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Fernand Léger’s Cirque and the livre d’artiste

November 17, 2018 to March 24, 2019

Published in Paris in 1950, Cirque was a collaboration between French modernist painter Fernand Léger and book publisher Tériade. It is one in a series of twenty-seven such projects conceived by the publisher between 1943 and 1975. Known as livres d’artiste, these finely printed, large-format books pair handwritten text with original artwork from some of the twentieth century’s most prominent artists. Cirque represents a small subset within this genre, a specialty of Tériade’s, which brings together original images and an original text, both the work of Léger. The project serves as a visual and poetic summary of Léger’s interest in the circus as a venue of entertainment and freedom, as well as a reflection by the artist near the end of his life on the themes that occupied his career. The exhibition is curated by Emily Shinn as part of her terminal project as a graduate student in the History of Art and Architecture, under the guidance of Danielle Knapp, McCosh Associate Curator.

 

Flor y canto: Diego Rivera’s La ofrenda and Rufino Tamayo’s Perro aullando a la luna

September 22, 2018 to August 04, 2019

From the 1920s to the 1940s, Mexican artists Diego Rivera (1886-1957) and Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) were key participants in the international avant-garde. Through their cross-cultural exchanges in Mexico and the United States, they shaped the visual vocabulary of modern art during a period of social and economic upheaval. Beginning this fall, visitors to the JSMA will have the unique opportunity to see two masterworks by these internationally acclaimed painters—Rivera’s 1931 painting La ofrenda (The Offering) and Tamayo’s 1942 painting Perro aullando a la luna (Dog Howling at the Moon).

These works are on loan to the JSMA for one year, from the collection of Art Bridges, a recently established nonprofit foundation dedicated to providing institutions across the U.S. access to outstanding works of American art. We are deeply grateful to Art Bridges for these special loans as well as their support toward related programming, community outreach, audience engagement, and project evaluation. Throughout the year, under the direction of Cheryl Hartup, JSMA’s Associate Curator of Academic Programs and Latin American Art, these works will be presented in several historical and thematic contexts.

Diego Rivera’s La ofrenda, first shown at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, presents Mexico’s annual Día de los Muertos celebration of life and death. In the painting, three family members welcome the soul of a loved one with offerings placed on a decorated altar. Hanging next to the painting at the JSMA will be La escuela de aire libre (Open Air School), a lithograph Rivera made in New York City shortly after his exhibition at MoMA. We are grateful to the Portland Art Museum for the loan of this print, which features a detail from one of Rivera’s murals in Mexico City.

While living in New York during World War II, Tamayo painted Perro aullando a la luna, an aching expression of necessity and despair, anguish and rage. European modernism, like Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, and ancient ceramic vessels in burials representing the xoloitzcuintli, a hairless dog indigenous to Mexico, likely inspired this work. Although the style and intention of the artists are quite different, together these works bridge the powerfully enduring presence of Mexico’s ancient beliefs and art with the universal human condition.

 

Schnitzer Cinema: Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf with a Skype Q&A with director Thomas Piper

The Schnitzer Cinema series is programmed by Richard Herskowitz, JSMA Curator of Media Arts and Artistic Director of the Ashland Independent Film Festival. Richard will introduce two of the strongest arts documentaries from AIFF2018.  All programs are free, with popcorn and refreshments also provided!

Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf with a Skype Q&A with director Thomas Piper

Schnitzer Cinema: Saving Brinton with a Skype Q&A with archivist Michael Zahs

The Schnitzer Cinema series is programmed by Richard Herskowitz, JSMA Curator of Media Arts and Artistic Director of the Ashland Independent Film Festival. Richard will introduce two of the strongest arts documentaries from AIFF2018.  All programs are free, with popcorn and refreshments also provided!

Saving Brinton with a Skype Q&A with archivist Michael Zahs

Double-Feature Gallery Talk: Modernism in Europe and the Americas

Join exhibition curator Emily Shinn and McCosh Associate Curator Danielle Knapp for a discussion of Fernand Léger (French, 1881–1955) in the MacKinnon Gallery, followed by a conversation with Associate Curator of Academic Programs and Latin American Art Cheryl Hartup about Diego Rivera (Mexican, 1886-1957) and Rufino Tamayo (Mexican, 1899-1991) in the Graves Gallery.

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