Now available from the Syracuse University Art Galleries Traveling Exhibition Program:
Above and Below:
Skyscrapers to Subways in New York City, 1913-1949
New York City underwent an unprecedented urban transformation during the first half of the 20th Century. The development of the skyscraper had a huge impact on the evolution of Manhattan. The tall buildings were virtual self-contained cities offering a range of services and resources to those who worked in them. Concurrent with the building boom was the ongoing expansion of the city subway. The growth of the transit system created greater flexibility in the relationship between where people lived and worked.
An American in Venice:
James McNeill Whistler and His Legacy
In 1879 American artist James McNeill Whistler arrived in Italy with a commission from the Fine Arts Society of London to create twelve etchings of Venice. Over the ensuing fourteen months the artist produced a body of prints that are among the most important of his career. The prints from Whistler’s Venice period are distinguished by the artist’s original approach to capturing the unique qualities of the canaled city and his innovative use of the etching process.
American Woodblock Prints
During the 19th Century, woodcuts and wood engravings served as the primary media for reproductions in newspapers, magazines, and printed texts. Until the German Expressionists revitalized interest in the technique, most artist/printmakers had preferred to make etchings. Inspired by European avant-garde images, Japanese woodcut designs, and a modern re-interpretation of traditional uses for these media, American artists began to make woodcuts and wood engravings in increasing numbers.
Art in the Detail: 20th Century Masters of Photography
This exhibition is comprised of 30 photographs that explore texture, light, and the interplay of these qualities in the work of established and emerging masters of photography. Working primarily in black and white film, each of the artists in this exhibition possesses the technical skills required to work in photography. In addition, they have an aesthetic “eye” to investigate and explore the environment around them in order to discover new and unique perspectives on the world.
The Artist Revealed: Artist Portraits and Self-Portraits
An artist’s portrait, like all good portraits, offers the viewer more than physical features. One sees the characteristics of the sitter that make that person a unique individual. All artists are involved with, or have a heightened interest in, creative pursuits which makes them interesting candidates for portrait subjects. On the other hand, a self-portrait is an artist’s opportunity to make a statement. Traditional portraiture, especially commissioned ones, often came with expectations that the image be a favorable likeness of the sitter.
Bolton Brown, Lithographer
In the early nineteen hundreds, lithography was seen primarily in this country as a commercial printing technique. The ascendance of the medium as a vehicle for fine art was due in large part to the efforts of Bolton Brown. He pioneered the potentials of lithography from his studio in Woodstock, New York. Brown established himself as one of the nation’s leading lithographers and made prints for George Bellows, John Sloan, Arthur B. Davies, and Frank Benson.
Drawn to Paint: The Art of Jerome Witkin
For decades, Jerome Witkin has been one of America's leading figurative painters. His work springs from a profound love of drawing, a critical intelligence, and an empathetic sensibility. He carries the grand Western European tradition of history painting forward into our era. His work is dramatic and the narratives he envisions reveal themselves through time. The scale of these works pushes the viewer back to apprehend the whole, while the surfaces he creates pull the viewer close to the canvas to admire the beauty of the brushstrokes.
Emilio Sanchez: No Way Home
Images of the Caribbean and New York City
Enrico Sanchez’ life was filled with complexity; both personally and professionally. Born into one of Cuba’s oldest and wealthiest families, he had a conflicted sense of home caused by an early life of continual travel. Eventually, he went to New York City in 1944 to take art classes at Columbia and by 1952 decided to relocate there. Early images portrayed the landscape surrounding his father’s plantation in Cuba and described cane fields dotted with palm trees or working class residences and villages.
Georges Rouault: Cirque de L’Etoile Filante
In 1917 Georges Rouault entered into an exclusive contractual relationship with Parisian publisher and art dealer Ambrose Vollard. Vollard’s riving ambition was to become the greatest publisher of prints and illustrated books and his collaboration with Rouault proved to be one of the most productive in the history of printmaking. The two produced several notable portfolios including Miserere, Les Fleurs du Mal, and Cirque de l’Etoile Filante (Circus of the Shooting Stars). The world of the circus had always interested Rouault through its contrast of superficial brightness with the infinite sadness of circus life.
International Graphic Arts Society:
Modern Prints from the Syracuse University Art Collection
The International Graphic Arts Society (IGAS) was a nonprofit organization founded in 1951 with the dual goals of promoting the work of contemporary printmakers and bringing print media to a wider audience. IGAS served as a driving force behind the post-World War II "Print Renaissance" in the United States for the next two decades. At the core of IGAS was a seven-member jury that was responsible for selecting the artists who would then be commissioned to produce editions that would eventually be sold to IGAS members.
The Life and Art of Mary Petty
Mary Petty began her career with The New Yorker magazine in 1927. Over her four decades with the publication she created a singular style of cartoon illustration that was known for its gentle satire of New York City’s gentility. Central to her imagery were the characters of Mrs. Peabody and her maid, Fay. Of Fay, Petty once wrote, “I have named her ‘Fay’ as that name seemed the one that most nearly expressed her quality- something rather gossamer and fragile….yet very occasionally experiencing the unexpected touch of a benevolent zephyr which wafts her to the heights of timid happiness.”
