THE OPENINGS OF: GERMAN EXPRESSIONISM: THE GRAPHIC IMPULSE / IMPRESSIONS FROM SOUTH AFRICA, 1965 TO NOW / I AM STILL ALIVE: POLITICS AND EVERYDAY LIFE IN CONTEMPORARY DRAWING (March 28, 2011)
image credit: Nicholas Ruiz. Bow Tie #3. Assembled March 2011. Wine and champagne corks, finishing nails, super glue. Forest Hills, Queens, New York.
March 27–July 11, 2011
From E. L. Kirchner to Max Beckmann, artists associated with German Expressionism in the early decades of the twentieth century took up printmaking with a collective dedication and fervor virtually unparalleled in the history of art. The woodcut, with its coarse gouges and jagged lines, is known as the preeminent Expressionist medium, but the Expressionists also revolutionized the mediums of etching and lithography to alternately vibrant and stark effect. This exhibition, featuring approximately 250 works by some thirty artists, is drawn from MoMA’s outstanding holdings of German Expressionist prints, enhanced by selected drawings, paintings, and sculptures from the collection. The graphic impulse is traced from the formation of the Brücke artists group in 1905, through the war years of the 1910s, and extending into the 1920s, when individual artists continued to produce compelling work even as the movement was winding down. Read more.
March 23–August 29, 2011
During the oppressive years of apartheid rule in South Africa, not all artists had access to the same opportunities. But far from quashing creativity, these limited options gave rise to a host of alternatives—including studios, print workshops, art centers, schools, publications, and theaters open to all races; underground poster workshops and collectives; and commercial galleries that supported the work of black artists—that made the art world a progressive environment for social change. Printmaking, with its flexible formats, portability, relative affordability, and collaborative environment, was a catalyst in the exchange of ideas and the articulation of political resistance. Read More.
March 23–September 19, 2011
In 1970, Japanese artist On Kawara sent a series of telegrams to his Dutch gallerist that proclaimed, “I am still alive.” The simplicity of the message, coupled with the austerity of the medium, creates the ambivalent impression of a profound truth expressed in almost immaterial form. This exhibition brings together works from the 1950s to today that exemplify such expressions of a personal existence in the world with decidedly conceptual, ephemeral, even opaque means. Embracing formal languages that can seem startling or difficult in their conceptual conceits or idiosyncratic references, the artists in this exhibition nonetheless comment—often directly—on the state of the world around them, highlighting their place within it or simply attesting to the existence of an outside reality full of conflicts, politics, and life. Additional artists in the exhibition include León Ferrari, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Marine Hugonnier, Lee Lozano, Mangelos, and Robert Morris, among others. Read More.