Rank #1: Matisse and decoration, Kimbell's new Bonnard
Episode No. 366 features art historian John Klein and curator George Shackelford.
Klein is the author of "Matisse and Decoration," a new look at how Matisse's interest in the French decorative tradition informed and motivated his work throughout his career, but especially between 1935 and his death in 1954. The book details how Matisse translated decoration into easel painting, as well as into significant commissions for private individuals in the United States and Europe. The book also reveals how Matisse responded to the crisis of World War II and helped participate in France's post-war revival through decorative projects. The book was published by Yale University Press. It is available from Amazon for $39.
On the second segment, Kimbell Art Museum curator and senior deputy director George Shackelford discusses his museum's recent acquisition of a major Pierre Bonnard, Landscape at Le Cannet (1928). The painting, a four-foot-by-nine-foot Bonnardian address of the French decorative tradition, is now on view at the Kimbell.
Rank #2: Hilma af Klint, Frans Hals
Episode No. 363 features curators Tracey Bashkoff and Lawrence W. Nichols.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York is showing "Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future," a survey of Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862-1944). The exhibition features more than 170 of af Klint’s artworks with a focus on the artist’s most significant period, from 1906–20, when her interest in spirtualism helped push her toward non-objective imagery. It is the first major solo exhibition of af Klint's work in the United States. Tracey Bashkoff curated the exhibition with assistance from David Horowitz. It will be on view through April 23, 2019. The exhibition's excellent catalogue was published by the Guggenheim. Amazon offers it for $40.
On the second segment, Lawrence W. Nichols discusses "Frans Hals Family Portraits: A Reunion," at the Toledo Museum of Art. It is the first exhibition devoted to Hals's family portraiture. The show was motivated by Toledo's 2011 acquisition of Hals's Van Campen Family Portrait in a Landscape and the recent conservation of Hals's Three Children of the Van Campen Family at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels. The Toledo and Brussels canvases were originally a single painting, separated for unknown reasons in either the late 18th or early 19th century. Toledo has reunited the two paintings for this show, along with a third, a fragment of a painting presently in a private collection. The exhibition is in Toledo through Jan. 6, 2019. The exhibition catalogue was published by Hirmer. Amazon offers it for $33.
Rank #3: Twombly's Fifty Days at Iliam, Sadie Barnette
Episode No. 378 features historian Richard Fletcher and artist Sadie Barnette.
Yale University Press has just published "Cy Twombly: Fifty Days at Iliam," a monograph about Twombly's famed 1978 paintings series at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The book features the paintings and related works, as well as a conversation with Annabelle D‘Huart and essays by Carlos Basualdo, Emily Greenwood, Olena Chervonik, and Nicola Del Roscio and this week's guest, Richard Fletcher. Amazon offers it for $32.
Over the course of the ten paintings of "Fifty Days at Iliam," Twombly addresses the Trojan War through Alexander Pope’s 18th-century translation of Homer’s Iliad. Fletcher is a professor at The Ohio State University. His previous work has examined how contemporary artists have engaged with classical antiquity.
On the second segment, Sadie Barnette discusses her Dear 1968… on the occasion of an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego last year. The installation was the result of Barnette’s research into her family history, specifically her father’s participation in the Black Panther Party and the FBI’s surveillance of him. For images, please see the show page for Episode No. 350. Barnette is an Oakland-based artist whose work often explores urbanity, architecture, resistance and survival. "Phone Home," an exhibition of Barnette's recent work, is on view at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco through April 14.
Rank #4: Joan Miró, Pop América
Episode No. 384 features curators Anne Umland and Esther Gabara.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York is presenting "Joan Miró: Birth of the World." While most of the exhibition comes from MoMA's excellent Miró collection, it is augmented by several key loans, including the early The Table (Still Life with Rabbit) (1920-21). Umland curated the presentation with assistance from Laura Braverman. It is on view through June 15.
