(MAM) & Yard School of Art offer American, Native American, & contemporary art exhibitions, programs, & classes in NJ

Montclair Art Museum Announces Advance Schedule of Exhibitions Through Summer 2018

MONTCLAIR ART MUSEUM’S ADVANCE SCHEDULE OF EXHIBITIONS
THROUGH SUMMER 2018

 

Dynamic Line-up Features First Museum Retrospective
of Philemona Williamson, First Major Retrospective of Kay WalkingStick,
and Solo Exhibition of Charles E. Burchfield

 

MONTCLAIR, NJ, July 7, 2017—The 2017–2018 season at the Montclair Art Museum (MAM) features three solo exhibitions of diverse artistic style.

 

Philemona Williamson: Metaphorical Narratives is the first museum retrospective of nationally renowned, Montclair-based artist Philemona Williamson (b. 1951). Williamson’s mysterious paintings primarily feature adolescents of indeterminate age, gender, and ethnicity, caught in awkward, enigmatic moments, which seduce the viewer into a labyrinth of open-ended questions. Also on view this fall will be the lyrical landscape watercolors and drawings of Charles E. Burchfield (1893–1967), one of the great visionary painters of the 20th century. Charles E. Burchfield: Weather Event features expressive depictions of the weather south of Lake Erie, where the artist lived for most of his life. Individual weather events such as sunbursts and storms are examined through both an artistic and a scientific lens.

 

In spring 2018, MAM is proud to present Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist. This exhibition is the first major retrospective of the artistic career of Kay WalkingStick (b. 1935), a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and one of the world’s most celebrated artists of Native American ancestry. Montclair Art Museum is the final stop on the American Federation of the Arts’ national tour.

 

Following are descriptions, current as of this date, of the exhibitions.

 

 

Philemona Williamson: Metaphorical Narratives

September 16, 2017–January 7, 2018

 

“I paint figures depicting individuals of varying ethnicities inhabiting timeless, invented, dream-like environments. I probe the psychological landscape of adolescence, blurring the lines between race, gender, and class.” –Philemona Williamson

 

About the Exhibition

The Montclair Art Museum will present the first museum retrospective of contemporary artist Philemona Williamson beginning September 16, 2017. Primarily spotlighting her metaphorically rich, narrative paintings, the exhibition is accompanied by two site-specific installations illuminating the artist’s creative process. It will be on view through January 7, 2018.

 

In Roberts Gallery, a selection of 20 paintings spans Williamson’s career from 1988 to the present. Williamson’s dynamic paintings primarily feature adolescents intermingled and engaged in evocative poses and actions fraught with mystery and universal significance. Of indeterminate age and ethnicities, the figures often seem caught in awkward, enigmatic moments, which seduce the viewer into a labyrinth of open-ended questions. Poetically titled, these works invite the viewers to use their imaginations to interpret their complex, open-ended narratives. The artist’s use of vibrant colors and firmly modeled, yet elemental, generalized forms within timeless, invented spaces is the foundation for her skillful negotiation between abstraction and representation, dream and reality, metaphor and narrative.

 

In complement to these paintings, two site-specific installations reveal Williamson’s creative process. Full of pentimenti (traces of previous compositions), her large figurative paintings are based on a process of trial and error. She is inspired by her memories and a range of objects in her studio, including a lifelong fascination with dolls. In Laurie Art Stairway, In the Studio, a composite photograph on poplin captures Williamson’s “Inspiration Wall” in her studio. In the Constable Rotunda gallery, four large abstracted dolls adopt and transform traditional double-ended folk art dolls. Referred to as Topsy-Turvy dolls, these feature both black and white faces, flipping vertically to reveal one or the other identity.

 

“Williamson’s work is spellbinding and beautifully crafted,” said Lora Urbanelli, MAM director. “Viewing her paintings, I find myself entangled in a web of emotions, memories, and thoughts about the nature of a lifetime of social relationships.“  

 

“I have been intrigued with Williamson’s work ever since featuring one of her paintings in the 2003 exhibition at the Montclair Art Museum, Growing Up: Childhood in American and Native American Art,” Gail Stavitsky, MAM chief curator adds. “I am so pleased to have the opportunity to delve further into the complexities of her visually and intellectually compelling work.”

 

The exhibition is co-curated by Lora Urbanelli, MAM director, and Gail Stavitsky, MAM chief curator. A 32-page catalogue will accompany the show, with an essay by Gail Stavitsky.

