The Tampa Museum of Art will host a once-in-a-generation exhibition of American masterpieces from The Phillips Collection. Presenting 105 paintings by seventy-five artists that trace the course of American painting from the 1850s through the 1960s.
February 2 – April 28, 2013
Tampa Museum of Art
The Tampa Museum of Art will host a once-in-a-generation exhibition of American masterpieces from The Phillips Collection. Presenting 105 paintings by seventy-five artists that trace the course of American painting from the 1850s through the 1960s. Artists included in the exhibition are Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, John Sloan, Rockwell Kent, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Stuart Davis, Jacob Lawrence, Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, and Mark Rothko. The exhibiton takes its title from an oft quoted line from Duncan Phillips’ own writing on art, “All of us can acquire eyes wherewith to see the world as artists see it, variously, selectively, intellectually or emotionally, in full possession of the latent capacity for seeing nature in pictures and pictures in nature.”
To See as Artists See is the first large-scale, traveling presentation of the Phillips’s celebrated collection of American art, chronicling the broad scope and richness of its holdings. The exhibiton had its premiere in Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy, then traveled to the Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid, Spain, and National Art Center Tokyo, Japan. It has been shown at only two U.S. venues: The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee, and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas. Tampa Museum of Art Executive Director, Todd D. Smith remarked, “The Tampa presentation will be the final showing of this spectacular collection before it is returned to Washington. It will be celebrated with a homecoming exhibition at the Phillips in 2014.”
The exhibition unfolds in ten thematic groups:
Romanticism and Realism (Works by Thomas Eakins, Edward Hicks, Winslow Homer, George Inness, and Albert Pinkham Ryder) Impressionism (Works by Childe Hassam, Ernest Lawson, Maurice Prendergast, Theodore Robinson, and John Henry Twachtman); Forces in Nature (Works by Marsden Hartley, Rockwell Kent, John Marin, Harold Weston, and others); Nature and Abstraction (Works by Arthur Dove, Hartley, Kent, Marin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Augustus Vincent Tack, and Max Weber); Modern Life (Works by Robert Henri, Edward Hopper, Walt Kuhn, George Luks, Guy Pène du Bois, and others); The City (Works by Ralston Crawford, Hopper, Marin, Charles Sheeler, John Sloan, and others); Memory and Identity (Works by Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jacob Lawrence, Grandma Moses, and Horace Pippin); Legacy of Cubism (Works by Ilya Bolotowsky, Stuart Davis, John Graham, Karl Knaths, Marin, and others); Transition to Abstract Expressionism (Works by Milton Avery, Alexander Calder, Morris Graves, Alfonso Ossorio, and Jackson Pollock); and Abstract Expressionism (Works by Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, Adolf Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, and Clyfford Still).
About the Phillips Collection
Founded by Duncan Phillips in 1918, The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., opened to the public in 1921 as America’s first museum of modern art. An astute collector, Phillips assembled much of his collection by patronizing contemporary artists, often buying a representative selection of their work. With the collection’s growth, in 1930 Phillips chose to give over the entire 1896 house built by his parents to the museum, allowing visitors to encounter the art within the intimate spaces of his boyhood home.
Phillips develeped an amazing eye for building a collection that was based on a vision that arose from deeply felt personal experience and was informed by a lifetime of search and study. Before the great histories of modern art were written, before there was a Museum of Modern Art or a National Gallery of Art, Phillips sought out with astonishing success the works of Impressionist and modernist masters. And he alone among his collecting peers assembled works with such a pointedly public mission, wanting from the start to share with the public the experiences of great works of art in circumstances that were personal and intimate. This exhibition tells the story of modern American art from the viewpoint of a profoundly prescient eye. The late Robert Hughes, former art critic for Time magazine, put it this way: “Everyone who loves early modern art loves The Phillips Collection and envies Washington for having it.”
GENERAL HOURS AND ADMISSION
The Museum opens daily at 11 a.m. Hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Fridays from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. General admission prices are: adult $10; seniors, groups, military plus one guest $7.50; students $5; and children ages 6 and under free-of-charge. A-pay-what-you-will fee structure is offered every Friday from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. The Museum’s address is 120 Gasparilla Plaza Tampa, FL 33602. Contact (813) 274-8130 with inquiries.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that not everyone reading this is a die-hard Gallery Go-er. Perhaps you’d like to see what’s “out there” and I am here to help you figure out what, exactly, it is that those art show terms mean.
With the refinement of traditional processes or discovery of new techniques, Process Obsessed explores the methods behind printmaking, prompting the question: what is a print? Although the content of each artist differs, the process and methods unifies these practitioners and is a testament to the constantly varied, yet innovative approach brought into printmaking.
