Spring Arts - Art: First-ever survey of Korean art
The special treat for Philadelphians during the first half of 2014 will be an unprecedented exhibition of Korean art, much of it on loan from South Korean museums. But generally, the admirers of American art and design will be noticeably well-served during the coming months.
Between now and late summer, at least eight major museum shows in the region will feature historical and contemporary art by Americans.
The attractions include Frank Lloyd Wright's designs for interiors, furniture, a survey of still-life painting, African American works on paper, recent performance art, and monographic exhibitions for Charles Burchfield and furniture-maker Paul Evans.
- Edward J. Sozanski, contributing art critic
Spring Arts: >Inquirer.com
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Essence of Nature. Painter Paul Harryn creates abstractions based on cues taken from nature, whether in eastern Pennsylvania, coastal California, or the Mojave Desert. A show in Allentown surveys his production in several media over the last few decades. (Allentown Art Museum, now through May 18, 610-432-4333 or www.allentownartmuseum.org).
Bold Strokes. In the 1940s and 1950s, Quita Brodhead (1901-2002) developed large-scale, abstract paintings that put her at the cutting edge of artistic expression in the United States. This retrospective exhibition includes eight decades of work, showcasing the evolution of her art from early figurative work into bold, gestural abstraction. (Woodmere Art Museum, Feb. 8 to June 1, 215-247-0476 or www.woodmereartmuseum.org).
Ruffneck Constructivists. A group exhibition curated by artist Kara Walker brings together 11 international artists who define a contemporary manifesto of urban architecture and change. Working in sculpture, photography, and video, the artists are described by Walker as "defiant shapers of environments." (Institute of Contemporary Art, Feb. 12 to Aug. 17, 215-898-7108 or www.icaphila.org).
Crafting Modernism. Designer-craftsman Paul Evans (1931-1987), a Bucks County native, was a designer of unique sculpted-metal furniture. This comprehensive survey of 65 works affirms his stature as a leader of the American studio furniture movement. (James A. Michener Art Museum, March 1 to June 1, 215-340-9800 or www.michenerartmuseum.org).
Treasures from Korea. The first full-scale survey in this country of art from the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) consists of more than 150 works loaned primarily by the National Museum of Korea, including a number of national treasures. (Philadelphia Museum of Art, March 2 to May 26, 215-763-8100 or www.philamuseum.org).
Photographing Philadelphia. Cuban-born Abelardo Morell creates pictures in Philadelphia museums that reference art in their collections; Philadelphia photographer Will Brown's images are discrete, momentary records of a time when the health of many American cities was imperiled. (Fabric Workshop & Museum, May 2 to late summer, 215-561-8888 or www.fabricworkshopandmuseum.org).
Abstraction evolves. Through 27 paintings, "Rothko to Richter" traces the development of abstract art between 1950 and 1990. Other artists include Willem de Kooning, Morris Louis, Robert Motherwell, Hans Hofmann, and Franz Kline. (Princeton University Art Museum, May 24 to Oct. 5, 609-258-3788 or http://artmuseum.princeton.edu).
Wright interiors, classic chairs. Drawings and photographs examine how Frank Lloyd Wright created the visual character of his interiors. A Wright chair will be included in a companion show of more than 50 innovative American chair designs, from early 19th century to modern. (Reading Public Museum, May 31 to July 27, 610-371-5850 or www.readingpublicmuseum.org).
African American masterworks. More than 70 works on paper from the famed Harmon and Harriet Kelley collection of San Antonio, Texas, will go on view in Philadelphia in late June. Artists include Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Aaron Douglas, and Elizabeth Catlett. (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, June 27 to Oct. 12, 215-972-7600 or www.pafa.org).
History of still life. "Audubon to Warhol" traces the evolution of American still-life painting from the turn of the 19th century through the popularity of "fool-the-eye" illusionism to modern abstractions by Arthur B. Carles. (Philadelphia Museum of Art, July 1 to Sept. 7, 215-763-8100 or www.philamuseum.org).
Performance now. This survey of visual performance art at the start of the 21st century examines the role the medium has taken in contemporary art and culture today. The exhibition comprises work by leading performance artists, including Marina Abramovic, Christian Jankowski, William Kentridge, and Laurie Simmons. (Delaware Art Museum, July 12 to Sept. 21, 302-571-9590 or www.delart.org).
Nature exalted. More than 50 of the vibrant, visionary landscapes painted by Charles Burchfield, one of the most important American artists of the last century, go on view in Chadds Ford in late summer. Burchfield's luminous, spiritual interpretations are as fresh today as when he created them. (Brandywine River Museum, Aug. 23 to Nov. 16, 610-388-2700 or www.brandywinemuseum.org).