Please join us Thursday, October 1 for the opening reception of Richard Pousette-Dart: 1930s, Rashid Johnson: Anxious Men, and Open Sessions 5.
This event is FREE and open to the public.
In the Main Gallery Richard Pousette-Dart: 1930s will be on view. This is the first in-depth museum consideration of Pousette-Dart’s drawings from the 1930s, a period when the artist pursued directly-carved sculpture, yet also painted, experimented with photography, and created numerous works on paper. The exhibition features approximately 100 works from this period including drawings, notebooks, and brasses. Many of the early drawings explore Pousette-Dart’s concerns about sculpture and working three-dimensionally. Others reference the figure through full-frontal or profile views as they consider space, orientation, and volume. Additionally, numerous studies allude to dance, animals, mythology, masks, and human heads. There are also several series of drawings and studies that accumulate abstract and geometric forms as his interest transitioned to working with the “flatter” brasses—small sculptures meant to be worn as pendants or held in the hand. These works presage many of the compositional strategies he employed in his later paintings from the 1940s.
For Rashid Johnson: Anxious Men, Johnson will create a site-specific installation for the Drawing Room gallery. Universally accessible and employing common visual tropes such as the monochrome and the grid, Johnson’s work is also self-referential, making specific allusion to his upbringing in Chicago in the late seventies and eighties and the Afro-centric values of his parents. The core of the exhibition is a new series of black-soap-and-wax-on-tile portraits that Johnson calls his “anxious men.” Executed by digging into a waxy surface, they enact a kind of drawing through erasure and represent the first time Johnson has worked figuratively outside of photography or film, and on such a small scale. Whereas Johnson’s previous work has taken a more cerebral approach to questions of race and political identity, the drawn portraits confront the viewer with a visceral immediacy.
In addition in the Lab gallery Open Sessions will continue with artist-directed group exhibitions. Open Sessions 5 will feature the work of Lauren Bakst, Jimbo Blachly, Daniel Lichtman, Yuri Masnyj, Laura Morrison, Catya Plate, Sarada Rauch, and Alfred Steiner.
Image: Richard Pousette-Dart, Agony, 1930s, Graphite, ink, and wash on paper, 18 ½ x 14 ⅞ inches. Photographer: Jason Wierzbicki. Courtesy of The Richard Pousette-Dart Estate.