Current

Celebrating Picasso: Photographs by David Douglas Duncan 
from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

and

Posting Picasso 

Through September 4, 2016
Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Gallery


Sponsored by Travis and Annabelle Johnson
Marketing sponsored by Mithoff Burton Partners


This summer the El Paso Museum of Art will offer two exciting exhibitions sponsored by Travis and Annabelle Johnson that provide new insights into the life, relationships, art, and self-marketing of the most celebrated artist of the last century: Celebrating Picasso: Photographs by David Douglas Duncan  touring from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri; and Posting Picasso, organized in-house and featuring works from the EPMA’s own outstanding collection.  On view from June 26 to September 4, these complementary exhibitions will be installed adjacent to each other in the Museum’s huge Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Gallery.

Celebrating Picasso: Photographs by David Douglas Duncan

One of the twentieth century’s greatest photojournalists, American David Douglas Duncan took his first photograph of Picasso in 1956, catching the artist happily scrubbing himself in his bathtub at his summer home Villa la Californie in southern France. Up to Picasso’s death in 1973, Duncan returned often to visit and photograph, creating an unparalleled visual record of the great artist at work and play. Celebrating Picasso features fifty of Duncan’s black-and-white photos of Picasso and a video interview with the acclaimed photographer, who admired Picasso’s “love…for all work that he touches” and considered Picasso by far his “Best” subject. 

A Program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance with The Texas Commission on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts.  This exhibition is drawn from the collection of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

Posting Picasso 

The most famous modernist master of the twentieth century, Pablo Picasso exhibited continuously across Europe and the rest of the world. Beginning in the second half of the 1940s he began to collaborate in the production of art posters publicizing his exhibitions, and also provided poster designs announcing bullfights and community fairs in southern France or international peace conferences in Nice, Paris, London, and Vienna. Sometimes Picasso designed not only the imagery but also boldly scripted the descriptive text; other times a typographer contributed the accompanying words. Curated by EPMA Senior Curator, Patrick Shaw Cable, and drawn exclusively from the EPMA’s collection of hundreds of Picasso posters donated in 1986 from the Estate of Phyllis Bounds, Posting Picasso reveals a realm of the master’s career that combines his fertile artistic creativity with his active self-promotion.


Image Credits:

David Douglas Duncan, American (b. 1916)
Picasso in Cordoban hat and Spanish cloak, 1957, printed 2013.
Ink jet print. Image: 20 7/8 x 13 7/8 inches.
Gift of David Douglas Duncan, 2014.11.19. Photo: John Lamberton
Collection of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
© 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Vallauris, 1956
Color linocut. Image: 39.37” x 25.98”
Gift of Phyllis Bounds
Collection of El Paso Museum of Art
© 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

Ray Parish Humpbacks and Warheads
Through September 11, 2016
Dede Rogers Special Events Gallery

Willie Ray Parish (American, b.  1947)
Deep Dive (from Humpback series), 1992
Brass, 35” x 42” x 10”
Purchased with funds provided by the Robert U. and Mabel O. Lipscomb Foundation Endowment
Collection of El Paso Museum of Art


Humpbacks and Warheads is the first solo exhibition at the El Paso Museum of Art for an artist who has been a catalyst of the El Paso, Ciudad Juarez and Las Cruces arts community’s for over thirty years. During this time Ray Parish has worked simultaneously as a university Professor of Art, curator, juror and an artist-residency director in addition to being a sculptor of status.

Including one dozen sculptures of metal and wood from El Paso collections, the artwork shown is mostly abstract, but obliquely references real-world issues such as the environment and international, military power-struggles. Throughout his career Parish has questioned the purpose of art and often experimented with the context of art. Three notable examples from his practice are: a public sculpture made by grafting trees together, a public sculpture that is kinetic and/or requires visitor participation and an Airstream trailer with a piano crushed on top.

