Page 1

A DIFFERENT

MEDIUM


SEPTEMBER 27, 2017 – JANUARY 20, 2018

19 E AST 66 TH S TR EET

N EW Y O R K , NY 10065

212.202.3270

W W W. R O SE N B E R GC O . C O M


INTRODUCTION

L

ABELS are an attractive nuisance. Particularly in the field of art and art history. An

artist is nearly always referred to as a sculptor, or a painter, or a printmaker, or a ceramist, or a tapestry designer, among other possible designations. Not to mention that the same artist is then further labeled based on their style and manner of expression. The medium in which an artist commonly works is usually the main method

of labeling and defining that artist. In fact, most artists explore various media as part of their overall creative process or as an

avenue to further their primary focus. Lurรงat painted, Chadwick and Moore drew, Nakian made watercolors and ceramics, and Ann Christopher creates intriguing works on paper. We can learn much about an artist by examining artworks that do not fall within the archetypal purview of their medium of work. A DIFFERENT MEDIUM is an exploration of how a number of artists of the twentieth and twenty-

first centuries engage in the creative process. This exhibition is not and cannot be a complete review of the subject; there are, obviously, hundreds of other examples throughout the ages. Rosenberg & Co. is pleased to present this survey and invites you to join the conversation.

M ARI ANNE R O SENBERG

3


A DIFFERENT MEDIUM

I

t is all but impossible to discuss art without considering medium. Artists’ tools have been integral to every era and development of the arts, from the transition of tempera to oil paints in the fifteenth century, to the invention of the printing press, photography and film, to the use of the intangible in Conceptual art, to the popularization of the Internet and the proliferation of computer-based, “new media” today.

What drives an artist to explore a different medium? In order to understand that larger question, it is first important to realize that we as spectators, critics, and art historians have been characterizing and confining artists to specific media for centuries. Debating the merits of different media, of painting versus sculpture, of the written versus the visual, was a hallmark of the Renaissance. These discussions of paragoni (comparisons) eloquently initiated the artistic community in a dialogue concerning medium that continues today. Notably, the Renaissance revered the polymath. Although the merits of various media were vigorously argued, accomplishments in both painting and sculpture were expected of the finest artists. It was only with the industrialization of society in the late eighteenth century that specialization became characteristic of various fields, even extending to the arts. The regulations of the fine art institutions enforced stringent categorization — history painting reigned over still life; painters were painters, and sculptors were sculptors. At the turn of the century, artists and critics increasingly challenged the hierarchy of medium. Liberated from the constraints of the academy, artists experimented with different media to analyze new concepts of abstraction. Cubists and Dadaists increasingly implemented found materials into their visual arsenals. Artists, like Jean (Hans) Arp, Henri Laurens, and Agustín Cárdenas took advantage of this media fluidity, combining and interchanging drawing, painting and sculpture. While there are many theoretical implications in an artist’s choice or change of medium, very often it is simply a matter of process. A sketch on a piece of paper need be no different than the scribbles of an author on a napkin — indications of what is to come, or at times merely the resolution of that moment. Many sculptors were also painters, and many painters were also writers. For many artists, drawings or sketches allow for the quick record of something seen, of an image or idea to develop, or a motif on which to further fixate. For many artists progressions between two- and three-dimensional works were integral to the elaboration of their form and style.

4


Whether trained as an architectural draftsman (like Lynn Chadwick) or a painter (like Frank Dobson) or a sculptor (like Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, or Agustín Cárdenas, to name a few), drawing allowed artists to make their creative process transparent. Many artists used a variety of media to fully unpack motifs that they explored — Bernard Meadows fixated on birds, Giacomo Manzù and Laurens on the nude, and Reuben Nakian on mythological allegories. Whether intentionally unfinished or exemplary works of skill, it is often through drawings that aesthetic progression is made evident. For certain artists, such as Nakian, who was primarily a sculptor, works in alternative media were considered stand-alone works, not studies for threedimensional transformation. Nakian’s drawings were simply another extension of his vast creativity. Changes in media often reflected times of transition for these artists — Dorothy Dehner, for example focused on sculpture later in her life, following the end of her marriage to David Smith. Other artists, such as Ann Christopher, turned to drawing during transitional phases in her sculpture. An artist’s choice or change of medium can often be a matter of availability and practicality. During World War II the production of sculpture decreased, not only because young men were sent off to fight but also because metals were crucial resources. As a wartime artist, Moore adapted and began working on paper so that he could be mobile and at the scene of London’s atrocities. Following the war, Moore was granted several public sculpture commissions, organized to boost national morale, which permitted the artist to work on a larger scale and in a different medium. Moore believed that it was through medium that “the psychology of the individual artist” would have to adapt to “the particular economic structure of society in which the artist finds himself.” The twentieth century saw art historians and cultural theorists examine the topic of medium from new perspectives, showing how this subject has been of key interest over centuries. For Clement Greenberg, a central critic of Modernism, it was most essential for art to be true to the properties of its medium — whatever that might be. He observed that, The limitations that constitute the medium of painting — the flat surface, the shape of the support, the properties of the pigment — were treated by the Old Masters as negative factors that could be acknowledged only implicitly or indirectly. Under Modernism these same limitations came to be regarded as positive factors, and were acknowledged openly.

