April will be a time for story-telling at The Plastic Club, as the historic art club invites visual artists to show how they retell the world’s stories, whether drawn from holy books or comic books or the depths of their own imaginations.
The prospectus explains that works can be representational or abstract, based perhaps on literature or perhaps on popular genres or even current events. “It is your story to tell, using your special way of doing art.”
The prospectus quotes the poet Wallace Stevens for inspiration: “They said, ‘You have a blue guitar, you do not play things as they are.’ The man replied, ‘Things as they are are changed upon the blue guitar.'”
Stories to TellOpening Reception Sunday, April 7th, 2:00 and 5:00 PM, with juror’s awards and announcement at 3:30 PM. The work can also be viewed by appointment or at The Plastic Club‘s special Third Sunday Open Gallery on Sunday, April 21 from 1 to 4 PM.
Seated Woman (Study for “La Grande Jatte”), c. 1884-1885, by Georges Seurat. Conte crayon on laid paper, Sheet: 11 13/16 × 6 1/2 inches. The Louis E. Stern Collection, 1963. Image courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2019.
The Impressionist’s Eye
Philadelphia Museum of Art to present the most extensive exhibition of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism ever to be assembled from its collection
April 16 – August 18, 2019
This spring the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present a broad survey of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Drawn almost entirely from its renowned collection, this exhibition will bring together more than 80 works in a variety of media—painting, sculpture, prints, drawings, and pastels— to illuminate the achievements of some of history’s most beloved artists. The Impressionist’s Eye will feature many of the museum’s most celebrated paintings—among them Claude Monet’s Japanese Footbridge and the Water Lily Pool, Mary Cassatt’s In the Loge, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s At the Moulin Rouge: The Dance, and Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers—offering fresh insights into these works and placing them in conversation with other major examples by these artists and their contemporaries. For example, Renoir’s ambitious Great Bathers, newly conserved on the centenary of the artist’s death, will be shown alongside treatments of the same theme by Edgar Degas and Paul Cézanne.
The Impressionist’s Eye will include a number of important works on paper (shown in two rotations to avoid overexposing them to light) that have not been on view in the galleries for a decade or more, emphasizing the importance that the artists of these movements attached to working in a variety of media. Among these will be exquisite renderings in pen and ink by Van Gogh, sheets from Cézanne’s sketchbooks that were last exhibited at the museum in 1989, a drawing by Lautrec last shown at this museum in 1956, and one by Berthe Morisot that will be placed on view for the first time.
Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Philadelphia Museum of Art contains one of the country’s most acclaimed collections of 19th century art, but rarely have we had the opportunity to show our Impressionist and Post-Impressionist holdings as comprehensively as we are able to do in this exhibition. Assembling them in The Impressionist’s Eye will enable us to convey the innovative and often boldly experimental character of the work of these artists as well as how fluidly they moved from one medium to another. The presentation of this exhibition in the Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries is accompanied by a beautiful new publication devoted to the collection. It also comes as the consequence of the comprehensive renovation—the first in nearly 25 years—that we are undertaking this spring of the galleries in which we show our collection of later 19th-century European painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts. They will be closing temporarily as we proceed with much-needed improvements in tandem with the construction of the next phase—entitled the Core Project—of our facilities master plan designed by Frank Gehry.”
The development of Impressionism began in France in the 1870s in the work of artists such as Monet, Renoir, and Pissarro, and set the stage for the bold experiments with color, line, and form that would follow over the next several decades and radically alter the course of modern painting. The exhibition will include a number of works that were presented in the several Impressionist exhibitions held in the 1870s and 1880s, as well as informal sketches and studies that could be considered more experimental or personal in nature.
The Impressionist’s Eye will offer visitors new perspectives on the inventiveness and vision that the artists of this movement brought to their subjects. The choice of bold cropping and unusual points of view, their flattening of space and use of vibrant color and vigorous brushwork imbued their work with a bracing sense of modernity which startled contemporary audiences. Their radically way of painting also reflected a broad fascination with photography and with Japanese (Ukiyo-e) woodblock prints. Visitors will also see a significant number of works by many of the key figures of Post-Impressionism such as George Seurat, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, and Paul Cézanne, each of whom took the innovations of the Impressionists as their point of departure and then evolved in new and often dramatically different directions.
The exhibition has been organized around a series of themes that highlight the shared interest of these artists in certain subjects. Among these are Nature, The Modern City, Everyday Objects (or still life), People, and Bathers.
