Paolo Veronese: A Master and His Workshop in Renaissance Venice @ Ringling Museum

December 7 – April 14, 2012
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Ringling Museum organizes America’s first comprehensive Paolo Veronese exhibition in two decades.

December 7 – April 14, 2012
John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Paolo Veronese Exhibition Opens Dec. 7 in Sarasota, Florida

This December, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art will present a major exhibition of the work of Paolo Veronese (1528–1588), a master of Venetian Renaissance painting. The first comprehensive exhibition of Veronese’s work in North America in over two decades, Paolo Veronese: A Master and His Workshop in Renaissance Venice brings together more than 50 of the artist’s finest paintings and drawings from North American museums and private collections. Presenting imposing altarpieces and smaller religious paintings for private devotion or collectors, striking portraits, depictions of sensual narratives drawn from the classical tradition, and majestic allegories glorifying the Venetian state, the exhibition will introduce the range of Veronese’s art, in which the opulence and splendor of Renaissance Venice comes to life. Veronese was also a highly accomplished draughtsman, and this exhibition will provide audiences a rare glimpse into his work on paper, from gestural sketches to highly-finished chiaroscuro sheets. The Ringling will be the sole venue for Paolo Veronese, which will be on view from December 7, 2012 through April 14, 2013 in the Museum’s Ulla R. and Arthur F. Searing Wing.

Paolo Veronese, Rest on the Flight into Egypt, ca. 1570, oil on canvas, Bequest of John Ringling, 1936, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Fla. © The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Fla.

One of the exhibition’s highlights will be the Ringling’s own work, Rest on the Flight into Egypt (ca. 1572), one of only two complete Veronese altarpieces in North America and the first Old Master painting acquired in 1925 by the Museum’s founder, John Ringling. The exhibition will also feature two other works from the Ringling’s collection: Portrait of Francesco Franceschini (1551), the artist’s first known surviving, full-standing portrait, painted when Veronese was just 23 years old, and a painting John Ringling bought as a Veronese, A Family Group (ca. 1565), now understood to be the work of his talented pupil Giovanni Antonio Fasolo.

“One of the most impressive paintings by Veronese in America is the Ringling’s Rest on the Flight into Egypt, which happens to be the first Old Master painting acquired by John Ringling for this museum,” said Steven High, executive director of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. “In recent years, the Ringling Museum has made a concerted effort to organize important exhibitions based on prominent works in our European collection, and Paolo Veronese is the latest in this series. This exhibition hopes to introduce new audiences to the broad spectrum of Veronese as a painter and draughtsman, while making a major contribution to the study of the artist.”

Conceived and organized by Dr. Virginia Brilliant, the Ringling Museum’s Curator of European Art, in cooperation with Frederick Ilchman, Curator of Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the exhibition highlights Veronese’s artistic process and his rich and varied artistic production. Veronese often depicted the same subjects time and again throughout his career, and the exhibition will examine the artist’s evolving perspectives on the Rest on the Flight into Egypt, the Baptism of Christ, and the Death of Christ through the side-by-side comparison of works in a variety of formats, sizes, and media. For example, the Ringling’s Rest on the Flight into Egypt will be placed in conversation with the National Gallery of Canada’s painting and the Harvard Art Museums’ highly finished drawing of the same subject, as well as the Cleveland Museum of Art’s preliminary sheet of sketches in which the artist’s ideas for all of the finished works originated.

“Veronese is broadly represented in American collections, in contrast with contemporary Venetian painters like Tintoretto and Titian, and thus the exhibition ably surveys his career and oeuvre,” said Virginia Brilliant, the exhibition’s lead curator. “Yet Veronese is often dismissed as a merely decorative painter, more elegant and ‘happier’ than Titian or Tintoretto. This exhibition hopes to shift this perception, and to shed light on Veronese as a masterful, deeply empathetic storyteller and narrative painter whose works were often invested with rich layers of meaning.”

Paolo Veronese will feature prominent works drawn from private collections as well as museums such as the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Harvard Art Museums, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Canada, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, among others. As Veronese was known for his rich representations of Renaissance Venice’s luxurious fashions and fabrics, the exhibition will include rare 16th-century textiles from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, such as a red damask made of silk and gilt metal thread brocade and a reticella lace towel, which will be displayed alongside paintings portraying similar fabrics.

