Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective
February 9 - May 12, 2013
For more than half a century, the remarkable ceramic works of Ken Price (1935-2012) redefined contemporary sculpture, although for many years they were not exhibited widely. This exhibition, planned with the artist before his death in February at the age of 77, offers visitors to the Nasher an unprecedented opportunity to see... (read more)
Rediscoveries: Modes of Making in Modern Sculpture
September 29, 2012 - January 13, 2013
Modern art is often presented as a series of radical breaks and rejections of the past, but as Auguste Rodin once said of his work, “I invent nothing; I rediscover.” This new installation of masterworks from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection traces the roots of several “new” methods... (read more
Cuddle on the Tightrope
May 12 – September 9, 2012
Born in Brazil in 1964, artist Ernesto Neto has gained acclaim for his large experiential environments that dramatically alter our surroundings, engage the senses, and invite interaction. Organic, womblike, and elemental, Neto’s installations draw on the lessons of minimalist sculpture, Brazilian New Objectivity... (read more
Elliott Hundley: The Bacchae
January 28 - April 22, 2012
For its debut exhibition of the new year, the Nasher Sculpture Center will host the first touring exhibition of the distinctive "bulletin board" collages and sculptures of Los Angeles-based artist Elliott Hundley. Over the past decade... (read more
Tony Cragg: Seeing Things
September 10, 2011 – January 8, 2012
Tony Cragg has been widely hailed as one of the leading sculptors of our time. From 1979—the year of his first solo exhibition—to the present, his work has received exceptional recognition, and the artist has been bestowed with the art world’s most prestigious awards. Over the past decade, the momentum of recognition for Cragg has only accelerated, with numerous exhibitions, especially in Europe. In the United States, Cragg’s work has been avidly acquired by museums and private collectors—including Raymond and Patsy Nasher—while the pace of exhibition has been somewhat slower. Indeed, Cragg’s last museum exhibition in this country took place in 1990.
Tony Cragg: Seeing Things, organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center, seeks to redress that imbalance. Featuring approximately 30 large- and moderately-scaled sculptures, the exhibition surveys the scope of Cragg’s production over the last twenty years, including a selection of drawings, integral to the artist's process and rarely seen in this country. During that span, Cragg has been engaged in an intensive investigation of the associative potential of sculpture. His work is rightly lauded for its formal, thematic, and material diversity and draws upon the artist’s broad intellectual interests in science, philosophy, history, sociology, politics, psychology, and poetry, as well as an intuitive and emotional response to form and material.
Cragg has been prolific over the last twenty years. He prefers to work on several sculptures at once, the sculptures in process often varying considerably, each with its own formal basis, material, and artistic aim. Groups or families of related objects—which he categorizes variously as Micro/Macrostructures, Organs and Organisms, Vessels and Cells, Early Forms, and Rational Beings— develop over several months or years, often connecting and interrelating in fascinating ways. “There are,” he said recently, “thousands and thousands of other forms that don't exist yet. And they are valuable because they could still provide meaning, they could still be used as metaphors, they could still be used as language, and they could still be used in thoughts and fantasies and dreams.” Tony Cragg: Seeing Things highlights examples across this great diversity.
Arrayed throughout the Nasher Sculpture Center, the exhibition will occupy most of the interior galleries and garden, as well as engage the public on the sidewalk in front of the Nasher. The exhibition will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue featuring a new scholarly essay by Nasher curator Jed Morse.
Tony Cragg: Seeing Things is presented by The Dallas Foundation. Additional support is provided by Amy and Vernon Faulconer, David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher, Marianne Holtermann, Joanne and Mark Giambrone, Resolution Capital, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, The Rosewood Foundation, and Patrick and Sara Sands.
April 9 – August 21, 2011
Statuesque brings together a dynamic group of six international artists who are reconsidering figurative sculpture for a new era. Arrayed throughout the Nasher Sculpture Center Garden, the exhibition features 10 large sculptures by Pawel Althamer, Huma Bhabha, Aaron Curry, Thomas Houseago, Matthew Monahan, and Rebecca Warren, revealing a striking interest in the figure that transcends national boundaries and examining the renewed significance of the figure in contemporary sculpture.
Neither literal portraits nor traditional monuments, these works push the expressive potential of sculptural forms and materials. While the approaches and backgrounds of the artists are very different, their work shares a number of key characteristics. They tend towards abstraction over realism, assemblage over the readymade, construction of form over casting from life, and physicality and texture over refinement of finish. Their artistic references range from Ancient Egyptian and African sculpture to works by Michelangelo, Rodin, and Picasso. By turns colossal, complex, dazzling, and confronting, their impact is visceral, charging one of art’s most traditional subjects with a renewed sense of expressive potential and contemporary relevance.
Organized for City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan by the Public Art Fund, New York City, Statuesque finds a new and invigorating context among the works of the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection. Here, the work of the contemporary artists in Statuesque will be seen alongside sculptures by artists that serve as critical points of reference, including Rodin and Picasso, but also Calder, De Kooning, Miró, and Segal.
Complementing the exhibition in the garden, the interior galleries at the Nasher Sculpture Center will feature a reinstallation of the Nasher Collection exploring representations of the figure over the past 150 years.
Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art
Form, Balance, Joy
December 11, 2010 – March 6, 2011
Alexander Calder stands as one of the most important and recognizable figures in twentieth century art. Known best as the inventor of the mobile, Calder emerged as an imaginative and innovative artist in the 1930s and worked until his death in 1976. Many artists of the 1960s and onward, however, rejected the image of the artist, embodied by modernist masters like Calder, as a creator of handmade objects and began to explore more social, theoretical, and ephemeral ways of making art which often relied on performance, collaboration with other artists or specialized industrial fabricators, and viewer participation. Thus, while Calder’s work was well-known and acknowledged as pioneering in its own time, it exerted surprisingly little influence over contemporary artists working during the past four decades.
Yet in the mid-1990s an emerging generation of international artists became greatly interested in Calder’s work. Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy is the first exhibition to explore Calder's significance for this generation of sculptors, reconsidering his influence and innovation through a presentation of his own work alongside the work of contemporary artists. Displayed throughout the galleries and garden, the exhibition brings together over 30 sculptures spanning Calder’s career with the work of contemporary artists whose practices are bound to Calder's legacy.
The seven contemporary artists in this exhibition—Martin Boyce, Nathan Carter, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Aaron Curry, Kristi Lippire, Jason Meadows, and Jason Middlebrook—have taken important cues from Calder including a r eturn to hands-on production, the creative reuse of materials, and explorations of form, balance, color, and movement. Combining rigorous concept with a renewed emphasis on formalism, the work of these artists privileges the visual and visceral qualities of sculpture. Both directly and indirectly influenced by Calder, all seven artists look to modernist forms and ideas, challenging and recontextualizing what is, for many, a familiar art history.
Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. The exhibition is sponsored by The Northern Trust Company. Lead foundation support is provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Chicago Community Trust. Major support for the exhibition is generously provided by The Kenneth and Anne Griffin Foundation. Additional generous support is provided by Margot and George Greig, Anne and Burt Kaplan, Ruth Horwich, The Broad Art Foundation, Gagosian Gallery, Lindy Bergman, Helyn Goldenberg, Sara Szold, and The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.
Additional local support for Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy generously provided by Nancy A. Nasher & David J. Haemisegger and The Broad Art Foundation.
Revelation: The Art of James Magee
September 4 - November 28, 2010
To visit the Revelation: The Art of James Magee
exhibition website, click here
Over the past four decades, James Magee has produced a compelling body of work that has rarely been seen in public. His great project, The Hill
, an extraordinary art and architectural installation in the desert near El Paso, has been constructed largely by hand over the past thirty years and will take its place among the great American artistic monuments as it approaches completion in ca. 2025. Revelation: The Art of James Magee
was the first major museum exhibition of the artist’s work in 18 years and coincides with the publication of the first monograph dedicated to this remarkable figure. Focusing on the work Magee produces in his El Paso studio, the exhibition featured a number of Magee's extraordinary relief sculptures, while the publication brings crucial public and scholarly attention both to The Hill
, and to the artist's studio practice.
Using an astonishing array of materials—bits of iron, glass, concrete, wax, enamel, lead, wire mesh, linoleum, grease, brake fluid, shellac, car parts, ceramic tiles, roof panels, even hibiscus, honey, and paprika—Magee creates powerful, sensuous sculptural reliefs. Often framed in steel behind protective glazing, the works function as poetic paradoxes, preserving the broken, rusted, decaying materials they contain. The artist occasionally extends the experience of the works in their elaborate “titles,” prose poems that Magee intones only for the rare, fortunate visitor, recordings of which were available in the exhibition.
Revelation: The Art of James Magee
was organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center. Essential support was provided by The Eugene McDermott Foundation, Nancy A. Nasher & David J. Haemisegger, Steven Platzman, Nona & Richard Barrett, and Caren H. Prothro.
Rachel Whiteread Drawings
May 22 - August 15, 2010
The Nasher Sculpture Center hosts the first museum retrospective of drawings by contemporary British artist Rachel Whiteread. Featuring over 150 drawings and collages selected from the artist’s studio, as well as from leading public and private collections in Europe and the United States, the exhibition brings to the fore a rarely seen aspect of Whiteread’s work.
Rachel Whiteread Drawings was organized by the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
This exhibition is generously supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support is provided by Gail and Stanley Hollander, the Southern California Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, The Henry Moore Foundation, the British Council, and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation. The catalogue is made possible, in part, by the Contemporary Collectors - Orange County.
Local support for Rachel Whiteread Drawings is generously provided by Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger, Marguerite Steed Hoffman, Howard and Cindy Rachofsky and The Goss-Michael Foundation.
Jaume Plensa: Genus and Species
January 30 - May 2, 2010
Jaume Plensa: Genus and Species represented the Nasher’s first major exhibition of the work of a living artist.
For the past two decades, Plensa has been investigating the intimate interconnection between nature and culture through large-scale sculptures and installations that incorporate light, sound, and text in transparent, often interactive structures, such as the renowned Crown Fountain at Millennium Park in Chicago. Taking many forms and utilizing a variety of modes of production, Plensa’s work offers a visceral experience of the nexus between art, language, biology, and metaphysics.