On the second segment, Duke University professor Esther Gabara discusses her exhibition "Pop América, 1965-75," which is on view at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University through July 21. The exhibition examines how Latin American and Latinx artists engaged with pop art alongside their American and European peers. The exhibition is accompanied by a terrific catalogue published by the Nasher and distributed by Duke University Press. Amazon offers it for $29.
Rank #5: Sheila Hicks
Episode No. 396 features artist Sheila Hicks.
The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas is presenting "Sheila Hicks: Seize, Weave Space," an exhibition that presents often site-engaged work both inside the Nasher and in its garden. The exhibition, which was curated by Leigh Arnold, is on view through August 18.
The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, Fla. is concurrently presenting "Sheila Hicks: Campo Abierto (Open Field)." It was curated by Frederic Bonnet and is on view through September 29.
Hicks, who has made fiber the foundation of her practice for 60 years, is one of the world's most celebrated artists. Last year in Paris, where Hicks lives, the Centre Pompidou, presented a retrospective of Hicks's career. Her last American retrospective was in 2010, an exhibition that originated at the Addison Gallery of American Art before traveling to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia and the Mint Museum in Charlotte. (The catalogue for the Pompidou show is excellent; Amazon offers it for $31.)
The program was taped before a live audience at the Nasher.
Rank #6: "Posing Modernity" and Ralston Crawford
Episode No. 375 features curators Denise Murrell and Keith Davis.
Murrell is the curator of "Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today" at the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University. It examines the changing modes of representation of the black figure in modern and contemporary art, as well as the models' influence on the artists with whom they worked. The exhibition is on view in New York City through February 10 before traveling to the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. The outstanding catalogue for the exhibition was published by Yale University Press. Amazon offers it for $50.
Davis is the curator of "Structured Vision: The Photographs of Ralston Crawford" at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. The exhibition is a survey of Crawford's photographic practice, from his street photography to his pictures of dams and the Western landscape. It is on view through April 7. The excellent exhibition catalogue was published by Yale University Press. Amazon offers it for $47.
Rank #7: Mickalene Thomas
Episode No. 358 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features artist Mickalene Thomas.
"Mickalene Thomas: I Can't See You Without Me" opens at The Wexner Center for the Arts on Friday, September 14. The exhibition features fifty artworks, including paintings, sculptures and installations, around the theme of four of Thomas's most significant muses: her late mother Sandra; her former girlfriend, Maya; her current partner, Racquel; and Thomas herself. The show was curated by Michael Goodson and will be on view through December 30. The exhibition catalogue was published by the Wexner. Amazon offers it for $40.
The exhibition will premiere Thomas's Je t'aime trois, a multichannel video set to music by Terri Lyne Carrington. It was enabled by a Wexner Center Artist Residency Award. On October 4, Thomas will perform entrepe, a live, improvised DJ set as a response to Carrington's work.
Thomas's work is also featured in "People Get Ready: Building a Contemporary Collection," at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. The show presents work that addresses issues ranging from identity to social justice and environmentalism. It was curated by Trevor Schoonmaker and will be on view through January 6, 2019.
Thomas's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions all over the world, including at the Brooklyn Museum, the ICA Boston, the former Santa Monica Museum of Art, New York's Aperture Foundation, the Aspen Art Museum, the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and more.
Thomas was previously a guest on Episode No. 30 in 2012.
Rank #8: Early Rubens, Alicia McCarthy
Episode No. 395 features curator Kirk Nickel and artist Alicia McCarthy.
The Legion of Honor in San Francisco is presenting "Early Rubens," an examination of the first phase of Rubens's career. With about 30 paintings and 20 drawings, the exhibition examines work Rubens made from 1609, when he was in his early 30s, until 1621. It was curated by National Gallery of Canada director Sasha Suda, and this week's guest, Kirk Nickel of the Legion of Honor. The exhibition is on view in San Francisco through September 8, when it will travel to the Art Gallery of Ontario (where Suda was previously the curator of European art). The excellent exhibition catalogue was published by Delmonico Prestel. Amazon offers it for just $31.
