Thursday, September 4, 2014

EXHIBITIONS: AMERICAN MODERNS -- held over by popular demand!

The Quadrangle in Springfield Massachusetts, an enclave of museums spanning the fine arts, science and history -- as well as the charming Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden  -- is a gem in a city that has admittedly seen better days. Nestled into a serene, leafy part of town, it makes an excellent destination where visitors can easily enjoy a full day, as I did recently when I went to catch the American Moderns exhibition at the D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts.

Now running through Sept. 7, 2014
at the D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA

American Moderns 1910 - 1960: From O'Keefe to Rockwell is a touring exhibition of fifty-seven paintings by American masters, each of whom represents in some way the beginnings of American Modernism. Leading artists of the day are featured, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, Milton Avery, Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis, Max Weber and Elie Nadelman. 

These painters addressed the social changes brought on by two world wars, the Depression, and modern technology; they were inspired visually by the urban grid, skyscrapers, and the streamlined shapes of modern machines. American Moderns features works in a wide array of styles, including Cubism, Synchronism, Precisionism, Expressionism, and Social Realism. Below is a taste of their work.

Manhattan Mosaic by George Copeland Ault

Black Pansy and Forget-me-nots, 1926
Georgia O'Keeffe

Entrance to "Cubist Experiments" section

Handsome Drinks, 1916
Marsden Hartley

Landscape with Clay Pipe, 1941 (above)
Pad No. 4, 1947 (below)
Both by Stuart Davis

A Reinterpretation of Norman Rockwell's
Triple Self-Portrait, 1960
by local artist John Simpson
(note the "extras" in the painting: a laptop computer, 
and a picture postcard of Andy Warhol)

This exhibition, which was curated by the Brooklyn Museum, will be on view at the Wichita Art Museum from Oct. 3 - January 4, 2015 and the Josyln Art Museum in Omaha Feb. 6 –May 17, 2015. Link here for more information.

Zany bonus exhibit
Stories from the Kitchen Sink by Ricky Bernstein
(runs through June 21, 2015)

We happened upon this altogether hilarious and jazzy exhibit at the D'Amour Fine Arts Museum. Artist Ricky Bernstein describes his cartoony collages -- made of glass and aluminum painted with oil and acrylics -- as "a slice of everyday life infused with fun, longing, disappointment and celebration." I especially loved the pieces called "Queen for a Day", "Hey -- A Girl Can Dream, Can't She?" and "Agility and Grace." More on this exhibit when I've had a chance to see it again. Meanwhile, here's some additional info.

            Gloria's soft-boiled egg topper

... by way of explanation  

"... with balance and poise, Phyllis whipped up a 
lovely cherry pie, and popped it in the oven."

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