5


Advocating a focus on media limitation, Greenberg’s Formalist notions were yet another iteration of academic categorization, which artists, to this day, continue to oppose with mixedand multi-media works. For Marshall McLuhan, in his seminal work, The Medium is the Message, (1967) medium was a means of communicating information, and it was the manner (or medium) in which this information was communicated that had a greater effect on the person receiving said information, than the information itself. McLuhan’s theory found that the introduction of new media — be it the alphabet, the printing press, or the television — brought with it significant social and psychological effects. Art took both the commercial and conceptual as its subject and medium. As the scale of artworks grew and the sites of these works moved beyond the studio, and eventually the gallery and museum, artists turned to alternate media for the purpose of exhibition — be it artifacts of the experience or a roadmap of the project. For example, Marcin Dudek creates smaller works to accompany his installations that are not necessarily studies for the installation, but resemble geometric maps of these spaces. Media has been a central art topic throughout history. Very often, the choice of a different medium is due to an adapting to new circumstances, be it the economic ups and downs or the progressions of technology. The dialogue has evolved from the Renaissance to Modernism as artists employ new materials and concepts, and historians and philosophers dissect these changes within a larger context. Like the visionaries who have come before us, we should not let our appreciation of the artists featured here be limited by categorization.

Rosenberg & Co.

7


ALEXANDER ARCHIPENKO b. 1887, Kiev, Ukraine d. 1964, New York, New York

A

LEXANDER ARCHIPENKO is considered one of the first Cubist sculptors. Born in what

is now the Ukraine, Archipenko attended the Kiev Art School to study painting and sculpture. The Byzantine icons, frescoes, and mosaics in Kiev inspired Archipenko’s earliest works. Upon moving to Paris in 1908, he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Musée d’Louvre, where he was drawn to Egyptian, Assyrian, ancient Greek,

and early Gothic sculpture. Archipenko began exhibiting with the Cubists and other avant-garde

artists at the Salon des Indépendants in 1910, opened his own art school in Paris in 1912, and joined an artist collective circle known as the Section d’Or, a group that included Léger, Braque, Gris, and Picasso. Influenced by Picasso and Braque, Archipenko developed a sculptural form of Cubism using interlocking and overlapping solids and sculptural voids to show various views of the figure simultaneously. Archipenko was interested in breaking the figure into geometrical forms and, like the Futurists, sculpted figures in motion. Archipenko’s legacy of experimentation is characterized by an unconventional mix of materials such as metal, wood, glass, wire, and paint and mixed media works combining bronze, granite, and turquoise. In 1924, he invented and patented the Archipentura, a new kinetic painting/ sculpture mixed media art form. Although Archipenko is known primarily for his sculptures, he is by definition a mixed media artist. As painter Juan Gris describes, Archipenko challenged the traditional understanding of sculpture not only through his collages and use of various creative materials, but also in his transparent process. Archipenko did not concern himself with hiding nails, junctures, or seams in his sculpture, thus mirroring the visual experience of Cubist painting.

Alexander Archipenko Standing Nude, 1922 (conceived 1921) Bronze 26 in. (height)

8


Alexander Archipenko Untitled, 1940 Gouache and conte on paper 27.25 x 21.5 in.

9


JEAN (HANS) ARP b. 1887, Strasburg, Germany d. 1966, Basel, Switzerland

J

EAN ARP was a French sculptor and painter, and one of the key figures in the creation

of Dada. But even before the birth of Dada, Arp participated in many of the notable twentieth-century avant-garde art movements. After studying art at the Académie Julian in Paris, Arp moved to the Swiss town Weggis and founded the art group Der Moderne Bund (The Modern Alliance) in 1911. The following year, while traveling in

Munich, Arp met the German Expressionist painter Wassily Kandinsky, and joined Wassily's group Der Blaue Reiter. Arp also became associated with the group Der Sturm, and exhibited with them in Berlin in 1913. In 1914, Arp moved back to Paris, where he befriended many artistic

luminaries of the time, including Sonia and Robert Delaunay, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, and the writer Max Jacob. In 1915, Arp moved to Zürich where he executed collages and tapestries, often in collaboration with his future wife, Sofie Taeuber. The two became known for their series of “Duo Collages.” To create his “chance collages,” such as Collage sur fond blanc, Arp would drop scraps of paper at random onto a large sheet and glue the pieces where they fell. After the war, Arp became one of the founders of the Dada movement. The Zürich Dadaists questioned rationalism and sought to demolish aesthetic order. They believed in the removal of human intervention from art, and the submission of visual practices to chance. Arp would go on to explore collage elements guided by randomness and chance in his sculptures, which are characterized by biomorphic forms. As a mixed media artist, Arp worked with various media in his experiments with abstraction, but what is even more interesting, is how he considered chance and spontaneity as components of the artistic process.

10


Jean (Hans) Arp Collage sur fond blanc, c. 1920 Ink, gouache, graphite, and collage on paper 13.5 x 11 in.

11


BRENDAN STUART BURNS b. 1963, Nakuru, Kenya

B

RENDAN STUART BURNS is a highly accoladed Welsh artist, whose masterful, painterly

works embody the reflective experience and memories of landscape. The Pembrokeshire Coast in the British Isles has been the artist’s central inspiration for the past fifteen years. The color and compositions of his canvases richly interpret the Coast’s changing rhythms, such as light, tide, and shoreline. Burns uses wax in his

paint to enhance the medium’s tactility and apply a heavy impasto. In speaking about his

process, Burns reveals, “Paint is very important because it’s a physical style that I use, so it’s almost like sculpting.” In an effort to recreate this motif in sculptural form, Burns produces ceramic pieces, such as Stone Poem Series: No. 0036 (2013), using porcelain, graphite, and watercolor. Burns presses wet sheets of clay into the Coast’s crevices, allowing him to replicate the textured surfaces of organic growths and natural contours of the rock. Burns uses both paintings and ceramics to create sublime, contemplative works that engage the viewer in multisensory explorations of nature.

Brendan Stuart Burns Quiver, 2014 Oil and wax on linen 64.5 x 78.5 in.

