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Homer to Hockney: Master Drawings from the Collection

November 1, 2006 - January 28, 2007


The McNay Art Museum featuring over 40 rarely displayed works on paper in its upcoming special exhibition Homer to Hockney: Master Drawings from the Collection, on view November 1, 2006 through January 28, 2007. Drawn from the museum's outstanding collection of modern and contemporary drawings, collages, and watercolors, the exhibition includes some of Marion Koogler McNay's founding bequests including Charles Demuth's masterful watercolor From the Kitchen Garden (1925) as well as treasures by Mary Cassatt, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Diego Rivera, and John Marin.

"Because of light sensitivity, this is only the second opportunity to see such a large selection of the McNay's superb collection of works on paper," explains Lyle Williams, Curator of Prints and Drawings. 

David Hockney's contemporary drawing Looking at Pictures (1977) and Ed Ruscha's Fly (1968), both included in the bequest of the Los Angeles collector Robert H. Halff, will represent the McNay's growing collection of post-1945 drawings in the exhibition.


Text panel information:

A rare opportunity to see many of the museum's masterpieces of drawing and watercolor, Homer to Hockney represents strengths of the McNay's growing collection, from Winslow Homer's subtly powerful Study for Inside the Bar, Tynemouth, to David Hockney's portrait of Henry Geldzahler inspired by the drawings of the 19th-century master J. A. D. Ingres (1780­1867).

Just as the McNay's print collection complements the Museum's painting and sculpture collections, so too does its collection of drawings and watercolors with emphasis on focuses on the key areas of19th- and 20th-century French and American works, as well as work after 1945.

Among the highlights of the collection are Amedeo Modigliani's Caryatid, Charles Demuth's From the Kitchen Garden, and an untitled drawing by Cy Twombly. Recent acquisitions, most notably from the Estate of Robert H. Halff, have greatly increased the importance of the McNay's collection of contemporary drawings. Thanks to the Halff Bequest, the McNay now has two highly significant portraits by Hockney and two rare and coveted Ed Ruscha gunpowder drawings.


Selected object labels from the exhibition:

Amedo Modigliani, Caryatid, 1913
Ink, graphite, and pastel on paper
16 _ x 10 _ in.
Bequest of Marion Koogler McNay
Italian born artist Amedo Modigliani was fascinated with caryatids -- sculptures of women used as structural supports found in pre-classical, Eastern Mediterranean architecture. For Modigliani, Cycladic, Phoenician, Etruscan, and African art represented the purest forms of artistic expression and he used elements from these distant and ancient sources to revitalize his own modernist creations. In Caryatid, 1913, Modigliani was inspired by native masks to create an image with a strong African motif. One of the best examples of Modigliani's caryatid drawings, this work was the cover image of the McNay's first publication highlighting the museum's collection in 1954.
Charles Demuth, From the Kitchen Garden, 1925
Watercolor and graphite on paper
18 _ x 12 in.
Bequest of Marion Koogler McNay
One of the masterworks in Marion Koogler McNay's bequest, Charles Demuth's From the Kitchen Garden, was selected as the signature image for the Whitney Museum of American Art's retrospective of Demuth's work in 1987. The work is a combination of delicate graphite lines and brilliant, highly saturated watercolor.
David Hockney, Henry, 1968
Graphite on paper
Bequest of Robert H. Halff
British-born artist David Hockney was fascinated with the graphite portrait drawings of 19th-century French master draftsman, J. A. D. Ingres. In the portrait of art impresario Henry Geldzahler, Hockey lavished the same attention to detail to the sitter's face, the most important part of the portrait, while loosely describing Geldzahler's clothing and pose. One of the most famous of Hockney's Ingres-inspired drawings, Henry has been included in several national and international Hockney exhibitions.
Ed Ruscha, Fly, 1968
Gunpowder on paper
Bequest of Robert H. Halff
The McNay's collection includes two major gunpowder drawings by American Pop Artist Edward Ruscha. Among the most coveted of contemporary graphics, this unique work was created by suspending actual gunpowder in water which was then applied to the paper like watercolor." In Fly, Ruscha created his trademark play on words by spelling out the word fly with bits of paper held in place with tiny pushpin, hence flypaper. Ruscha, like many artists of his generation, had a fascination with common, everyday objects and the associative power of words.
Leonardo Drew, Untitled, 1999
Graphite and asphaltum on paper
Museum purchase and bequest of Evelyn Halff Ruben, by exchange
Leonardo Drew is one of the most innovative young American sculptors working today. The McNay acquired this drawing to complement its wall-mounted Drew sculpture. Both works reveal Drew's fascination with the modernist grid and the artist's love of texture and color. In the drawing, Drew applied layer upon layer of asphaltum -- or tar -- to the paper creating a deep rich brown color and a three-dimensional surface which relate to the artist's rusty, found object sculptures.

Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the McNay Art Museum in Resource Library.

TFAO also suggests these DVD or VHS videos:

David Hockney: Pleasures of the Eye is a 55 minute 1997 video directed by Gero von Boehm and Beatrice Monti Della Corte from RM Arts of the Netherlands. In this profile, David Hockney talks about his philosophy, his life, and his work, which ranges from painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, and stage design, including his recent Turandot for the San Francisco Opera. Filmed largely in his California home, the camera also captures him in his London home and studio, at the opening of the 1995 major retrospective of his work at the Royal Academy, and in Munich to view the stage designs and wall paintings of the Pulcinella motif he created for Eric Satie's Parade.
Hockney at the Tate Features the art of David Hockney. 55 minutes (collection of Joslyn Art Museum)
Hockney: Portrait of an Artist Features the art of David Hockney. 55 minutes (collection of Joslyn Art Museum)
Portrait of an Artist: David Hockney, the Photographer is a 23-minute video in which painting and photography is discussed by this British Pop artist now living in California. In recent years Hockney has become involved with still photography, creating innovative large panoramic works comprised of many small photos. (quote courtesy Plains Art Msueum)

TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos. Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format.

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