previews

  • Klee and America

    The Menil Collection
    1533 Sul Ross Street
    October 6, 2006–January 14, 2007

    Neue Galerie New York
    1048 Fifth Avenue
    March 9–May 22, 2006

    The Phillips Collection
    1600 21st Street NW
    June 16–September 10, 2006

    Curated by Josef Helfenstein

    Walter Benjamin famously interpreted Klee's Angelus Novus, 1920, as a figure that turns toward the past while history pushes forward. Similarly, “Klee and America” (organized by Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection) builds on the success of MoMA's 1987 retrospective and the collection-specific “Paul Klee at the Guggenheim Museum” in 1993, while shedding new light on the Swiss painter's legacy in the US. Through more than sixty oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings, as well as documentary material on influential collectors like Alfred Barr and Galka Scheyer, the exhibition focuses on the artist's increasing popularity in America during the late '30s and '40s, after Hitler's campaign against “degenerate” art caused the European market for his work to collapse.

    Travels to the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, June 16–Sept. 10; Menil Collection, Houston, Oct. 6, 2006–Jan. 14, 2007.

  • Frank Stella 1958

    Harvard Art Museums
    32 Quincy Street
    February 4–May 7, 2006

    Wexner Center for the Arts
    The Ohio State University 1871 North High Street
    September 9–December 31, 2006

    The Menil Collection
    1533 Sul Ross Street
    May 25–August 20, 2006

    Curated by Harry Cooper and Megan R. Luke

    In 1968, a decade into Stella's groundbreaking career, David Antin could only shake his head: “Frank Stella is also not the Frank Stella everybody thought he was.” The search for the real Stella continues with this exhibition, which gathers twenty works (many previously overlooked, even by the catalogue raisonné) from the months in 1958 leading up to the “Black Paintings”—when a freshly graduated Stella shared studio space with Carl Andre, attended lectures by an increasingly optical-minded Clement Greenberg, gawked at the sudden rise of Jasper Johns's “anti-art,” and concocted colorful, drooling, often funky paintings that both prepared for and violate the uniformity and order of the logolike canvases to come.

    Travels to the Menil Collection, Houston, May 25–Aug. 20; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columus, OH, Sept 9-Dec. 31.

  • Eva Hesse

    The Menil Collection
    1533 Sul Ross Street
    February 3–April 23, 2006

    MOCA Geffen Contemporary
    152 North Central Avenue
    August 6–October 23, 2006

    The Drawing Center
    35 Wooster Street
    July 25, 2013–July 15, 2006

    Curated by Catherine de Zegher and Elisabeth Sussman

    Eva Hesse spent much of her decade-long career engaged in drawing—at times even in her sculpture. Perhaps more than any artist of her generation (with the possible exceptions of Fred Sandback and Richard Tuttle), she brought qualities of line off the page into her work in three dimensions. Following Hesse's landmark multimedia retrospective in 2002, this exhibition, co-organized by the Drawing Center and the Menil Collection, brings drawings to the fore with a survey of one hundred “finished” works on paper, supplemented by a selection of Hesse's 1965 reliefs, a small group of sculptural works, and rarely seen notebooks and diaries.

    Travels to the Drawing Center, New York, May 6–July 15; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Aug. 6–Oct. 23.

  • “Courbet and the Modern Landscape”

    Walters Art Museum

    October 15, 2006–January 7, 2007

    The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
    1001 Bissonnet
    June 18–September 10, 2006

    The Getty Center
    1200 Getty Center Drive
    February 21–May 14, 2006

    Curated by Charlotte Eyeman and Mary Morton

    Major museum exhibitions of Courbet are rare in the US (the last one was at the Brooklyn Museum almost twenty years ago). And when they do occur, they tend to be large and unwieldy, as if to make up for their infrequency. We should therefore applaud the Getty for its less-is-more approach: About forty landscapes centered around the crucial decade of the 1860s—many rarely seen together and a handful never before exhibited in the US—should focus attention on Courbet's disturbing and at times erotic brand of naturalism, the kind of work that so impressed later generations of modernist painters. One regrets that LACMA's Cézanne and Pissarro show closes before Courbet comes to town.

    Travels to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, June 18–Sept. 10; Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Oct. 15, 2006–Jan. 7, 2007.