It’s the week after Thanksgiving and I’m sure we’re all either still full of turkey and sweet potato soufflé or getting geared up for the big winter break. But before we kick back and relax on the couch with movie marathons, the Georgia Museum of Art has one more exhibition starting before the holidays. “Minna Citron: The Uncharted Course from Realism to Abstraction” will open on Dec. 8 and run until March 3, 2013.
The exhibition will showcase roughly 50 of Citron’s award-winning social realist and abstract paintings and sculptures, picked from her 60 years as an artist. The art is on loan from her granddaughter, Christiane H. Citron, and has traveled from museums in Texas, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.
Minna Citron attended the Art Students League of New York in 1928, and it was during her time there that she created her iconic genre scenes of Union Square and became a member of the 14th Street School. Citron associated with artists such as Isabel Bishop, a renowned graphic artist, and Reginald Marsh, most notable for his paintings of New York City, Coney Island and vaudeville in the 1920s and 1930s.
Citron’s work initially started out as realist, depicting fine details in the clothes and faces of her subjects. These early works focused more on the roles of women in her satirical style, and during World War II she traveled across the country for the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Program, producing some of her iconic prints based on the women who joined the U.S. Navy. After the war, she moved onto the abstract, strongly emphasizing dynamic shapes that stood out from their backgrounds. During this time she traveled to France to learn new techniques in color printing, which she brought back to the United States. From the 1950s to the 1970s, Citron experimented with collages and other aspects of three-dimensional art, even developing methods for 3D printmaking and assembly.
Many of Citron's works hang in prestigious museums, including the Teller Gallery in New York, and GMOA owns a small abstract oil by her that hangs in its permanent collection galleries. The exhibition was organized by Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., along with Christiane Citron, and is sponsored locally by the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art. Paul Manoguerra, our chief curator and curator of American art, will serve as the in-house curator for the exhibition and will lead a tour of it Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m. We would be thrilled to see you before and during the holidays when the exhibition opens.