The introduction of commercially produced paint in tubes and the convenience of portable easels and paint sets, combined with the greater mobility afforded by the development of railroads, fostered the growing popularity of painting en plein air, or out-of-doors. The opening section of the exhibition demonstrates how firmly the artists associated with Impressionism were committed to recording their direct observations of nature and making the variability of light, color, and atmosphere a central element of their work. Among the highlights of this section are Camille Pissarro’s Railroad to Dieppe (1886), Monet’s Bend in the Epte River near Giverny (1888), Cézanne’s Mont Sainte-Victoire (1902-04), as well as a lively pen and ink drawing executed in 1888 by Van Gogh titled Haystacks, which is remarkable for its swirling lines, bold dashes, and lively dots.
Paris provides the main inspiration for the next section of the exhibition, The Modern City. Some artists concentrated on the architecture of the French capital, capturing scenes of its grand boulevards or popular urban entertainments such as cabaret, ballet, and the theater. Artists such as Renoir, Pissarro, Edgar Degas, and Mary Cassatt captured many different aspects of the urban experience—the kinetic energy of great crowds traveling to and fro or a single figure caught at a moment of quiet reverie. A Woman and Girl Driving, by Cassatt, shows a modern woman—the artists’ elder sister—boldly taking the reins of a horse-drawn carriage in Paris alongside the niece of Degas. Toulouse-Lautrec’s At the Moulin-Rouge (1889-90) captures the demi-monde at play, with a dancer kicking up her skirts as she performs the can-can amid a crowd of top-hatted men. At the Paris Opera, Degas’s The Ballet Class, conveys the rigor of young girls learning their craft as a stage mother slumps with fatigue into a chair. Among the group of conté crayon drawings by Georges Seurat included in the exhibition, is a rare rendition of a woman, seated on the bank of an island in the Seine, which served as a study for the artist’s masterpiece, La Grande Jatte.
Another section focuses upon the different ways in which artists such as Edouard Manet and Paul Cézanne reanimated the traditional theme of still life painting, imbuing it with a new spirit and sense of ambition, aptly characterized by the latter when he said, “I want to astonish Paris with an apple.” Flower-filled vases (Renoir), artisanal cakes (Caillebotte), or a woven basket (Manet) were convenient subjects for the artists’ experimentation. “A painter can say all he wants to with fruit and flowers,” observed Manet, who focused on this familiar genre in nearly a fifth of his canvases. In these works, visitors are invited to witness everyday objects transformed through color, texture, and line.
Many of these artists were also keen observers of people. As Van Gogh noted in 1885, “Painted portraits have a life of their own that comes from deep in the soul of the painter and where the machine [the camera] can’t go.” His treatment of the postman Roulin’s wife clutching her baby Marcelle, created in 1888, possesses a luminous, almost otherworldly glow. In this section of the exhibition, works in clay, graphite, pastel, and paint reveal just how thoroughly the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists up-ended longstanding traditions of rendering the human figure. Drawings such as Cézanne’s Peasant Girl Wearing a Fichu and such sculptures as Degas’s Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen, (modeled in wax, 1878-81 and cast in bronze, about 1922) reflect the unique qualities that different media offered to these artists to enable them to capture the unique character and vivacity of their subjects. Responding to the recent advent of photography, artists sought to convey the character of the sitter in ways that seem both direct and spontaneous, as demonstrated in Bethe Morisot’s Young Woman with Brown Hair, 1894.
The same observations can be made of their treatment of the timeless subject of the nude, a theme that especially fascinated Renoir, Degas, and Cézanne. Renoir’s Great Bathers, (1884-87) will be seen in The Impressionist’s Eye for the first time since the completion of a year-long conservation treatment and cleaning, a project generously supported by the Bank of America Art Conservation Project. The artist labored over this canvas, seeking to establish a new direction for his work and to create an image that would be both contemporary in spirit and rival the great masters of the Renaissance. The installation will enable visitors to appreciate it in a state that now more closely resembles how it looked when the artist completed it, and in the company of some of the greatest works of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
“For three years Renoir wrestled with this work,” notes Jennifer Thompson, the museum’s Gloria and Jack Drosdick Curator of European Painting & Sculpture & Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection, who organized the exhibition. “Just howexhaustively, we knew from notes left by Berthe Morisot, but seeing the cross-sections and x-rays taken by our specialists in Conservation has reaffirmed precisely how much he questioned himself and started over, again and again.”
