Published: August 19, 2008
A comprehensive selection of works from Harvard Art Museum’s three constituent museums †Fogg, Busch-Reisinger and Arthur M. Sackler †will be shown together for the first time in the exhibition “Re-View,” opening September 13, at the Sackler Museum, 485 Broadway.
Harvard Art Museum holds one of the country’s preeminent art collections, and “Re-View” reflects the diversity and richness of these holdings. The survey features Western art from antiquity to the turn of the last century, Islamic and Asian art, and European and American art since 1900. With a varied sequence of installations †some traditional and some surprising †the exhibition will offer a new way of looking at the collections, which have historically been exhibited in separate facilities.
The works to be on display were selected by the curatorial staff of all three museums, working both independently and collaboratively, thus ensuring a powerful distillation of the collection, balancing a wish to make available major works, familiar works and works integral to the museum’s core mission of teaching and research. As a result, unique groupings of objects are being represented in new spaces with new and interesting juxtapositions.
The art museum’s historic building †current home of the Fogg and Busch-Reisinger †closed on June 30 for a major renovation and expansion project. During the renovation, “Re-View” will be on long-term view at the Sackler.
Works to be on view illustrate artists’ challenges and reconsiderations of longstanding traditions of representation in art, such as the genres of landscape and portraiture, and recent experimentation with nontraditional materials. Works from the Busch-Reisinger collection include Max Beckmann’s oil on canvas “Self-Portrait in Tuxedo,” 1927, and the recent acquisition of Rosemarie Trockel’s sculpture “Shutter (c),” 2006.
Glenn Ligon’s neon sculpture untitled (Negro Sunshine), 2005, and one of Jackson Pollock’s signature “drip technique” paintings, “No. 2,” 1950, are among works from the Fogg collection.
The second floor galleries will showcase the Sackler’s collections of Asian and Islamic Art from 5000 BC to the present. The installations demonstrate relationships and commonalities, and the widely felt need to give visual expression to religious experience.
The evolution of Buddhist sculpture across India, the Himalayas, China, Korea and Japan is also examined. Subsequent galleries feature East Asian painting, Chinese and Korean ceramics, and a near-perfect example of an earthenware sculpture that was made expressly for burial in a tomb.
The fourth-floor galleries will present painting, sculpture and other objects, mainly in the Western tradition, from antiquity to the late Nineteenth Century. The galleries on this floor are generally arranged in chronological order. In several instances, however, works from different periods are juxtaposed, drawing attention not only to technical and stylistic innovations, but to continuities and revivals of themes and styles.
Also on exhibit are works from the Fogg’s American art collection †including the majority of the celebrated Maurice Wertheim collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings, sculptures and drawings.
Throughout the duration of the exhibition, light-sensitive works, such as textiles and works on paper, will change periodically. In addition, a special teaching gallery on the fourth floor will feature three or four temporary installations annually, tied primarily to university courses, as well as other special installations.
For additional information, www.harvardartmuseum.org or 617-495-9400.
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