Jaume Plensa: Genus and Species consisted of eight large-scale works, completed between 2004 and 2009, and installations chosen by the artist and curator specifically for the spaces at the Nasher Sculpture Center. Installed both indoors and out, this dynamic exhibition expands our understanding of the work of this important sculptor and provide crucial context for Plensa’s Song of Songs III and IV, one of the last works Raymond Nasher added to the Nasher Collection. The selection of works featured several never before seen in public, including Twins I and II and an installation of eleven, six-foot-tall, alabaster heads.
The exhibition was installed throughout the Nasher, engaging a variety of spaces: the entrance, the galleries, the terrace, the garden, and, for the first time at the Nasher Sculpture Center, the city street. The artist carefully considered the selection and placement of each sculpture, determining an inter-related progression that heightened the viewer’s experience of the work.
Organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center, Jaume Plensa: Genus and Species was accompanied by a lavishly illustrated, four-color catalogue with a new scholarly essay by Curator Jed Morse, contextualizing Plensa’s work for an American audience.
The Art of Architecture: Foster + Partners
September 26, 2009 - January 10, 2010
Continuing its investigation of contemporary architecture, the Nasher Sculpture Center will present the first U.S. retrospective of the work of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster and his architectural firm, Foster + Partners, September 26, 2009 through January 10, 2010.
Scheduled to coincide with the grand opening of the new, Foster-designed Winspear Opera House in the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the exhibition will explore Foster + Partners’ major architectural achievements of a practice that spans the past four decades. Architectural models, along with drawings, renderings, photographs, and videos, will give insight into the formal and conceptual underpinnings of Foster + Partners’ architecture and provide context for better understanding their new contribution to the panoply of modernist architecture in Dallas.
“The Nasher is pleased to present an exhibition which showcases Foster + Partner’s greatest architectural works and explores the firm’s philosophy that the quality of surroundings has a direct influence on the quality of lives and the culture and climate of place,” said Jeremy Strick, Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center. “With the opening of the Foster-designed Winspear Opera House, Dallas will be the only city in the world that has four buildings within one contiguous block designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize winners, including the Renzo Piano-designed Nasher Sculpture Center.”
Foster + Partners’ philosophy was born out of early experimental projects undertaken with R. Buckminster Fuller in the 1970s that attempted to align the built environment more closely with natural forms and processes. Focusing on cultural buildings and civic spaces, as well as select infrastructure projects, The Art of Architecture: Foster + Partners will present important milestones in the firm’s practice that reflect its emphases on structural innovation and sustainable design and provide important precedents for the Winspear Opera House. The exhibition will feature some of the largest and most notable structures in the world, including the Great Court at the British Museum, the Reichstag in Berlin, Trafalgar Square in London, and the new Terminal 3 at the Beijing International Airport.
George Segal: Street Scenes
January 24 – April 5, 2009
Although he initially focused his efforts on painting, George Segal’s career took a turn in the early 1960s when he began making plaster casts of his family and friends to create life-size figures that he presented together with elements from everyday environments, such as chairs, benches, window frames, and other building fragments. Stimulating both the return to figuration and the rise of installation art in the 1960s and 70s, the work of George Segal (1924–2000) is widely recognized as one of the most important contributions to the art of the second half of the twentieth century.
This spring, the Nasher Sculpture Center will present the sculptor’s unique investigations of the human condition in the urban environment. Featuring 15 of Segal’s single- and multi-figure installations from the early 1960s to the end of his career in the 1990s, George Segal: Street Scenes is the first exhibition to offer a focused exploration of the themes of urban life in the artist’s work.
With New York City as his most steadfast muse, the full-scale recreations of scenes from everyday life in George Segal: Street Scenes address often-overlooked, yet poignant encounters with the city. In Cinema (1963), a ghostly plaster figure changes the lettering in the harsh light of the theatre marquee, revealing the often unseen labor that drives the city. Diner (1964–66) presents a quiet moment rippling with silent tensions: although the waitress and customer are the only two occupants of an otherwise empty restaurant, they are disengaged and seem to be in their own separate worlds.
Rush Hour (1983), from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, captures a group of workers walking to work. They are clustered together, but do not seem to notice each other. Works like this, as well as Bus Passengers (1994) and Street Crossing (1992), reveal the sense of anonymity and psychological separation that often comes, ironically, in the midst of the crowded and dynamic city. In addition to their incisive observations of human behavior, these sculptures are also experiments in pure form: Segal intended the plaster figures and dark platform of Street Crossing as a dynamic composition in black and white.
In the 1980s and 90s, Segal’s work increasingly explored the reality of urban decay. Installations such as The Homeless (1989), Liquor Store (1994) and Dumpster (1994) highlight the deteriorating conditions in New York, incorporating or recreating elements like subway grates or graffiti-covered walls. These works rely more heavily on the photography that he and his friend, Donald Lokuta, would take on forays into Manhattan’s downtrodden neighborhoods like the Bowery and the East Village. Many of these photographs accompany the show and provide insight into the artist’s working methods and explorations of urban sites.
With subjects and settings that addressed commonplace situations, human values, and the burdens of economic hardship, these signature works caught the attention of the public and were broadly acclaimed by art critics, curators, art historians, and other artists. Among the many honors Segal received during his lifetime were the International Lifetime Achievement Award for Sculpture (1992), the National Medal of Honor (1999), and the commission to produce the sculptures for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. The largest of these works, Depression Bread Line (1991), is featured in this exhibition.