Parish was born in Mississippi and received his BFA from the University of Mississippi in 1970 and an MFA from the Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles County in 1978. In 1997 he and the artist Becky Hendrick founded the Border Art Residency in La Union, NM. Parish taught sculpture at the UTEP art department from 1984- 2013 inspiring generations of young artists and upon retirement Parish was given Professor Emeritus status.  His public sculptures can be found on display in El Paso, Texas at: three locations on the University of Texas El Paso campus, Wiggins Middle School, and the Sky Boulder Park.  Outside of El Paso Parish’s public sculptures have been exhibited in Taos, NM at the Earthship Visitors Center, Colorado State University, the University of Tennessee, Louisiana State University and the College of Santa Fe. His work is in the permanent collections of: Albuquerque Museum of Art, Baylor University, Mississippi Museum of Art, the El Paso Museum of Art, Santa Fe College, University of Mississippi, and Weber State University.


Intimate Figures: French and American Prints from the Goodman Gift 
Through October 16, 2016

Peter and Margaret de Wetter Gallery

Mary Cassatt (American 1844–1926)
Looking into the Hand Mirror, No. 2, about 1905
Drypoint on paper, 8” x 5 1/2”
Gift of Gertrude A. Goodman
Collection of El Paso Museum of Art


Gertrude Amelia “Sugar” Goodman, community and philanthropic leader of El Paso, passed away peacefully on January 16, 2016. Born and living until her death on Cincinnati Street, she returned to El Paso after graduating in social work from Mills College in California. One of her first important services to her native city was the establishment of an El Paso Chapter of the Texas Social Welfare Association. Goodman’s generous community spirit earned her many honors including being named in 1977 the First Lady of El Paso by Beta Sigma Phi and Woman of the Year by the El Paso Women’s Political Caucus. More particularly, Goodman was an avid art collector and philanthropist; she promoted and befriended many local artists, served as Vice-President of the first Board of Directors of the El Paso Museum of Art Association, and also began the Association’s Members Guild to support the purchase of EPMA acquisitions. 

One of Goodman’s last acts of generosity to this community was to donate almost 200 artworks from her private collection to the El Paso Museum of Art in late 2014. Reflecting Goodman’s own eclectic taste and including some pieces collected by family members, her gift includes regional, international, historical, and contemporary art, and supports the Museum’s collection strengths in American, European, and Mexican art. 

Celebrating “Sugar” Goodman’s art, life, and spirit, the exhibition Intimate Figures: French and American Prints from the Goodman Gift highlights just a portion of her recent donation, and presents some masters not previously represented in our collections, such as the American Mary Cassatt and the Frenchman Henri Matisse. Dating from the nineteenth to the twentieth century and portraying idyllic and everyday figures at labor or rest, the varied prints in the exhibition include works by French Impressionists (Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, and Jean-Louis Forain), American social realists (Barbara Latham, Marion Greenwood, John Sloan, and Fritz Eichenberg), and other artists less easily defined, such as the classically-grounded French modernist Aristide Maillol or the American “magic realist” Ivan Albright.


Female Saints and Heroes
Through November 6, 2016
Dorrance and Olga Roderick Gallery

Anonymous (Mexican, 19th century)
Saint Hedwig, early 19th century
Oil on tin, 13 ¾” x 10”
Gift of Dr. Steven McKnight in honor of Frank and Sara McKnight
Collection of El Paso Museum of Art


The upcoming retablo exhibition focuses on an uncommon retablo subject, the representation of female saints. The El Paso Museum of Art has become the second largest repository of 19th-century Mexican retablos in the United States, with a collection of 900. Out of the entire retablo collection only 5% showcase female saints as the main subject. Though the subject matter is considered hard to find in retablo art, it is an important theme present in the Museum’s collection. Female Saints and Heroes celebrates the piety, wisdom, and physical suffering of female saints and also highlights their influence on the lives of 19th-century Mexican women.  

