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James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903)
Little Evelyn, 1896
Steven Block

The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler

from the Collection of Steven Block – August 12 - November 2, 2003

Drawn from the largest extant private collection of James McNeill Whistler’s lithographs, this exhibition features 86 works executed between 1878 and 1903. Although best known for his exquisite painted portraits, Whistler was an accomplished printmaker whose lithographs offer insight into a more introspective side of the artist’s career. First introduced to lithography in 1878, Whistler’s interest in the medium never waned and he experimented with lithography intermittently until his death in 1903. Works included in this exhibition depict intimate scenes from daily life, delicate landscapes, and images of the friends and family closest to the artist. In addition to black and white lithographs, the exhibition will also feature examples of Whistler’s very rare colored lithographs, a technique with which he began to experiment in 1890. Whistler’s lithographs have been described as his most abstract, yet personal, form of expression. This exhibition is organized by The Trust for Museum Exhibitions.

America through the Eyes of Its Artists
Prints and Drawings from the Collection of Steven Block
August 12 – November 2, 2003

Joseph Pennell (American, 1860-1926)
Standard Oil Building, 1923
Collection of Steven Block

The prints and drawings featured in this exhibition were created by Americans during the first half of the twentieth century. They show artists exploring the world around them—making satirical social comments, glorifying the blue-collar worker and American ingenuity, looking back at rural America with a sense of nostalgia, and exploring new forms of visual expression. But more than anything, these works of art reveal the way that Americans related to one another and perceived themselves in the new, modern era.

The early twentieth century was a period of enormous change in the United States. The population became increasingly urban; towering skyscrapers forever changed the silhouette of American cities; women began experiencing greater freedom—intellectually, professionally, socially, and sexually—prompting new perceptions of them and their roles in society; industrialization impacted daily lives, affecting everything from the jobs Americans worked to the modes of transportation they employed. Artistically, American artists began to adopt and adapt the modernist styles of Europe for their own expressive means. Along with all of the positive changes America experienced, there were also negative consequences: increased poverty, alcohol abuse, prostitution and promiscuity, and an ever-widening gap between the classes.

Roy Lichtenstein
Nude with Abstract Painting, 1994
Oil and magna on canvas
The Douglas S. Cramer Collection
© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Reverie: Works from the Collection of Douglas S. Cramer
July 22 – October 5, 2003

Douglas S. Cramer, a Louisville native and producer of such television series as The Odd Couple, Dynasty and The Brady Bunch is also considered one of America’s leading collectors of contemporary art.

This exhibition has been selected from Cramer's current collection of paintings and drawings. Reverie explores the representation of the body in contemporary paintings and drawings and speaks of human engagement, sexuality, tenderness, and desire. The exhibition reveals the collectors intuitive logic, which represents the musings of his reverie. In turn, individual works-such as Lichtenstein's Nude with Abstract Painting (1994), or Lari Pittman's Reason to Rebuild (1986)-lead the viewer's eye toward a reverie of interpretations. In all of these paintings and drawings the surface of the work claims parity with depiction, folding representation into the material that it is made of.

Artists in the exhibition are Ghada Amer, Cecily Brown, John Currin, Inka Essenhigh, Eric Fischl, David Hockney, Kurt Kauper, Roy Lichtenstein, Elizabeth Peyton, Lari Pittman, David Salle, Lisa Yuskavage, and Andy Warhol.

Selections from the Chellgren Gift
February 17 – August 17, 2003

Patrick Caulfield (English, born 1936)
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon vues de Derrière, 1999
Gift of Sheila M. and Paul W. Chellgren

The Speed Art Museum ha received a major gift of 153 contemporary artists’ prints by 17 artists, given by Sheila M. and Paul W. Chellgren. Encompassing important British and other European artists, the Chellgren gift is an informed and significant collection that adds new depth to the contemporary holdings of the Speed and continues efforts to develop the contemporary art collection in an international direction.