The exhibition will feature five quotations by SCF students and staff that were selected by “Embracing Our Differences 2012,” a slideshow of additional quotations from SCF that were submitted to the competition and artwork by SCF Collegiate School students.
Richard Jolley has produced a remarkable body of sculpture that explores the human figure, its timeless beauty, and expressive potential. The artist’s work falls into distinct series, each serving as a stage in his evolution toward increasingly evocative and technically challenging forms. Jolley’s work is both symbolic and visual. He brings a new and innovative treatment to glass sculpture unlike anything that others have done.
In the exhibition, Selections from the Richard and Barbara Basch Collection: American Studio Glass-50 Years of Extraordinary Achievement, currently on view in the Richard and Barbara Basch Gallery are celebrations of a movement which began in the 60’s and continues to this day. All of the artists in this exhibition have some connection with Studio Glass including innovative glass artist, Richard Jolley.
Richard Jolley has produced a remarkable body of sculpture that explores the human figure, its timeless beauty, and expressive potential. The artist’s work falls into distinct series, each serving as a stage in his evolution toward increasingly evocative and technically challenging forms. Jolley’s work is both symbolic and visual. He brings a new and innovative treatment to glass sculpture unlike anything that others have done. His work is proactive; engaging the mind while captivating the eye with rich colors, sensuality, humor, and unique textures. And while the artist, who continues to work and live in Knoxville, Tennessee, is one of the country’s premier glass sculptors, he also works in other techniques including bronze sculpture, painting, drawing and printmaking.
sVA: A great deal has been written about your art, but not so much your early life. How did growing up in East Tennessee influence your development as an artist?
RJ: People talk about being an artist and being 4 years old, and they knew they were going to be an artist. I consider most people being 4 years old wanting to be a fireman, or a cowboy, so I don’t consider that to be very relevant. I think coming of age is something when you decide what you are going to do with your life. So for myself, that happened to me when I was in college; that decision of what I was going to do with my life. I think in a sense of context, a lot of people talk about the speciality of intellectual articulation. It is very similar in the sciences and the arts, and if you truly talk to anyone from East Tennessee, Oak Ridge was not truly East Tennessee. It is a very unique microcosm. It is where the isotope separation part of the Manhattan Project occurred. With that said, my parents did not move there till 1956. At that point from the 50’s to the 60’s, there was isotope separation going into the Cold War. Oak Ridge was moving towards a pure scientific research area. I don’t know if it is true today, but everyone said it had one of the highest PHD areas per captia in the country. So I think there was an interest in education, there was an interest in knowledge, there was an interest in culture. Whether it was the symphony, or things like the visual arts and art centers.
sVA: What were your early inspirations that led to glass becoming your primary medium?
RJ: I think the thing that fascinated me about glass was the physicality of the making of the work. I was introduced to glass when there was a larger experimentation. A lot of the professors were on the G.I. Bill from the Korean War, or if they were older, from World War II. There was that growth of the arts through the G.I .Bill that infected the collegiate system. During the time period of the early 70’s, there was a lot of experimentation of materials. Everyone talks about Jackson Pollock making these radical paintings with industrial materials, today that is considered the norm. Or you talk about Toulouse Lautrec working straight on Vitreograph stones instead of having the artist, craftsman, and the printer work on them. At the time when these things were done, they seemed radical then. Later they seem like a completely normal process. I was introduced to glass at a time when there was experimentation with material. Whether it was ceramics, plastics, or non traditional metals, a lot of it moved towards industrial application.
sVA: So its not so much the medium, its what you do with the medium?
RJ: I think relativity, yes. I think the one nice thing about glass is, that there not being a tradition in sculpture, there’s a wide range of creativity that had not been articulated before.
sVA: What are your current inspirations for creating your work?
RJ: If you look at work as being figurative, its always talking about the human condition. Some things are very obvious and some things aren’t. It’s like the project that I am working on for the Knoxville Museum. I view it as a life cycle- something very simple where we have emergence. A primordial of where we come from- emergence, where are we going? Sort of that separation from youth to maturity, desire, tree of life, the contemplation. And then where are we going? I think most of my work that I am doing now relates to that issue, or a section of that issue.
sVA: Do you create drawings of your sculptures prior to the creation?