 

About the Artist      

Philemona Williamson lives in Upper Montclair and maintains her studio in East Orange, NJ. She holds a BA from Bennington College and an MA from New York University. Nationally renowned, she has received a Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, a Pollock-Krasner Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in painting, among others. Williamson is represented by June Kelly Gallery in New York. Her work is in numerous private and public collections, including the Mint Museum of Art, Sheldon Museum of Art, and the Hampton University Art Museum. She has also taught at Parsons School of Design, Cooper Union, and other venues.

 

Related Programs

A Conversation with Philemona Williamson

Thursday, November 9, 2017

7 p.m.

 

Master Class: Philemona Williamson
Saturday, November 18, 2017

10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

 

A full listing of related programs will be available at montclairartmuseum.org.

 

 

Charles E. Burchfield: Weather Event

September 16, 2017–January 7, 2018

 

“To me, the artist, interested chiefly in weather—all weather is beautiful,
and full of powerful motion.”
–Charles E. Burchfield, 1943

 

About the Exhibition

Opening September 16, 2017 at the Montclair Art Museum, Charles E. Burchfield: Weather Event is an exhibition of more than 40 of the renowned artist’s lyrical landscape watercolors and drawings that trigger the memories and moods inspired by weather and climate changes. His works invite the viewer to personally experience the environments in Ohio and New York to the south of Lake Erie through the artist’s eyes. The exhibition will be on view through January 7, 2018.

 

Individual weather events are examined through both an artistic and a scientific lens. Weather refers to the state of the atmosphere for a given time and place, while climate is the sum of weather events that describes a place or region. Burchfield’s works capture both, with “all day sketches” conveying snapshots of past weather on specific days as well as later watercolors painted over a number of years conveying the character of a place.

 

The exhibition is organized around themes that inspired Burchfield: the sky, changing seasons, haloed moons, sunbursts and cloudbursts, heat waves, and wild weather. The works convey the artist’s emotional responses to the weather and his desire to portray the invisible aspects of nature, such as sounds and heat waves, by means of visible signs and symbols.

 

“Burchfield saw nature as a source of spirituality and was especially awed by the changing of the seasons,” said Gail Stavitsky, MAM chief curator. “His works are a reminder that we constantly experience a glorious transformation of the seasons, and a celebration of the skies.”

 

This exhibition was organized by The Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY. It was curated by Tullis Johnson, curator and manager of archives at The Burchfield Penney Art Center, and Dr. Stephen Vermette, climatologist and professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at Buffalo State College. It is arranged at the Montclair Art Museum by Gail Stavitsky, MAM chief curator.

 

About the Artist

Charles E. Burchfield (1893–1967) was one of the great visionary modern painters of the 20th century. Burchfield started his artistic career at the Cleveland School of the Arts in 1915. His artistic influences include the stylized, simplified forms and vibrant colors in Japanese prints by Hokusai and Hiroshige, Chinese scroll paintings, and Cleveland modernists Henry Keller and William Sommer. Moving to Buffalo in 1921, Burchfield’s foray into realism at this time was inspired by what he saw as the uniquely American aspects and romantic picturesque qualities of Buffalo and its environs. In the 1940s, Burchfield returned to more abstract forms of his earlier landscapes, following this artistic vision until the end of his life.

 

Related Programs

31st Annual Julia Norton Babson Lecture

Charles E. Burchfield: Wind, Sunshine, and Sky

Tullis Johnson, Stephen Vermette, and Martha J. Fleischman

Thursday, October 19, 2017

7 p.m.

 

Share your stormy skies, cool breezes, and sunbursts! Visitors are invited to post photos of their own weather events with #MAMweather. Selected photos will be displayed in the gallery and on MAM’s social media @MAMmontclair.

 

The exhibition is accompanied by interpretative materials, including an audio tour with simulated weather broadcasts for days that Burchfield’s paintings were made between 1915–1917, a family guide, and Family Learning Lab. A full listing of related programs will be available at montclairartmuseum.org.

 

 

Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist

February 3–June 17, 2018

 

“My present paintings of mountains and sea are vistas of memory—
our America the beautiful. They are meant to glorify our land and

honor those people who first lived upon it.” –Kay WalkingStick

 

About the Exhibition 

The Montclair Art Museum will be the final stop of the American Federation of the Arts’ national tour of Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist. The exhibition is the first major retrospective of Kay WalkingStick (b. 1935), a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and one of the world’s most celebrated artists of Native American ancestry. It will be on view at MAM February 3–June 17, 2018.

