FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2016
Fort Worth, TX
Announcing the 2016-2017 Season of the
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth's FOCUS Series
The FOCUS series is organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth for the Director's Council, a group that supports acquisitions at the Museum. The series features three solo exhibitions annually, organized by Assistant Curator Alison Hearst. FOCUS exhibitions are open to the public and are included in general museum admission: $10 for adults; $4 for seniors (60+) and students with identification; free for children 12 and under; free for Modern members.
2016-2017 FOCUS Exhibition Schedule
FOCUS: Lorna Simpson
November 19, 2016-January 15, 2017
Since the beginning of her career in the mid-1980s, Lorna Simpson has been well known for her conceptual photographs and videos that challenge historical and present-day views of racial and sexual identity. FOCUS: Lorna Simpson will be the first museum exhibition to feature the artist's large-scale acrylic, ink, and silkscreened paintings.
Rooted in her interest in photographic collage, Simpson's recent paintings rework found imagery often taken from news media and vintage magazines. For example, Then & Now, 2016, homes in on racial violence by incorporating photographs of past and present race riots. Most of the work, however, features women taken from issues of Ebony and Jet magazines from the 1950s to 1970s. Speaking on Moveableness, 2015, Simpson has said, "It's based on an image that I found in an Ebony magazine from the sixties, the original image depicting a modernist interior and a woman ascending a staircase. There's something in that image I found mesmerizing, not only in the architectural details but also in her stride." As demonstrated in Moveableness, the artist overpaints and divides the images onto several panels, a process that connects to how women's bodies are often presented, or regulated, in a fragmented manner. Thus the figures are isolated and removed from the original context, resisting a set narrative and causing them to look independent, strong, and defiant. As Simpson stated, "For me, the images hearken back to my childhood, but are also a lens through which to see the past fifty years in American history."
Lorna Simpson was born in Brooklyn, where she continues to live and work. She received a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and an MFA in visual arts from the University of California, San Diego. Simpson has exhibited extensively, both nationally and internationally, including recent solo exhibitions at the Jeu de Paume, Paris, which traveled to the Haus der Kunst, Munich, and the Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK; Brooklyn Museum; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Simpson has participated in distinguished international exhibitions such as Documenta 8 and 11, Kassel, Germany, and the 44th and 56th Venice Biennales; in 1990, she was the first African-American woman to exhibit work in the Venice Biennale.
FOCUS: Stanley Whitney
January 21-April 2, 2017
Stanley Whitney investigates the intricate possibilities of color and form in the realm of abstract painting. Since the mid-1970s, Whitney has been known for his multicolored, irregular grids on square canvases. Taking the essentialist grid of minimalism as his cue, his configurations are loose, uneven geometric lattices comprised of vibrant stacked color blocks that vary in hue, shape, and the handling of the paint. Whitney also utilizes color as subject, and his paintings often refer to literature, music, places, and other artists, connections that are bolstered in his titles.
Working without preparatory materials, Whitney combines balance and intuition in his approach to painting, as each color block is painted sequentially in relation to the ongoing arrangement. This process is expressive, improvisational, and can be linked to jazz, which continually inspires the artist. As Whitney has stated, "The way that it's a little offbeat, polyrhythmic; the way that things move. Nothing's straight. Nothing's regular. Everything's a little crooked. And I think that's really what comes out of the music. It comes out of the beat, it comes out of how people walk, the way people wear their hat, just a little off. I think about all of those kinds of things and want them in the painting."
Stanley Whitney was born in Philadelphia, and lives and works in New York and Parma, Italy. He earned a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Yale University. Whitney has exhibited across the globe, having held solo exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Lagorio Arte Contemporanea, Brescia, Italy; Architettura Arte Moderna, Rome; Omi International Arts Center, Ghent, New York; University of Dayton, Ohio; University of Rhode Island, Kingston; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond; and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York. Whitney was in the 50th Venice Biennale, and his work will be featured in Documenta 14, Kassel, Germany. He has also been included in many group shows at such venues as the Camden Arts Centre, London; American Academy in Rome; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; University of Chicago; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; and the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach. His prizes include the Robert De Niro Sr. Prize in Painting, American Academy of Arts and Letters Art Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
FOCUS: Katherine Bernhardt
April 8-July 9, 2017
Katherine Bernhardt's vibrant and youthful paintings hover between abstraction and figuration. Recently, she has been working on paintings in which she juxtaposes everyday objects, such as those in Windex cigarettes basketball, 2016, that float flatly atop lushly painted, solid grounds of color. Her subjects abound in popular and consumer culture and are depicted in a simplified, flat, gestural style that approaches a cartoonish quality.
These works are often referred to as "pattern" paintings, as the motifs she illustrates are repeated within a single work. She is influenced by quotidian items, places, and African, Moroccan, and Caribbean textiles, which are highly evident in her subjects, forms, and colors. Bernhardt has stated, "My interest is in Dutch wax printing on African fabrics, so that's what I've been really influenced by. They have all these funny combinations of things that wouldn't necessarily go together-sunglasses and birds, or whatever it might be." Bernhardt's materials include thinned, fluid pools of acrylic and assured, drippy marks of spray paint, connecting the works to both color field painting and graffiti. Mixing traditional painting styles with kitsch, Bernhardt's works are lush, humorous, youthful, and relatable.
Katherine Bernhardt was born in Saint Louis and currently lives in New York. She received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited widely across the globe, including recent solo exhibitions at Carl Freedman Gallery, London; Venus over Manhattan, New York; CANADA, New York; Roberto Paradise, San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Gallery Loyal, Stockholm, Sweden. Her first solo museum exhibition will be at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis in January 2017. She has participated in many group shows at such venues as the Atlanta Contemporary; Kunstforeningen GL Strand, Copenhagen;Saatchi Gallery, London;Foundation Salomon, Annecy, France; Macro Future, Rome; and the Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp.
The Director's Council
The Director's Council was formed in 1985 and supports the Modern with an annual acquisition for the permanent collection. The Director's Council sponsors the FOCUS series, which presents three solo exhibitions organized each year. Each exhibition opens with an exclusive cocktail reception for the Council, giving the members an opportunity to meet the featured artist and discuss his or her work. One piece by each artist is chosen by the Museum director and curator to be part of the final selection voted on at the Council's Purchase Meeting each May. This format provides members with an in-depth understanding of the Modern's acquisitions process and offers a spirited and popular series of events. The annual dues, $600, include all the benefits of an Associate/Family-level membership and invitations to exclusive Director's Council events.
High-resolution images available upon request. Please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Fort Worth, Texas 76107
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