Past Present Future: Notions of Time in Twentieth-Century Art


Past Present Future: Notions of Time in Twentieth-Century Art

August 29, 2001
December 30, 2001

About the Exhibition

August 29 – December 30, 2001

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.

Past Present Future encompasses eight thematic sections revealing both literal and metaphorical representations of time, with works from various artistic movements, cultural environments, and chronological histories interspersed within the sections. Works by Thomas Hart Benton, Dorothea Lang, and other Depression-era artists from across America reflect a distinct historical moment, depicting the varied social conditions of the 1930s and 1940s, while Latin Americans Sara Grilo, Antonio Berni and others captured the upheaval of their lives as expatriates in New York in the 1960s and 1970s. In contrast, Latin American kinetic artists incorporated actual and perceived movement and time in their experimental works of art, and mid-century American gestural painting and sculpture and stained canvases reveal the evolutionary process of their creation. Further, Max Weber and Joaquín Torres-García adopted the role of visionaries, seeking to reflect new realities and imagine future worlds through artistic investigations. Other twentieth-century painters, as varied in style and technique as Marsden Hartley, Armando Morales, Mark Rothko, and Fernando de Szyszlo, drew upon the past as inspiration, referencing history, mythology, nostalgia, memory, and the unconscious to inform their abstracted views of nature.

Past Present Future begins an exciting new series of thematic exhibitions that will extend over the next three years. Both brand-new and much beloved works from the Museum’s permanent collection will be joined by works on loan from leading private and public collections in the region. Past Present Future presents an analogy to the current circumstances at the Blanton. As the Museum expands its collection in preparation for a new facility, the Blanton Museum of Art itself is enjoying a transition period that spans past, present, and future.

Past Present Future: Notions of Time in Twentieth-Century Art was organized by Blanton curatorial staff Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, Curator of American and Contemporary Art; Christina Harrison, Interim Curator of Latin American Art; and Stephanie Hanor, Assistant Curator of American and Contemporary Art. A color brochure will accompany the exhibition.

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