The past is prologue…

Shomei Tomatsu, Young Power (3), Shinjuku, Tokyo, 1969.

Like Autumn herself, the 2015 Fall Arts Season is just within reach and this year promises to be one of the best ever in recent years.  Here is a sample, an amuse bouche if you will, of what’s taking place at a number of worthy and iconic cultural institutions.

― The British Museum | London
― The Frick Collection | New York City
― The Guggenheim | New York City
― The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) | New York City
― The Phillips Collection | Washington, DC


Our friends across the pond in London can always rely on the British Museum for ground-breaking and exclusive exhibitions and this new year is no exception.

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The dramatic laticed-ceiling of the British Museum’s entrance.
© David-Kevin Bryant

The history of the Celts, for example, unfolds over a 2,500 year history in Celts :  Art and Identity, in conjunction with the National Museums Scotland.  Their contribution over the centuries throughout Britain and Europe are examined and explored.  Click here to purchase tickets directly from The British Museum.

Celts-02
© British Museum

The drawing technique of metalpoint is showcased in Drawing in Silver and Gold :  Leonardo to Jasper Johns and features works by da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, and Jasper Johns to name a few.  A highly specialized method of illustration, metalpoint allows for no margins of error.  If the artist made a mistake, the work was tossed and then begun from scratch all over again.  The results, however, are nothing short of spectacular.  Click here to purchase tickets.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), A bust of a warrior in profile to left. Silverpoint, on prepared paper, 1475–1480.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), A bust of a warrior in profile to left. Silverpoint, on prepared paper, 1475–1480.

Rare objects and delicate papyrus, most of which have never been seen before, form the foundation for Egypt :  Faith after the Pharaohs which opens 29 October and continues through 7 February 2016.  The country’s transformation from a nation under Roman control to that based on Islam is examined.  Click here to purchase tickets.

Egypt-01
© British Museum

Although nowhere near the size of The Metropolitan, The Frick Collection is one of New York City’s gems.  What it lacks in size it more than makes up for in an enviable collection of art, from the Renaissance to the late nineteenth century, and showcased in Henry Clay Frick’s private home on the Upper East Side.  It should be on any visitor’s list of things to do while in the Big Apple.  If you can’t make it there this Fall, The Collection’s website allows for detailed virtual tours that can be experienced by floor / gallery / room.  The imaging is HD quality and the artwork is stunningly detailed.

© The Frick Collection
© The Frick Collection

Original works by El Greco and Vermeer are just a few of the museum’s prized collections.  This fall, the beautiful work of Andrea del Sarto finally receives long overdue recognition in Sarto :  The Renaissance Workshop in Action.  Showcasing the artist’s influence on Florence and her citizens, the exhibition opens 7 October and continues through 10 January 2016.  Click here for ticket information.

Andrea del Sarto, Study for the Head of Julius Caesar, ca. 1520. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Andrea del Sarto, Study for the Head of Julius Caesar, ca. 1520.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Andrea del Sarto, Portrait of a Young Man, ca. 1517-18. © The National Gallery, London
Andrea del Sarto, Portrait of a Young Man, ca. 1517-18.
© The National Gallery, London

The Guggenheim is as famous for its exterior architecture as it is for the ground-breaking collected works within its revered walls.

“NYC – Guggenheim Museum” by Jean-Christophe BENOIST
Licensed via commons.wikimedia.org

Years before his time, Italian artist Alberto Burri’s work, the result of combining everyday materials into dramatic collages, is the subject of Alberto Burri : The Trauma of Painting.  Burri was part of group of artists, intellectuals and poets who, during World War II and post-war Italy, examined the devastation the events had on the country through the lens of art and creativity as a coping mechanism.  The exhibition opens 9 October and continues through 6 January 2016.  Tickets can be obtained here.

Alberto Burri, Rosso plastica M 2 (Red Plastic M 2), 1962.
Alberto Burri, Rosso plastica M 2 (Red Plastic M 2), 1962.

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA,) New York City.  Having studied in Europe, Joaquin Torres-Garcia returned to his native Uruguay and became one of the most prolific and ground-breaking artists of the 20th century.  A retrospective of his work, featuring paintings, sculptures, stretches and his own extensive notes, is the subject of Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern.  The exhibition opens in October and continues through 15 February 2015.  Click here to purchase tickets directly from MOMA.

“Arte Constructivo.” Joaquin Torres Garcia

Is there anyone more decisive than Picasso ?  Although he tends to inspire emotions ranging from love to disdain, his importance and impact on art is secure and the subject of Picasso Sculpture, featuring his actual creations and works on paper.  Open through 7 February 2016, the exhibition may win the artist many converts as his affection for creativity in the 3D artists is tangible.  Click here to purchase tickets directly from MOMA.

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973). Bull

World War II was probably the singular event defining the 20th century.  The effects continue to this day, shaping geo-political affairs and national interests, and her ghosts still linger among the landscapes of Europe and Japan.  It should come as no surprise that artists responded with visceral works, the effects of which are palpable and stunning in Soldier, Spectre, Shaman : The Figure and the Second World War.  Not for the faint of heart, the exhibition is a profound testament to humanity when it’s at its worst.  And when it’s at its finest.  The exhibition opens in 24 October and continues through 20 March 2016.  Click here to purchase tickets directly from MOMA.

Shomei Tomatsu (Japanese, 1930-2012). Hibakusha Tomitarō Shimotani, Nagasaki. 1961.
Shomei Tomatsu (Japanese, 1930-2012). Hibakusha Tomitarō Shimotani, Nagasaki. 1961.

The 60’s and 70’s were particularly vibrant periods for artists in Eastern Europe and Latin America.  They’re receiving a well-deserved exhibition in Transmissions : Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980.  Political upheaval, widespread student protests and rapidly changing media outlets were the foundation upon which many artists on both sides of the ocean sought inspiration.  Click here to purchase tickets directly from MOMA.  The exhibition is open now and continues through 3 January 2016.

Juan Downey, “Map of America.” 1975.
© 2015 Juan Downey/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

During the 20th century, Switzerland turned her gaze outward to a world of art and artists she previously overlooked.  This transformation is the subject of Gauguin to Picasso : Masterworks from Switzerland, an exhibition opening 25 October and continuing through 10 January 2016 at Washington, DC’s gem of a museum, The Phillips Collection.  The exhibition, featuring paintings created during the mid-19th and 20th centuries, is a joint effort between The Phillips Collection, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, the Im Obersteg Foundation and the Rudolf Staechelin Family Trust.  This is the first time this collection has appeared in the United States and tickets can be obtained here.

Nafea faaipoipo (When will you Marry?) Paul Gauguin 1892
Nafea faaipoipo (When will you Marry?) Paul Gauguin 1892

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