Organized by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Madison, WI, the exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated hardbound catalogue with essays by Martin Friedman, Director Emeritus of the Walker Art Center, and Jane Simon, MMoCA Curator.
In Pursuit of the Masters: Stories from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection
September 20, 2008 – January 4, 2009
To mark its 5th anniversary, the Nasher Sculpture Center will mount an exhibition in celebration of its founders. In Pursuit of the Masters: Stories from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection presents a personalized and intimate view of the Nasher Collection and the couple that assembled it. Featuring the great masterworks of the collection, as well as a selection of significant and personally meaningful works from its humble beginnings, the exhibition highlights the personal stories behind the works of art, including Patsy and Raymond Nasher’s partnership in pursuit of the finest examples of modern and contemporary sculpture; their close friendships with artists, art dealers, and curators; and the insights that came from living with and sharing the works of art that they loved.
The Nashers began collecting with the simple desire to surround themselves with beautiful, meaningful objects and share them with others. Both took much joy in the process, learning about the works of art that they considered and pursuing the ones that touched them most. As they were fond of saying, they looked at everything, but only brought home the objects that “gave them butterflies.” This love of art and desire to share it provided the foundation for what would become the Nasher Collection and the Nasher Sculpture Center, and initiated over forty years of fulfilling adventures in the world of modern art.
In Pursuit of the Masters: Stories from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection chronicles many of the exciting and momentous acquisitions, including a rare wood carving by Paul Gauguin, the Large Seated Nude by Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso’s iconic Head of a Woman (Fernande). The exhibition also considers many of the challenges in collecting sculpture, particularly the large-scale works of Richard Serra and Tony Smith.
While collecting the work of these important artists, the Nashers also had the rare pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with many of them and their subjects. The Dallas collectors enjoyed a warm friendship with Henry Moore, visiting each other several times, one of them inspiring the artist to create a new work of art that he gave to the Nashers. Patsy Nasher shared with Andy Warhol a love of art, ancient American artifacts, and jewelry, which she traded with the artist for portraits of her and her three daughters. And Jacqueline Picasso, the artist’s wife and final muse, visited the Nashers’ home in Dallas, sharing intimate details about the works by her husband in the collection; the Nashers later visited Jacqueline in Picasso’s home, dining amongst his work and toasting him from the glasses he had made. In Pursuit of the Masters: Stories from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection highlights many of these encounters.
The exhibition also unveils several important works in the collection that had not yet been shown at the Nasher Sculpture Center, including masterworks by Willem de Kooning, Pablo Picasso, and Tony Smith. Many, such as Jean Arp’s Torso with Buds, had remained in the Nasher residence because of their personal significance: the Arp was the collection’s first major modern sculpture, which Patsy had given to Raymond as a gift on his 46th birthday.
Comprising the first major reorganization of the interior galleries since our opening in 2003, the new installation is complemented by numerous photographs documenting the Nashers’ adventures and revealing what it was like to live with these incredible objects. The exhibition will also feature a new video (premiering October 17) and additions to the audio tour that include recollections of the Nashers from the artists, art world figures, family and friends who knew them best. On this occasion, we also invite our members and guests to share with us their own memories of Patsy and Raymond and their unparalleled collection.
Jacques Lipchitz: A Gift from the Artist’s Estate
June 21 – September 7, 2008
This exhibition celebrates the generous donation of five sculptures from the estate of the internationally renowned artist, Jacques Lipchitz (1891–1973). The terracotta and plaster sculptures from The Jacques and Yulla Lipchitz Foundation, Inc. include three intimately-scaled maquettes and two full-sized sculptures that span four decades of the artist’s career. Used as the casting models for the bronze editions and secured in the artist’s studio in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York since his death in 1973, the works still bear the marks of the artist’s hand. Together with the great cubist stone carving, Seated Woman, from the Nasher Collection and numerous related drawings, the exhibition highlights distinct phases of Lipchitz’s development and illuminates his laborious and detailed working process.
Beyond the Grasp: Sculpture Transcending the Physical
March 15 – August 31, 2008
The Nasher Sculpture Center's newest installation, Beyond the Grasp: Sculpture Transcending the Physical, will feature a number of masterworks from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection making their first appearance at the Center. The installation will be on display in the galleries from March 15 - August 31, 2008.
Sculptures are often solid, massive, physical presences. Yet many 20th century sculptors explored subjects that are ephemeral, intangible, and metaphysical. As part of its display of highlights from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, this focus installation investigates sculptures that address elusive and ethereal subjects with tactile, often substantial materials such as wax, glass, bronze, stone, and steel.
The installation features works by artists such as Medardo Rosso, Alberto Giacometti, and Barnett Newman, as well as those by Richard Long, Anish Kapoor, and Christopher Wilmarth, being shown for the first time at the Center. Also available for viewing from the Nasher Collection are several sculptures by Henri Matisse, back from their year-long tour with the groundbreaking exhibition, Matisse: Painter as Sculptor.
Woman: The Art of Gaston Lachaise
November 17, 2007 - February 24, 2008
Featuring over 50 sculptures, including 8 monumental works, drawn from the collection of the Lachaise Foundation, Woman: The Art of Gaston Lachaise will present a broad range of the artist’s sculptural production and highlight his idealized vision of the female form.