This exhibition will also mark the first reunion in the U.S. of four works that were once part of the same decorative ensemble — Allegory of Painting (1560s) from the Detroit Institute of Arts, and three panels from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Jupiter and a Nude (1560s), Actaeon and Diana with Nymphs (1560s), and Atalanta and Meleager (1560s)—oil on canvas paintings that are believed to have been installed together as a frieze along the walls of a palace or country villa. Curators will also be testing a new hypothesis that two paintings depicting scenes drawn from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Diana and Actaeon (ca. 1560–65) from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Apollo and Daphne (ca. 1560–65) from the San Diego Museum of Art, may have been from the same decorative ensemble. The paintings, which share a similar provenance, dimensions, and scale of figures, will be displayed side-by-side so viewers can compare their use of light, landscape, and color. The exhibition will also feature Thomas Struth’s Galleria dell’Accademia 1, Venice 1992 (1992) from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, inviting visitors to reflect on Veronese’s impact on contemporary audiences.

An illustrated catalogue published by Scala Publishers Ltd., accompanies the show, featuring scholarly yet accessible perspectives on the artist from more than ten contributors, including Dr. Virginia Brilliant, Curator of European Art at the Ringling, Frederick Ilchman, Curator of Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and David Rosand, Meyer Shapiro Professor of Art History Emeritus at Columbia University, among others. The catalogue will be available in the Ringling Museum’s store and from retailers online. Several programs are planned in conjunction with the exhibition, including a lecture by Venetian Renaissance scholar Peter Humfrey, Professor of Art History at the University of Saint Andrews, Scotland on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. A scholarly symposium devoted to the artist is also planned for March 8-9, 2013.

Recent exhibitions of European art at the Ringling have included: The Triumph of Marriage: Painted Cassoni of the Renaissance (2008); Venice in the Age of Canaletto (2009 –10), Gothic Art in the Gilded Age: Medieval and Renaissance Treasures in the Gavet-Vanderbilt-Ringling Collection (2009–10), and Peter Paul Rubens: Impressions of a Master (2012).


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Interview with Andrea Dasha Reich by Pamela Beck

Reich was born in the Czech Republic in 1946 to a progressive and creative family. Intellectually at odds with prevailing Communist ideologies, the family emigrated to Israel in 1960 where Reich studied at the Bezelel Academy in Jerusalem before moving to NYC in 1966. Her early success and travels as a corporate executive and designer in the fashion/textile business, exposed Reich to unusual hand crafts, exotic objects and a variety of colors and textures that later appeared in her art work.

Pamela Beck

Pamela Beck

There are as many ways to think about art as there are to create it. Join Pamela Beck in her column, ARTdart, as she explores and considers the different perspectives that define the art world.


Andrea Dasha Reich Artist Statement:
“I’m as affected by the frog I saw yesterday, sitting on the lit globe of my outside light as I am by the distant memories of a gray hut I once saw in China or a blue mosaic tile I saw 30 years ago when I lived in Israel. My biggest influences come from the many cultures I’ve deeply experienced, from nature and from the legacy of art and invention passed through the DNA in the women of my family to me. These join together and feel like an invisible hand guiding me in my work, where it’s as if colors take over my whole being.” – Andrea Dasha Reich

Most recent Commission – Andrea Dasha Reich, “Tess’s Paradise” 2012 – 4′ x 10′ (with the artist)

Bio:
Reich was born in the Czech Republic in 1946 to a progressive and creative family. Intellectually at odds with prevailing Communist ideologies, the family emigrated to Israel in 1960 where Reich studied at the Bezelel Academy in Jerusalem before moving to NYC in 1966. Her early success and travels as a corporate executive and designer in the fashion/textile business, exposed Reich to unusual hand crafts, exotic objects and a variety of colors and textures that later appeared in her art work.

Reich has shown in solo exhibitions in Miami, Aspen, New York City, Boston and Denver and many group shows including MASS MoCa, North Adams, MA; Zimmer Museum, Los Angeles; and State of the Arts Gallery in Sarasota that represents Reich locally. Reich is represented by Etra Gallery in Miami and Pismo Gallery in Aspen and Denver. Studio Director, Anastasia Maracle, runs Reich’s large Sarasota studio, allowing Reich to concentrate on her creating her art. Reich will be showing at Artexpo & Solo in Miami, Dec. 5-9, 2012.

