Arkansas Arts Center Collection on View

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Collection, Community, Exhibitions, Museum

From Paris, France to Washington D.C. to Cleveland, Ohio, works from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection have traveled near and far to be part of exhibitions across the country – and the world. Be sure to check out Contemporary British Studio Ceramics, currently on view at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and The Mighty Mississippi and Defender, both on view at the Clinton Presidential Center this spring. And if you happen to find yourself in Cleveland or Washington, D.C., be sure to stop in and see Diego Rivera’s Dos Mujeres or Edgar Degas’ Trois danseuses nues. 

Windgate Center of Art + Design, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
January 16 – March 7, 2020

Contemporary British Studio Ceramics from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection

What is it? 
A broad look at the diversity of 20th century British Studio Ceramics from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection. The exhibition features both functional wares – bowls and teapots – alongside purely sculptural works – like Gordon Baldwin’s Untitled. 

Why here?
This exhibition is a great learning opportunity for students. The Windgate Center of Art + Design on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a “teaching museum” – a resource for art students and the community alike. The exhibition illustrates a rich variety of techniques and forms, ranging from slab-building, hand-building and wheel throwing, to neriage and nerikomi –traditional Japanese methods using “marbleized” clay – to the 17th- and 18th-century “agatewares” of England. 

Why now?
Brad Cushman, gallery director at the Windgate Center, jumped at the opportunity to borrow this collection of ceramic works while the Arts Center’s building is under construction. The selection currently on view is only half of the works on loan to the Windgate Center – a second exhibition of studio ceramics from the AAC collection will be on view in the fall.

Edgar Hilaire Germain Degas, French (Paris, France, 1834 – 1917, Paris, France), Trois danseuses nues (Three Nude Dancers), circa 1903, charcoal on paper, 30 3/4 x 25 9/16 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, Fred W. Allsopp Memorial Acquisition Fund. 1983.010.002

Degas at the Opera

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 
March 1 – July 5, 2020

What is it?
Degas at the Opera presents an exploration of the famed French Impressionist’s love for the opera as it was depicted throughout his career. Degas’ Trois danseuses nues (Three Nude Dancers), a charcoal drawing from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection is featured in the exhibition. Made by Degas in the first few years of the 20th century, the drawing shows three dancers pausing for a moment as one leans down to adjust the ribbon on her shoe. 

Why here? 
The curators of Degas at the Opera were particularly interested in the Arts Center’s drawing because of its relationship to another Degas drawing in the Musée d’Orsay’s collection. The two drawings, presented side-by-side in the exhibition, depict the same group of dancers with one figure reaching down to adjust her ballet shoe. They’re both charcoal sketches – and together, they show how the artist was working out a composition before adding costumes, color and other details. 

Why now?
Degas at the Opera was organized by the Musée d’Orsay in Paris to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Paris Opera. The exhibition was on view in Paris from last fall and continues its tour at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. this spring. 

Height x Width x Depth: Sculpture from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection

Bradbury Art Museum, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas

Courtesy of Hillary Brooks, Bradbury Art Museum

What is it?
Height x Width x Depth features 15 large-scale sculptural works from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection. From Louise Nevelson’s monochromatic wood construction, Tide Garden IV, to Auguste Rodin’s bronze Bust of Young Balzac to ceramicist Jun Kaneko’s hand-built Untitled (Oval), the exhibition represents the breadth of sculptural works found in the Arts Center’s collection. The exhibition’s title, Height x Width x Depth, references not only the physicality of the objects on view but also the delightful depth of the Arts Center’s collection. 

Why here?
Curator Les Christensen sought an opportunity to create a cohesive exhibition that would also represent as many basic materials and methods in three-dimensional art as possible for the on-campus museum. And Height x Width x Depth does just that – combining additive, subtractive and constructive processes and figurative and abstract forms to create a broad look at modern and contemporary sculpture.

Why now?
The logistics of loaning and installing large-scale sculptural works can be challenging – making short-term loans less practical. With an extended loan period (Height x Width x Depth will be on view at the Bradbury Art Museum for two years), this was the perfect opportunity for these works to spend some time in Jonesboro. 

The Mighty Mississippi: HeART and Soul of the Southern Delta

Carroll Cloar, American, (Earle, Arkansas, 1913 – 1993, Memphis, Tennessee), The Big Cypress, 1964, casein tempera on board, 16 x 11 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Pope Matthews. 1993.061.003

Clinton Presidential Center, Little Rock, Arkansas
December 14, 2019 – March 22, 2020 

What is it?
The Mighty Mississippi: HeART and Soul of the Southern Delta presents elements of culture from the last 120 years with roots in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. The exhibition features a selection of visual art that brings visitors face-to-face with the privilege and poverty that define life in the Southern Delta, including 12 paintings, drawings, photographs and craft objects from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection. 

Why here?
The Mighty Mississippi is part of the Clinton Presidential Center’s Fusion: Arts and Humanities Arkansas series which explores heritage, culture and human achievement by weaving the arts and humanities together. HeART and Soul of the Southern Delta  is the fourth installment in the series. 

Why now?
The Arkansas Arts Center’s collection includes a variety of works that fit the Fusion theme, The HeART and Soul of the Southern Delta. Works by Carroll Cloar, William E. Davis and Robbie McClaran – among others – explore the history, landscape and people of the Southern Delta and add depth to the Clinton Center’s exploration of history, music and culture in the region. 

Defender

Clinton Presidential Center, Little Rock, Arkansas

David L. Deming, American (Cleveland, Ohio, 1943 – ), Defender, 1986, painted steel, 96 x 48 x 48 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Frank Ribelin. 1989.045

What is it?
Defender, David Deming’s imposing abstract steel sculpture, is on view in the Clinton Presidential Center’s second-floor galleries. Stationed in front of a bank of windows, the sculpture’s heavy limbs appear to struggle to break free from their base and walk across the gallery. 

Why here?
Defender was briefly installed on the White House grounds during the Clinton presidency. In 1995, former Arts Center director Townsend Wolfe curated an exhibition of 20th-century American sculpture to grace the White House grounds. True to its title, Defender stood sentinel near the garden entrance, serving as a sort of protector to the first family and guests.

Why now?
The Arts Center is always looking for ways to build relationships and partnerships with our arts and cultural neighbors in Little Rock and beyond. Installing Defender at the Clinton Center presented an opportunity to show a work from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection that has a distinct connection to the Clinton Center’s mission.

Dos Mujeres

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

Diego Rivera, Mexican (Guanajuato, Mexico, 1886 – 1957, Mexico City, Mexico), Dos Mujeres (Two Women), 1914, oil on canvas, 77 3/4 x 63 1/2 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Abby Rockefeller Mauzé. 1955.010

What is it?
Diego Rivera’s 1914 cubist masterpiece, Dos Mujeres, is on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio. The painting, which came to the Arts Center in 1955, was painted while Rivera was working in Paris and exploring Cubism. It depicts two women in Rivera’s apartment with the Montparnasse rooftops clearly visible through the windows. 

Why here?
The Cleveland Museum of Art has extensive holdings of painting by the Cubists – Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Juan Gris, among others. Dos Mujeres was informed by the work of these masters of the movement – and its visit to Cleveland will allow it to spend some time in conversation with these other great works. 

Why now?
The Arts Center’s renovation schedule provided the perfect opportunity for the Cleveland Museum of Art to borrow this exceptional work. In return, the Arts Center will host reciprocal loans from Cleveland’s collection after the new MacArthur Park building opens in 2022. 

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