Unruly Nature: The Landscapes of Théodore Rousseau @ the Getty Center

June 21–September 11, 2016

“A work of art is a corner of creation seen through a temperament,” the 19th-century French novelist Émile Zola once famously wrote, and nothing underscores this keen observation better than the work of Théodore Rousseau (1812-1867) currently on view at the Getty Center.  Organized by Scott Allan and Édouard Kopp, the show surveys the entire career of the well-known French artist, a leading member of the so-called Barbizon School, named after a small village in the Fountainebleau Forest southeast of Paris.  Rousseau’s rarely seen drawings—in ink, pencil, charcoal, and chalk—are nothing short of spectacular, magnificently diverse in their depiction of nature’s complexity and illuminating Rousseau’s intimate familiarity with the features of the French countryside. Winter Landscape from ca. 1855-65 (below) captures windswept trees and arid brushwork in short, sure-fire strokes that reveal enormous emotional intensity. To study Rousseau’s drawings in the context his masterful paintings is an extraordinary opportunity. Don’t miss it!

LINK TO GETTY SITE

 

Agnes Martin @ the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

April 24, 2016–September 11, 2016.

Any retrospective of Agnes Martin’s seminal work would immediately draw our attention, and the current large-scale retrospective at LACMA is no exception. A pioneer of abstraction, whose meditative gridded and striped compositions presaged minimalism and occupy a central position in 20th century American art, Martin still surprised us.  When studied closely, early works like White Flower of 1960 (below) possess the tactile allure of ancient fabrics, subtly blending modernist abstraction with the intimate beauty of homegrown domestic artifacts. In the predominantly male art of geometric abstraction in the 1950s and 60s, Martin’s canvases display a gentle and expressive touch that aligns itself with the age-old craft of weaving, needle-work and rug-making—a powerful aspect of Martin’s work that had eluded us so far. This not-to-be-missed exhibition, which also features an array of the artist's delicate pencil drawings, closes September 11, 2016.

LINK TO LACMA SITE

Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016 @ Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel

March 13 - September 4, 2016

Among the many art works in this important exhibition, co-curated by Paul Schimmel and Jenni Sorkin, we were entranced by the delicate wire sculptures of German-born Venezuelan artist Gertrud Louise Goldschmidt, also known as Gego.  She made her most popular works in the 1960s and 70s, including the work shown here, entitled "Horizontal Square Reticularia 71/10” from 1971. Originally trained as an architect and engineer, Gega, in the early 1940s, opened a furniture design studio in Venezuela with her husband, urban planner Ernst Gunz. In the 1950s, she turned to watercolors, printmaking, and collages, developing the ephemeral kinetic sculptures for which she is now famous.  We were unfamiliar with her stunning work, so experiencing her netlike compositions with line and space for the first time was a real treat. If you haven’t seen Gega’s work before, go see the show before it closes on September 4, 2016.

LINK TO HWS WEBSITE

Claire Falkenstein: Beyond Sculpture @ PMCA

April 17- September 11, 2016

This wonderful exhibition curated by our good friend Jay Belloli at the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) is a rare opportunity to see a large collection of the work of this brilliant mid-century artist. Encompassing work from the 1930's, all the way to her death in 1997, this exhibition traces the development of Falkenstein's work through the inclusion of approximately 65 key works. The Endless Screen series is one of our favorite bodies of work by CF, and is not to be missed! The show runs through September 11, and will travel to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA.

LINK TO PMCA WEBSITE