Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Art museum expansion wins approval

Art museum expansion wins approval

| | Story updated at 10:11 PM on Tuesday, November 13, 2007

ATLANTA - Without picking up a brush or molding any clay, the state's higher education authority moved Tuesday to improve the state of the arts in Georgia.

The University System Board of Regents on Tuesday approved a $20 million expansion and renovation of the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia and gave the go-ahead for the state to try to reach an agreement with one of three architects.

The project includes an expansion of the building's second level to provide more space for galleries, outdoor display areas, a sculpture garden and more storage space. Private money will fund the project, according to the system.

The regents also approved a list of three firms for the university system to negotiate with to do the architectural work on the project.

Stanley Beaman & Sears Inc. of Atlanta will get the first crack at reaching a deal. After that, the system will negotiate with Collins Cooper Carusi Architects Inc. of Atlanta and Cooper Carry Inc. of Atlanta in that order.

The museum expansion and renovation was one of a handful of construction projects for UGA approved Tuesday.

Regents also approved a $3.4 million project to renovate part of the Ramsey Center.

The renovation will create more space for cardiovascular and strength-and-conditioning exercises for students, as well as some office space for volleyball coaches.

The second phase of the plan, which still needs funding, will add more room for fitness and exercise on the second floor.

Regents also signed off on an additional $1.6 million for the second phase of the new Lamar Dodd School of Art building, which is under construction next to the existing Performing and Visual Arts Complex on East Campus.

"There were some additional improvements to the project," said Linda Daniels, vice chancellor for facilities.

The extra money will fund a photography suite, more audio-visual equipment and energy-recovery units.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Redefining the Modern Landscape

Opened last weekend at the Georgia Museum of Art, Redefining the Modern Landscape in Europe & America circa 1920-1940 is a collaborative exhibition by Giancarlo Fiorenza, Pierre Daura Curator of European Art, and yours truly.

Redefining the Modern Landscape continues the dialogue between the museum's visitors and its curators about "modern art." Organized from the permanent collection at GMOA and from works of art on extended loan to the museum, the show seeks to reveal how European and American artists represented landscapes, cityscapes, and nature in general by appealing to and transforming traditions in order to create novel representations. Twentieth-century artists used landscape and nature to comment on the effects of technology, to elicit reflection on human authenticity, and to meditate on the human environment. Because a number of artists traveled and studied abroad, or were displaced by war, visitors will be able to study the crosscurrents of European and American styles, techniques, and themes.

The exhibition has a secondary goal: to further allow visitors to make interconnections between the permanent collection, and some of the recent gifts and loans to the museum's collection. One artist prominently featured in this exhibition is Pierre Daura. In 2002, Martha Randolph Daura, together with her husband, Thomas Mapp, established the Pierre Daura Center at GMOA. Consisting of a generous endowment complemented by scores of works by Daura and his archives, the center promotes the study of Daura's art in its European and American cultural context. In addition, a number of American paintings from the collection of Jason Schoen are on display, as are works on paper by European and American artists from the collection of Giuliano Ceseri.

In the show, visitors can experience a wide-range of aesthetic approaches to nature, from the highly-stylized natural motifs on 20th century ceramics to a highly-detailed gouache painting of Edmund Lewandowski, with all kinds of variations of abstraction and naturalism in between those two extremes. Redefining the Modern Landscape includes such artists as Thomas Hart Benton, Pierre Bonnard, Giorgio de Chirico, Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Rockwell Kent and Georgia O'Keeffe, among others.

images: exhibition brochure cover; Pierre Daura (American, born Spain, 1896-1976), Mallorcan Village, 1932. Oil on canvas, 28 1/8 x 23 ¼ inches. Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; gift of Martha Randolph Daura GMOA 2003.309; Marsden Hartley (American, 1877–1943), In the Moraine, Dogtown Common, Cape Ann, 1931. Oil on academy board, 17 3/8 x 23 9/16 inches. Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; university purchase GMOA 1969.2533; Giorgio de Chirico (Italian, 1888–1978), Horsemen in a Landscape, ca. 1920–21. Red chalk, watercolor on paper, 9 7/16 x 12 3/8 inches. Georgia Museum of Art; University of Georgia; extended loan from the collection of Giuliano Ceseri GMOA 1995.280E