Friday, December 19, 2008

Coming Attractions

The museum may be closed for renovation and expansion, but the staff here are incredibly busy sending out loan letters and making arrangements for the traveling exhibitions we are organizing for after we reopen in 2010.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Brown and Silver: Old Battersea Bridge, 1859-1863, oil on canvas mounted on masonite, gift of Cornelius N. Bliss, Addison Gallery of American ArtOpening at the Addison on September 7, 2010 is Whistler's Bridge: The Battersea Bridge in the Art of James McNeill Whistler. The show will focus on the subject of Old Battersea Bridge (see right) as Whistler interpreted it in a series of paintings, prints, and drawings. The show will include approximately sixty-five objects, including paintings, prints, several drawings and watercolors, and photographs. The show will then travel to our co-organizer, the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, opening there on January 11, 2011.

One week later, Sheila Hicks: 50 Years will open. The show marks the first museum retrospective devoted to this artist. Hicks is a pioneering figure noted for objects and public commissions whose structures are built of color and fiber. The plans for the show include installation pieces gracing the Addison's galleries and main stairwell. It will travel to several venues, including the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania where it will open in the winter of 2011.

David Smith, Structure of Arches, 1939, steel with zinc and copper plating, purchased as the gift of Mr. and Mrs. R. Crosby Kemper (PA 1945), Addison Gallery of American Art, ©2006 The Estate of David Smith, licensed by VAGA, New York, NYAfter opening at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas on October 30, 2010, Maverick Modernists: John Graham, Stuart Davis, Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, and Their Circle will open at the Addison on April 29, 2011. This show will focus on the formative years of some of America’s most inventive and important painters and sculptors of the 20th century, including David Smith (see left), who dramatically transformed conceptions of what a painting or sculpture could be. The show will then travel to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art opening there in the fall of 2011.

Stay tuned to and right here to Blog Addison for updates on these new shows and our plans for the coming years!

James M. Sousa
Associate Registrar for Collections and Archives

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Loopy Doopy

As you may know, Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective recently opened at MASS MOCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. Organized by the Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MOCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art, the exhibition includes 105 of LeWitt’s large-scale wall drawings, spanning the artist’s career from 1969 to 2007, and also includes the Addison’s Wall Drawing 880 (Loopy Doopy).

From 1968 to 2007, LeWitt realized 1,261 wall drawings, ten of which are in the Addison’s permanent collection. In a 1981 interview with independent curator Andrea Miller-Keller, LeWitt said:

A blind man can make art if what is in his mind can be passed to another mind in some tangible form.

Created by taping two pencils together and twisting them across the paper to form an undulating pattern, Loopy Doopy took just under two months, from June 13th to August 11th, 2008, to finish. The resulting curvy lines in orange and green offer a psychedelic experience of color, line, and two-dimensionality. MASS MOCA went to great lengths to record this process as seen in the hourly video footage for wall drawing on their website. Click here:

And to think, this meticulous amount of artistic creation (and documentation) went into another 104 wall drawings!

Wall Drawing 880 (Loopy Doopy) was first exhibited in a wall drawings show at PaceWildenstein in 1998 and later in Sol LeWitt: Recent Acquistions at the Addison in 2003 (as seen below).

Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective will be on view at MASS MOCA through 2033! Put this exhibition on the top of your list to visit…you will not be disappointed. Multiple visits will definitely be necessary to fully digest its artistic depth and physical scale of this multi-floor installation as well as Sol LeWitt’s contribution to art history.

Posted by Jaime DeSimone, Charles H. Sawyer Curatorial Fellow