 

Featuring more than 60 of WalkingStick’s most notable paintings, drawings, small sculptures, notebooks, and the diptychs for which she is best known, the exhibition traces her career over more than four decades and culminates with her recent paintings of monumental landscapes and Native places. Her distinctive approach to painting emerged from the cauldron of the New York art world, poised between late modernism and postmodernism of the 1960s and 1970s. Over decades of intense and prolific artistic production, she sought spiritual truth through the acts of painting and metaphysical reflection. Organized chronologically around themes that mark her artistic journey, Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist traces a path of constant invention, innovation, and evolving artistic and personal growth through visually brilliant and evocative works of art.

 

A seminal work by WalkingStick, Night, was borrowed from MAM’s collection for the national tour, including stops at the National Museum of the American Indian, Heard Museum, Dayton Art Institute, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and Gilcrease Art Museum, concluding at the Montclair Art Museum.

 

“Much of Kay’s work deals with dualities in contemporary life and she often uses diptychs as a way of unifying this duality,” said Gail Stavitsky, MAM chief curator. “In Night, the two portions represent two kinds of knowledge of the earth. One is visual, a memory of a stream bed near Tucson, Arizona, and the other is more spiritual.”

 

The exhibition is co-curated by NMAI curator Kathleen Ash-Milby (Navajo) and associate director David W. Penney, in close collaboration with the artist. Ash-Milby and Penney are also co-editors and authors of a substantial companion catalogue, the first of its kind, which also features writings by Margaret Archuleta (Tewa/Hispanic), Jessica Horton, Robert Houle (Saulteaux), Lucy Lippard, Erica WalkingStick Echols Lowry (Cherokee), Miles Miller (Yakama/Nez Perce), Kate Morris, Judith Ostrowitz, Lisa Seppi, and Kay WalkingStick. Generous support for this project is provided by the National Council of the National Museum of the American Indian. The exhibition is organized at the Montclair Art Museum by Gail Stavitsky, MAM’s chief curator.

 

About the Artist

Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee, b. 1935) is an acclaimed artist best known for painting. She received her BFA from Beaver College (now Arcadia University) and MFA at Pratt Institute, supported by a Danforth Foundation Graduate Fellowship for Women. Her first solo exhibition in New York City was in 1969. She has since exhibited her work in more than 30 groundbreaking solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions nationally and internationally, culminating in the major traveling retrospective Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist. She was also the first Native American artist to appear in H.W. Janson’s “History of Art” (fifth edition, 1995).

WalkingStick’s work is represented in the collections of several museums, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the National Gallery of Canada, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Montclair Art Museum. She has received many awards,

including grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art (2003). She is a faculty emerita at Cornell University where she was a professor in the Department of Art, retiring in 2005. Currently she resides with her husband in Easton, Penn.

 

Related Programs

The exhibition will be accompanied by education programs, announced in late 2017 on montclairartmuseum.org.

 

 

Images (top to bottom):

Philemona Williamson, Limbs, 2016. Oil on linen. Collection of Philemona Williamson. Image courtesy of the artist.

 

Charles E. Burchfield (1893–1967), Sunburst, 1929–31, oil on canvas. Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Charles Rand Penney, 1994, 19994:001.052. Reproduced with permission from the Charles E. Burchfield Foundation and the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

 

Kay WalkingStick, Night, 1991, oil, acrylic, wax, and copper on canvas. Montclair Art Museum, purchased with funds provided by Alberta Stout.

 

 

MAM Exhibition Schedule Through Summer 2017

MONTCLAIR ART MUSEUM’S ADVANCE SCHEDULE OF EXHIBITIONS

THROUGH SUMMER 2017

 

Line-up features first exhibition to examine
French master Henri Matisse’s influence
on American Modern art

 

Exhibitions also include solo shows of Dannielle Tegeder and Janet Taylor Pickett and participatory contemporary art exhibition do it!

 

MONTCLAIR, NJ, July 1, 2016—The 2016–2017 season at the Montclair Art Museum (MAM) features two solo exhibitions of woman artists: Dannielle Tegeder and Janet Taylor Pickett. Tegeder’s site-specific installation, large-scale mobile, and series of animations blend the interior and exterior spaces of the Museum while Taylor-Pickett’s The Matisse Series explores the dialogue between her artwork and that of renowned French artist Henri Matisse. Also this fall, do it!, a participatory contemporary art exhibition based on artists’ instructions, presents an exhibition unlike any other the Museum has hosted.