12


Brendan Stuart Burns Porcelain Stone Poem Series: No 0036, 2013 Mixed media, graphite, and watercolor on porcelain 8.25 x 11.4 in.

13


AGUSTÍN CÁRDENAS b. 1927, Matanzas, Cuba d. 2001, Havana, Cuba

A

GUSTÍN CÁRDENAS is considered one of the greatest Cuban sculptors, and was one

of the last to join the Surrealist movement. Cárdenas was born in Matanzas, Cuba, the son of a tailor. He studied at the Beaux-Arts Academy of San Alejandro in Havana, Cuba, where he was introduced to avant-garde art, such as that of Constantin Brancusi, Jean Arp, and Henry Moore. It was thus early in his career

that Cárdenas adopted the reductive, non-objective, and Modernist ideals that characterize his practice. His first solo show was held at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Havana in 1955, and that same year he traveled to Paris on a scholarship. Cárdenas soon made the acquaintance of French Surrealist author and poet, André Breton, who inducted him into the movement. Cárdenas’s work combines Surrealist ideals with Afro-Cuban themes, specifically drawing inspiration from an ethnic group in Mali. These Afro-Cuban, abstracted works are classified as totem morphology. The totems were generally made from ebony, marble, bronze, or wood, their undulating forms giving off the impression that they developed naturally. Although recognized for his sculptures, Cárdenas also created paintings and works on paper. The paintings and sketches are reminiscent of his sculptures, featuring the same themes and similar color palettes composed of bronze, taupe, blacks, browns, and gold. In spite of changing movements and aesthetic ideals, Cárdenas’s art continued to feature Surrealist themes and organic forms, rendering his oeuvre distinctive.

Agustín Cárdenas Caballo, 1955 Wood 51 x 6 x 6 in. Credit: Pan American Art Project, Miami

14


AgustĂ­n CĂĄrdenas Untitled, c. 1960s China ink on heavy paper 25.5 x 19 in.

15


LY N N C H A D W I C K b. 1914, Barnes, London, England d. 2003, Lypiatt Park, Gloucestershire, England

L

YNN CHADWICK was an English artist and sculptor. Originally trained as an

architectural draftsman, Chadwick began producing metal mobile sculptures during the 1940s. In 1949, Gimpel Fils placed two of these structures in their gallery window and they were an instant sensation. Due to the popularity of Chadwick’s mobile sculptures, he received his first solo exhibition at the gallery the following year.

Following the success of the show, Chadwick was commissioned to produce three works: two for the 1951 Festival of Britain exhibition and one for the British Arts Council. In the 1950s, a debate raged, pitching “constructed” sculpture against “modeled” or “carved” sculpture. Chadwick was in the former camp; Henry Moore, for example, was in the latter.

Chadwick’s training as a draftsman explains both his works on paper and preference to work with iron. Using iron and other metals, Chadwick was able to create three-dimensional drawings that were linear and had a definite shape. Chadwick’s sculptures in the 1950s follow a path of evolution from fish and insects to reptiles, mammals, and finally humans. Although Chadwick’s figurative works were less spindly than his threatening animal sculptures, they still maintain a linear, graphic quality that evokes pain, rage, and fear. Chadwick often said that for him making sculpture was a matter of finding a solution to a problem. The art historian Dennis Farr has commented, “Chadwick looked for geometry and tension, even in his animalist work, and tried constantly to avoid a static quality.”

Lynn Chadwick Conjunction II, 1983 (conceived 1957) Bronze, 2/9 33 x 22.5 x 10.5 in.

16


Lynn Chadwick Composition, 1961 Acrylic, watercolor, and ink on paper 25.5 x 18 in.

17


M A U R E E N C H AT F I E L D b. Carmel, New York

M

AUREEN CHATFIELD is a contemporary artist whose body of work is a unique blend

of New York Abstract Expressionism and Bay Area Figurative painting. Her works are never premeditated; instead, she allows the color harmonies, receding and overlapping lines, and a delicate balance of amorphous shapes to emerge while she paints. She has written that, "My paintings are intuitive responses to the

myriad forces that shape my life — emotions that translate into color, visual memories of forms

and color relationships found in the landscape, and personal stories from my past...The work process is one of constant experiment and change — building layers of color, form and image on the canvas revealing the underlying pentimento." Chatfield typically works in watercolor and oil, but has recently started working in acrylic allowing her to work at “lightening speed.” The collages in this show are a literal manifestation of her work process, in that the layered forms and images reveal the work’s evolution. Chatfield’s playful, uplifting, and honest works reflect the artist’s genuine interest in how her works appeal to a viewer’s soul.

Maureen Chatfield Joy Ride, 2011 Acrylic on canvas 24 x 36 in.

18


Maureen Chatfield Zebra, 2015 Mixed media collage 8 x 6 in.

Maureen Chatfield Five Fives, 2015 Mixed media collage 20 x 24 in.

19


ANN CHRISTOPHER b. 1947, Watford, England

A

NN CHRISTOPHER is a British abstract sculptor, working primarily in cast bronze,

stainless steel, silver, and fabricated corten. Her enigmatic, non-figurative sculptures evoke modern industrial landscapes, ancient monoliths, and natural rock formations. Despite her formal training as a sculptor, drawing has always been crucial for Christopher. The artist retrospectively recognizes that she produces series of drawings

during transitional phases of her sculpture. As she describes, “It is refreshing to be able to

produce a finished piece of work relatively quickly, unlike the lengthy casting process.” These sculptural, mixed media prints and drawings explore the properties of line, in both a formal and conceptual sense. Conceptually, line is a visual expression of the passage of time and memory. Formally, the artist juxtaposes clear, structural lines with masses of frenetic lines to create tension. This juxtaposition is further amplified with collaged, threedimensional lines, creating the illusion that the lines are leaping off the page and projecting towards the viewer. These works exhibit sculptural qualities such as texture, presence, and three-dimensionality. Although Christopher does not work with different media concurrently, it is evident that sculpture and drawing mutually inform each other in the artist’s creative process.

