“Art is a form of language” and “an image is worth a thousand words” are commonly heard notions that suggest there is an intimate relationship between words and images. Visual and written forms of communication can intersect in a myriad of ways in art. In fact, some of the most provocative artworks resulted from the creative exploration of the fluid relationship between words, images, and communication.
Paintings we see in the galleries today engage the viewer as independent, complete works of art. Many of them, however, are fragments of larger compositions.
The word “orange” was not used to describe color until the 16th century. Color is intangible; it only exists in language and has to encompass individual perspectives. As a result, meaning can change when seen through a contemporary lens. In the following selection of works, viewers are invited to reflect on the different ways artists tackle color. Some use it to their advantage while others omit to highlight form, line, and texture.
Art isn’t always made of paint, pastel, or clay. In fact, artists frequently embrace less traditional materials because they are able to convey meanings in more nuanced ways.
GRIT—a combination of passion and perseverance for a singularly important goal. In Grit, an instant New York Times bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” Why do some succeed while others fail? Duckworth, a professor in […]
Abstract: “having only intrinsic form with little or no attempt at pictorial representation or narrative content.” On the other hand, even carefully depicted, realistic imagery is in a sense abstract: it is created from a distillation of the observable world through the subjective vision of an artist.
Founded by artist Joaquín Torres-García, the School of the South is an art school which paved the way for abstraction to develop in the Rio de la Plata region of Argentina and Uruguay during the early years of the twentieth century.
Artists with diverse interests co-existed in Mexico City from the 1920s to the 1950s, contributing to a vibrant and complex art scene after the Mexican Revolution.
Architecture can inform a work of art in a number of ways: in its conception, its construction, and its eventual presentation. The works gathered here illustrate the range of influences architecture can have on the meaning of an artwork: where it was commissioned to be displayed, what building(s) it references, and the structures it engages physically or evokes mentally.
Spanning over a century, the Blanton’s collection of Western art features a range of perspectives, including romanticized images of both the American cowboy and vanishing Native American cultures. Many of the artists subscribed to the nineteenth-century doctrine of Manifest Destiny—the belief that the U.S. was predestined to expand across the entire continent.
Considering the contexts where art objects were originally displayed is essential to a better understanding of the role they play in society. In the Spanish Americas, art was displayed in different settings, both private and public.
Creating a political artwork doesn’t necessarily mean depicting a political event or figure. When it comes to the human form, artists have frequently found creative ways to portray the body in order to convey social commentary.
After World War II, Latin America enjoyed a period of relative economic prosperity, which lasted until the mid 1950s. As the conditions for economic growth became more elusive and social instability increased, leftist-leaning groups became active throughout Latin America. By the late 1960s, escalating social unrest was ruthlessly repressed by military dictatorships that controlled the region until the mid 1980s. Works featured here explore this turbulent time period with a focus on economic context, the Cuban Revolution, radicalization of politics, and military dictatorships.
That cold chill in the Austin air can only mean one thing: the holidays have finally come, and with them the time to shop for gifts for your loved ones! We know that this time of the year can be hectic and stressful, so we’ve created a Holiday Shopping Guide to the Blanton Museum Shop […]
One of the great things about being a gallery teacher at the Blanton is that you never know what you’re going to learn about an exhibition, about art, or about anything else. And you never know who you’re going to learn it from. In June, I took a group of seven-year-olds for an “Art Trek” […]
Portraits are not as straightforward as they seem. As history progressed, artists began to play with the concept of faithful representation, creating new, intriguing forms of portraiture, ranging from conceptual works that focus on surprising aspects of the subject, to works that many would not immediately recognize as a portrait. Explore works from the Blanton’s collection that range from conventional portraiture to surprising representations in contemporary art.
The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin presents Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s, the first major museum survey to examine, within an historical context, art that emerged in this pivotal decade. The exhibition showcases approximately 45 artists born or practicing in the United States—including Doug Aitken, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Glenn Ligon, Donald Moffett, Shirin Neshat, Catherine Opie, Gabriel Orozco, Shahzia Sikander, Frances Stark, and Kara Walker—and features installation, video, painting, sculpture, drawing, prints, photography, and early Internet art. Organized by the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey, the survey includes works created from 1989 to 2001, and explores a range of social and political issues as diverse as the decade from which they emerged.
The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin presents Xu Bing: Book from the Sky, a monumental installation by celebrated Chinese artist Xu Bing. Regarded as one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century Chinese art, Book from the Sky ushered in the avant-garde movement in post-Mao era China. It also won Xu Bing international recognition, including the prestigious MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award. Since its completion in the early 1990s, this profound meditation on the nature of language has been exhibited globally, a testimony to its provocative power and ability to engage viewers beyond its original context.
The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin presents Goya: Mad Reason, an exhibition of nearly 150 prints and paintings by renowned Spanish court painter Francisco de Goya. The series of prints comprising Goya: Mad Reason—borrowed from Yale University Art Gallery’s distinguished Arthur Ross Collection—illustrate the artist’s mastery of forms and concepts as he grappled with the changing political and intellectual landscape of his native Spain in the early nineteenth century. Yale chose the Blanton as a partner for its Ross Collection sharing initiative, and the Blanton in turn selected Yale’s superb and affecting Goya prints as a foundation for this exhibition. Select paintings on loan from the Kimbell Art Museum, the Meadows Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston will further punctuate Goya: Mad Reason thematically and visually, offering new and insightful ways of understanding the artist’s prints.
The Blanton Museum of Art presents Fixing Shadows: Contemporary Peruvian Photography, 1968–2015, featuring more than 40 works from a transformational period of artistic growth, political turmoil, and social engagement in Peru. Realized in collaboration with the university’s Harry Ransom Center, this exhibition will present photographs from their esteemed collection alongside new Blanton acquisitions. The exhibition further explores the influence of an important generation of photographers working in Peru during the 1970s and 1980s on the practices of a younger generation working since the 1990s. Fixing Shadows includes works by Fernando La Rosa, Mariella Agois, Carlos Domínguez,Milagros de la Torre, and Pablo Hare, among others.