JUNE 30 – SEPTEMBER 29, 2013
Dynamic, innovative, and exquisite—origami, or folding paper, is not only a sophisticated art form, but it inspires innovative concepts in math and design and inventions in engineering, architecture, and technology. The first major exhibition to explore the rich tradition of paper folding both in Japan and Europe, Folding Paper features approximately 140 works by more than 50 international artists. This groundbreaking examination of paper as a medium for endless creativity also includes origami-related woodblock prints, photo murals, and videos.
Image credit: Richard Sweeney, 03M (Partial Shell), 2010. Watercolor paper, wet folded. Photo © Richard Sweeney.
JUNE 30 – SEPTEMBER 29, 2013
From its founding in 1648, the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture was the center of artistic activity in France. Through 60 drawings by artists such as Simon Vouet, Antoine Watteau, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, and Edgar Degas, this exhibition from the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, traces the formation, triumph, and reform of the Academy, leading to the École des Beaux-Arts as it is today. At the same time, the exhibition showcases the artistic process as guided by the Academy's principles, from the artist's first thoughts through compositional studies, figure drawings, and finished compositions.
Image credit: Charles de la Fosse, Sleeping Rinaldo, 1686, Black, red and white chalk on blue laid paper, 10.5 x 14.625 in. Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame, gift of Mr. John D. Reilly.
Murphy Austin Adams, Schoenfeld LLP
Exhibition support provided by Anne and Malcolm McHenry
JULY 21 – OCTOBER 20, 2013
This exhibition introduces to a wider audience the ceramic art of Rob Barnard, exclusively featuring works collected by Rob and Josseline Wood, who gifted their collection to the Crocker in 2010. In all, thirty-nine objects span 20 years of the artist's career in this, the artist's first exhibition devoted to his production. Barnard embraces the irregular and displeasing, often developing tensions in form that are meant for the viewer to resolve. He prefers the Japanese-style anagama kiln for his wood-firings. Final results encompass subtle lusters, drips of glaze, and flashes of color that draw the eye to the vessel's surface. While such forms may be reductive, they are also nuanced in shape, line, and curve. These are the details that matter to Barnard, who believes pottery is capable of ennobling daily rituals and feeding the senses.
Image credit: Rob Barnard, Bottle Vase, 1989. Stoneware, wood‐fired, 10 3/4 x 6 inches. Collection of Josseline and Rob Wood.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2013 – JANUARY 5, 2014
Art21 artist Kara Walker is known for her powerful visual narratives exploring the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality. Her thought-provoking and raw approach to these issues has garnered acclaim as well as controversy. Particularly explosive is the manner in which she examines the psychology of slavery, creating fictional narratives—after the 19th-century tradition of the slave narrative—that also travel the terrain of damaging and unspeakable desires. To make her pursuit compelling, Walker radically reinvented the 19th-century silhouette portrait, elevating the practice of tracing onto and cutting out black paper figures into a formidable, grand format for her "nightmarish fictions." The graphic nature of the artist's work, both in content and format, moves from the wall to moving picture in this presentation of a silhouette, drawings, prints, and video. Select works from the collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation span Walker's artistic practice, among them two complete series of oversized prints: The Emancipation Approximation and Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated).
Image credit: Kara Walker, Untitled (Scene #5 from Emancipation Approximation portfolio) edition 7/20, 1999-2000. Screenprint on paper, 44 x 34 in. Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer.
OCTOBER 20, 2013 – JANUARY 26, 2014
Julie Heffernan is known for painting resplendent fantasies centered on her self-portrait in various guises. She employs the refined technique, rich palette, and bountiful detail of historical European painting, but transforms this tradition into unexpected, seductive, and often anxious contemporary stories about self, society, and our imperiled environment.
Like the interpretation of dreams, what is familiar in Heffernan's oil paintings is also elusive. Large in concept and scale, each painting offers lavish twists and turns of narrative that draw us into the visual space of the painting, much as a movie pulls us into the imagined world of the filmmaker. Raised in San Francisco, Julie Heffernan maintains close ties to California, and is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Yale University School of Art. Organized by the Palo Alto Art Center, this exhibition features 14 examples of Heffernan's grand storytelling from Northern California collections.
Image credit: Julie Heffernan (American, born 1956), Self-Portrait as Broken Home, 2008. Oil on canvas, 67 x 57 in. Collection of David York.
