of a Woman: Study for The Happy Mother (L’Heureuse mère), 1810, black and white chalk, stumped, on blue paper (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum).

From two-dimensional sheets of paper, artists conjure three-dimensional worlds. Even the simplest sketch can yield an arresting impression of presence in the hands of a master, and close examination of a drawing often reveals hidden layers of creativity and complexity. Featuring celebrated works from the 1500s to the 1800s, all from the Getty Museum’s drawings collection, Finding Form, on view now through 11 February 2018, demonstrates how artists skillfully select from a vast array of media and techniques to best generate form, likeness, and depth in creating a drawing.

“The immediacy of drawing brings us into direct contact with the creative process as we seem to peer over the artist’s shoulder,” says Getty Museum Director Timothy Potts. “This display of a wide range of master drawings from our collection focuses on the seeming magic of creating an image of three-dimensional reality on a two-dimensional surface, and the various techniques artists use to convey the effects of light and shadow on our ‘reading’ of form.”

Works in the exhibition reveal how artists utilized media such as chalk, ink, and different pens to yield form. In Study of a Rearing Horse (about 1616), where the artist Jacques Callot was faced with the difficult task of showing a dramatically foreshortened horse from behind, he made initial quick sketches with a quill pen (made from a bird’s feather), then added more forceful strokes with a reed pen (made from a reed), which produces lines that more easily swell and taper with the pressure of the artist’s hand.

Watercolor can produce transparent, luminous effects that are well suited to conveying the impression of weather. As the mist dissolves and sunshine breaks through scattering rain clouds in Mount Snowdon through Clearing Clouds (1857) by Alfred Hunt, the mountains dematerialize and reappear within the shifting effects of light and shadow. Hunt used the medium of watercolor and the techniques of blotting, rubbing, and scraping to capture brilliantly these atmospheric conditions.

“I find it fascinating to see how—over the centuries—artists have used all the techniques at their disposal to create different realities on each sheet,” says Julian Brooks, senior curator of drawings. “We always provide magnifying glasses in our displays, and—just by looking closely—anyone can gain entry into a rich variety of other worlds.”

In The Archangel Raphael Refusing Tobias’s Gift, Giovanni Biliverti explored the full potential of red chalk, a classic Florentine medium used widely since the Renaissance. While some forms were created with traditional strokes, to render smoke and ruffled drapery the chalk was ground to a powder and mixed with water to produce translucent effects. A new acquisition, the drawing is one of the finest by the artist.

Finding Form, is curated by Annie Correll, former graduate intern in the department of Drawings, and Julian Brooks, senior curator of drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Call for Papers | (Re-)Forming Sculpture

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 26, 2018

Installation view of Lynda Benglis at The Hepworth Wakefield, 6 February – 1 July 2015
Courtesy the artist and Cheim & Read, New York

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From the Association for Art History:

(Re-)Forming Sculpture
University of Leeds and The Hepworth Wakefield, 26–27 June 2018

Proposals due by 16 March 2018

Call for Papers for the Association for Art History’s 2-day Summer Symposium organised by the Doctoral and Early Career Research Network.

Keynote Speakers
• Martina Droth, Deputy Director of Research, Exhibitions, and Publications | Curator of Sculpture, Yale Center for British Art
• Rebecca Wade, Assistant Curator (Sculpture), Leeds Museums and Galleries, based at the Henry Moore Institute

This Association for Art History Summer Symposium is a two-day annual conference which will highlight current doctoral and early career research in the field of sculpture, within its widest art historical remits. Held between the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds, and The Hepworth Wakefield, this conference hopes to unite the academic and curatorial disciplines of sculptural studies. As a socio-cultural space Leeds is celebrated for the study, production and display of sculpture. Artists such as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth shared a gratitude to Leeds as a place of noteworthy influence on their work, and succeeded in leaving behind a significant legacy. A sustained interest in sculptural studies has continued, demonstrated by the formation of the Henry Moore Institute as the Henry Moore Centre for the Study of Sculpture within Leeds City Art Gallery in 1982, alongside associated initiatives including the Henry Moore Sculpture Studio, Dean Clough (1989), and the MA in Sculpture Studies at University of Leeds in 1990. In more recent times, 2011 witnessed the opening of the The Hepworth Wakefield, and in 2013 a partnership of the Sculpture Triangle was established between the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Looking to the future, how can we best reconcile sculptural, scholarly, and curatorial practices, within Britain and further afield? This conference aims to continue to re-form previous narratives that have focused on monumental, figurative and free-standing sculpture, created in traditional ‘higher’ materials of plaster, marble, or bronze. Increased and expanded research around sculpture is embracing a re-thinking of materiality, aesthetics, the role played by gender and identity, and its nature as a critical form of representation. Since a shift towards more conceptual art practices in the 1960s onwards, and the associated opening up of medium categories and critique of the high modernist art object, scholarship has reassessed previous assumptions of what constitutes sculpture, influenced by Rosalind Krauss’s seminal work “Sculpture in the Expanded Field” (1979). Moreover, scholars have concentrated on the rethinking of the sculptural object, its siting and context, with Alex Potts’s phenomenological study of sculpture from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, The Sculptural Imagination: Figurative, Modernist, Minimalist (2000), and more recently in Penelope Curtis’s exhibition Sculpture in Painting (2009) at the Henry Moore Institute. Additionally, scholarship has taken into account the intersections between sculpture and the decorative arts, as demonstrated by the exhibition organized by Martina Droth between the Henry Moore Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum entitled Taking Shape: Finding Sculpture in the Decorative Arts (2008–09). Considering the sculptural aspects inherent within painting, architecture, decorative arts, photography, and film, how might we think differently about sculpture as an art historical category in its own right? For example, how do wider notions of sculpture and its relationship with other art forms intersect with discourses relating to histories of collecting, display and place-making? How best can sculpture be re-formed (re-thought?) within academic and curatorial disciplines?

In light of these questions, this conference hopes to re-consider the boundaries and hierarchies of sculpture within art history and visual culture, broadening how it is understood in terms of its medium, form, materiality, and cultural significance. We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers which explore these themes or which address any other aspect of re-forming sculpture, from antiquity to the modern day. The Summer Symposium is organised by the Association for Art History’s Doctoral and Early Career Research Network. The 2018 organisers are Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth (University of Leeds) and Clare Nadal (University of Huddersfield/ The Hepworth Wakefield).

Topics can include but are not limited to
• The significance and legacies of sculptural heritage in Leeds and Yorkshire
• Hierarchies of sculpture as an art historical category
• Sculptural aspects of decorative arts, architecture, photography, painting, and film
• Non-traditional mediums for sculpture, e.g. porcelain, 3-d printing, light or digital sculpture, ephemeral or recycled material, such as dissolving clay, etc
• Histories of collecting or displaying sculpture
• Formations of private or public sculpture collections
• How sculpture is curated or framed in the modern museum or within an outdoor environment
• Practice-led or practice-based approaches to sculpture

To propose a paper, please send a Word document with your contact information, paper title, an abstract of 300 words, and a short biographical note. The submission of abstract is open to current doctoral researchers and early career researchers within 3 years of receiving their doctorate. Proposals should be sent to reformsculptureforarthistory@gmail.com by 16 March 2018.

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