Wednesday, March 30, 2011

View a Sampling of LACMA’s Art in Your Own Home

Thomas Moran (England, Bolton-le-Moors, 1837 - 1926). Hot Springs of the Yellowstone, 1872. Painting, Oil on canvas, 16 3/16 x 30 1/16 in. (41.1 x 76.2 cm). Gift of Beverly and Herbert M. Gelfand (M.84.198). American Art Department. LACMA.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has uploaded high-resolution images from its extensive collection to its newly developed Image Library, according to Art Daily.

The images are in the public domain, allowing visitors to download them free of charge, with no restrictions on use . There are currently 2,000 images uploaded, with more to come from the museum’s permanent collection of more than 100,000 works.

They depict a variety of work ranging from decorative arts and design to Japanese prints and Italian sculptures. Each work features identifying information, as well as a link to its more extensive listing on the LACMA site.

The library was conceived as a resource for students, educators, artists, researchers, designers and media innovators. It is also a great collection for art lovers simply to browse on the web.

Monday, March 28, 2011

GMOA Family Day: Make It Shine!

Albert Coles & Company (New York, 1835–1877), Pitcher, 1869.

GMOA’s next family day will be Saturday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to noon. Families can visit the Phoebe and Ed Forio Gallery and the Martha and Eugene Odum Gallery to see GMOA’s collection of silver. Docents will lead a gallery activity, followed by an activity in the first-floor classroom where kids can make a shiny object of their own. Young musicians from UGA’s Community Music School’s Suzuki violin program will perform at 10:30. Refreshments will be served. Family Days are sponsored by Heyward Allen Motor Co., Inc., Heyward Allen Toyota, YellowBook USA and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art.

Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir to Visit GMOA Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, March 29, at 5:30 p.m. sculptor Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir will give a lecture on her work. Her installation “Horizons” is currently on view in the Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hear her speak, and don’t forget that if you send us photographs of yourself with “Horizons” to, we'll put them up in our Flickr gallery! This lecture, as part of the museum’s grand reopening celebration, is sponsored by the Office of the Senior Vice President for External Affairs.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Stephen Colbert and Simon de Pury

Stephen Colbert of "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central has been playing around with the art world lately, and in this video, he interviews Simon de Pury of the auction house Phillips de Pury. The New York Times has a little background, but you could also just watch the clip, which explains everything and features de Pury saying his favorite rap artist is "Snoopy Dogg," a lot touching of art, a Kehinde Wiley and a question about whether Damien Hirst is "phoning it in."

Follow-ups in the "Raging Art-On: Sale of the Centur-me" series are below.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Art as a Measure of History"

If you missed David Driskell's lecture here recently, you're in luck, due to the diligence of Lynn Boland, Pierre Daura Curator of European Art, who videotaped the whole thing and has uploaded it to Vimeo for you to watch and listen to.

David Driskell lecture 2.28.11 from Lynn Boland on Vimeo.

We have more video treats coming your way, so keep checking back with us.

GMOA in the News!

Following up on this last blog post that mentioned some of our press releases receiving coverage in the media, have you checked out our new press room yet? Our entire website has been given a redesign and a makeover by The Adsmith, and we're very happy with the results. For the newest press releases in an easy cut-and-paste format, click on the "about" tab on our homepage and select "press room."

The most recent include a release on an artist's talk by Steinunn Thorarinsdottir coming up on Tuesday, March 29, and one announcing the hire of Caroline Maddox, our new director of development, who started work March 1. The marvelous Ms. Julie Phillips at the Banner-Herald threw us some love on the former on her tumblr.

We've also been all over the brand-new Athens Patch, including in a long article by John English.

And we'd like to point you to this article and video produced by UGA as part of its 2011 Celebration of Support on GMOA patron W. Newton Morris, whose foundation supports so much of our programming.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Takaezu in 2008

Reprise of a photograph from an old post on this blog...

GMOA deputy director Annelies Mondi, Takaezu, and director Bill Eiland outside Takaezu's home in late May 2008.

RIP Toshiko Takaezu

We just learned, a bit late, of the death of Toshiko Takaezu, an important ceramicist represented in our collection who passed away March 9. UNC Press's blog has a nice remembrance of her by Peter Held, editor of her book "The Art of Toshiko Takaezu: In the Language of Silence," and the New York Times ran its obituary Saturday, which includes the following paragraphs:
Early in her career she made traditional vessels but in the late 1950s, strongly influenced by the Finnish ceramist Maija Grotell, she embraced the notion of ceramic pieces as artworks meant to be seen rather than used. She closed off the top of her vessels, leaving a vestigial nipple-like opening and creating, in effect, a clay canvas for glazing of all kinds: brushing, dripping, pouring and dipping.

