Thu, 27 April 2017
Episode No. 286 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features historian and curator Ellen McBreen and historian Darby English.
Along with Helen Burnham and Ann Dumas, McBreen is a co-curator of "Matisse in the Studio," which is at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston through July 9. The exhibition examines how objects in Matisse's home and studio informed -- and often ended up in -- his art. These objects include a simple chocolate pot, a tacky chair, an inexpensive glass vase probably made for the tourist market and textiles, such as Kuba cloth. The exhibition includes about 34 paintings, 26 drawings, 11 sculptures, seven cut-outs and about three dozen objects Matisse owned.
From Boston the exhibition will travel to the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Its excellent catalogue, which was published by the MFAB, is available from Amazon for $34.
McBreen is an associate professor of art history at Wheaton College. Her most recent book is "Matisse's Sculpture: The Pinup and the Primitive," which was published by Yale University Press in 2014.
On the second segment, University of Chicago professor Darby English discusses his new book "1971: A Year in the Life of Color." The book, which was published by University of Chicago Press, considers two exhibitions -- Contemporary Black Artists in America at the Whitney Museum of American Art and The DeLuxe Show, a racially integrated exhibition of abstract art presented in a renovated movie theater in Houston's inner-city Fifth Ward. English finds that many black artists of the period were less interested in a specifically so-called "black aesthetic," than they were in cultural interaction across racial lines. He points to color and how these artists used it as a key way in which they engaged other artists.