Lights, Camera, Action: Philippe Halsman’s Hollywood
Philippe Halsman began portrait photography at the age of fifteen. He moved to Paris in his twenties and photographed the writers and actors of the avant-garde. While in Paris Halsman designed his own twin lens reflex camera using a pair of matched 210 mm Tessar lenses. Magazines including Vogue, Voila, and Vu began to give him regular work and his exhibitions gained critical attention. In 1940, with the help of Albert Einstein, he immigrated to New York City. After struggling for two years, Halsman photographed his first cover for Life magazine. He would go on to photograph a record one hundred and one covers for the magazine.
A Magnificent Obsession:
Fine Art Prints and the Changing Landscape of Europe
In the early 19th century, very few artists used printmaking as an original art form. The evolution of ‘mass production’ printmaking techniques, such as the ability to make hundreds or even thousands of similar images in a quick and inexpensive manner, had trumped the medium’s more intimate and handmade qualities that had attracted Rembrandt and his contemporaries. Not until the emergence of William Blake, Goya, Corot, Charles Meryon, and others, did an etching revival take place and other artists began to actively investigate the unique qualities of the hand printed image.
Modernist Prints: 1900-1955
Modern art distinguishes itself from other periods by its ability to embrace simultaneously a variety of aesthetic philosophies and styles. This exhibition examines Modernism’s eclecticism through European and American prints created in the first half of the 20th century. The images represent many of the important artists of the era: Picasso, Kandinsky, Rouault, and Miro from Europe; and Marin, Arthur B. Davies, and Milton Avery from America. The prints illustrate the diversity of modern graphic art from impressionism through abstraction to pure non-objectivist designs.
Monument to a Warlord:
Photographs of Nikko and the Temple of Ieyasu
“Think nothing splendid,” an old Japanese proverb asserts, “until you have seen Nikko.” Located in the mountains north of Tokyo, Nikko is the site of the Tosho-gu, the tomb of Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first shogun of the Edo period. His military victory in 1600 left him the undisputed ruler of the country and founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate that would last for 268 years. Ieyasu’s tomb at Nikko is one of the architectural marvels of Japan. The complex is comprised of fifteen buildings and six formal gates that took twenty years to construct.
Pressing Print: Universal Limited Art Editions 2000-2010
Pressing Print chronicles the recent decade of artwork published by the renowned American printmaking workshops, Universal Limited Art Editions. The exhibition brings together new print works made by the vanguards of 20th century American Art with the emerging artists recently selected to collaborate at Universal. The selections illustrate the impact that artists like Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Helen Frankenthaler and Kiki Smith have had on contemporary art, evident through the work of artists Jason Middelbrook, Amy Cutler and Jane Hammond.
The Prints of Seong Moy
This is a limited retrospective of Seong Moy's career as a printmaker. His early works- small but complicated woodcuts on soft luminous papers- were immediately accepted by artists, curators, and the purchasing public. A painterly quality, so important to his entire graphic output, is evident in much of this work. That this is seen in the color wood block prints is all the more special due to the great sophistication and skill required to achieve the effects.
Pulled, Pressed and Screened: Important American Prints
From the 1930s to the 1980s the printed image in American art went through profound changes. Beginning with the black and white lithographs that were popularized by the regionalists and urban realists, and continuing through the experimental intaglio prints of the 1940s and 1950s, the ‘Pop’ explosion of screenprints in the 1960s, and the precision of super realism in the 1970s, printmaking has captured the imagination of countless American artists. This exhibition of 50 American prints surveys the activities of artists who put designs on paper during this exciting period.
Pure Photography: Pictorial and Modern Photographs
from the Syracuse University Art Collection
Photography’s evolution as an art form has been influenced by countless individuals, thematic styles, and chemical processes. Initially, photography was used largely to document what surrounded or intrigued the public eye. As more individuals began using cameras, the idea grew that photography could be a form of art in addition to a form of documentation. This captured the attention of many artists, most notably Alfred Stieglitz, who formed the Photo Secession and helped establish Pictorialism.
A Tale of Two Cities:
Eugene Atget’s Paris and Berenice Abbott’s New York
More than an exhibition of architectural photography, this show examines the work of two artists who were inextricably linked to each other and to the development of modern photography. Eugene Atget turned to photography after a career of acting on the stage and an earlier stint as a commercial seaman. He was dismayed by the amount of architectural history being destroyed during the modernization of Paris and began photographing the city’s shop fronts, streets, and neighborhoods.
War News and Strange Brews: The Art of Boris Artzybasheff
Boris Artzybasheff was born in Russia in 1899, the son of a successful author. During the Revolution he emigrated to America and settled in New York City. His early work included designing women’s clothing, painting ornaments, lettering in an engraver’s shop and drawing caricatures for the New York World magazine. Eventually he received several commissions to paint murals for local restaurants, which led to his designing stage sets for Michael Fokine’s Russian Ballet.
Winslow Homer and the American Pictorial Press
This exhibition highlights the emerging celebrity of Winslow Homer (1836-1910) and his contemporary ‘designers’ (a term the illustrators preferred) through the engraved images produced for the American pictorial press. Homer’s career as an illustrator began in 1857 and ended in 1875, at which point he dedicated himself solely to painting. During his tenure with such publications as Ballou’s Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper and Harper’s Weekly, Homer created more than 200 illustrations.