Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris: Masterpieces from The Baltimore Museum of Art

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Rose Mary Gorman:  (615) 744-3332, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
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MATISSE, PICASSO, AND THE SCHOOL OF PARIS: MASTERPIECES
FROM THE BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART
ON VIEW AT THE FRIST CENTER FOR THE VISUAL ARTS,
MARCH 2–JUNE 3, 2007

Exhibition’s masterpieces expected to attract visitors from region

NASHVILLE, TENN.—(Feb. 5, 2007)—The Frist Center for the Visual Arts presents the exhibition Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris: Masterpieces from The Baltimore Museum of Art, opening March 2, 2007. While 27 works by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso form the core of this remarkable exhibition and give the show its name, signature works by predecessors Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, and Vincent van Gogh are also included. Pioneers such as Cubist Georges Braques and Surrealists André Masson, Joan Miró and Max Ernst are featured as well. The exhibition continues through June 3, 2007.

Consisting of 64 paintings, sculptures and works on paper from The Baltimore Museum of Art’s extensive collection, this rich exhibition presents a survey of the ground-breaking movements in art—including Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism and Surrealism—that made Paris the center of modern art and culture from the late 19th century to the outbreak of the World War II.

Many of the works come from the renowned collection of sisters Etta and Claribel Cone of Baltimore, who, in the first half of the 20th century, amassed one of the most important art collections of their time, much of which came through their interactions with the artists themselves during frequent visits to Paris.

Saidie Adler May, another progressive collector from Baltimore, purchased later works from the Cubist and Surrealist movements. Saidie May, as she was called, gave her first-rate collection to The Baltimore Museum of Art as well, believing that “ a work of art, even though bought by a person or institution, actually belongs to the public for study and enjoyment throughout the years.”

“We are pleased to bring this wonderful exhibition from The Baltimore Museum of Art to Nashville,” says Frist Center Executive Director Susan H. Edwards. “Several years ago, we were fortunate to have an exhibition from The Phillips Collection, and, in many ways, this is a marvelous companion to that show, which drew tens of thousands of visitors from our community and around the region. This marks a return to Nashville for many of these magnificent artists. The exhibition’s focus, which is the world of art and artists in Paris in the early 20th century, is interwoven with the story of the collectors. The show also helps us understand how such collections came to be.

“The exhibition in our upper-level galleries features the work of significant artists working in post-revolutionary war Mexico (1920–1950),” says Edwards. “Frist Center visitors have a wonderful opportunity to compare and contrast how artists—working on opposite sides of the Atlantic—responded to their cultural, artistic and political environments.”

Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris: Masterpieces from The Baltimore Museum of Art features paintings, sculptures and works on paper ranging in date from the 1880s to the 1940s. Highlights include:

• Edgar Degas, Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen (original model 1881; this cast 1919–1921)
• Claude Monet, Charing Cross Bridge (‘Reflections on the Thames’) (1901–1904)
• Vincent van Gogh, Landscape with Figures (1889)
• Paul Gauguin, Vahine no te vi (Woman of the Mango) (1892)
• Pablo Picasso, Woman with Bangs (1902)
• Pablo Picasso, Seated Saltimbanque with Boy (1905)
• Henri Matisse, Seated Odalisque, Left Knee Bent, Ornamental Background and Checkerboard (1928)
• Henri Matisse, Purple Robe and Anemones (1937)

The exhibition begins with artwork from the Impressionist period, an important and influential time in Paris when artists such as Claude Monet and Edgar Degas abandoned the traditional academicism of the official salons and developed a new style based on modern subject matter and careful observation of the environment. Many artists desired to capture ‘the fleeting moment’ and the ephemeral aspects of the changing atmosphere.

Post-Impressionism is a general term for the many innovative movements that emerged in Paris after Impressionism. Perhaps the only unifying element of these artists is their shared desire to bring more emotional expression or theoretical concepts to their work. The exuberant brushwork and use of bold, vivid colors apparent in paintings by Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh illustrate the artists’ efforts to translate emotion into paint on canvas.

Henri Matisse, inspired by his predecessors’ efforts to develop a new language of color, created works that furthered this notion of liberating color from its descriptive function. When Matisse and his colleagues André Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck displayed their works at the 1905 Salon d’Automne in Paris, they were branded as “wild beasts,” or “fauves,” because their colors were so unnatural and expressive.

Although Fauvism was short-lived (the group disbanded in 1908), Matisse became one of the most important and influential artists of the 20th century, helping to change the rules of art through his bold use of color, pattern and line. His constant exploration of these elements manifested itself in innovative paintings, drawings and sculptures that spanned a 60-year career. Fifteen works by Matisse, covering over 35 years, including Purple Robe and Anemones (1937) and Interior, Flowers and Parakeets (1924), are featured in the exhibition.