 

This spring will offer a premier exhibition on the French master Henri Matisse’s influence on American Art, the first to examine the full range of his impact from 1907 to the present. Matisse and American Art is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue and concurrent show of the Montclair Art Museum’s collection, Inspired by Matisse.

 

Following are descriptions, current as of this date, of the exhibitions.

 

 

Dannielle Tegeder: Infrastructure

Through June 2017

 

The Montclair Art Museum (MAM) presents new works by artist Dannielle Tegeder in MAM’s Laurie Art Stairway and on the outdoor video monitors. Infrastructure features a site-specific wall installation, large-scale mobile, and series of animations that merge the interior and exterior spaces of the Museum. The exhibition is organized by Alexandra Schwartz, curator of contemporary art, and will be on view through June 2017.

 

Each piece in the exhibition is its own imagined urban system that also reacts to the surrounding architecture. Prominently featured in The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation Art Stairway, a wall of glass windows allows the artwork on view to be visible from the street and viewers to see out on to the Museum’s grounds and beyond to the Manhattan skyline. The wall installation and mobile draw from the infrastructure that exists behind the Museum’s walls as well as reflect what is going outside of them. A complementary pair of animations on MAM’s outdoor video monitors are digital renderings of drawings that are set to motion to rhythms of contemporary classical composer Matthew Evan Taylor. The original drawing for the animation Zeolfrora is a recent acquisition to MAM’s collection.

 

Dannielle Tegeder is a New York–based artist raised in a family of steamfitters, whose fascination with architecture, urbanism, and engineering inspire her abstract drawings, paintings, installations, and illustrations. Her work explores abstraction, and has begun to include large-scale installation, sculptural objects, video, sound, and animation. Tegeder received her BFA from the State University of New York at Purchase and her MFA in Painting and Drawing from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been presented in over 100 gallery exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, and she has participated in numerous institution exhibitions including PS1/MOMA, The New Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Tegeder’s work is also in the permanent collections of The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and The Weatherspoon Museum of Art in Greensboro, N.C. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art at the City University of New York at Lehman College.

 

This exhibition is also part of MAM’s New Directions series, the centerpiece of the Museum’s contemporary art program. New Directions was founded in 2011 to engage the community with new work that is at once accessible and thought provoking. The contemporary art series has featured artists including Marina Zurkow, Saya Woolfalk, Spencer Finch, and Noah Klersfeld.

 

 

do it!

September 10–December 31, 2016

 

Rather than an exhibition of objects created by artists, do it! is a collection of conceptual instructions provided by renowned artists that serve as a point of departure for interpretation by the community at the host venue. A highly participatory contemporary art exhibition, it will bring together the surrounding community to create a truly site-specific experience. It is on view at the Montclair Art Museum from September 10, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

 

The project originated in Paris in 1993 during a conversation between curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier. Obrist was concerned with how exhibition formats could be rendered more flexible and open-ended. This discussion led to the question of whether a show could take “scores,” or written instructions by artists, as a point of departure, each of which could be interpreted anew every time they were enacted. To mark the 20th anniversary of this landmark project, Obrist collaborated with ICI to create a new version of the exhibition presenting the largest selection of instructional works to date. It is now the longest-running, most far-reaching show ever to take place. Coordinated for the Museum by Leah Fox, director, Vance Wall Art Education Center, and Gail Stavitsky, chief curator, this project coincides with the launch of the newly constructed Vance Wall Art Education Center, completed spring 2016.

 

Each do it! exhibition is uniquely site-specific because it engages the local community in a dialogue that responds to a particular set of instructions. The Montclair Art Museum has selected 27 instructional works from a list of 250, all of which are featured in the book do it the compendium (2013). The list of artists includes Robert Barry, Louise Bourgeois, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Sol LeWitt, and Yoko Ono. Members of the community and Montclair area organizations will be engaged in the planning and implementation of many of these projects before the opening of the exhibition. Several projects will be ongoing and will engage visitors to the Museum on a regular basis, especially those of Yuri Aran, Alison Knowles, Yoko Ono, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and RAQ Media Collective.