On the second segment, Alicia McCarthy discusses "Alicia McCarthy: No Straight Lines," a major commissioned mural at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. The exhibition was curated by Lucy I. Zimmerman and will be on view through August 1. The Oakland-based McCarthy was the winner of the 2017 SFMOMA SECA Award. Her recent projects have included a 2018 show at the Berkeley Art Museum with Ruby Neri and a building-side mural in downtown San Francisco.
Rank #9: American art and the Vietnam War
Episode No. 387 features curator Melissa Ho.
Ho is the curator of "Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-75" at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The exhibition examines how artists responded to the war, and reveals the impact the war had on pushing artists into greater engagement with their world. "Artists Respond" is on view through August 18. The exceptional exhibition catalogue was published by Princeton University Press. Amazon offers it for $45.
Rank #10: Summer clips: Late Monet
Episode No. 399 is a summer clips episode that features curator George Shackelford.
Shackelford is the curator of "Monet: The Late Years", which has just opened at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. The exhibition includes canvases Monet made at the end of the nineteenth century and in the mid-1900s, but primarily considers the paintings Monet made between 1913 and his death in 1926. The show debuted this past spring at San Francisco's de Young Museum. "Monet" is at the Kimbell through September 15.
Rank #11: Kehinde Wiley, Nevelson & Hood
Episode No. 371 features artist Kehinde Wiley and curator Alison de Lima Greene.
The Saint Louis Art Museum is presenting "Kehinde Wiley: Saint Louis," an exhibition of 11 paintings for which Wiley chose his models from northern Saint Louis City and from Ferguson, in Saint Louis County, and posed them in ways informed by paintings in SLAM's collections. The exhibition was curated by Simon Kelley and Hannah Klemm, with assistance from Molly Moog. It's on view through February 10, 2019. An exhibition catalogue is forthcoming.
Wiley's work is also included in "People Get Ready: Building a Contemporary Collection" at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. (Curators Trevor Schoonmaker installed Wiley in the museum's European galleries.) "People Get Ready" is on view through January 6, 2019.
Kehinde Wiley is the first African-American artist to paint an official U.S. Presidential portrait (Barack Obama) for the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. Wiley has also been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, the Jewish Museum in New York City, the Columbus Museum of Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem.
On the second segment, Museum of Fine Arts Houston curator Alison de Lima Greene discusses "Kindred Spirits: Louise Nevelson & Dorothy Hood." The exhibition presents the work of two mid-century artists who synthesized elements such as cubism and surrealism into American abstraction. The show is on view through February 3, 2010.
Rank #12: Harmony Hammond, Anicka Yi
Episode No. 398 features artists Harmony Hammond and Anicka Yi.
Hammond is featured in three important exhibitions around the United States. The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Conn. is showing "Harmony Hammond: Material Witness, Five Decades of Art," a survey of Hammond's career. The exhibition, which was curated by Amy Smith-Stewart, will be on view through September 5. The excellent catalogue, the first hardcover monograph on Hammond's career, was published by the Aldrich and Gregory R. Miller. Amazon offers it for $45.
Hammond is also included in two major summer historical surveys. "Art after Stonewall, 1969-89" is at the Grey Art Gallery at New York University and at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. It closes at the Grey on July 20; at the Leslie-Lohman on July 21. "Art after Stonewall" surveys the impact the LGBTQ movement had on visual art and culture in the two decades after the Stonewall Rebellion. It was curated curated by Jonathan Weinberg, Tyler Cann and Drew Sawyer for the Columbus Museum of Art, which organized the exhibition. It next travels to the Frost Art Museum in Miami before arriving in Columbus. "Queer Abstraction" is on view at the Des Moines Art Center through September 8. The exhibition, which was curated by Jared Ledesma, examines how LGBTQ artists have used abstraction to address sexuality and gender. It will travel to the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kan. An exhibition catalogue is forthcoming.
On the second segment, Anicka Yi, whose Le Pain Sympathetique (2014) is on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in "The Foundation of the Museum: MOCA's Collection." Organized by Bennett Simpson and Rebecca Lowery, the exhibition is at MOCA's Geffen Contemporary building through January 27. Yi talked with host Tyler Green in 2017 on the occasion of "Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon" at the New Museum in New York.