Transcendent, beatific, and powerful, the female figures in Woman: The Art of Gaston Lachaise reflect his admiration for Ancient Egyptian, Hindu, and Stone Age sculptures of female deities. They also evince a reverence for the modern American woman, and one in particular: Isabel Dutaud Nagle, the love who served as his single guiding inspiration throughout his career. Writing of his work and her tremendous influence, Lachaise recounted “At twenty in Paris, I met a young American person who immediately became the primary inspiration which awakened my vision and the leading influence that has directed my forces. Throughout my career, as an artist, I refer to this person by the word ‘Woman.’”
Lachaise’s pursuit of Isabel and the ideal she represented brought him to Boston and New York, where he established himself in the studio of the prominent American sculptor, Paul Manship, and became an integral figure in the burgeoning avant-garde. Several busts in the exhibition document his friendships with artists and literary figures such as Edgar Varèse, Alfred Stieglitz, and e.e. cummings. His sculptures of the mythical ‘Woman,’ robust, sensual, and curvaceous, drew praise for modernizing the concept of the ancient idol. Many of his time found them shocking. Much of his art was not shown until the 1960’s and even then the public was surprised by his radical and dramatic portrayal of the female form.
When he died prematurely in 1935, Gaston Lachaise was considered by many the pre-eminent sculptor in the United States. His unique and groundbreaking work had just been honored that year in a solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the first that institution had afforded to any living American sculptor. Now his sculpture graces the collections of prominent museums across the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection. “Lachaise’s iconic work, Elevation (1912-27), was given pride of place in the entrance of the Nasher home,” notes Jed Morse, the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Acting Chief Curator. “Mr. Nasher was very excited about the possibility of presenting this exhibition at the Nasher Sculpture Center, and he would be pleased to know that it has come to fruition.” Nasher Sculpture Center Founder Raymond D. Nasher passed away earlier this year. Woman: The Art of Gaston Lachaise is the first major museum retrospective of the artist’s work to be shown in Texas.
The exhibition was organized by the Lachaise Foundation, Boston. The exhibition tour is organized and managed by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles. A lavishly illustrated color catalogue entitled Gaston Lachaise 1882–1935 accompanies the exhibition and features new scholarly essays by Jean Clair, Director of the Musée Picasso, Paris, Hilton Kramer, noted American art historian and critic, and Paula R. Hornbostel, Lachaise Foundation trustee; never-before published personal photographs by the artist; Louise Bourgeois’s provocative essay on Lachaise from the April 1992 issue of Artforum; and Lachaise’s own A Comment on My Sculpture from 1928.
Highlights from the Nasher Collection
Comprising approximately 70 works installed in the Center’s indoor galleries and the sculpture garden, this exhibition traces the evolution of several key developments in modern and contemporary sculpture. Masterworks by artists such as Auguste Rodin, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Alberto Giacometti embody the modernist interpretation of the human figure, incorporating radical formal and psychological investigations.
Matisse: Painter as Sculptor
January 21–April 29, 2007
In our first collaborative exhibition, the Nasher Sculpture Center and The Dallas Museum of Art will present concurrently Matisse: Painter as Sculptor. Co-organized also with the Baltimore Museum of Art, Matisse: Painter as Sculptor will be the first major exhibition of Matisse’s sculpture organized in the United States in nearly two decades. To establish the artist’s role as a modern sculptor, the exhibition will place approximately 40 of his most important bronzes and plasters in carefully constructed thematic groups that will also include related paintings, drawings, and cut-outs. The inclusion of comparative works by artists such as Paul Cézanne, Constantin Brancusi, Auguste Rodin, and Pablo Picasso will illuminate the context of Matisse’s work, his dialogue with the figurative tradition, the radical nature of his sculpture in the history of modern art, and his interaction with other great modernist masters. Using new three-dimensional imaging technology, special interactive video programs will explore details of the artist’s creative process. The installation at the Nasher Sculpture Center will focus on the great sculptural series of Matisse’s career, such as the Madeleines, the Backs, and the Jeanettes, as well as important related paintings and drawings, and influential works by artists from Cézanne to Picasso. Drawn from public and private collections around the world, the exhibition will highlight and put into broader context the important collection of Matisse sculpture formed by Raymond and Patsy Nasher.
After its inauguration in Dallas, Matisse: Painter as Sculptor will travel to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art. The exhibition will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated exhibition catalogue, co-produced with Yale University Press, encompassing new research and offering significant insights into Matisse’s sculptural work.
Highlights from the Nasher Collection
September 9, 2006 – January 4, 2007
A new exhibition of works from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection now on view highlight several new acquisitions and feature a number of masterworks from the collection making their first appearance at the Center.
Comprising approximately 70 works installed in the Center’s indoor galleries and also several changes in the sculpture garden, this exhibition traces the evolution of several key developments in modern and contemporary sculpture. Masterworks by artists such as Auguste Rodin, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Alberto Giacometti embody the modernist interpretation of the human figure, incorporating radical formal and psychological investigations. The realm of dreams and the subconscious is examined in some of the best known sculptures of the Surrealist movement by artists such as Giacometti, Max Ernst, Isamu Noguchi, Joan Miró and Alexander Calder. The exhibition continues with sections exploring the crucial development of Constructivism and welded metal sculpture in the twentieth century from Naum Gabo to Antony Gormley, including works by masters of the torch such as Julio González and David Smith. And an installation of works by Willem de Kooning presents an Abstract Expressionist dialogue between sculpture and painting. In the lower level gallery, a work by contemporary Spanish artist Jaume Plensa entitled Song of Songs III & IV will engross viewers in an installation featuring confined contemplative structures bathed in glowing, variably colored light.