She became known for the squat balls she called moon pots; the vertical “closed forms,” which grew sharply in height in the 1990s; and thin ceramic trunks inspired by the scorched trees she had seen along the Devastation Trail in Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park. At times Ms. Takaezu exhibited the moon pots in hammocks, an allusion to her method of drying the pots in nets. She also cast bronze bells and wove rugs.

Strongly influenced by her study of Zen Buddhism, she regarded her ceramic work as an outgrowth of nature and seamlessly interconnected with the rest of her life. “I see no difference between making pots, cooking and growing vegetables,” she was fond of saying. Indeed, she often used her kilns to bake chicken in clay, and dry mushrooms, apples and zucchinis.
The Georgia Museum of Art has one of its wall cases in the hallway of the new wing devoted to her work (not including the pot above), which we encourage you to come see.

Friday, March 18, 2011

New York trip

Just recently back from New York City where I spent Wednesday visiting galleries, including Michael Rosenfeld Gallery (where I saw the abstract expressionism display), Hollis Taggart Galleries, and Kraushaar Galleries. Future exhibitions, possible acquisitions, and other projects should result. I also visited the Whitney Museum of American Art and especially enjoyed the Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Times exhibition. The Whitney had a "no photography at all" rule and a security guard in every single gallery, so my stealth picture-taking was more limited than normal. The display had plenty of well-known Hoppers, of course, but included Reginald Marsh, Charles Burchfield, Alfred Stieglitz, Ben Shahn, and many other artists that helped contextualize Hopper's career.

On Thursday, I spent all day in the West Village and in Newark, New Jersey meeting with board members from The Heliker-LaHotan Foundation and viewing the warehouse storage space where many John Heliker paintings and sketchbooks are kept. A future project or two might result from the meeting.

Steinnun News

Apparently Steinnun Thorarinsdottir's work has been chosen for an installation in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, New York, beginning March 24 and titled "Borders." Thorarinsdottir's installation "Horizons" is currently on view in the Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden at GMOA, and she will be here herself to speak on her work March 29 at 5:30 p.m. To see more of her work, click here and remember that if you send us photographs of yourself with "Horizons" to, we'll put them up in our Filckr gallery.

Manners and Snobisme

We're a bit late on Timothy Aubry's article "How to Behave in an Art Museum," which appeared online in Paper Monument, but it happened to catch our eye this morning after a discussion about ill-behaved children in museums. Aubry uses Pipilotti Rist's exhibition at MoMA as a vehicle to discuss the complex class negotiations involved in visiting a temple of high culture. Should we be intimidated or not? And where, exactly, is the line between enthusiastic participation and treating the museum too much like the mall? Is slouching acceptable? How loud should you talk? How fast should you walk?
There’s a difference, however, between the previous generation of strivers and ours. For both, trying too hard to show off your expertise is a dead giveaway that you haven’t got as much status as you’d like. But in previous decades there was still a belief that those who took advantage of inexpensive museum fares, public libraries, and so forth were elevating themselves. For my generation, say those born around or after 1968, the sign that you’re at the top of the hierarchy is a readiness to acknowledge that the high ground you’ve come to occupy isn’t actually higher than any other ground.

This is very American. Our purported populism has always made us wary of those claiming, by virtue of their position or education, to know better than everyone else. One thing that’s changed, though, is that this populism, often disguised as the heady skepticism of continental theory, has managed to sneak into the very bastion of elitism, into the places where the aspiring intellectual first learns how to be a pompous snob: academic humanities departments. The institutionalization of deconstruction, identity politics, and Marxist criticism, in other words, has replaced the pious attitudes of previous eras with a different set of now-habitual postures: distrust of the canon and the institutions that preserve it. Whatever their merits, these frameworks have created enough ambivalence to make art appreciation a vexing enterprise for a generation of well-educated museumgoers. Because if you don’t believe in high culture, then what are you doing at a museum?

