High to Present Exhibition of Masterful Drawings from Collection
“Top Drawer: Select Drawings from the High’s Collection”
June 28, 2014 – Jan. 4, 2015
ATLANTA, June 11, 2014 – Beginning this summer, the High Museum of Art will present an exhibition featuring more than 70 drawings from the Museum’s permanent collection, including works by such world-renowned artists as Ellsworth Kelly, Jasper Johns, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Salvador Dalí and John Singer Sargent.
“Top Drawer: Select Drawings from the High’s Collection,” on view June 28, 2014 through Jan. 4, 2015, includes diverse works ranging from the 1500s to the present, which represent some of the very best drawings from the High’s collections of American, European, folk, and modern and contemporary art.
Included in the exhibition are two significant recent acquisitions on view for the first time at the High. Ellsworth Kelly’s “Peony” (1979) is a precisely observed contour drawing of a single stem of a flower drawn from Kelly’s memory and personal experience. Leaves cascading down the stem evoke his more reductive shaped paintings and sculptures. Also on view for the first time is Jasper Johns’ “Untitled” (2010). The graphite on paper drawing revisits a series of images that first appeared in a cycle of his partly autobiographical paintings titled “The Seasons” in the mid-1980s.
Other recent acquisitions on view for the first time at the High include: Sulpice-Guillaume Chevalier’s “The King of Laughter (Le Roi des Drôles)” (ca. 1850), Adolph Menzel’s “Mountainous Landscape” (1885), Jean Baptiste Claude Chatelain’s “A Classical Landscape” (ca. 1750), and Edmond Geffroy’s “Talbout” (ca. 1851-1865).
Drawings often convey both an intimacy and immediacy through their size, materiality, and the trace of the artist’s hand. Historically, drawings were prized among connoisseurs as archetypal representations of an artist’s signature style, produced in preparation for larger works or as studies in the pursuit of stylistic perfection. More recently, drawing has become an important form of art making in and of itself, independent from and alongside other categories such as painting and sculpture.
“I am captivated by the immediacy of drawing, which presents a unique view into the creative process,” said David Brenneman, director of collections and exhibitions and Frances B. Bunzl Family curator of European art at the High. “By displaying some of the best examples in the media from our collection, we offer visitors the opportunity to see major works that are rarely on view due to their fragility.”
Other highlights of the exhibition include:
- “Mother and Child,” Mary Cassat, 1909-1914, pastel on paper
- “Head of a Woman,” Elie Nadelman, ca. 1906, pen and sepia ink
- “Landscape with Rocks,” Edgar Degas, 1892, charcoal and chalk on paper
- “Foreshore-Two Lights,” Edward Hopper, 1927, watercolor on paper
- “The Medusa,” Salvador Dali, 1950, gouache, conté crayon, pencil and ink on paper
- “In a Church at Granada, Architectural Detail,” John Singer Sargent, ca. 1912, watercolor, brown wash and graphite on paper
“Top Drawer” also features works by Lee Bontecou, Charles Burchfield, John Constable, Henry Darger, Thornton Dial, John Flaxman, Eva Hesse, Barry Le Va, Brice Marden, John Marin, Susan Rothenberg, Al Taylor and Bill Traylor, among others.
High Museum of Art
The High is the leading art museum in the Southeastern U.S. With more than 14,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography, folk art and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists. For more information visit high.org.
The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines four visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Arts for Learning. To learn more about the Woodruff Arts Center, please visit www.woodruffcenter.org.
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