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Matisse Cut-Outs, Records, And Making Art Seem Scarce

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Back in late June, the Museum of Modern Art bought a quarter-page ad on page 2 of the Weekend section of The New York Times; it ran the full length of the left edge. It caught my eye because it announced that timed tickets were on sale as of that day for Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, which opens on Oct. 12. The ad did not, btw, list prices for the tickets -- just the web address for purchases -- but MoMA simply charges general admission for exhibitions, with no added tab. General adult admission is $25. At the time, I thought it was a bit … [Read more...]

What’s New About the New Greek Galleries at MFA?

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Do people learn more at art museums when chronology governs a display or when a thematic narrative rules? It's a perennial question, and traditionally many museums with extensive collections answer it with the former because, with a broad, deep array of art in a particular category, they can. Less well-endowed collections have often gone the thematic route simply because they can't do a civilization or a period justice with their skimpy (or gap-filled) holdings. But not always. Lately more museums are going narrative because they thing … [Read more...]

Crystal Bridges: The Anti-Whitney-Biennial

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Saturday is the day. That's when the art world, which has been wondering what Don Bacigalupi, president of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and assistant curator Chad Alligood have been seeing for the better part of 2013 and much of 2014 on their search for underappreciated artists, will find out. That's when the museum unveils State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now -- their selections. It is definitely an unconventional ride through art in America. I say that even though I haven't seen the show, though the press preview was … [Read more...]

Museum-Goers Say The Darndest Things

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Remember the old Art Linkletter "House Party" TV show feature, "Kids Say the Darndest Things"? Linkletter would interview kids and they would provide answers that boggled the mind, either because they were funny or poignant. I couldn't help think of it yesterday, after a visit to the Metropolitan Museum.* Among the exhibits I visited was Garry Winogrand, which consists of "more than 175 of the artist's iconic images, a trove of unseen prints, and even Winogrand’s famed series of photographs made at the Metropolitan Museum in 1969 when the … [Read more...]

“I did my best work there.”

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"There" is East Hampton, Long Island, and the speaker is Robert Motherwell. The period he's talking about is on view in an exhibition that opened on Saturday at the Guild Hall in East Hampton: Robert Motherwell: The East Hampton Years, 1944-1952. While in East Hampton, Motherwell lived and worked in a house and studio designed by Pierre Chareau, the inimitable French architect. A show devoted to the paintings Motherwell made during those remarkable years has never been mounted. Focusing on two dozen important works from seventeen major museums … [Read more...]

Ask The Curator: The Secret Life Of Cezanne’s Apples

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So far, The World Is an Apple: The Still Lifes of Paul Cézanne, a "ground-breaking" special exhibition at the Barnes Foundation, has been getting good reviews. The Wall Street Journal's review called it "small but select" and concluded: Although it offers only a taste of the bountiful feast Cézanne's paintings as a whole at the Barnes provide, "The World Is an Apple" allows one to scrutinize the artist's still lifes in illuminating isolation from the work of his peers, and to appreciate how the artist's powerful, painterly sensations could … [Read more...]

While We’re On the Subject of Marketing

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Here's another example of synergy with opera (which I last wrote about here on July 1): On October 5, the National Gallery of Art in Washington will launch a "focus exhibition" called Degas's Little Dancer, which will show off its version of the wax sculpture, set amid 11 other works by Degas, some from its collection, some borrowed. Meanwhile, the Kennedy Center will unveil a musical by the name of Little Dancer, directed and choreographed by five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman and based on a book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens with music … [Read more...]

Chicago Has Some Fun Marketing Magritte

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We all know that it's hard for museums to get attention sometimes; there's so much competition for everyone's attention. The Art Institute of Chicago has mounted a major marketing campaign for Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938 that's a bit unusual and may be working. It started back in June, but for whatever reason the AIC just sent out a press release. They call it "unthinking." ...Beginning in early June, billboards and train stations throughout the city began to invite passersby to “unthink” everyday words and ideas. … [Read more...]

Stanford: The New Art Place To Be

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Many in the art world have been anticipating the opening on Sept. 21 of the collection of Harry and Mary Margaret Anderson at Stanford -- even from afar. In 2011, the couple donated 121 works of contemporary art, filled with paintings by the likes of Pollock, Diebenkorn, Rothko Elsworth Kelly, de Kooning, Joan Mitchell (Begin Again IV at left), and Elizabeth Murray, to name a few, to Stanford on the condition that it build galleries to house them. Stanford is offering timed tickets, starting in mid-August -- but they are free.   But Stanford … [Read more...]

Parklandia: Stretching, Striving To What End?

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Most art museums seem to be stretching for "relevancy" these days, whatever that really means. And so we have, at the Portland Art Museum in Oregon, a "community-driven" gallery section named Portlandia to accompany a current traveling exhibit called  The Art of the Tuileries Garden. In collaboration with the Louvre and the Musée Carnavalet Histoire de Paris, Portland, the High Museum and the Toledo Museum of Art developed the exhibit. It contains, according to the press release,  ...more than 100 sculptures, paintings, photographs, and … [Read more...]

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