Ann Christopher Sense of Place, 2010 (conceived 2001) Bronze, 6/9 17.05 x 2.17 x 1.85 in.

20


Ann Christopher Following Lines 4, 2016 Mixed media 25.4 x 40 in.

21


JOSEPH CSÁKY b. 1888, Szeged, Austria-Hungary d. 1971, Paris, France

J

OSEPH CSÁKY was a pioneer of Cubist sculpture who, contemporaneously with Pablo

Picasso, revolutionized the discipline. Csáky’s artistic education began in 1905, when he enrolled at the Mintarajziskola (The School of Decorative Arts) in Budapest. He developed his skill-set as a sculptor working in the studio of painter and designer László Kimnach, and later in a porcelain manufacturing and lead foundry in

Budapest. Csáky moved to Paris in 1908 to attend the Académie de La Palette and moved into the famous artist studio complex La Ruche (The Beehive), where he began working in the Cubist vein. Csáky’s work of the time reveals a Cubist understanding of space, with planes transforming into abstract, architectonic forms. Csáky’s sculptural interpretations of Cubist motifs are characterized by elements borrowed from non-western sculpture, the integration of open space, and the use of geometry. Cubist sculpture is rooted in reducing objects to component planes and geometric solids such as cubes, spheres, cylinders, and cones, which explains Csáky’s multiple iterations of Tête cubiste and geometric shapes in different mediums. As Csáky’s career progressed, he began experimenting with the Purism of Amédée Ozenfant and Le Corbusier

and adopted a more figurative style. Influenced by Aristide Maillol, Csáky’s later oeuvre was dominated by his voluptuous renderings of human and animal forms.

Joseph Csáky Femme Bronze Sculpture, (conceived 1921) Bronze, Edition of 6 23.63 x 7 x 8 in. Credit: Stephen E. Kelly/Kelly Gallery, New York

22


Joseph Csáky Imbrication de Cônes, 1920 Gouache and India ink on brown paper 12.1 x 9.8 in.

23


DOROTHY DEHNER b. 1901, Cleveland, Ohio d. 1994, New York, New York

D

OROTHY DEHNER was an American sculptor and printmaker, born in Cleveland,

Ohio. As a young woman, she studied modern dance and acting, and only seriously started studying fine art after traveling to Europe and seeing important works by Picasso and Matisse. Dehner enrolled at the Art Students League in New York to study sculpture, but turned to painting after becoming frustrated with the traditional

style of her teachers. It was in New York that Dehner met the artist, David Smith, whom she

married. Dehner’s artistic career was at a standstill during her marriage to Smith. While Dehner drew, painted, and participated in group shows, she focused the majority of her attention on advising Smith. Dehner and Smith spent many of their summers at their upstate home in Bolton Landing, before moving there in 1940. Dehner addressed her conflicted feelings about Bolton Landing and her domineering husband in two series of drawings: Life on the Farm, idyllic representations of everyday life, and the Damnation Series, featuring demonic figures surrounded by vultures and bats. While working on these figurative, expressive series, Dehner also produced graphic works in the abstract style of Cubist art, as seen in Bolton Landing (1950). These works precede Dehner’s transition to sculpture, which she only pursued after divorcing Smith and studying with Stanley Hayter. Dehner created her earliest sculptures in wax, but in 1955, she started to cast her sculpture in bronze. Dehner adapted the rectilinear, formal language seen in her early prints and drawings for her sculptures, which increased in scale as her career progressed. Her wide, horizontal sculptures often suggest landscapes, while her vertical works have a totemic or iconic presence. Although Dehner’s career as a sculptor did not develop until later in life, she received a great deal of recognition and worked prolifically until her death at the age of ninety-two.

Dorothy Dehner Untitled, 1964 Bronze 14.25 x 22 x 14 in. Credit: Michael Rosenfield Gallery, New York

24


Dorothy Dehner Bolton Landing, 1950 Gouache and ink on paper 23 x 18 in.

25


FRANK DOBSON b. 1886, London, England d. 1963, London, England

B

ORN IN LONDON, Frank Dobson was a British sculptor, and the son of a commercial

artist of the same name. From 1902-1904, Dobson worked under the tutelage of William Reynolds-Stephens. Over the next decade, Dobson would split his time between London and Cornwall. During the early phase of his career, Dobson primarily produced paintings and received his first solo show at the Chenil Gallery in London

in 1914. After the First World War, Dobson focused on sculpture, and gained increasing success as a pioneer of Modern British sculpture. Dobson found the female nude to be the most gratifying subject, and produced monumental works drawing on a variety of sources, including the work of French sculptor Aristide Maillol and African art. Dobson’s training as a painter is evident in his sketches, which were generally intended as studies for three-dimensional works. He stylized full-figured, female bodies with

sweeping gestures and added blocks of watercolor over or around the subjects. Dobson’s modeling skills are also apparent in his red chalk drawings, such as Two Women (1943), created by layering and smudging the medium around the page. Although Dobson’s simplified, female forms eventually fell out of favor with the British avant-garde’s shift towards abstraction, his works retain a sense of living, breathing humanity.

Frank Dobson Study for the Fount, 1947-1948 Terracotta 6 x 3.25 in. Credit: Court Gallery, Somerset

26


Frank Dobson Two Women, 1943 Mixed media on paper 12.25 x 16 in.