Andrea Dasha Reich, “Sarasota” 2012 -48″ x 54″

1. Your work is many layered and looks 3D. Please explain how you create this effect:

It’s impossible to see the layers of my work in a photograph because it’s multi dimensional. If you think of a BLT sandwich, it’s a similar idea- one thing placed on top of another. I have the image of the final work in my mind before I begin. It can be up to 5 layers of epoxy resin that I work on one layer at a time. I start with the first layer of epoxy resin into which I put shapes, acrylic textures, metals, painting with inks and dyes and clays. Then I do another layer on top of the last. Between each layer are many materials. I continue this layering and filling in between the layers until I think the work is done. The result is an artwork that resembles glass both visually and tactically, but unlike glass, it’s virtually indestructible.

2. Both your personal style and your art are bright, colorful, bold and whimsical- are these traits that you think describe you?

Although I can be quite serious, I prefer to laugh about life and enjoy humor in others. When I work, it’s truly a pleasure for me to be in my studio. I love working. I know other artists who find it painful to make their art. But why would I want to do something that hurts me? I’m not a masochist.

3. Why do you think people are often afraid to live with bright colors?

Color affects a person emotionally. It’s easier to live in a white or cream-colored room. Colors cause bold reactions and it might be difficult for some people to have such strong feelings. It can scare them. I think certain colors can connect you with emotions you didn’t know you had. Many people don’t know what to do with those emotions once they surface.

4. What does the process of working on one of your pieces feel like to you?

I converse with my paintings all the time. I feel like a conductor. I have to keep those colors in line or encourage them: this one may be too strong, that one too shy. It’s difficult to work with color. I have to keep them all in constant balance.

Andrea Dasha Reich, “Gray Tess” 2012 -36″ x 54″

5. You lived in NYC for 33 years, mainly in TriBeCa. What’s the difference working there versus Sarasota?

There’s a big difference. It’s obviously brighter here. This led me to choosing brighter colors. Also, I incorporated nature more fully into my work and exchanged house images for flowers.

6. You often work on commission. People ask you for a particular size, feeling or color palette. Please explain how this worked in your most recent commission:

My last commission was the largest I’ve ever done: 10 feet x 4 feet. That’s the size the client asked me to do. She saw my work in a Miami exhibition and fell in love with two of the pieces. She asked if I could combine the colors of one with the images of the other. Of course, it’s not a science, but I tried to respect the essence of what she wanted and render that in this last piece. She just received the work and is very happy, which makes me feel the same as well. It’s very satisfying for me to make someone else happy. If I can do that with my art, that’s the best.

7. What would be your fantasy commission?

I would like to design a piece for a huge airport lobby. People have so much time while they’re waiting there. I would enjoy knowing that people were looking at my work without rushing. Because my work is so complex and intricate, it takes many viewings to see all that is going on. People always tell me that they see things they’ve never seen before each time they look at the same work.

8. What do you see as the role of the artist today in society?

I can’t generalize as every artist does what he or she wants. Some like to express anger, ugliness or other social inadequacies that ail us. I paint for beauty in the world and for myself most of all. I like people to be happy and touched by my art- for it to evoke emotions they may not even understand. People see different things in my work, like religious letters or special messages. I always agree, as it’s great that they see something they find important. If I would attach a specific meaning to my work, I would be taking away their imagination.

Andrea Dasha Reich, “Miami Red” 2011 – 70″ x 50″

9. What is one thing that disturbs you about the art world?

I don’t doubt the importance of museums, curators, critics, artists and dealers challenging people’s minds to understand art. What I don’t like and am impatient about is the change in art criticism. Historically, the “value” of art was the gold standard in art. Today the question of “value” has been replaced by “what does it mean?”. This opens a Pandora’s Box of endless chatter by those who have no way of knowing what an artist is thinking. (Often even the artist him/herself doesn’t know.)

10. Who are people you would enjoy spending time with and why?

Georges Sand, because she was an independent, creative woman and lived her life as she wished. Yoko Ono and Antonia Fraser for the same reasons. And Woody Allen because he shows us how to laugh at ourselves.

Andrea Dasha Reich website: http://www.andreadashareich.com/


To read more about Pamela, view these links:
http://srxq.blogspot.com/
http://whatdogsreallythink.blogspot.com/