Feature Articles

October 2013

Asheville Art Museum in Asheville, NC, Offers Three New Exhibitions

The Asheville Art Museum in Asheville, NC, is presenting three new exhibits including: Esteban Vicente: The Art of Interruption – Painting, Drawing, Collage, on view through Jan. 12, 2014; Rebels with a Cause, featuring works by American Women, on view through Jan. 26, 2014; and Experiments in Color: Selections from Josef Albers’ Portfolios, on view from Oct. 12 through Mar. 16, 2014.

Within the first generation of Abstract Expressionists, Esteban Vicente was a member of the most influential circles of artists. During the course of his long and lauded career, he closely studied shape, light and the possibilities of pigment.

The artist completed his studies at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes in Madrid in 1924. In 1936, Vicente moved to New York and then to Philadelphia. During his first decade in the United States, Vicente exhibited at the Kleeman Galleries, the Bonestell Gallery, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

By the late 1940’s, Vicente was committed to exploring abstraction, giving up his earlier representational style of painting. In the 1950’s, Vicente explored collage, integrating the analytical cubism of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Juan Gris into works that were highly animated. Vicente briefly taught at the legendary Black Mountain College in the summer of 1953 alongside Joseph Fiore and Peter Voulkos, and by all accounts, had a lasting impact on his students’ careers, including artists such as Dorothea Rockburne. Later in the decade, Vicente fully embraced the tenets of Abstract Expressionism. From the 1960’s to the end of his career, Vicente explored a mode of expression that integrated abstraction, movement and color.

Vicente’s drawings, like his paintings and collages, reflect his primary responsiveness to the medium even as he remained anchored in a Cubist definition of surface. This exhibition, drawn from across Vicente’s career, reveals the artist’s meticulous attention to translating his understanding of Cubism, Constructivism and assemblage from theory to canvas and paper.

This exhibition is organized and curated by the Asheville Art Museum with support from the Jerald Melberg Gallery in Charlotte, NC.

Rebels With a Cause presents selected paintings, drawings and sculptures from the Huntsville Museum of Art’s recently acquired Sellars Collection of Art by American Women. This landmark holding celebrates the achievements of over 250 talented female artists active from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries. Many of these artists rebelled against the convention of their day by exhibiting alongside their male counterparts, receiving awards and pioneering the way for those who would follow. Today, art historians are rediscovering these artists’ accomplishments and establishing their rightful place in the expanding narrative of American art history.

The 53 works included in Rebels With a Cause embody the early influence that French Impressionism and its precursor, the Barbizon Style, had on American art. The exhibition also showcases works that adopt the various hallmarks of what became known as the American Impressionist style, as well as works that branch out beyond Impressionism’s strict definitions, reflecting more individual artistic approaches.

Subjects include accomplished floral compositions, still-life, elegant portraits, engaging genre scenes, and landscapes both intimate and panoramic, reflecting many different regions of the country and world.

This exhibition is organized and curated by the Huntsville Museum of Art.

Gathered in part from the Asheville Art Museum’s Permanent Collection, Experiments in Color: Selections from Josef Albers’ Portfolios presents a selection of prints by German-born artist and educator Josef Albers (1888 – 1976) from the portfolios “Interaction of Color,” 1963, and “Formulation: Articulation,” 1972. As an artist, Albers is best known for painting, printmaking, and creating masterpieces of geometric Abstraction. Albers enjoyed a nearly 50-year career in teaching at schools such as Bauhaus at Weimar and Dessau, Black Mountain College and Yale University.

Throughout his career, Albers was fascinated by color and developed theories based on his own experimental studies. In 1963, Yale University Press published Albers’ book Interaction of Color, an educational tool still used to teach color theory today. This beautiful collection of prints is the product of Albers’ trial and error process with color paper, and the unique lessons learned about the visual phenomena of color relationships.

Experiments in Color: Selections from Josef Albers’ Portfolios was organized and curated by the Asheville Art Museum.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 828/253-3227 or visit (www.ashevilleart.org).

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