27


MARCIN DUDEK b. 1979, Krakow, Poland

M

ARCIN DUDEK is a contemporary, multimedia artist whose work with objects,

collages, installations, and performance touches upon questions regarding the hierarchy of power in society. Born in Krakow, his works are informed by his childhood growing up in Soviet-era concrete housing projects, which he found oppressively monotonous due to their repeated architectural forms. Guided by

these pivotal childhood experiences, Dudek attempts to elevate mundanity into art through

unexpected juxtapositions and placements of forms. He often incorporates commonplace industrial materials, such as PVC tape and vinyl, into his works. His installations are concerned with enclosed spaces, how we construct them, and how they impose upon us. Previously, his work has addressed the tunnels used by drug smugglers along the U.S.-Mexico border and the tunnels excavated by the Vietcong during the Vietnam War. Dudek’s smaller works often accompany the installations. These works on paper are not necessarily studies for the installations or performances, but resemble geometric maps of these spaces. Dudek’s oeuvre is captivating because he produces works in various media to analyze the abstract concept of aggression from sociological, historical, and psychological standpoints.

Marcin Dudek Cathedral of Human Labour, 2013 Wood, steel, oil paint and light bulb 2944.86 x 86.63 x 78.75 in. Copyright Marcin Dudek / Credit: Edel Assanti, London

28


Marcin Dudek The Major Event, 2013 Vinyl, cork, fluorescent tape, and oil paint on cardboard 11.5 x 8.33 in.

29


30


MARCIN DUDEK

Marcin Dudek Tricolores, 2013 Vinyl, PVC tape on cardboard 15.75 x 12.5 in.

31


PAU L É LUA R D b. 1895, St. Denis, Paris, France d. 1952, Charenton-le-Pont, France

P

AUL ÉLUARD (born Eugène Émile Paul Grindel) was a French poet who was a leading

force in the Surrealist movement and a luminary in the artistic milieu of his time. At sixteen, Éluard was sent to a sanatorium in Davos, Switzerland to recover, from a pulmonary condition. It was during his recuperation that the young man discovered his passion for poetry, reading and re-reading works by avant-garde poets such as

Guillaume Apollinaire, Charles Baudelaire, and Arthur Rimbaud. It was also during this time

that Éluard tried his hand at drawing. There are no more than a dozen extant artworks by Éluard, all created between 1910 and 1918. However, his poetry would aim to present “a visual and sensory perception of poetic meaning.” Éluard published his first collection of poems in 1913, while still bedridden in Switzerland. The following year, after his recent release from the sanatorium, war was declared in August and Éluard soon assigned as a medic. Towards the end of the war, he published for the first time under the name “Éluard” — the maiden name of his maternal grandmother. He then moved to Paris where he became acquainted with André Breton, Louis Aragon, and Philippe Soupault. Alongside these men, Éluard put his name to the original Surrealist manifesto. The poet became close friends with the great artists of the decade, who frequently lent illustrations to his poems — Max Ernst (Les Malheurs des immortels, Paris, 1922), Pablo Picasso (Les Yeux fertiles, Paris, 1936) and Man Ray (Facile, Paris, 1935; Les Mains libres, Paris, 1937), among others. The literary critic, Marcel Raymond, wrote, “If Ernst was the founder of Surrealist painting, no poet came closer than Éluard to the specifications in Breton’s manifesto.” During World War II, Éluard worked within the French Resistance, and his poems were secretly circulated under multiple pseudonyms. Thousands of copies of Éluard’s magnificent 1942 poem “Liberté” were dropped by parachute by the Royal Air Force over occupied France. Éluard was a notable collector of his contemporaries, including Ernst, De Chirico, and Picasso. Éluard believed that there was complete fluidity between the visual arts and the written word, a concept to which his prolific career is a testament.

32


Paul Éluard Le cirque (Triptyque), 1913 Oil pastel on mat paper on canvas 29.53 x 13.58 in.

33


BARBARA HEPWORTH b. 1903, Wakefield, England d. 1975, St. Ives, England

B

ARBARA HEPWORTH was considered the greatest female sculptor during her lifetime.

Hepworth decided to pursue sculpture at the age of eighteen, and in 1920 won a scholarship to study at the Leeds School of Art. It was there that she met the sculptor, Henry Moore; their friendship and rivalry would mutually inform each other’s practice for the rest of their careers. Hepworth went on to study sculpture at the Royal College

of Art in London, and eventually traveled to Italy where she learned to carve marble: the primary

medium in the early phase of Hepworth’s career. In 1931, Hepworth began a relationship with Ben Nicholson, who introduced her to non-figurative abstraction. Hepworth and Nicholson exhibited extensively with various abstractionist groups and contributed to anti-fascist exhibitions and catalogs. At the start of World War II, Hepworth and Nicholson escaped to St. Ives, where they sought refuge living with art critic, Adrian Stokes, and artist, Margaret Mellis. Throughout the war, many other British Modernists continued to descend on the St. Ives coast, fostering an artistic community that was both influenced by the Cornish landscape and experiments with abstraction. The cramped living conditions forced Hepworth to abandon sculpture until the 1950s. Instead, Hepworth focused on drawings and studies; it was during this period that she

produced Crouching Figure (1948). When Hepworth returned to sculpture, her work began to include natural shapes and landscapes inspired by the St. Ives coast. She incorporated the Purism of the 1930s with symbolic reference to her new environment. In 1956, Hepworth began to work in bronze and other metals, allowing her to create work in small editions. The formation of the bronze pieces and the holes in Six Forms on a Circle (1967) create an interplay between space and light that recalls the pierced monoliths at ancient sites in Cornwall. Hepworth’s practice was unique in that she relied on the properties of a medium to dictate her sculptural form, a quality that is evident in both her drawings and sculpture.