On Tour with Renzo Piano and Building Workshop: Selected Projects
May 13 - August 13, 2006
Nasher Sculpture Center will be final U.S. venue.
The Nasher Sculpture Center will present the traveling exhibition On Tour with Renzo Piano and Building Workshop: Selected Projects from May 13 – August 13, 2006. The exhibition will highlight the work of Renzo Piano, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect of the Nasher Sculpture Center and numerous other international projects.
Showcasing three decades of inspiring Piano architectural structures from around the globe—some completed, others still in progress, the exhibition will explore the design process, philosophy, and creative work of Piano and his team, and feature both current and recently completed architectural projects. With sketches, models, drawings, dossiers, photographs, blueprints, notes, films, and architectural details displayed as though a visitor had just walked into the architect’s studio, the installation will provide an insider’s view of the working method of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
Ten “project tables” provide an in-depth look at major Piano and Renzo Piano Building Workshop projects, including: the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Menil Collection Museum, Houston; the mile-long Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan; the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center, Noumea, New Caledonia; the Beyeler Foundation Museum, Basel, Switzerland; the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Genoa, Italy; and the Nasher Sculpture Center. An innovative installation approach of hanging models, photographs, small elements from buildings, and conceptual studies throughout the gallery spaces provides visual excitement and helps absorb viewers into a vivid experience of the projects.
The exhibition will showcase Piano’s innovative construction methods, his use of new and unexpected building materials, his attention to the play of light and the natural illumination of buildings, and his sensitivity to the ecology and environment of each site. Examples of recurrent themes in Piano’s designs—lightness and transparency, alliances between art and technology, the intensive relationship of architecture and the natural environment, and sensitivity to the nature of each site—are featured throughout the exhibition. Piano describes the retrospective as “a sort of traveling circus, a way to present architecture as a metaphor for the adventures of life, but also as an art.”
This exhibition was organized by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The Nasher Sculpture Center will be the final U.S. venue for On Tour with Renzo Piano, which included stops at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (March 13 – October 2, 2005) and The High Museum, Atlanta (November 12, 2005 – April 2, 2006).
The Women of Giacometti
January 14 - April 9, 2006
The Nasher Sculpture Center is pleased to announce The Women of Giacometti, the first Giacometti exhibition presented in Dallas since 1979. The exhibition will be on display at the Nasher Sculpture Center from January 14 to April 9, 2006, after a viewing at the PaceWildenstein gallery in New York from October 28 to December 17, 2005. An opening day lecture program will take place on January 14, 2006 from 2 – 5 pm, and feature noted Giacometti scholars and a former friend and model of Giacometti’s.
The Women of Giacometti will feature 48 works, including 34 sculptures and 14 paintings, which explore the artist’s long-standing fascination with the female subject, from his mother, sister, and wife to various models. The works range from very early naturalistic portraits, to Surrealist-inspired and Cubist-influenced works from the 1920s and 1930s, to Giacometti’s well-known tall and slender figures including all nine cast bronze Women of Venice (Femmes de Venise) from 1956, on view together for the first time in the United States since the landmark 1958 Giacometti exhibition at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York.
The work of Giacometti has long been of interest to Raymond and Patsy Nasher, and the Nasher collection now encompasses 13 sculptures, two paintings, and one drawing. Several of these are in the exhibition plus masterpieces spanning the artist’s career, such as Spoon Woman (1926, cast 1954), Woman with her Throat Cut (1932), Tall Figure (1947), and The Glade (1950).
“It is an honor to present so many outstanding works by this great master of modern art at the Nasher Sculpture Center,” said Raymond Nasher. “The show directly complements and expands upon the many other Giacomettis in our collection.”
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Véronique Wiesinger, Director of the Alberto and Annette Giacometti Foundation in Paris, and Paola Caròla, a friend and model of Giacometti whose portrait bust is in the exhibition.
“Our show contains a number of works that have rarely or never been publicly exhibited before,” said Director Steven Nash. “These objects and the two catalogue essays help advance our knowledge of Giacometti, whose biography has sometimes proven as elusive as the meanings behind his evocative figures.”
Alberto Giacometti (b. 1901 Switzerland – d. 1966 Switzerland) worked as a youth in the studio of his father, the painter Giovanni Giacometti, and studied briefly at art school in Geneva before moving to Paris in 1922 to pursue his career. By age 12 he had completed the first portrait drawings of his mother, Annetta, who would continue throughout her life to play a key role in his art, and at 14 produced his first sculpture, a bust of his brother Diego. His sister Ottilia also appeared in numerous early works.
Even as Giacometti began to absorb the strong influences of Cubism and Surrealism in Paris, he continued to work in a figurative vein, as seen in the exhibition in a plaster Head of Ottilia from c. 1926 and the plaster and bronze heads of Flora Mayo, an American art student with whom Giacometti had a tumultuous affair. Such outstanding monuments of Giacometti’s Surrealist period as Spoon Woman, Reclining Woman Who Dreams, and Woman with her Throat Cut, with their primitivized and fetishistic approach to female anatomy, date from the late 20s and early 30s. Stylistic change soon followed, and the two heads of Rita from 1935-38 and three portraits of Isabel from 1937-39 show Giacometti’s return to the investigation of human physiognomy. Rita Gueyfier was a hired model, and Isabel Nicholas Delmer was an English model, sometime art student, and familiar figure in the Parisian art world with whom Giacometti lived briefly.