The closer we get to the top, it seems, the more likely we are to believe, or pretend to believe, that the ladder we’ve been climbing leads nowhere—is meaningful only to those who stare at its innumerable rungs from below. Self-improvement, we discover, is a sham. We were better off when we were just kids, when we knew what we liked effortlessly, when our passions were not learned. And so we end up in MoMA’s romper room, doing somersaults on the carpet, hoping to return to a state of innocence.
Student night at GMOA (Reopening Remixed) was a great example of this network of issues and, for the most part, they seemed to work out correctly. Yes, there was a lot more texting in the galleries than usual, but what was marvelous to see was how the 2,053 kids who turned up didn't just treat the event as a chance to grab some free food and talk to their friends. They talked about the art with one another and interacted enthusiastically with the label copy. When asked not to photograph certain works, they were disappointed because they loved the art and wanted to document it. There is, clearly, a sweet spot where appreciation of high culture and an open, welcoming attitude can mesh, but it's not easy to hit, and it probably varies depending on the visitor.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spotlight on: Anthony Goicolea

Anthony Goicolea | Poolpushers© 2001 | 70 x 50 Color Photograph [Ed. 1-6] |
71x 100 Color Photograph [Ed. 1-3]
This image is protected by Federal copyright law.

If you’ve made time to stop by our galleries over the past month and a half (and if you haven’t, you certainly should), you may already be aware that GMOA reopened its doors with five new exhibitions in addition to its permanent collection. What you may not be aware of is that one of these five, fabulous exhibitions is the work of UGA’s own Anthony Goicolea.

Born in Atlanta in 1971, Goicolea is a Cuban-American artist currently based in Brooklyn, N.Y. While at UGA in the early 1990s, he studied art history and drawing and painting. After graduating magna cum laude in 1994, Goicolea attended the Pratt Institute of Art in New York and obtained a master’s in sculpture and a minor in photography. Interestingly it was this final area of study—more specifically, his unique self-portraits in fine-art photography—that would lead Goicolea to make his debut in the art world in 1999.

Goicolea first captured widespread public attention with a series of large mural-sized photographs in an exhibition called “You and What Army.” The images depict multiple young boys on the verge of pubescence. Interestingly, with the help of costumes, wigs and digital manipulation, each character is played by Goicolea himself—making the works a unique form of self-portraiture. Many of the images recreate childhood incidents with slightly erotic and Freudian twists. As Goicolea says in his exhibition statement, “the cast of characters are seen undertaking painfully awkward transformations as they undergo the journey from childhood to adulthood and the hazy boundaries in between.” The combination of classic scenes of boyhood with science fiction-esque scenes of a cloned Goicolea in absurd and deranged situations leaves the viewer experiencing a blend of nostalgia, sympathy and fear.

As Goicolea’s work evolved and expanded into other realms—the photo above is from a group of images called “Water series”—this theme of the journey from boyhood to adolescence often reemerged, along with the use of clones. Even his “Landscape Series” contains traces of these earlier works.

“The scenarios often resemble what many of my previous sets and locations looked like after a full day of shooting,” Goicolea said in his Landscape Series statement. “Although most of the images are devoid of actual human presence, there is a strong sense of humanity established through the wake of their aftermath or in the mimicked behavior of the animals portrayed in each photograph.”

One such image, “snowscape,” contains all of these elements and has found its home on the Patsy Dudley Pate Balcony at the Georgia Museum of Art. The 60-foot-long photograph on Plexiglas melds three separate frozen landscapes into one winter narrative. According to Goicolea, this scene and his other landscapes “use the aesthetics and beauty inherent to nature and the sublime to create an exaggerated pastoral scene which bears the imprint of time.” The photo mural “snowscape” is accompanied by a video installation featuring the same snowy landscape, which is currently on view in the Alonzo and Vallye Dudley Gallery.

Among his many achievements, Goicolea has been awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship, the 2005 BMW Photo Paris Award and the 2006 CINTAS Fellowship. Twin Palms Press has published three books of Goicolea’s work and a collection of videos. For more information on Anthony Goicolea and to view his whole collection, please click here.

Improv Everywhere in the Museum

Not our museum, unfortunately. The merry pranksters of Improv Everywhere showed up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently with one member who resembles Diego Velazquez's portrait of King Philip IV of Spain, costumed and ready to sign autographs in front of his picture.

What we like best about the goof is how careful they were to adhere to museum regulations, including signing autographs in pencil, not pen. Read more about the project here.

Monday, March 14, 2011


If you haven't noticed our press releases flying thick and furious, here are some recent ones that have come out.

First, we have a panel discussion of artists whose work is featured in our current exhibition "Tradition Redefined," coming up on March 24.
Georgia Museum of Art hosts artists' panel discussion

Writer: Jennifer Nelson,
Contact: Jenny Williams, 706/542-4662,
Mar 9, 2011, 09:59

Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will host a panel discussion featuring 11 artists from the museum’s current exhibition of works by African-American artists, “Tradition Redefined: The Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection of African-American Art,” on March 24. Artists will arrive in the galleries at 4:30 p.m. to meet visitors and talk about their work, and the panel discussion will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the M. Smith Griffith Auditorium.

