Declaring Space includes works by four artists whose images had a dramatic effect on the complex development of space and color in abstract painting as it evolved in the years following World War II. The works of these artists do not represent a movement as much as a dramatic evolution of what has come to be thought of as "the field," an often misunderstood term in the vocabulary of postwar abstract art.
Ron Mueck, a virtuoso of hyperrealistic sculpture, has earned international recognition, with previous major exhibitions in London, Venice, Washington, and Berlin. Over the past decade, the Australian-born, London-based artist has created a personal, distinctive body of works whose startling impact have given a fresh impulse to contemporary sculpture.
Barnaby Furnas (American, born 1973) explores historical and biblical themes in his large-scale canvases, which are often described as colorful and expressionistic. The parting of the Red Sea, the Crucifixion, the hanging of the American abolitionist John Brown, and the American Civil War, for example, are depicted by Furnas in dramatic scenes that combine figuration with abstraction. To create his works, the artist places his canvases on the floor and allows pigment to pool and run, forming abstract shapes.
Pretty Baby, organized by Curator Andrea Karnes and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, explores various notions of childhood identity in contemporary art. International in scope, the exhibition features approximately sixty works by thirteen artists in various media, including painting, photography, sound, installation, and video.
FOCUS: Ralf Ziervogel marks the young German artist’s first solo museum exhibition. Since 2003, Ziervogel has developed a stream-of-consciousness method for creating large-scale, lush panoramic drawings that explore the effects of consumer gratification. In his imagined worlds, societal chaos is constructed on themes of obsessive sex and violence.
The Japanese artist Chinatsu Ban creates imaginative narratives using a recurring cast of figures, primarily little girls and elephants, and objects, such as apples and ice cream, in her drawings and large-scale acrylic paintings, which initially suggest the whimsy of children’s book illustrations. Since the artist’s childhood, the elephant, which is now her central motif, has been a source of comfort.
The British painter Nigel Cooke combines realism with abstraction in canvases that seem to represent scenes of urban decay. In Cooke’s atmospheric works—some of which measure more than twelve feet in length—foregrounds populated by detailed depictions of debris are juxtaposed with airy, nearly abstract backgrounds that evoke crumbling concrete walls tinged with graffiti. The Modern’s FOCUS exhibition features seven works by Cooke, including one newly completed canvas making its debut.
Hiroshi Sugimoto: End of Time is the first major retrospective of one of Japan's most important contemporary artists, Hiroshi Sugimoto. This exhibition represents the first chance to survey Sugimoto's work in significant volume, including his series Dioramas, Seascapes, Theatres, Portraits, Architecture, Sea of Buddha, and Conceptual Forms.
Like many contemporary Japanese painters, Hiroshi Sugito (born in 1970) was trained in the traditional Japanese painting style known as Nihonga (Nihon means “Japan” and ga means “painting”). The Nihonga technique utilizes ground pigments made of natural materials such as minerals, shells, and coral applied to handmade paper. Sugito achieves a visual similarity to this technique in his paintings by using layers of acrylic paint. In his works he also refers to the formal spatial arrangements of N
For more than thirty years, Chuck Close has explored the art of printmaking in his continuing investigation into the principles of perception. This exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of Close's involvement and accomplishment with the varied forms and processes of printmaking. Featuring approximately one hundred works dated from 1972 to 2002, Chuck Close Prints illustrates the artist's range of invention in etching, aquatint, lithography, handmade paper, direct gravure, silkscreen, traditional Japanese woodcut, and reduction linocut.