When Giacometti returned to Switzerland in 1942 to escape the German Occupation, he made the acquaintance of Annette Arm, who joined him in Paris after the war. They were married in 1949. For 20 years, Annette played a crucial role in his life as companion and muse and is depicted regularly in his post-war signature explorations of fragile, elongated, elusive figuration.
Caroline Poiraudeau came into Giacometti’s life in 1959. Her wild and defiant character held a strange fascination for him, and she soon became both lover and model for a lengthy series of highly expressive paintings and busts. The portrait Caroline in Tears shows the frontal and symmetrical Egyptian pose, loose brushwork combined with sharp linear rendering of head and features, and intense personal examination that characterize many of his later paintings. Often in these late works, individuality gives way to a generalized, iconic vision of woman as mysterious life force.
The Nasher Sculpture Center’s display of The Women of Giacometti is presented by Chase. The exhibition was made possible with the help of several generous loans from the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, private collectors, and institutions including: the Alberto Giacometti Foundation, Zurich; The Beyeler Foundation, Basel; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Jonathan Borofsky, Walking to the Sky
New Acquisition, October 2005
Walking to the Sky, a new monumental sculpture by American artist Jonathan Borofsky is now on permanent view in the Nasher Sculpture Center garden. The sculpture continues Jonathan Borofsky’s ongoing exploration of human ideals, dream life, and fantasy. It was originally inspired by a story Borofsky’s father told him as a child about a friendly giant who lived in the sky. During each tale, father and son would imagine walking to the sky and visiting with the giant, discussing what should be done to help everyone on earth. Soaring 100 feet into the air at a 75-degree angle, Walking to the Sky is one of the artist’s largest and most ambitious works to date. The sculpture features seven life-size figures walking briskly up a stainless steel pole toward the sky, and three more on the ground watching their ascent. Made of painted fiberglass, the figures in the sculpture are of different races, ages, and genders and seem to be defying gravity, ascending to new heights under their own power. According to Borofsky, the sculpture as a compelling tribute to the power of our aspirations and the resilience of the human spirit: “It is all of humanity rising upwards from the earth to the heavens above – striving into the future with strength and determination…. [U]ltimately this sculpture is a symbol of our collective search for wisdom and awakened consciousness.”
Raymond and Patsy Nasher have collected the work of Jonathan Borofsky since the 1980s. Earlier works by Borofsky in the Nasher Collection, such as Running Man at 2,550,116 (1978), Chattering Man Looking Up at 2,887,433 (1983), White Flying Figure with Numbers (1984), and Hammering Man (1984-85), are frequently on view at the Center.
David Smith: Drawing and Sculpting
April 16 - July 17, 2005
This groundbreaking exhibition focuses on David Smith’s achievement as a draftsman and the important role drawings and paintings played in his working process. Although internationally acclaimed as one of the great sculptors of the 20th century, Smith is much less well known for his drawings. He drew prolifically throughout his career, however, from his student days in the late twenties until his tragically early death in 1965. It was his aspiration, he once said, to make a drawing every day of his life. The thousands of works on paper he produced not only mark him as one of the great draftsmen of his era, but also provide a vivid record of his graphic development and his constant exploration of techniques, motifs, formal ideas, and the imprint of visual observation.
David Smith: Drawing and Sculpting assembles over fifty drawings and paintings by Smith, many of them from the artist’s estate and many never previously exhibited. Shown together with fifteen major sculptures from throughout his career, these objects trace the fascinating creative interaction between Smith’s work in two and three dimensions. Although Smith made many drawings that served as preparatory studies for sculptures, he also used drawing to think beyond the possibilities of built form, to “what sculpture can never be.” Especially later in life, his drawings tend not to relate to sculpture on a one-to-one basis but rather, to circulate around sculptures in a mutual dialogue of exploration and invention. He saw all of his work as flowing from one continuous creative stream, with no conceptual boundaries between two- and three-dimensional form. In this active interchange, he sought to keep alive in his sculptures the spontaneity, freedom, and gestural quality he prized so highly in drawing.
It is our hope that this exhibition, with its range of graphic techniques and visual invention, will shed light on Smith’s working methods and help reaffirm his important legacy as a draftsman. We are indebted to all our lenders and especially to The Estate of David Smith, whose generous support from the outset made the exhibition possible. I particularly want to acknowledge my co-curator Candida Smith.
Frank Stella: Painting in Three Dimensions
January 8 - April 3, 2005
Featuring a selection of the artist’s painted reliefs and prints from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Frank Stella: Painting in Three Dimensions highlights some of the artist’s groundbreaking work from the 1970s and 1980s. During this period, the artist abandoned his minimalist format of straight lines and single hues in favor of curlicue forms and wild colors. Working almost exclusively in series, Stella experimented with layering and collage techniques pioneered by the cubists and constructivists at the beginning of the twentieth century, as well as freer, more expressive brushwork. This work would move painting into new artistic territory. Rather than emphasize the flat surface of the canvas as he had in his minimalist paintings, Stella sought to extend the space of the painting out toward the viewer. Painting on constructions of aluminum and honey-combed aluminum panels, the reliefs project dramatically into our space and challenge the boundary between flat painting and three-dimensional sculpture. Arranged in roughly chronological order, the viewer can trace the development of Stella’s artistic experiments and consider an essential question that they raise: Are the reliefs painting or sculpture?