Selections from the Chellgren Gift is an exhibition of works by 15 artists in the collection. While giving a first glimpse of the quality and variety of the collection, it also offers an opportunity to explore and enjoy the richly imaginative ways in which artists use print media today. Represented here are artists associated with the Pop Art and Conceptual movements, as well as a group of renowned painters. Among the 21 engaging works on display, highlights include: Patrick Caulfield’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon vues de Derrière, a tongue-in-cheek homage to Pablo Picasso; Richard Hamilton’s How a Great Daily Organ Is Made Up, a multiple etching and aquatint after novelist James Joyce’s Ulysses; Mimmo Paladino’s Ukiyo-e, a complex exploration of materials and techniques; Hamish Fulton’s poetic Ten One Day Walks From and to Kyoto July 1994; and Howard Hodgkin’s eloquent Venice, Morning.

Other artists represented in the exhibition are Gillian Ayres, Peter Blake, Michael Craig-Martin, Grenville Davey, Langlands and Bell, Ian McKeever, Julian Opie, Joe Tilson, Bill Woodrow, and Catherine Yass.

The Light Within: Glass Sculpture from Louisville Collections – April 15 - June 29, 2003

Thanks to numerous local collectors, Louisville is home to an exceptional range of contemporary glass. Drawing on this resource, The Light Within: Glass Sculpture from Louisville Collections will gather together over 50 outstanding examples of contemporary glass sculpture.

Jon Kuhn (American, born 1949)
Cube, 2001
Cut, polished, and laminated glass
14 in. h. x 14 in. w. x 14 in. d.
Collection of Merrily Orsini and Rick Heath
Photograph by Ken Hayden

Richard Marquis (American, born 1945)
d'Marquis Bubbleboy #2, 1998
Blown glass, glass shards, murrine
29 ¸ in. h. x 12 in. w. x 7 in. d.
The Speed Art Museum
Partial and promised gift, Adele and Leonard Leight Collection 1999.16.8
Photograph by Ken Hayden

Monumental works will include brooding, introspective pieces by Sweden's Bertil Vallien and the Czech husband and wife team of Stanislav Libenskà and Jaroslava Brychtový. Smaller scale works will also be included, such as a glass and barbed wire purse by Silvia Levenson, an artist interested in gender-related issues. Throughout the exhibition, pieces will be unified by the pure visceral and visual appeal of glass: in William Morris's Trophy, tour-de-force artistry transforms glass into a mysteriously decorated antelope skull, while Richard Jolley's Web of Life and Love explores contemporary life with brilliant color and meticulous skill.

The Light Within will be one of four concurrent exhibitions of contemporary glass scheduled for Kentucky Derby time in 2003. Institutions hosting the other three glass exhibitions are the Kentucky Art and Craft Gallery, Glassworks and the Louisville Visual Arts Association. Working together, the four institutions will deliver a vibrant, community-wide presentation of glass art.

Museum Architecture Around the World
January 29 – March 29, 2003

An advisory committee of The Speed Art Museum has spent the last year-and-a-half visiting museums, talking with directors and curators, and discussing the issues surrounding museum building projects. The committee, comprised of present and former members of the Speed’s Board of Governors, Director Peter Morrin, senior administrative staff from the museum, and Louisville arts patrons, has visited over 50 museums in 15 cities around the world on five separate tours. Dean David Mohney of the University of Kentucky College of Architecture and Design organized the committee’s work and the tours.

Jewish Museum Berlin
Architect Fassade Libeskin-Bau
Copyright: Jewish Museum Berlin
Photo: Jens Ziehe Berlin

The Santiago Calatrava – Designed Quadracci Pavillion
Milwaukee Art Museum
Photo by Jim Brozek

Museums built by some of the world’s leading architects, as well as relatively unknown and emerging designers, were included. This exhibition describes the committee’s process, travel, and the precedents offered by other museums.

The committee’s travels took them to Milwaukee to see Santiago Calatrava’s stunning new addition; the Frank Gehry design for the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain; the Jewish Museum in Berlin, by Daniel Libeskind; and Peter Zumthor’s Kunsthaas in Bregenz, Austria, among many other projects. Each of the museums visited invested in internationally important architecture thus revitalizing itself and its surrounding neighborhoods as well as the city as a whole.

The exhibition may also be viewed at the Urban Design Studio operated by the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville at 507 South Third Street. Hours at the Urban Design Studio are 12:00 to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and by appointment on Saturday.



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