Rank #13: Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Bierstadt's West
Episode No. 374 features artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby and curator Laura Fry.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby's work is on view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in its latest "Focus" show, titled "Njideka Akunyili Crosby | Counterparts." MAMFW's "Focus" series is curated by Alison Hearst. "Crosby" originated at the Baltimore Museum of Art and curated by Kristen Hileman. The exhibition is on view in Fort Worth through January 13. Crosby has also designed a printed mural wrapped around the exterior of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles's Arata Isozaki-designed building.
Crosby's paintings typically feature elements such as textiles, printed media and flora from her experiences growing up in Nigeria and, now, living in the United States. Her solo show credits include the National Portrait Gallery, London; the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach and a Hammer "Projects" exhibition. In 2017 she was awarded a MacArthur 'genius' grant.
On the second segment, Gilcrease Museum curator Laura Fry discusses "Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West," which is at the Gilcrease in Tulsa, Oklahoma through February 10. The exhibition spotlights Bierstadt's depictions of native cultures of the Great Plains as well as his views that include American bison. The Gilcrease co-organized "Bierstadt" with the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. Peter H. Hassrick, the Buffalo Bill Center's director emeritus and senior scholar, curated it. The exhibition catalogue was published by University of Oklahoma Press. Amazon offers it for $35.
Rank #14: Laura Owens, Mark Lamster
Episode No. 370 features artist Laura Owens and author Mark Lamster.
"Laura Owens," a survey of Owens's work since the mid-1990s, is on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art's Geffen Contemporary location through March 25, 2019. The exhibition, which was curated by Scott Rothkopf and originated at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, features about 60 paintings. The exhibition is accompanied by a book published by the Whitney. Amazon offers it for $30.
Throughout her career, Laura Owens has made paintings that address art history, how paintings are made, how images are produced and how painters have left marks on canvas, often within single artworks. Her previous museum exhibitions have come at MOCA (in 2003), the Fabric Workshop and Museum, the Bonnefanten Museum Maastricht, Kunsthalle Zurich, the Secession in Vienna and at The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at the California College for the Arts in San Francisco.
On the second segment, Mark Lamster discusses his new biography "The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson, Architect of the Modern Century." The book, which was published by Little, Brown and Co., reveals how important the New York art world was to Johnson's professional rise, and how Johnson's affiliation with Nazis almost ended his architecture career before it began. Lamster is the architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News and he teaches at the University of Texas at Arlington. His previous books include "Master of Shadows: The Secret Diplomatic Career of Peter Paul Rubens," and "Spalding's World Tour: The Epic Adventure that Took Baseball Around the Globe - And Made It America's Game." Amazon offers "The Man in the Glass House" for $21.
Rank #15: Trevor Paglen, Bernardo Bellotto
Episode No. 381 features artist Trevor Paglen and curator Nancy Edwards.
From Friday, Feb. 22, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is presenting "Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen," a mid-career survey. Paglen's work examines the nexus of power, systems, state intelligence and the military, usually in an effort to make the invisible visible. Among the institutions devoting exhibitions to Paglen's art are the Vienna Secession, and the Kunstverein in Frankfurt. He's written five books and is a MacArthur 'genius' fellowship recipient. "Paglen" is at MCASD's downtown location through June 2. It was curated by John P. Jacob and organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which published the show's terrific catalogue. Amazon offers it for $37.
On the second segment, Kimbell Art Museum curator Nancy Edwards discusses "The Lure of Dresden: Bellotto at the Court of Saxony." The exhibition features onetime Canaletto studio-hand Bernardo Bellotto's extraordinary broad, yet detailed view paintings of Dresden and its environs. (Bellotto was the court painter in Dresden from roughly 1748-58.) The exhibition is on view through April 28. The excellent catalogue was published by Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and Sandstein Verlag. Amazon offers it for $33.