OCTOBER 20, 2013 – JANUARY 26, 2014
Known as the master Dutch engraver of his time, as important for engraving as Rembrandt was for etching, Hendrick Goltzius was a pivotal printmaker at the turn of the 17th century. His engaging subjects and highly versatile technique earned him praise and commissions throughout Europe. The series at the core of this collaborative exhibition, the Life of the Virgin and the Passion of Christ, show Goltzius in all his chameleon-like virtuosity. Focusing as much on technique as on the subjects in the series, the exhibition explores the influence and interpretation of earlier printmakers in Goltzius's work as well. The visual dialogue between Goltzius and precursors such as Albrecht Dürer provides a deeper understanding of the history of engraving and visual culture in the late 16th century. Goltzius's own passion for his subjects and technique make the objects in the exhibition the most ambitious works of his career.
Image credit: Hendrick Goltzius, Christ Crowned with Thorns (Passion Series), 1596-1598. Engraving, 19.7 x 13 cm. University of San Diego, PC2010.2.7. Acquired with a gift from Robert and Karen Hoehn.
NOVEMBER 10, 2013 – FEBRUARY 23, 2014
Few artists have enjoyed as devoted a following as ceramist Warren MacKenzie. His philosophy of making and decades of teaching have had a lasting impact on the development of American studio pottery–an influence extending to generations of students and collectors. Throughout his 60 years of making he has explored the shape of things and the interplay of the intentional with the unexpected. His solidly built forms enhance daily rituals of serving, eating, and drinking, showcasing not only his mastery of material and artistic intuition, but the ceaseless work ethic behind his success. This exhibition pays tribute to this much-honored pioneer with objects from the collection assembled by Susanna and George Grossman, a recent gift to the Museum.
Image credit: Warren MacKenzie (American, born 1924), Vase, n.d. Stoneware, shino glazed, 15 1/2 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of George S. Grossman, 2011.101.1.
JANUARY 26 – APRIL 20, 2014
This exhibition celebrates internationally acclaimed California native Sam Francis, one of the state's most historically significant artists. Featuring a colorful range of the artist's paintings and unique works on paper, this survey highlights different periods of the artist's oeuvre as represented in extraordinary public and private California collections, starting from the early works that the artist made in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1940s leading up to the artist's influential and expansive body of work created between the 1950s and the 1990s. Represented are works made in the artist's California studios in Palo Alto, Point Reyes, Santa Monica, and Venice, as well as those made when Francis was living in New York, Switzerland, and Japan. The exhibition is organized by the Sam Francis Foundation in collaboration with the Pasadena Museum of California Art and the Crocker Art Museum.
Image credit: Sam Francis, Untitled, 1980. Acrylic on canvas, 54 x 142 in. The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection. Artwork © Sam Francis Foundation, California/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
FEBRUARY 16 – MAY 11, 2014
This is the first museum exhibition to survey the work of early California artist Jules Tavernier (1844–1889). Born in Paris and trained in France, Tavernier adapted his native country's Barbizon aesthetic to scenes of the American West. This exhibition surveys the artist's entire career through 100 paintings and works on paper, from his early transcontinental illustrations for "Harper's Weekly" and paintings of Native American subjects to scenes of the San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey Peninsula, where he founded the local art colony in 1875. Also featured are the artist's signature paintings of erupting volcanoes, which he painted in Hawaii before his untimely death at age 45. The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color catalogue—the first to feature Tavernier exclusively—and features essays by Scott A. Shields, Ph.D., the Crocker's chief curator and associate director, as well as Claudine Chalmers, Ph.D., and Alfred Harrison, Jr.
This exhibition is supported, in part, by a grant from the Historical Collections Council of California Art.
The exhibition catalogue is supported, in part, by a grant from Furthermore: A Program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.
Image credit: Jules Tavernier, A Balloon in Mid-Air, 1875. Oil on canvas, 30 x 50 in. Courtesy of North Point Gallery, San Francisco.
JUNE 29 – SEPTEMBER 21, 2014
This exhibition of works seldom seen outside the Smithsonian presents 100 paintings, sculptures, and photographs by African American artists, drawn from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Crocker Art Museum is the only West Coast venue for this stunning survey of African American visual heritage, its rich sources, and future directions. The 48 featured artists include not only icons of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance but lauded figures of the 20th century's major artistic movements. Included are such artists as William H. Johnson, Alma Thomas, Jacob Lawrence, Sam Gilliam, as well as assemblage artist Renee Stout. Depicted in these works are the many and varied concerns of the 20th century before, during, and after the Civil Rights movement.
Image credit: Allan Rohan Crite, School's Out, 1936, oil. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from The Museum of Modern Art.