Barbara Hepworth Six Forms on a Circle, 1967 Polished bronze, Edition of 7 13.24 x 23.58 in. Credit: Osborne Samuel, London

34


Barbara Hepworth Crouching Figure, 1948 India ink and chalk on paper 9.25 x 13.23 in.

35


AUGUSTE HERBIN b. 1882, Quiévy, France d. 1960, Paris, France

B

ORN IN A WORKING-CLASS town in northern France, Auguste Herbin attended the

École des Beaux-Arts in Lille before moving to Paris in his twenties. His studio was adjacent to Braque's and Picasso's, which allowed Herbin to witness the progression of early Cubism. In 1913 Herbin himself produced his first Cubist paintings. Herbin’s earlier works were notably influenced by the aesthetics of New Objectivity and

Surrealism, but by 1917 his works became increasingly more Constructivist. Herbin’s practice developed into what he described as, “alphabet plastique.” These abstractions consisted of carefully arranged flat, colorful geometric forms such as triangles, circles, and rectangles. In 1932, he co-founded the Abstraction-Création Movement, which refuted figuration and

Surrealism in favor of a system relating color, shapes, and letters, as seen in No. 1 Plafond (1926). This vibrant watercolor is a proposed ceiling design for Léonce Rosenberg’s private residence. Although the project was never realized, this work on paper demonstrates Herbin’s commitment to applying this non-figurative, abstract style to interior and architectural designs. These forms would continue to appear in Herbin’s body of work.

Auguste Herbin Paysage urbain au cercle bleu, 1919 Gouache on paper 12.32 x 9.37 in.

36


Auguste Herbin No. 1 Plafond, 1926 Watercolor on paper 12.44 x 9.33 in.

37


TOM H. JOHN b. 1931, Collinsville, Illinois

T

OM JOHN is an American artist and production designer. He studied at The Art

Institute of Chicago, and has painted all his life, creating architectural renderings, set designs for television and theater, and paintings on paper and canvas. His work is inspired by Georges Braque, FrantiĹĄek Kupka, the architectural school of Bauhaus, and whimsical shapes of Paul Klee and Julius Bissier. He has had solo shows on the

East and West Coast, and his paintings are in a number of private collections. Highlights from

his career as a production designer include the African Pavilion for the 1964 New York World's Fair, the television shows Much Ado About Nothing, Death of a Salesman, and the 50th Anniversary of the Academy Awards. He has also designed six Broadway productions, including Guys & Dolls, George M!, and The Whiz. He has received five Emmys and the Peabody Award. John lives and works in New York. John’s multifaceted practice is refreshing because the styles of his works vary based on their media. While his paintings, works on paper, and set designs evoke a Cubist style, his architectural and interior designs are Bauhaus-inspired. For this exhibition, we have chosen an architectural design for a house that was realized in San Francisco as well as a painted screen, which showcase the diversity of his projects and style.

Tom John Untitled, 2016 Gouache on brown paper 15 x 22.75 in.

38


Tom John Screen Prototype Painted wood panels, metal hinges Each panel: 77.5 x 22 in.

39


HENRI L AURENS b. 1885, Paris, France d. 1954, Paris, France

H

ENRI LAURENS was a French sculptor and illustrator, and is considered one of the

pioneers of Cubist sculpture. Growing up, Laurens apprenticed with an ornamental sculptor, where he learned direct stone carving. While an apprentice, he also took evening drawing classes from the popular Parisian instructor “Père Perrin.” In 1911, he first met Georges Braque who, along with introducing Laurens to Cubism, also

became a life-long friend. Laurens began his career creating wood and polychrome plaster

sculptures, drawing on the tenets of Cubism and adopting Cubist subjects such as deconstructed human figures, guitars, and still lifes. In 1913, Laurens exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants and, two years later, met Juan Gris, Amedeo Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso. Picasso later introduced him to Léonce Rosenberg, who gave him a solo show at his Galerie de l’Effort Moderne in 1917. As his career progressed, Laurens shifted toward subtle low-relief terracottas, eventually forsaking his fragmented geometric style in favor of a natural, curvilinear one. After World War II, Laurens began to work more figuratively. Many of his works from this period were re-interpretations of Greco-Roman mythology. He became known for his highly abstract, rhythmic female nudes, often reclining or bathing, made from stone or bronze. Laurens was also prolific in collage, printmaking, and illustration, which is why the female nude motif is also iterated in drawings and low-sculpture reliefs.

Henri Laurens Femme au miroir, 1952 (conceived c. 1929) Bronze, Edition of 7 13.63 x 6 x 4 in. Credit: Connaught Brown, London

40


Henri Laurens Femme nue allongĂŠe, 1937 Gouache and pencil on cardboard 4.49 x 12.01 in.

41


J E A N L U R Ç AT b. 1892, Bruyeres, France d. 1966, Saint-Paul de Vence, France

J

EAN LURÇAT was a French artist credited with bringing tapestries back into popularity

during the twentieth century. He studied at the Académie Colarossi, where his classmates included Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. In 1915, he participated in his first exhibition in Zürich, and in 1917 created his first major tapestry work. The Cubist and avant-garde influence is evident in Lurçat’s early works,

as seen in the collages, Nature morte au coquillage (1923) and Autour de la Mare (1932). Lurçat’s layered materials convey the artist’s interest in texture and tactility, alluding to his

transition from painting to tapestry. Although his first tapestries were executed and exhibited in 1917, it was not until 1936 that Lurçat turned from primarily painting to designing tapestries. In 1939, he and the painters Toussaint Dubreuil and Marcel Gromaire went to Aubusson, a French town historically associated with tapestry weaving since the sixteenth century, and established a center to make modern tapestries in collaboration with the master weaver François Tabard. His works often featured recurring motifs such as nature, animals, and the cosmos. Lurçat was a prolific and multifaceted artist, who designed sets and costumes for the theatre, wrote poetry, worked with ceramics, and produced book illustrations and lithographs.