The Impressionists Eye, as an exhibition drawn from the collection, also offers a record of collecting, tastes, and insight into the cultural life of Philadelphia in the 19th and 20th centuries, beginning with Mary Cassatt, the American in Paris who early on persuaded her family members in this city and others around the country to purchase the work of the Impressionists, touching off a new vogue in collecting. “Philadelphia was a vibrant center for collecting in the during this period,” Thompson notes, “and the museum’s Impressionist holdings were indelibly shaped by the taste and civic spirit of those individuals, much as today’s collectors of contemporary art collectors enrich the cultural life of our city.”
Support The Impressionist’s Eye has been made possible by Presenting Sponsor Bank of America.
Contributions to this exhibition have been made by The Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, The Laura and William C. Buck Endowment for Exhibitions, The Gloria and Jack Drosdick Fund for Special Exhibitions, The Harriet and Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions, Lyn M. Ross, Joan F. Thalheimer, The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Fund for Exhibitions, and an anonymous donor.
Support for both The Impressionist’s Eye exhibition and the reinstallation of the galleries of nineteenth-century European painting has been generously provided by Lois G. and Julian A. Brodsky.
Support for the reinstallation of the galleries of nineteenth-century European painting has been generously provided by Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson, Harriet and Ron Lassin, Martha McGeary Snider, and other donors.
Credits as of February 28, 2019
Publication The exhibition is accompanied by Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: Highlights from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the first publication from the museum to focus on its internationally renowned Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections ($35). Written by Jennifer A. Thompson with contributions by Joseph J. Rishel and Eileen Owens, and co-published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Yale University Press (240 pages; 224 color, 8 black-and-white illustrations), it focuses upon one of the most significant collections of Impressionism and Post Impressionism in the country, with two hundred Cézannes, twenty-three Monets, and more than fifty Renoirs.
Thompson’s introductory essay examines the circumstances and individuals—including Mary Cassatt’s brother, the Philadelphia railroad executive Alexander J. Cassatt, depicted in a painting by his sister—that led to the formation of the collection. It provides entries on ninety highlights, including Cézanne’s The Large Bathers, Degas’s Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Monet’s Japanese Bridge and Waterlily Pond, Toulouse-Lautrec’s Moulin Rouge, and Renoir’s Great Bathers. Paintings, sculpture, and drawings by figures such as Cassatt, Seurat, Manet, Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Morisot, and Auguste Rodin are presented together, providing a rich and encompassing view of these artists and the innovative works they created across mediums.
The entries explore the artists’ aims and challenges, discuss conservation discoveries, and consider the works within the contexts of the art market, social history, fashion, and politics. Comparative illustrations, such as related works from Philadelphia and other collections, preparatory drawings, X-rays demonstrating substantial alterations, and period photographs, add to an understanding of each work.
Changes in the Nineteenth Century Galleries Beginning March 25, 2019, seven rooms dedicated to nineteenth century paintings on the first floor of the main building will close for renovation, including galleries 151, 152, 159, 156, 157, 160, 161. Several of these will reopen in July, and the full suite will be reopened following the conclusion of The Impressionist’s Eye. Currently closed for renovation are galleries 150 and 153. On March 25, these galleries reopen with works by Couture, Courbet, Corot, and Millet, a new installation focusing on the rejection of idealism, the treatment of “ordinary” subjects, and technical innovations in painting outdoors and in the use of bold, gestural brushwork.
Curator Jennifer Thompson, The Gloria and Jack Drosdick Curator of European Painting & Sculpture & Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection
Location Philadelphia Museum of Art, Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130 215-763-8100 Tuesday–Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Wednesday & Friday: Main building open until 8:45 p.m. Closed Monday except for some holidays
Thank you to the Social Media team at The Philadelphia Museum of Art for the content of this post.
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The Tony, Peabody and Emmy Award winning, six time HBO Def Poet Black Ice (pictured) and many of Def Poetry Jam’s most recognized poets will reunite for an evening of spoken artistry on April 26. (Image courtesy of the artist)
Art of Poetry at Philadelphia Museum of Art
In April and May,Philadelphia Museum of Art is celebrating the art of poetry through artist collaborations including film, performances, talks, tours, and workshops.
