Eva Hesse Drawing / Bill Owens: Suburbia
EVA HESSE DRAWING
08.06.06 - 10.23.06
Born in Hamburg, Germany in 1936, Eva Hesse emerged as one of the most exciting and innovative artists of the 1960s. Working primarily in New York, the artist was a leading protagonist of what has been termed Postminimalism, often relying on systems and geometric forms favored by Minimalist artists but infusing her work with a more unpredictable, organic, and ephemeral quality. Alongside her groundbreaking sculptures of latex, fiberglass, rubber, rope, papier-mache, and paint, Hesse was also a prolific draftsperson throughout her career. This exhibition examines the centrality of working on paper to her overall practice, both as a medium for imagining sculptural form and as a stand-alone artistic pursuit. Over 100 objects will be assembled to trace her work on paper from the torn paper collages she made as a student of Josef Albers in 1959 to the period of 1962-65 when a signature vocabulary of geometric forms, biomorphism, and quasi-mechanical figures emerged, and the coveted “circle drawings" of 1965. It will conclude with late works from 1968-70 where veil-like application of translucent colors predominated. The exhibition will also include a large number of working drawings, sketches, notebooks, and journals which further elucidate her working process and methods. A smaller selection of sculptures will likewise be included to illustrate the tangible connections between the act of drawing and her particular approach to three-dimensional form. The exhibition has been organized for MOCA by The Drawing Center in New York and The Menil Collection in Houston.
Gallery space: The exhibition will occupy 6,000 square feet in MOCA Grand Avenue’s D and E galleries.
Coordinating curator: MOCA Assistant Curator Michael Darling
Catalogue: The exhibition will be accompanied by a 300 page, fully illustrated publication co-published by Yale University Press. It will feature essays covering the entirety of her career by Mignon Nixon, Elisabeth Sussman, Anne Wagner, Catherine de Zegher, Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger, Benjamin Buchloh, Kathryn Tuma, and Briony Fer.
Exhibition tour: The Menil Collection, Houston. February-April 2006 The Drawing Center, New York. May-July, 2006
Eva Hesse Drawing is co-organized by The Drawing Center, New York and The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas, and is generously supported in part by TK.
MOCA's presentation is supported by Susan and Larry Marx and Chara Schreyer.
BILL OWENS: SUBURBIA
08.13.06 - 08.15.06
The exhibition presents a selection of photographs from Owens’s classic 1973 book Suburbia, which captured Americans as they transitioned into home ownership and the great expanse of suburban life. The year 1970 marked the first time that there were more Americans living in the suburbs than anywhere else in the country. As cities became polluted, congested, and less hospitable to residential life, Americans embarked on an urban exodus toward the promise of low traffic cul-de-sacs, thick green lawns, and 4th of July block parties. Suburbia became shorthand for the quaint environment of tract homes and nuclear families, and photographer Bill Owens aptly used it to title his book of the same subject.
Beginning in 1968, Owens worked as a photojournalist for the Livermore Independent (a suburb of San Francisco) and photographed the surrounding environs for over two years. He worked systematically from a script so that his photographs were often premeditated so as to fulfill an overall vision. The result is a collection of intensely astute images accompanied by earnest narrative captions that poignantly reflect the spirit of the time. In 1999 Suburbia was reissued with a handful of new images and the inclusion of some never before seen color photographs from the period. At the time of publication, five portfolios of the black and white photographs were printed to complement the book; it is this portfolio, and six color photographs, that are included in MOCA’s permanent collection. A selection from these photographs will be on view in Bill Owens: Suburbia.
ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG: COMBINES
05.21.06 - 09.04.06
The most complete survey of these unique works ever mounted, this exhibition features more than 70 key Combines created between 1954-1964, an exceptionally productive period in Robert Rauschenberg’s career. From the early 1950s on, Rauschenberg broke down traditional boundaries between painting and sculpture and forged new ground in a multitude of media to invent an artistic expression uniquely his own. MOCA has the largest collection of the Combines, 11 in all, including Untitled (Man with White Shoes), Factum 1, Coca-Cola Plan, and Interview, which provide the foundation for an in-depth and focused examination of these works. The exhibition is curated by MOCA Chief Curator Paul Schimmel and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.
Image: Eva Hesse, Untitled ca. 1963. Inscribed on verso in unknown hand: 23-49. Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on notebook paper 11 x 14 in. (28 x 35.5 cm). Gift of the Eva Hesse Estate to the Rental Collection, 1982; transferred to the permanent collection via R. T. Miller, Jr. Fund, 1994
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