10.11.2020 – 0027 – Selection of Exhibitions

Chicago – Illinois – Art Institute Chicago – 05/09/2020 – 18/01/2021

Monet and Chicago – When Monet’s paintings first appeared alongside his contemporaries’ in a Chicago gallery in 1888, he was singled out for praise by the press. And when his works were shown in the city again as part of the last Inter-State Industrial Exposition in Chicago (also known as the “American Salon”) in 1890, they not only captured the eye of local collectors—they ignited a collective passion.

In 1891, Bertha and Potter Palmer acquired some 20 paintings by Monet—including several from the Stacks of Wheat series—a fraction of the 90 canvases they would come to own. That year, Martin A. Ryerson, who served as a trustee and eventual vice-president of the Art Institute, bought his first of many paintings by the artist. As president of the Board of Lady Managers for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Bertha oversaw the creation of the Woman’s Building. The international fair, which featured an exhibition of 129 works from American private collections, including four paintings by Monet, showcased a city still reimagining itself after the Great Fire of 1871 and one eager to embrace not only the technology but the aesthetics of modernity. And who had a more modern artistic vision than Monet?

Inspired by these influential tastemakers, private groups and collectors eagerly followed their lead. In 1895, the Union League Club of Chicago purchased Apple Trees in Blossom (1872), which was also shown at the Art Institute that year in the exhibition 20 Works by Claude Monet, the artist’s first solo show at a museum in the United States. In 1903, the Art Institute became the first American museum to purchase one of Monet’s paintings and in the decades that followed, the museum’s collection grew thanks to generous gifts from several donors, including Annie Coburn, former two-time Chicago Mayor Carter Harrison Jr., the Searle family, and others. In keeping with the theme of firsts,Monet and Chicago is the first exhibition to explore Chicago’s pioneering connection to the great Impressionist artist.

Baltimore – Maryland – Baltimore Museum of Art – 01/09/2020 – 03/01/2021

Katharina Grosse: Is It You? – German artist Katharina Grosse’s exuberant large-scale, in-situ paintings explore how and where a painted image can appear in our lives. Often painted directly onto and across architectural structures and objects or into landscapes, her extraordinary, colorful works invite visitors to engage with painting on both a visual and a physical level.

For this exhibition at the BMA, the internationally acclaimed artist will present five recent paintings and create a new site-related environment, Is It You? The expansive installation will transform the central gallery in the Contemporary Wing by partially suspending cloth from the ceiling, creating an enveloping “room” with undulating walls. Grosse will then spray paint onto the fabric, allowing the paint colors and the shape of the fabric to combine to form a vibrant and immersive experience for visitors.

Denver – Colorado – Denver Art Museum – 25/10/2020 – 24/01/2021

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection explores the Mexican modernism movement through more than 150 artworks.

Featuring paintings and photographs by internationally celebrated artists Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Gunther Gerzso, María Izquierdo, Carlos Mérida, and others, the exhibition takes a closer look at the role that art, artists, and their supporters played in the emergence of national identity and creative spirit after the Mexican Revolution ended in 1920.

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are often credited as having played a crucial role in establishing a Mexican avant-garde. Their body of work often incorporated portrayals of mexicanidad, an identity born of Mexico’s ancient cultures and its colonial past that projected a visionary future. The exhibition will showcase 13 works by Diego, including his 1943 painting Calla Lilly Vendor. In addition, the exhibition will explore his famous murals that incorporated social and political messages aimed at reunifying Mexicans after the revolution.

The exhibition will include more than 20 of Frida’s paintings and drawings inspired by personal experience, Mexican folk art, and a world view that embraced contradictions, often called magical realism. Of these works, seven are self-portraits, including her 1943 painting Diego on my Mind.

Most of the works on view will be from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Jacques and Natasha assembled a robust collection of Mexican modernist artworks by collecting primarily from friends, such as Frida and Diego, who completed commissioned paintings for the family.