RJ: It varies, if I need to I do, and if I don’t need to then I don’t. At this point in my career, I have a great capacity to visualize three dimensionally. Traditionally, if you look at some work, you do a drawing- a small maquette, or a maquette out of a different material. A small piece out of the material you are going to use, and possibly a larger scale piece. I am very aware of how to use those techniques. For this large installation we are doing, some of the components I do not need to do a drawing of. If you saw a layout on some of the figures that we are casting and fabricating, with the steel armature and steel drawing with the glass insets, they are done very traditionally in the sense of the cartoon. The tracing paper to get certain components of it, the construction, the re-tracing, the re-fabrication. So it’s very traditional like you would set up a fresco where you do a part, you do a section, you complete it, and you move to the next part.
sVA: When you are shaping glass, how much of it is knowing exactly how a piece will turn out and how much of it is allowing the material to determine how it ends?
RJ: I think there is always a material usage, and I think there is always a parameter of what you accept. For myself, I have always approached glass in a somewhat Abstract Expressionist type of approach. You start with the proper components, you know the approximation of where you are finishing, and then you execute it to make it look the best you can. With that said, at this point without trying to sound egotistical, I am one of the American maestros where I don’t necessarily make something and say, “This is going to be six inches tall and this is this”. I think there is always going to be an approximation where you know something is going to be this size and approximately this scale, and I can be fairly articulate right now without the material dominating the conversation.
sVA: Last July you traveled to Swaziland, Africa and Venice, Italy. Can you comment on those experiences and what you gained from them?
RJ: I spent January in Venice working on a body of work for a show. I found it very interesting. I think as you become older you like the context of tradition, and you always look at how you become part of that tradition. To skew off a little bit, I had a monogram written about my work by Sam Hunter, who gave Jackson Pollock one of his first reviews with the New York Times. In talking with him during his visit, he spoke about going to the Cedar Bar, and how Williem de Kooning and others came in, and he was being pushed out when the girlfriends came over cause he was the young kid on the block. I think when you have things like that happen to you, you realize that there is a continuum in the arts. Going to Murano and Venice, I think there is a pure enjoyment of being no longer a student, and being a pure equal. Also, I think the thing that is very nice about Murano and Venice, is that it is a unique city because its pedestrian, in the sense of walking. It pulls us very close to the human scale. When you are in America, you jump in your car and drive somewhere and get out as close as you can to an event. Over there, it is very much more of the old world, and I think that is one of the things that has always fascinated me about travel. It’s how two time periods can exist simultaneously.
sVA: You just mentioned a little bit about tradition and going to the other countries. It seems as though the contemporary art world is moving in a direction where artists are constantly seeking new mediums and dealing with very internalized concepts. Do you feel like tradition is being lost in art?
RJ: I think that is a question that there is no answer to. One of the things that I find interesting about glass is, although it is fragile, it is completely durable. So in the context of making an enduring statement, go back to the Dadists or Conceptualism. What is the malice between Conceptualism and a finished plastic object? Right now, I think there is so much going on in the world, that everything exists simultaneously. For myself, I try to lump it into two things. I try to be somewhat black and white. There is good art and there is bad art. If you look at all the schisms of art, let’s talk about video art. You see a lot of video art that is just completely boring, and then you look at someone like Bill Viola, and you say to yourself, “Oh my gosh, this is fabulous”! So I think it is all simultaneous.
The thing that I look at with the arts is, I consider a student level, secondary artists, and primary artists. It is extremely hard to make all three of those transitions, and I think that there is hierarchy in whatever niche you are talking about. There is some work that is being made that is fabulous. I was reading an article in the New York Times about the happenings in New York, and that they were very temporal. They asked Claus Oldenberg about the happenings and what did they all mean, and he said something like, “It all happened so long ago, I really cannot remember”. I think that is true because most artists look to the future with what they are doing and believe in their past. I guess I should of brought up that context when I was talking with the students about the necessity for repetition to become proficient at what you do, and the sense of technical virtuosity. I must admit that I don’t spend much time thinking about those things anymore. I use to be much more interested in the consideration of what makes fine art, pure art. At this point, I just go out and work and don’t get bogged down with things.
When we travel, we go to museums, and when we were up in New York we went to the Modern. I saw the de Kooning show which I thought was fabulous, and then we went out into a different room and there was this sort of soup kitchen installation. For myself, I said, “This is not art that is of interest to me”, and yes I understand the context of what it is. I guess if I was worried about it I might be intimidated by the fact that I did not understand it, but there is nothing to understand. It is a sort of ‘day and the life’. I look at it as another form of genre art, and a cross between performance. Do I find it interesting and enduring? Absolutely not, but someone does.
sVA: What would you consider your breakthrough success, and what is success for you?
RJ: I don’t think there is ever a complete breakthrough of success in the context. I think if you look at success in the context of America, it’s an economic based thing. As a young person, I wanted to become an artist. I have been successful at that. I have lived the, “American Dream”. It is not someone else’s dream, it is mine. So, in that context, I am successful.