Bodies Past and Present: The Figurative Tradition in the Nasher Collection
September 18, 2004
Upper Level Galleries
A new exhibition of works from the Nasher Collection, Bodies Past and Present: The Figurative Tradition in the Nasher Collection explores the radical reinvention of the human form and recognizable objects that has taken place in sculpture over the past 120 years. Breaking from centuries-old traditions of physical exactitude and historical or narrative subject matter, modern sculptors have fashioned people and things in an unprecedented variety of innovative forms. On display in the beautiful, light-filled galleries on the upper level, the exhibition features approximately 50 works by over 20 artists, from modern masterpieces by Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, and Henri Matisse to seminal contemporary sculptures by Claes Oldenburg, Antony Gormley, and Tony Cragg.
Variable States: Three Masterworks of Modern Sculpture
September 18 - January 2, 2005
Lower Level Gallery
Developed as an integral part of the groundbreaking conference Variable States: Intention, Appearance, and Interpretation in Modern Sculpture (see Conferences), this exhibition brings together multiple casts of works featured in the Nasher Collection: Auguste Rodin’s The Age of Bronze, Alberto Giacometti’s Bust of Diego, and Jeff Koons’ Louis XIV. Joined by different versions of these sculptures from other private and public collections, the exhibition offers a rare opportunity for close comparison of these works. The casts differ from one another in important ways, such as materials, patinas, and appearance due to weathering. Accompanied by helpful didactic texts, the exhibition allows the visitor to investigate how these differences affect how one sees, interprets, and cares for these sculptures.
From Rodin to Calder:
Masterworks of Modern Sculpture from the Nasher Collection
October 20 through August 22, 2004
From Rodin to Calder: Masterworks of Modern Sculpture from the Nasher Collection is the inaugural exhibition for the interior galleries of the Nasher Sculpture Center. It highlights the rich holdings of the Nasher Collection in early modern sculpture and also the beautifully harmonious environment for the display of sculpture that is central to Renzo Piano’s building design. The exhibition comprises a total of approximately 70 works by more than 20 artists, including primarily sculptures but also a selection of paintings paired with other works by the same artists.
Patsy and Raymond Nasher began collecting sculpture seriously in the mid-1960s. Early purchases of works by such masters as Jean Arp, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and Alexander Calder set a high standard of excellence for subsequent acquisitions in the fields of both modern and contemporary art. By the mid-1980s, the collection had reached a size and importance that began to attract international attention, and a traveling exhibition of key works organized by the Dallas Museum of Art toured from Dallas to Washington, D.C., Madrid, Florence, and Tel Aviv. A later show traveled to San Francisco and New York. Gradually, Raymond and Patsy Nasher began to dream of turning their private passion into a public treasure. Patsy passed away in 1988, but her spirit lives on in the new Nasher Sculpture Center, which represents the culmination of that shared dream.
Today the collection numbers over 300 sculptures, thematic selections from which will rotate through the Nasher Sculpture Center along with other special exhibitions. The current show traces many of the key inventive forces that shaped the history of modern sculpture, from the expressive naturalism of Auguste Rodin through such stylistic movements as Cubism, Constructivism, and Surrealism, to the poetic constructions of Calder and the forceful assemblages of David Smith.
Particularly notable is the extensive representation of such artists as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, and David Smith, where multiple works provide an overview of each sculptor’s historical development. With this exhibition, the Nasher Sculpture Center offers a true celebration of the creative, energizing spirit of modern sculpture in its diverse formal and thematic investigations.
Medardo Rosso: Second Impressions
April 3 through June 20, 2004
A groundbreaking exhibition of works by the early modernist sculptor, Medardo Rosso, showcases his pioneering experimentation with different materials and casting techniques. Presenting select groupings of sculptures in wax, bronze, and plaster, the exhibition examines how Rosso altered his compositions throughout his career, essentially creating a unique work of art with each casting. One of the five central thematic groups examined in the exhibition is Rosso's early masterwork, The Golden Age (1886-87), a key example of which is in the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection.
This exhibition was organized by the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA. Supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional funding provided by Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Dr. Sheldon G. and Irma Gilgore, the Jose Soriano Fund, Jessie Lie Farber in honor of James Cuno, and Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr., in honor of Syndey J. Freedberg, Sr.
Picasso: The Cubist Portraits of Fernande Olivier
February 14 through May 9, 2004
During 1909 Pablo Picasso devoted himself to making portraits of his companion, Fernande Olivier. This exhibition examines his singular commitment to this subject and chronicles the development of Cubism, one of the most important artistic innovations of the 20th century. Featuring works in a range of media, including painting, drawing, and sculpture, a highlight of the exhibition is Picasso’s first formal exploration of cubist sculpture, the important plaster Head of a Woman (Fernande) from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection.
The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. The local lead sponsor is Wells Fargo, with additional support provided by Winstead.