Devotional images created in the 19th century of female saints were specifically targeted towards a female audience. They were used as practical role models and served to reassure the viewer that she could achieve an intimate spiritual association with Christ. Female saints were portrayed in retablos in a manner that would illustrate the accomplishments of the saints’ labor and determination and highlight their purity and connection with God. Female Saints and Heroes includes the representation of ten saints who encompass this idea: Saint Anne, Saint Barbara, Saint Hedwig, Saint Helen, Saint Gertrude the Great, Mary Margaret Alacoque, Saint Rita of Cascia, Saint Rosalie of Palermo, Saint Teresa, and Saint Wilgefortis/Saint Librada.

A special feature of this exhibition is the representation of women in ex-votos. Ex-votos are narrative images displayed publicly in churches or shrines and used to commemorate a miracle and give thanks to a particular religious figure. They usually include an image of the saint being thanked and a portrayal of the person who commissioned the retablo. The depiction of female donors in ex-votos is important because it showcases women as patrons of the arts in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It also provides proof that commissioning art was an important aspect in the devotional life of Mexican women.    

The existing EPMA retablo collection has come from a variety of sources, but most importantly thanks to gifts from the following major patrons: Nancy Hamilton, Dorrance and Olga Roderick, Frank and Sara McKnight, as well as the McKnight couple’s children, Dr. Steven McKnight, Elizabeth McKnight Manning, and Nancy McKnight Howell. This retablo exhibition celebrating an uncommon category of retablo art represents a continuation of this generosity within one of the most important realms of our institution’s collection and collecting mission.


Modern Stone Totems
Through December 2016
Mac Rogers Fine Arts Gallery

 

 


Modern Stone Totems is a new exhibition of abstract yet figuratively suggestive sculptures installed in early December in the recently named Mac Rogers Fine Arts Gallery.  Variously composed of different types of granite, limestone, marble, and onyx, and dating from 1971 to 1990, the four totem-like modernist stone sculptures entered the EPMA collection as gifts or purchases from 1971 to 2011. The unique surfaces and forms of each piece invite individual study, while their installation together in the space of the Mac Rogers Fine Arts Gallery proposes a dialogue between the works’ muted colors and between their evocative silhouettes. 

The first of these sculptures to enter the collection was The Eagle, carved in 1971 by the Mexican painter and sculptor Leonardo Nierman (born 1932), and gifted by the artist the same year. At first glance the work might suggest the extremely simplified profile of a standing human figure, but then we can observe the sidewise soaring eagle indicated by the title. The sleek and waxy surfaces of this delicately and naturally fissured piece might recall the purified natural forms and contours in the work of Romanian-born French modernist sculptor Brancusi, while its fragile white onyx material transmits light in subtle ways when struck by the sun’s rays through the lobby windows. The other three sculptures in this elegant ensemble were created by American sculptors with strong Texas connections: Song Bird (1963) by Ben Woitena (born 1942); Guardian (1988) by Jill Sablosky (born 1954); and Ellipse (1990) by Jesús Moroles (born 1950). Song Bird was the latest addition to the collection, gifted in 2011 by the previous EPMA director, Becky Duval Reese, and her husband. Fashioned from Georgia gray marble, Song Bird leaves angles of the original rectangular stone slab intact, which encourages us to consider how the artist liberated his forms, and also frames and underlines the compositional sense of ascendant thrust. The sculpture by Jesús Moroles, Ellipse, features Moroles’s favorite medium, granite (in this case, Italian and Texan granites), a material he poetically considers “the core and heart of the universe.” And finally, Sablosky’s multi-piece Guardian incorporates Trani marble with Indiana, Cordova, Fossil, and Leuders limestones. While the varied textures and forms of these four sculptures hint at tactile pleasures and encourage us to imagine their carving, each of them also resembles a modern totem pole, encouraging us to walk between them and consider their potential shared, separate, and suggested meanings.