 

 

Janet Taylor Pickett: The Matisse Series

September 10, 2016–June 18, 2017

 

Janet Taylor Pickett: The Matisse Series explores the dialogue between Taylor Pickett’s artwork and that of renowned French artist Henri Matisse. Featuring 76 collages and 4 handmade books, it spotlights the ongoing creative conversation between the two artists and the profound impact of Matisse on Taylor Pickett’s art. It is on view September 10, 2016–June 18, 2017.

 

A highlight of the exhibition will be the installation of Sixty Six Dresses: An Odyssey, 2014-15. Referring to the artist’s age at the time of its creation, this work will be augmented by two additional collaged dresses to match her current age when the exhibition opens. In many of her dresses, Taylor Pickett juxtaposes images of African sculpture, textiles, and cultural elements, with details from Matisse’s work, typically procured from exhibition catalogue reproductions. This multicultural dialogue is at the heart of her complex, archetypal work, which often features portraits of the artist herself. The artist’s interest in light, color, and multiple perspectives is also pervasive in some of her recent works in which she combines elements of Matisse’s work with tripartite spaces evoking medieval altarpieces, unifying past and present times.

 

This is the second time the artist has been featured in a one-person show at MAM; the first More than One Way Home in 1997 was a 25-year mid-career survey. Furthermore, the artist taught classes in the Museum’s Yard School of Art and served on the Museum’s Board of Trustees, as well as its African American Cultural Committee, which she co-founded. Taylor Pickett will also be represented in two concurrent complementary exhibitions, Matisse and American Art and Inspired by Matisse: Selected Works from the Collection, opening February 2017. Janet Taylor Pickett: The Matisse Series is co-organized by Gail Stavitsky, MAM chief curator, and independent art consultant Kathy Imlay.

 

 

Matisse and American Art

February 5–June 18, 2017

 

From February 5 to June 18, 2017, Montclair Art Museum will present Matisse and American Art, the first exhibition to examine this French master’s profound impact upon the development of American modern art from 1907 to the present. His art has provided a liberating model for American artists’ varied explorations of vibrant color, strong, fluid lines, and clear compositional structures in their pursuits of self-expression.

 

Featuring 68 paintings, archival objects, sculpture, prints, and works on paper, Matisse and American Art will juxtapose 19 works by Matisse with 49 works by American artists, including Max Weber, Alfred Maurer, Maurice Prendergast, Stuart Davis, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Motherwell, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Romare Bearden, John Baldessari, Sophie Matisse, Faith Ringgold, and others. Matisse’s transformative impact on their works is revealed not only by their adaptations of his palette and pictorial structures but also through their choice and appropriation of his subject matter—still lifes, landscapes, figurative works, studio interiors, and portraits. While previous projects have illuminated Matisse’s relationship with postwar artists, this will be the first exhibition to expand Matisse’s impact beyond the typical focus upon the New York School by extending it back to the beginning of the 20th century and forward to the 21st.

 

The exhibition will open with an introductory section evoking a range of responses to the master, from the early 20th century study by his student Morgan Russell to Faith Ringgold’s late 20th century appropriation titled Matisse’s Model, with a fictional character based on the artist, Josephine Baker, and other modern young women of color. The exhibition then proceeds with early 20th century explorations of the nude as seen in the work of Matisse’s students Max Weber and Sarah Stein, as well as William Zorach and Maurice Prendergast. The next section of the show addresses Matisse’s theme of the window as a metaphor for the dialogue between the interior world of the artist and the external world of reality. An archival section featuring Matisse on the cover of Time magazine in 1930, as well as various exhibition catalogues and publications, will serve as an orientation to the history of the dissemination of Matisse’s influence. The final sections of the exhibition explore Matisse’s pervasive postwar impact on artists, especially in terms of the bold, simplified profiles and vibrant colors of his cut-outs. Works by Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Motherwell, Stuart Davis, Judy Pfaff, Romare Bearden, and the illustrator Eric Carle represent the wide-ranging responses to Matisse’s inventive “drawing with scissors.” The exhibition concludes with the work of Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselman, Andy Warhol, Janet Taylor Pickett, and John Baldessari, who have appropriated and adapted Matisse’s classic themes of the dance, the studio, the nude, portraiture, and the goldfish bowl as varying approaches to his universal art and fame.

 

The exhibition is organized by Gail Stavitsky, MAM chief curator, with Dr. John Cauman and Lisa Mintz Messinger. It is complemented by a major scholarly catalogue, Matisse and American Art, and a concurrent exhibition of the Montclair Art Museum’s collection Inspired by Matisse.