Whitman, Alabama—Experience Walt Whitman‘s poem “Song of Myself,” brought to life through the voices of Alabama residents, to celebrate diversity and our connectedness to one another. This film by Jennifer Crandall is accompanied by photographs from the museum’s collection that suggest the complexity of American identity.This exhibition is offered in conjunction with Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy, a region-wide initiative organized by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, with major support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
Art of Poetry Opening Celebration—Heralding our two months of poetry-inspired programs, performance poets make our galleries sing with spoken word while artists blend language and art. Drink and Draw with Martha Rich—Sip while you sketch with this Philly-based artist and make zines inspired by memories, eavesdropping, and found text. Rich paints words and food with a penchant for the absurd. Her work has been featured in Rolling Stone, Bon Appétit, and Entertainment Weekly. (Materials provided; drinks available for purchase.) Poetry tours with The Philly Pigeon—Join this collective, which aims to elevate and popularize the art form of performance poetry, for a lively tour through the galleries.Gallery takeover with the museum’s Teen Ambassador Group (TAG)—This group of high school students work with curators, educators, and other museum staff to create programs especially for teens.
Slow Art Day
Slow Art Day—This annual international event encourages museum visitors to slow down with their favorite works of art and do some mindful looking.
Poetry Workshops with Michelle Taransky—Learn to slow down with the poetic techniques of describing and responding, and discover new ways of looking at art. 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.
Introspective Bookmaking with Candy Alexandra González—Explore the art of stillness and moving at a slower pace. Drop in for collaborative visual art and poetry exercises to produce a collectively made book.
Music in the Galleries: Lines/Patterns—Form and structure make the link between American visual artist Ellsworth Kelly and German baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Presented in partnership with the Curtis Institute of Music. 1:30, 2:15 & 3:00 p.m.
Spotlight Gallery Conversations—Engage in slow looking and thoughtful discussion as a different artwork takes center stage during each of five hourly gallery tours, 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m
Family Festival: Poetry Party—April is International Poetry Month, so words are our art medium during this month’s Family Festival. Read a painting, write a sculpture, draw a poem. Join artist Martha Rich and fill the Great Stair Hall with your wonderful words.
Dawn Landes—Full of vivid storytelling, classic country themes, and eternal questions, the songwriting of this Nashville artist is as fresh as it is timeless.
Final Fridays: Def Poetry Reunion—Def Poetry Jam co-founder Danny Simmons invites some of Philly’s most recognized poets to gather for an evening of spoken artistry. Featuring Sonia Sanchez, Ursula Rucker, Black Ice, Vanessa German, Bonafide Rojas, and Jessica Care Moore. Hosted by Liza Jessie Peterson. A DJ set by Rich Medina with visuals by The Marksmen follows the performance. Please note that the museum will close at 5:00 p.m. before the performance, and will reopen at 6:00 p.m. for ticket holders only. Member tickets are on sale now. Public tickets go on sale March 8. Most galleries will be closed during this event, with the exception of exhibitions Whitman, Alabama, The Impressionist’s Eye, and Yoshitoshi: Spriti and Spectacle.
Talks & Tours
In the Artist’s Voice: Jennifer Crandall—Who is America? The filmmaker of Whitman, Alabama explores this question and more in a conversation with WHYY Executive Producer of Audio Content Elisabeth Perez-Luna. Support for this program was provided by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation Fund for Education.
On first glance, my drawings are clearly narrative. What is often and easily missed is the very specific platform on which all of them are made. The drawings originate on vintage ‘doodle pad’ sheets from 20th century.
I collect and utilize these somewhat risqué novelty drawing pads. These mass-produced pads of paper feature incompletely drawn women (and occasionally men) with instructions to complete- or doodle in- the missing parts. And that’s what I do. As a lifelong fan of the art and craft of illustration, representational drawing, comics, and cartooning, I use pen and ink to complete the incomplete images to make them my own.
The practice of ‘repurposing’ items from the past is quite popular. We’ve all seen the cable TV shows and passed by boutiques that take old antique doors and turn them into coffee tables, or crafters who take old military artifacts and turns them into lamps. Giving new life to objects left for dead is fun, quirky, and often times environmentally considerate.
What I’m doing with these old sheets of paper is ‘purposing’ them. I’m doing exactly what the printers had in mind when they originally produced and distributed them. I like the idea that I’m doing this decades after they were made, after they’ve been sitting in drawers until someone decided to post them for sale on eBay or Etsy. Perhaps ‘retro-purposed’ would be a more appropriate term for what I’m doing with these old doodle pads.
Regardless of they’re called or how they originate, I’ve found them to be ideal for my creative process. When artist’s face a complete blank canvas or paper, they face that paradoxical problem of endless possibilities. Too many options can often be constraining.