Designed by Jean Lurçat Voici la Maison Tapestry 110 x 78 in. Credit: FJ Hakimian, New York

42


Jean Lurรงat Nature morte au coquillage, 1923 Gouache on paper 18.31 x 12.6 in.

43


44


J E A N L U R ร‡ AT

Jean Lurรงat Autour de la mare, 1932 Gouache on paper 10.63 x 18.9 in.

45


B E AT R I C E M A N D E L M A N b. 1912, Newark, New Jersey d. 1998, Taos, New Mexico

B

EATRICE MANDELMAN was born in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of Jewish

immigrants from Austria and Germany. While still a child, she was introduced to art by her parents' friend Louis Lozowick, and began taking classes at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art. As a young woman, she studied at Rutgers University and then later at the Art Students League in New York. During the Great Depression, she

worked for the Works Progress Administration, first as a muralist and then as a screenprinter. In 1942 she married the painter Louis Ribak. Two years later they moved to Taos, New Mexico, where they would live for the rest of their lives. In Taos the young couple became the center of a group of artists known as the Taos Moderns, which included Emil Bisttram, Edward Corbett, Agnes Martin, Oli Sihvonen, and Clay Spohn. Mandelman and Ribak opened the Taos Valley Art School, using the income they made from teaching classes to support their art making. In 1948, Mandelman moved to Paris for a year to study under Fernand LĂŠger, and during this time she befriended Francis Picabia. While she was in Paris, Ribak purchased a sprawling adobe house for himself and Mandelman. They created an exhibition space in their living room, which they called "Gallery Ribak." The couple organized mini-exhibitions there, including a three-person show for themselves and their friend Agnes

Martin in 1955. The 1950s were a period of excitement and change for Mandelman and the Taos Moderns. Mandelman was interested in aspects of Constructivism, indicated by interlocking and layering geometric shapes. Although primarily a painter, Mandelman also experimented with these ideas via other media, as seen in the gouache and collages on woodblocks from 1958.

Beatrice Mandelman Sea Shapes (#2), c. 1960s Oil on Masonite 72 x 48 in.

46


Beatrice Mandelman Untitled, c. 1958 Gouache and collage on wood block 6 x 6 x 2 in.

Beatrice Mandelman Untitled, c. 1958 Gouache and collage on wood block 7.25 x 5.75 x 3.88 in.

Beatrice Mandelman Untitled, c. 1958 Gouache and collage on wood block 6.5 x 21.75 x 2 in.

47


GIACOMO MANZÙ b. 1908, Bergamo, Italy d. 1991, Rome, Italy

G

IACOMO MANZÙ was an Italian sculptor whose monumental bronze works appear in

public squares and gardens throughout the world. Manzù revived the ancient art of creating bronze sculptures for ecclesiastical buildings and is best known for his Door of Death at St. Peter's Basilica. Manzù’s apprenticeships with carpenters, wood carvers, gilders, and stucco workers gave him the technical mastery needed to be a

skilled sculptor. Manzù was attracted to low relief sculpture because it offered him opportunities

similar to painting while also tackling questions of spatial relationship. His early works consisted of nudes inspired by Maillol’s voluptuous modern sculptures and biblical subjects influenced by medieval art. Manzù began working on religious themes in 1929 when he was commissioned to decorate the chapel of the Catholic University in Milan, but starting in the late 1930s, the reliefs became a pretext for political commentary. Manzù often depicted the martyrdom of Jesus to draw parallels between political persecutions throughout Europe and the crucifixion of an innocent man for his convictions. When Manzù was commissioned to design the doors of St. Peter’s, he petitioned to depict the deaths and sacrifices of martyrs instead of their triumphs. For Manzù, reliefs and drawings were natural and direct forms of expression. He often used drawings to aid his reliefs. In addition to religious subjects, Manzù was also interested in nudes and depictions of the artist with his model. Manzù sculpted many tender portrayals of female nudes. One of his recurring motifs was the “donna sdraita,” or reclining woman. Manzù would continue to explore these genres for the rest of his career.

Giacomo Manzù Untitled [study for Door of Death at St Peter’s Basilica, Rome], c. 1960-1963 Bronze 19.8 x 15.4 in.

48


Giacomo ManzĂš Figura Sdraiata, c. 1970 Oil charcoal on paper 11.5 x 8.5 in.

49


BERNARD MEADOWS b. 1915, Norwich, England d. 2005, London, England

B

ERNARD MEADOWS attended the Norwich School of Art before becoming Henry

Moore’s first assistant in 1936. Meadows continued to work with Moore while studying at the Royal College of Art and after serving in World War II. However, Meadows’s post-war work was markedly different from Moore’s and instead reflected the natural world. In the 1950s, Meadows’s fascination with the human

condition resulted in a series of animal sculptures. His interest in this genre followed a

commission in 1954 to create a sculpture for a new school to be built in London Colney. The result was a massive, naturalistic cockerel. Menacing sculptures of birds and crabs began to dominate the artist’s output. Their poses and outstretched limbs convey both fear and vulnerability. The startled and falling birds appeared in various iterations of the artist’s oeuvre throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Meadows typically explored the formal possibilities of sculpture through studies, such as Two Fallen Birds (1960). Meadows was part of a new generation of British sculptors, including Kenneth Armitage, Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick, and Eduardo Paolozzi — the group whose work critic Herbert Read referred to as expressing “the geometry of fear.” As vehicles for the human figure, these works communicated the group’s anxiety about living in the Cold War era. Meadows later became fascinated with images of powerful historical figures and these appeared in his sculpture and drawings as semi-abstract versions of armed and dangerous warriors, often with limbs outstretched threateningly. In 1957, Meadows received his first solo show at Gimpel Fils in London and in 1959, he received

his first solo show at Paul Rosenberg & Co. in New York. Both galleries would continue to support the artist’s career.

