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.
The Blanton recently opened the second phase of Re-envisioning the Virgin Mary: Colonial Paintings from South America. Featuring loans from one of the country’s most distinguished collections of colonial South American art—the Marilynn and Carl Thoma Collection of Chicago—the exhibition investigates representations of the Virgin that emerged within colonial Latin America during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Past Present Future: Notions of Time in Twentieth-Century Art features works from the Blanton’s renowned collections of twentieth-century American and Latin American art, exhibited together for the first time. Focusing on art created between 1915 and the early 1980s, the exhibition explores the multiple ways that artists have questioned, interpreted, and reflected temporality in their art. The exhibition’s design and content provide an innovative framework for considering a range of artistic developments in Latin America and the United States.
Last fall, the Blanton initiated a series entitled 500 Years of Prints and Drawings, which features groups of exhibitions that highlight the Blanton’s encyclopedic collection of works on paper. With works of art representing the 15th through the 20th centuries, the series draws exclusively from the Museum’s own collection to present focused inquiries into artists, techniques, processes, or artistic trends particular to a period of time in the history of Western art.
Throughout the period 1870–1950, American painters were struggling to synthesize the lessons of European masters while still creating images that were meaningful for their own place and time. Over decades of trial and error, an American-flavored modernist vision developed, and this exhibition, drawn from works in the Blanton’s permanent collection, traces developments in American painting during this dramatic period of stylistic innovations and artistic breakthroughs. The exhibition begins with realist paintings by turn-of-the-century artists such as Thomas Eakins, Thomas Moran, John Twachtman, William Merritt Chase, and Robert Henri, whose figure studies, portraits and landscapes incorporate a wide range of responses to the American character.
The Blanton continues its series of exhibitions revealing the many strengths of its collection of works on paper. Representing the 16th through 20th centuries, five focused presentations each explore a different, theme, technique, or artist from one century in the history of art.
In the 1960s a group of Argentine artists, inspired by advances in technology and the Constructivist tradition in Latin America and in Europe, began experimenting with the depiction of perceived space and spatial relationships in non-representational paintings. Known as Arte Generativo artists, they manipulated the most basic artistic elements—color, line, and form—to create abstract, three-dimensional painted spaces on two-dimensional surfaces, challenging the traditional uses of perspective in representational painting. Surface and Subtext brings together paintings from the 1960s through the early 1980s by Ary Brizzi, Miguel Angel Vidal, and Eduardo Mac Entyre, along with works by Omar Rayo and Manuel Espinosa, who were not associated with Arte Generativo, although they similarly defied the limitations of the flat surface in their paintings. With works drawn entirely from the Blanton’s permanent collection, this exhibition suggests the ideological, artistic, and social significance of geometric abstraction in Latin America during these decades.
Cartoon Noir presents a small selection of the Blanton’s most recent acquisitions of contemporary art. The exhibition features brand–new mixed media works by Trenton Doyle Hancock, Arturo Herrera, and Jeremy Blake and a recent work by Ellen Gallagher, each of which obliquely cites the darker side of cartooning and animation traditions through imagery or story line.
Five intimate exhibitions that highlight the range and depth of the Blanton’s collection of prints and drawings. Each of the five exhibitions can be enjoyed on its own as a thematic exploration of works from one specific century. Together, the exhibitions trace the history of art from the 15th through the 20th centuries, revealing the evolving techniques, uses, and developments of works on paper in Europe and the United States.
time/frame continues the Blanton’s exploration of temporality in 20th–century art. The exhibition features works drawn primarily from the Museum’s significant contemporary Latin American collections, presenting important paintings, sculpture, installations, and other works side-by-side for the first time. Visitors have the opportunity to consider juxtapositions of large-scale paintings by Vernon Fisher and Liliana Porter; photo-based, mixed media works by Gonzalo Diaz, Glenn Ligon, and Eugenio Dittborn; architecturally scaled, painted constructions by Anselm Kiefer, Fabian Marcaccio, and Luis Frangella; multi-media installations by Shahzia Sikander and Bill Lundberg; and sculpture by Anne Chu, Richard Deacon, and Terry Adkins, among other thought-provoking works. Time and point of view are explored in time/frame through literal and metaphorical representations of duration, speed, simultaneity, transformation, continuity and discontinuity, and construction of cultural identity. The exhibition showcases a number of newly acquired works, as well as a select few on loan from Texas private collections, by artists as varied as Vito Acconci, Annette Lawrence, Manglano-Ovalle, David Reed, Leon Ferrari, John Valadez, Diana Thater, Ana Mendieta, and Tatsuo Miyajima.
This experimental exhibition presents four contemporary works of art that explore notions of personal, racial, and cultural identity.
This final installment of the Projections series of contemporary film and video works, selected by the Blanton’s assistant curator of American and Contemporary art, Kelly Baum, showcases videos and films by emerging and established women artists. The works provocatively challenge gender stereotypes, assert female empowerment, and reveal how women from a variety of backgrounds approach feminism.
Painted egg cartons, a drawing on a leaf, a written action statement, video documentation of nude “happenings” and a perforated canvas hung away from the wall play off more conventional works as the Blanton’s curator of American and Contemporary art, Annete DiMeo Carlozzi, guides visitors through the artistic production of four maverick women artists active in the 1950s–1980s: Yayoi Kusama, Lee Lozano, Ana Mendieta, and Joan Semmel.
The Blanton’s new curator of Latin American art, Gabriel Perez-Barreiro, emerges this fall with his first major exhibition for the Blanton. Lo feo de este mundo investigates works by artists who reject ideas of beauty in favor of the ugly, deformed, and imperfect. The exhibition features more than 40 works by Latin American artists such as Jose Luis Cuevas, Antonio Berni, and Liliana Porter, who reveal a concern with the darker side of life and an implicit rejection of the progressive theories of modernity.
Still only beginning to reveal the wealth and personality of the recently acquired Leo Steinberg Collection, the Blanton’s curator of prints, drawings, and European paintings, Jonathan Bober, presents a second selection of 100 works, illustrating the history of prints and printmaking from the 16th through the 20th centuries. These range from rarities of Italian Mannerist engraving and the German “Little Masters,” to masterpieces by Picasso and Matisse.
Among American painters, the period 1958–1963 was a one of intense experimentation and increased activity that resulted in a profusion of new modes of representation. This exhibition is the second installment in an exploration of the burst of artistic activity that took place in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Blanton’s collection of paintings from 1958–1963 is particularly rich, and Painting Explosion, Part II allows the public to become acquainted with an even broader cross–section of the museum’s permanent collection. While many works from Part I will remain on view, others will be replaced by additional paintings from the Blanton’s permanent collection, offering a fresh perspective on this historic period.
The late 1950s and early 1960s was a period of great transition in American art. Among American painters, especially those based in New York City, this time was one of intense experimentation and increased activity that resulted in a profusion of new modes of representation. Thanks to the foresight of Mari and James A. Michener and other donors, the Blanton’s collection of 20th-century American paintings represents the period 1958–1963 in extraordinary depth and breadth. Painting Explosion features more than 40 works from the Blanton’s collection that survey the wide spectrum of artistic styles and concerns prevalent during this historic era. The exhibition includes major works by Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Larry Rivers, Ellsworth Kelly, Helen Frankenthaler, and Adolph Gottlieb—signature paintings with which the Blanton’s collection is often identified—as well as lesser known but important works by Robert Motherwell, Al Held, Robert Indiana, Yayoi Kusama, Ludwig Sander, Leon Golub, Norman Lewis and others.