Carl Christian is primarily an abstract painter who earned an M.A. in music education from Georgia State University and attended the Art Institute of Atlanta. His work has been displayed in institutions such as the Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Ala., Morehouse College and Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Kevin Cole currently serves as the chairman of fine arts at West Lake High School in Atlanta and as a consultant for the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta. He has been involved in numerous public art commissions, including the 1996 Coca-Cola Centennial Olympic Mural in Atlanta.

Stephanie Jackson envisions the African-American experience through figurative painting. She is currently a professor of art at UGA and has received awards including the 2002 Adolf and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Award in recognition of 20 years of sustained art making and dedication to the arts.

Larry Walker combines photos and other reproduced images with paint. He graduated from the renowned High School of Music and Art in New York City. He retired as professor emeritus from Georgia State University’s Ernst G. Welch School of Art and Design.

Larry Lebby specializes in lithography, watercolor and paintings in oil and acrylic. His work has been displayed throughout the United States and featured in the White House, the Smithsonian Institution, the United Nations and in the Vatican.

Richard Mayhew is primarily a landscape painter who considers himself an improvisationalist. He studied art in the 1950s at the Brooklyn Museum of Fine Art School, the Art Students League and the Brooklyn Museum Art School. His works have been exhibited widely in solo and group shows and are in the collections of major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Valerie Maynard is an expressionist artist who draws her inspiration from spiritual and political sources, putting African-American culture and the political struggle of blacks into visual form. Her work has been displayed in international venues such as the Reichhold Center for the Arts, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, and the Riksutallnlgar National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden.

Maria-Lana Queen is a former runway model who began painting to transform the sorrow of her brother’s death into a celebration of his life. Her abstract paintings serve as a visual diary of her feelings. Queen received a B.A. from the University of the District of Columbia.

Preston Sampson studied under David C. Driskell at the University of Maryland, College Park. Since graduating in 1984, he has been awarded numerous grants and honors, including the Absolut Expressions ad campaign for Absolut Vodka in 1997.

Joyce Wellman is an abstract painter and printmaker from New York who is known for her interest in the relationship among mathematics, physics and art. She also specializes in creating artist’s books and public art projects.

Abstract artist William T. Williams earned a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute and an M.F.A. from Yale University. He was the first African American to be included in H.W. Janson’s textbook History of Art. His work has been displayed all over the world in museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Studio Museum of Harlem.

“Tradition Redefined” features 72 works by 67 African-American artists who typically have not been recognized in the traditional narratives of African-American art. This exhibition, which contains works created from the 1890s to 2007, is organized by the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Adrienne L. Childs, curator in residence of the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, will moderate the discussion. The center celebrates the legacy of Driskell—distinguished university professor emeritus of art, artist, art historian, collector and curator—by preserving the rich heritage of African-American visual art and culture. Established in 2001, the center provides an intellectual home for artists, museum professionals, art administrators and scholars of color, broadening the field of African Diaspora studies. The Driskell Center is committed to preserving, documenting and presenting African-American art, as well as replenishing and expanding the field of African-American art.
This release was picked up by Art Daily, among others. Second, releases on our next set of temporary exhibitions are starting to go out, including this one on "The Art of Disegno""
The Art of Disegno to be on view at the Georgia Museum of Art, May 14 to Aug. 7

Contact: Jenny Williams, 706/542-9078,
Mar 11, 2011, 09:54

Athens, Ga. – The Art of Disegno: Italian Prints and Drawings from the Georgia Museum of Art will be on view at the Georgia Museum of Art from May 14 to Aug. 7. The exhibition features 53 works on paper produced in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

Guest curators Babette Bohn, professor of art history at Texas Christian University, and Robert Randolph Coleman, associate professor of art history at the University of Notre Dame, chose these prints and drawings from the collections of GMOA and Giuliano Ceseri because they provide rare insight into the training, working habits and creative process of artists. For Italian artists of this era, the art of drawing was regarded as an intellectual as well as a practical activity, and the images found in this exhibition, according to Bohn and Coleman, represent examples of the most fertile and inspired artistic creations found on paper during this period.

“Beginning in the 14th century and increasing in the following centuries, as paper became more widely available, drawings became critical tools of the design process for artists,” said Bohn.