Along with Matisse, Pablo Picasso is often considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, one whose style changed considerably throughout his long career but was always highly inventive. Interestingly, the Cone sisters preferred his early work, as demonstrated by the pieces in this exhibition, which date primarily from 1902 to 1906, including Woman with Bangs (1902) from Picasso’s Blue Period, and Seated Saltimbanque with Boy (1904) from his Rose Period.

Picasso, along with fellow artist Georges Braque, created Cubism, which revolutionized the depiction of space, volume and mass. Moving even further away from traditional artistic practices, Cubists dismissed the notion of three-dimensional perspective, favoring instead the flat quality of the picture plane. Often presenting multiple points of view on one canvas, Cubists typically deconstructed a view and reassembled it. Included in the exhibition are works by Braque, Juan Gris and others.

The exhibition continues with fine examples of Surrealist art. Surrealism emerged as a leading movement in Paris in the 1920s. The movement had far-reaching international influence on both literature and the visual arts. Consumed by the idea that Western culture was in deep crisis, Surrealist artists, strongly influenced by Sigmund Freud’s theories, embraced the world of the unconscious. Many of them practiced automatism, the process of drawing or writing without conscious control. As a result, artists often produced dreamlike images of seemingly random forms. Surrealist works featured in the exhibition from Saidie May’s collection include paintings by André Masson and Yves Tanguy.


Related Exhibition

A Walk in Paris, ca. 1905
This engaging exhibition in the Education Gallery will invite viewers to study artists and their communities in early 20th century Paris. Using a map, visitors will “stroll” through the Parisian neighborhoods of Montparnasse and Montmartre, observing the elements necessary to create and sustain thriving artistic communities. By examining this specific time of Paris in 1905 through photographs and text, visitors can gain a more complete understanding of how the artists and patrons from the Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris exhibition met, lived, and interacted.  This exhibition encourages visitors to then consider how their own communities support artists. The exhibition was organized by the Frist Center.


Martin ArtQuest: “Connect with Cubism”

Martin ArtQuest, the Frist Center’s interactive education gallery offers visitors of all ages exciting ways to learn about art. Thirty hands-on stations provide individuals or small groups the chance to experiment and learn about a variety of art concepts. The stations in ArtQuest relate to the world-class exhibitions in Frist Center galleries. For the Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris exhibition, visitors can create Cubist-style collages inspired by the art of Juan Gris at the Exploring Exhibitions station. The ArtQuest Gallery is graciously endowed by Ellen H. Martin, Charles N. Martin, and The Martin Foundation and supported by The William Stamps Farish Fund.


Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau has created a special overnight travel package including tickets to Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris: Masterpieces from The Baltimore Museum of Art. Additional information about these offers and other happenings in Nashville can be found at http://www.visitmusiccity.com.

“Art exhibitions of this magnitude play a critical role in attracting new visitors and extending the stay of existing visitors to our city,” says Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau President Butch Spyridon.  “More people are traveling to take advantage of Nashville’s exciting arts scene, and our collaborations with organizations like the Frist Center enable us to carry Nashville’s message even further.”


Sponsors and Organizer

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts gratefully acknowledges the following exhibition sponsors:

• 2007 Platinum Sponsor: The HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the TriStar Family of Hospitals

• 2007 Gold Sponsor: First Tennessee

This exhibition is organized and circulated by The Baltimore Museum of Art.


Special Programs

Saturday, March 3 Curator’s Perspective: “Baltimore Collects Matisse,
2:00 pm Picasso, and the School of Paris”
Auditorium
Free

This lecture presented by Katy Rothkopf, Curator, European Painting and Sculpture at The Baltimore Museum of Art, will focus on several extraordinary collectors from Baltimore who helped form the remarkable collection of modern art on view in Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris: Masterpieces from The Baltimore Museum of Art. Learn more about the stories behind the acquisitions by collectors such as Claribel and Etta Cone, who befriended Picasso and Matisse; and Saidie Adler May, who became particularly supportive of Surrealist painters such as André Masson.

Saturdays in March (March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31) Frist Center Kids Club:
1:00–2:30 p.m. Paint Like Picasso
Meet in the Art Library and Resource Center
Ages 5–10
Free: call 615-744-3357 to register

Every Saturday in March, Kids Club participants will create paintings using analogous colors, the same technique used by Pablo Picasso during part of his artistic career. Free membership includes a Kids Club card, rewards for participation, and a variety of hands-on activities in the art studios, computer classroom, and the Martin ArtQuest Gallery. The 2007 Kids Club Sponsor is Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.