I sidestep this with the help of my muse. I simply access that part of the brain that we use when we play the game of charades. “What could she be doing.” my mind asks. Ideas then flow. I mentally sift through them and make loose sketches to narrow down the options. Which would make a drawing that I’d want to make? What haven’t I done before? Maybe something funny, maybe macabre, or maybe I feel like challenging myself with some complex perspective angle. I get to draw it all..foliage, animals, technology, different eras of human history. That’s half the fun. It’s always the same challenge and always new and different. –David Jablow
Wendee Yudis is a serigraph mixed media artist whose paintings and prints have been exhibited in solo and group shows in galleries in NYC, Chicago, and Philadelphia since the mid-1990’s. The females in her work become icons that reoccur in new contexts and combinations to create a visual vocabulary. Many times they question the females’ role in society as well explore the various roles within ourselves. By juxtaposing various images, nuances are implied and tension is created to imply and explore new meanings. She primarily uses printmaking along with painting rather than printing in edition because it allows her more freedom to create spontaneously and to explore the subtleties of printmaking. Yudis typically print images or icons in combination with other images to create not only a dialogue between the images but also to create an illusion of being camouflaged by translucency, patterns, and layers to explore relationships seen and unseen.
“A new fusion of custom body art and curated exhibitions brought to Montgomery County by local artist, Steve Martin. Expect more of the great ideas you have come to know me for. With 9 years professional experience I cover a range of disciplines in tattooing; from mandala and geometric designs, Japanese, neo-traditional, traditional Americana, custom lettering, as well as black and grey realism.
Celebrating 2 years in historic Ardmore, we’re turning heads with its premier tattoo parlor. I look forward to bringing to you, the art enthusiast and collector, a select presentation of custom tattoo designs as well as some of the finest works of art month after month. You can expect the professionalism, mindful customer service, attention to detail, and quality products in a clean and safe setting that you have known from me all these years.”
Ebony G. Patterson bears witness to the violence and social injustices
imposed upon the invisible and the voiceless
February 11 – April 20, 2019.
In dialog with the artist Wednesday, March 27 at 5:00 p.m
GLASSBORO, NJ – Known for her drawings, tapestries, videos, sculptures and installations that involve surfaces layered with flowers, glitter, lace and bead, Ebony G. Patterson’s works investigate forms of embellishment as they relate to youth culture within disenfranchised communities. That work is the focus of the newest exhibition at Rowan University Art Gallery, Ebony G. Patterson: If We Must Die. The exhibit is on display from February 11 – April 20, 2019.
In conjunction with the exhibit, a conversation with the artist will be held on Wednesday, March 27 at 5:00 p.m. in the gallery, led by visiting scholar Colette Gaiter, a professor in the Department of Art & Design and Department of Africana Studies at the University of Delaware. A reception will follow.
The two featured installations – Invisible Presence: Bling Memories and Of 72 – employ opulent, hand-embellished surfaces and brightly colored patterns that entice viewers to bear witness to the violence and social injustices imposed on the invisible and the voiceless. Patterson’s neo-Baroque works address masculinity, “bling,” visibility, and invisibility within the post-colonial context of her native Jamaica and within black youth culture globally. The references to Carnival in Patterson’s use of beads, plastic ornaments, and reflective materials echo her interest in mining international aesthetics in her practice.
Born in Jamaica, Patterson received her BFA from Edna Manley College in Jamaica and an MFA from Sam Fox College of Design & Visual Arts in St. Louis. She has had recent solo exhibitions at The Perez Museum in Miami, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, and Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago. She was featured in biennials in Havana, Cuba; New Orleans; Jamaica; and Miami. She has exhibited in Brazil, Boston, and New York, in addition to group exhibitions at Seattle Art Museum, National Art Gallery of the Cayman Islands, and National Gallery of the Bahamas among others. Her work is included in a number of public collections, including The Studio Museum in Harlem and the Museum of Art and Design, New York; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; 21c Museum Hotels; and the National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston.
The gallery is located at 301 High Street West. Free 2-hour public parking is available in the Mick Drive Parking Garage across the street from the gallery. Admission to the gallery, lecture, and reception is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Monday – Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Thursday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Directions can be found on the gallery website. For more information, call 856-256-4521 or visit www.rowan.edu/artgallery.
Support for programming at Rowan University Art Galleries is also made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Thank you to Mary Salvante for the content of this post.
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