Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is overflowing with news. First up: Pablo Picasso’s “Seated Woman in Chemise (1923)” is coming to the museum from the Tate Modern for a three-month loan starting in late April.
Also being loaned: Philip Haas’ “The Four Seasons” sculptures from Sonnabend Gallery, which will go on exhibit Friday, and Rene Magritte’s “L’Anniversaire,” on loan from the Art Gallery of Ontario, will come in the fall. The Picasso and Magritte will be part of a reinstallation of works from Crystal Bridges’ collection of Modernist paintings.
The Arkansas Times Art Bus is making a trip in July; “Seated Woman” should add even more interest to the other show on the menu, “American Made: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum.”
Haas’ “Four Seasons,” inspired by the vegetable heads of the 16h century artist Giuseppe Arcimboldi, will be installed along the Orchard Trail and in the museum courtyard. The heads of the “Four Seasons” are 15 feet tall and constructed of fiberglass. Smaller maquettes of the sculptures will be installed in the museum’s Bridge Gallery. Haas, who is a screenwriter and filmmaker, will give a talk at Crystal Bridges 1-2 p.m. this Friday, April 29.
From the news release on Haas:
Philip Haas, in marrying sculpture, painting, film and architecture, has created a contemporary visual vocabulary all his own. He describes his process as “sculpting by thinking.” Haas’s twenty-first-century interpretation translates the historic paintings into three-dimensional form and connects to nature’s annual cycle of death and renewal. Each bust-length sculpture showcases a medley of vegetation associated with a specific time of year. In Winter, for example, the skin of the subject is represented through oversized forms of fiberglass bark and hair by gnarled tree limbs and ivy. Spring features a riot of flower forms in bright hues arranged to represent a human portrait. The Summer head is adorned with seasonal foliage, while Autumn includes its own cornucopia of fruits and vegetables.
Next up: Five new acquisitions will be part of the “Black Unity” exhibition opening next week, May 4. On exhibit will be 13 works made by eight African American artists in photography, sculpture, painting and tapestry.
The works owned by Crystal Bridges include the famous “A Warm Summer Evening in 1863 (2008)” by Kara Walker; “Liberty Bros. Permanent Daily Circus — Army of Clowns (1995)” by Michael Ray Charles; the sculpture “Black Unity” by Elizabeth Catlett; and four photographs by Carrie Mae Weems.
The show runs through Sept. 5.
“With the increased diversification of our collections, it is exciting to have the opportunity to showcase new acquisitions in an installation that specifically addresses the black experience in this country,” says Alejo Benedetti, Crystal Bridges curator for Black Unity. “This show encourages conversations about race. The unique voices of the artists unite visitors across a shared American identity—in this way black unity is inherently American unity.”