Sunday, March 11 Family Day
1:00–5:30 p.m.
Free admission

Visitors can enjoy a fun-filled day of exciting art activities, live music and dance, and larger-than-life theatrical performances throughout the Frist Center. Visitors can create still life paintings like those of Matisse in the studios or make Degas-inspired pastel drawings. Traditional Mexican dancers will perform dynamic and colorful dances; musician Danny Salazar will explore both contemporary and traditional forms of Mexican music. The Frist Center is proud to host Vanderbilt educators, who will be teaching a special activity relating to Mexican culture. This program is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Friday, March 16 ARTini
7:00 p.m.
Meet in Frist Center Grand Lobby
Free with purchase of gallery admission

Julie Roberts, Frist Center Manager for Public Programs, will lead a fun, informal conversation about one or two pieces in the Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris: Masterpieces from The Baltimore Museum of Art exhibition. Complete your evening with music in the Grand Lobby, martinis at the cash bar, and visiting with friends.

Friday, March 30 Art History Lecture Series:
6:30 p.m. “Fin de Siècle: Beginnings of Modernism”
Other lectures in this series
are scheduled Friday, April 5 and Friday, April 13
Auditorium
Free

In the first of a series of three art history lectures, Jim Womack, chair of the art department at Montgomery Bell Academy, provides an overview of the beginnings of modernism, with Paris as the epicenter of western culture and art. Despite the Prussian invasion of Paris in 1871, Edouard Manet, along a group of emerging artists, later known as Impressionists, distinguished themselves from L’Académie des Beaux Artes and explored modern alternatives to traditional arts. Womack’s lecture discusses the emergence of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse at the turn of the century and explores their early work.

Thursday, April 5 Art History Lecture Series:
6:30 p.m. “Matisse, Picasso, and Paris 1910”
Auditorium
Free

This art history lecture–the second in a series of three–features speaker Jim Womack, chair of the art department at Montgomery Bell Academy, who will look more closely at Picasso and Matisse in Paris during the time leading up to the World War I. Along with patrons like the Cone sisters and Gertrude Stein, and critics like Ambroise Vollard and Guillaume Apollinaire, Womack will discuss the work produced by Matisse and Picasso during this decade. The most obvious innovation addressed will be the advent of Cubism and how it changed the landscape of modernism at this time.

Friday, April 13 Art History Lecture Series:
6:30 p.m. “Paris and the Legacy of War”
Auditorium
Free

Join Jim Womack, chair of the art department at Montgomery Bell Academy, in the last of a three-part art history lecture series, as he follows the School of Paris up to the inception of surrealism. Womack will trace the role of Paris as the premier city in the art world through to its decline, when New York emerges as the new leader. The lecture will include a look at the work of both Matisse and Picasso during this period and through their final years.

Thursday, April 19 Gallery Talk
7:00 p.m.
Meet in Frist Center Grand Lobby
Free with purchase of gallery admission

Join Associate Curator Katie Delmez in the Ingram Gallery as she discusses Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris: Masterpieces from The Baltimore Museum of Art.

Monday, April 23 Nashville Ballet Presents “Degas and the Little Dancer”
2:30 p.m.
Auditorium
Free

The Nashville Ballet brings the children’s story Degas and the Little Dancer to life with music and beautiful dance. It is a heartwarming tale of young ballet student Marie Van Goethe and her friendship with famed sculptor Edgar Degas.

Friday, May 18 ARTini
7:00 p.m.
Meet in Frist Center Grand Lobby
Free with purchase of gallery admission

Anne Taylor, Frist Center Curator of Interpretation, will lead a fun, informal conversation about one or two pieces in the Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris: Masterpieces from The Baltimore Museum of Art exhibition. Complete the evening with music in the Grand Lobby, martinis at the cash bar, and visiting with friends.


2007 Frist Center Gala

The 2007 Frist Center Gala will be held Saturday, March 3, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. The honorary chair for this annual event is Mrs. Thomas F. Frist, Jr., and the gala co-chairs are Mrs. Steven D. Ezell and Mrs. Jeffery N. Haynes. The gala will feature a live auction and, for the first time, an online auction, scheduled from March 1–30, 2007, at http://www.fristcenter.org.


About the Frist Center
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, regional, U.S. and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery features over 30 interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and under and to Frist Center members. Frist Center admission is $8.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and military, and $6.50 for college students with ID. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservation by calling (615) 744-3246. The Frist Center is open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; and Sundays, 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., with the Café opening at noon. Additional information is available by calling (615) 244-3340 or by visiting our Web site at http://www.fristcenter.org.


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