Bernard Meadows Seated Armed Figure, 1962 Bronze, 6/6 17.5 x 17.75 x 10.25 in.

50


Bernard Meadows Two Fallen Birds, 1960 Graphite and watercolor on paper laid on card 8.25 x 10.75 in.

51


HENRY MOORE b. 1898, Castelford, England d. 1986, Much Hadham, England

B

RITISH ARTIST HENRY MOORE is arguably one of the most influential artists of the

twentieth century. Celebrated as a sculptor, Moore was strongly influenced in his formative years by painters such as Giotto, Masaccio, Blake, Turner, and Picasso, as well as the painter/sculptor Michaelangelo. He himself was a skilled draftsman who began to study and teach sculpture after serving in World War I. Like Frank Dobson,

Moore depicted the female form using various media. Seated Nude (1929) is a study of a seated figure facing right. Drawn with a great deal of confidence, this nude’s pose is typical of Moore’s female figures of that time, shown with a leg thrusting forward. Moore’s drawings are mainly sculptural ideas, with many individual sketches clearly connected to three-dimensional works. In the 1930s, Moore adopted aesthetic innovations from both Constructivism and Surrealism, synthesizing the two into his own unique form of figurative abstraction. During the Second World War, as an Official War Artist, Moore made a series of drawings of

people sheltering in the London Underground. These hauntingly beautiful images captured the psychological trauma of the London Blitz and inspired his monumental sculptures in reclining postures. From that point on, Moore’s simplified, abstract sculptures were typically of motherand-child or reclining figures. His figures became increasingly abstract; the sculptures from his later years are usually pierced or contain hollow spaces, as seen in Maquette for Two Piece Reclining Figure: Points (1969). Critics liken these organic shapes to the human body, as well as shells, bones, rocks, and even the undulating landscapes of Yorkshire.

Henry Moore Maquette for Two Piece Reclining Figure: Points, 1969 Bronze, 8/9 3.5 x 5 x 2.5 in.

52


Henry Moore Seated Nude, 1929 Pen, ink, charcoal, chalk, and wash on paper 16.89 x 13.31 in.

53


REUBEN NAKIAN b. 1897, College Point, New York d. 1986, Stamford, Connecticut

R

euben Nakian (né Henry Malakian Nakhian) was an American sculptor of Armenian descent, whose subject matter was informed by ancient Greek mythology. Nakian’s early works drew inspiration from the German avant-garde, Watteau, and Fragonard; it was not until the mid-1930s that Nakian discovered his own style. Nakian chose to re-interpret Greco-Roman mythology in his art, with a focus on the female form. As

he explained, “I should be living in Europe — but if I were living in Europe, I couldn’t create,

because all the masterpieces would wear you down… America is the land of the free and you do what you want, so America is the ideal place for me to do the classical subject matter. I couldn’t do that in Greece.” Nakian’s female subjects ran the gamut from abstractions to quasirealistic, radically disproportioned forms. Nakian regarded himself first and foremost as a sculptor, but his superb drawings, watercolors, and ceramics reveal his mastery of draftsmanship. Although the generalized, sculptural forms in Nakian’s drawings and ceramics were often left unfinished or can be found in his bronze sculptures, the artist considered these works to be stand alone pieces rather than studies. The female figures in Nakian’s drawings, sculptures, and vases often seem isolated in their spaces, but they are seldom liberated from allegory or history.

Reuben Nakian Voyage to Crete, 1970 Bronze, 1/9 10.5 x 14.5 x 1.25 in.

54


Reuben Nakian Nymph and Dolphins, 1982-1985 Black litho crayon and color wash on paper 29.75 x 40.75 in.

55


56


REUBEN NAKIAN

Reuben Nakian Nymph and Goat, 1983 Glazed ceramic with black slip ground 9.5 x 11 in.

57


BERNAR VENET b. 1941, Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban, France

B

ERNAR VENET is a Conceptual artist who works in numerous media, including painting,

drawing, sculpture, and installation. His iconic 1963 Tas de charbon marked a historic moment in art history: as a large pile of charcoal, it was the first sculpture with no defined shape. Furthermore, Tas de charbon was an invitation for the viewer to interact with the work, some four years before Allan Kaprow's famous Yard.

Inspired by Minimalist artists like Donald Judd and Carl Andre, Venet began to produce wallmounted and freestanding metal sculpture in the 1960s. Venet’s best-known works are torch-cut steel plates and beams that resemble scribbles, lines, and arcs, such as Rolled Steel (2006). In working with metal, Venet is interested in the perceived tension between himself and the sculpture. Although primarily regarded as a sculptor, these spindly forms are also present in Venet’s works on paper, as seen in Disorder: Acute Angles (2015), which raises the question of whether Venet perceives the same tension or “test of strength” with his two-dimensional works as he does his sculpture. These series are typically detailed descriptions of existing sculptures. In 2016, Venet was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the International Sculpture Center.

Bernar Venet 217.5 ARC X 19, 2006 Rolled steel, Unique 14.17 x 16.54 x 12.4 in.

58


Bernar Venet Disorder: Acute Angles, 2015 Charcoal, oilstick, and collage on paper 60.25 x 40.13 in. Credit: The artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York


Rosenberg & Co. ©2017


A Different Medium exhibition catalogue  
A Different Medium exhibition catalogue  
Advertisement