Drawings also enjoyed a close relationship with prints during this period. For example, Coleman’s entry on Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s prints in the accompanying exhibition catalogue discusses how they reveal a fantastical and visionary imagination. Piranesi’s works create an aura of mystery, not only because of the dramatic chiaroscuro, but also because of disappearing staircases, leaning ladders to nowhere and architectural elements that appear to have no real function.

“Prints enabled artists to replicate the designs created in drawings through a technology that provided the possibility of creating multiple works of art and facilitated the spread of the artists’ reputation around the world,” said Bohn.

The exhibition includes prints by Italian printmakers such as Parmigianino and Marcantonio Raimondi, and examples by figures such as Pietro Testa and Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione.

The in-house curator for this exhibition is Lynn Boland, GMOA’s Pierre Daura Curator of European Art.

This exhibition was last on view at the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame from January to May 2009 and will travel to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, Calif., in November of this year. It is accompanied by an exhibition catalogue produced by GMOA that features full-page color illustrations of each work and retails for $38.
And this one on an exhibition of American watercolors from the permanent collection:
Georgia Museum of Art to exhibit American watercolors from the permanent collection

Writer: Samantha Meyer,
Contact: Jenny Williams, 706/542-4662,
Mar 14, 2011, 07:20

Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Museum of Art will exhibit a selection of American watercolors from its permanent collection from May 14 to Aug. 7, in an exhibition organized by Paul A. Manoguerra, chief curator and curator of American art. Due to the fragile nature of these works, most of which were executed on paper, they are not often displayed in the museum.

“The permanent collection at the Georgia Museum of Art includes several stellar examples of watercolors by American artists. This special display presents our patrons with the opportunity to enjoy works by some American masters of the medium,” said Manoguerra.

While some of these images were exhibited occasionally before the expansion of the museum, this collection features two brand-new acquisitions. Acquired in 2010, Howard Thomas’ “Third Ward” (1943) and Raymond Peers Freemantle’s untitled watercolor (“Horse and Cart in Town Scene,” ca. 1930s or 1940s) have never been displayed in the museum.

Three of the watercolors were part of the original collection of 100 works donated by Alfred Heber Holbrook in 1945 to establish the museum. Holbrook was the founder and first director of the museum and a driving force behind its success. The works are Frederic Remington’s “Ashtrakhan Cossacks” (ca. 1894), John Marin’s “Mountain and Meadow, Hoosic Mountains, Massachusetts” (1918) and William Zorach’s “Maine Lake at Dawn” (1926).

Many of the other works have not been exhibited since the museum’s reopening in January, although five are featured in the its recently published book One Hundred American Paintings, by Manoguerra, which coincided with the reopening. One of these paintings, Robert Bechtle’s “Palm Spring Chairs” (1975), will be displayed for the first time since its loan to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for its exhibition “Robert Bechtle: A Retrospective” in 2005.

Some of the painters used these watercolors as drawings or compositional studies. Other works, including “Palm Spring Chairs,” are the intended finished products.

This exhibition is sponsored by Kathy Prescott and Grady Thrasher, YellowBook USA, the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art and will be on view in the Lamar Dodd Gallery of the Georgia Museum of Art.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Athens Talks on Modern Skirts at GMOA

Wow! Athens Talks did a great little piece on Modern Skirts' appearance as part of our opening ceremonies. Watch and see if you recognize anyone interviewed.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Recent events

Our Black History Month events were a big hit, with a wonderful array of guests turning up to honor Michael Thurmond at Traditions, the closing event/dinner for "Celebrating Courage" (UGA's celebration of the 50th anniversary of its desegregation), and earlier that day to hear David Driskell, renowned African American artist and art scholar, speak on how art crosses cultural boundaries. Here are some photos from Traditions and from the dinner with Driskell the previous evening.

Be sure to go ahead and mark your calendar for two big upcoming events at GMOA: a panel discussion with 11 of the artists featured in our exhibition "Tradition Redefined" on Thursday, March 24, and an artist's talk by Steinnun Thorarinsdottir, the artist who created "Horizons," on Tuesday, March 29.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Tonight: Film and Filmmaker Talk with Frank Cantor

Join us at GMOA this evening from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to see Frank Cantor’s film “Horizons: The Art of Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir” and an excerpt from the documentaries in the “Art of Collaboration” series featuring Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Rosenquist and Frank Stella. Cantor will speak about the films and his work with artists.

Click here for more information about "Horizons." We hope to see you tonight!