Neuberger Museum of Art

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Contemporary Classicism at Neuberger Museum of Art

Muriel Castanas, Roman No Arms, 1993, colth and epoxy, 77x 27 x 24 inches, courtesy of the artist

Classical antiquity has been the source of numerous artistic trends and styles. From February 21 through June 6, 1999, the Neuberger Museum of Art will feature Contemporary Classicism, an exhibition that displays works by twenty-four present-day artists who have adapted or adopted ancient forms and themes in their art. Artistic inspirations presented in the exhibition are drawn from mythology, ancient ruins, sculpture and architecture and ancient implements.

Howard Ben Tre's glass sculptures are based upon ancient urns and vessels. Large-scale works on paper from Cynthia Carlson's Monument Series suggest Greco-Roman commemoratives while works from Anthony Caro' s Trojan Series are drawn from fabled Troy. Left: Howard Ben Tre, Bearing Figure with Alabastion, 1996, expansion glass,bronze patina, gold leaf, 75 1/5 x 29 x 16 1/2 inches, courtesy of the artist.

Venus is a frequent subject of Jim Dine's sculpture, drawings and prints, while Mary Beth Edelson uses Greco-Roman deities in many of her drawings, collages and performances.

Left: Audrey Flack, Colossal Head of Daphne, 1996, patinaed polyurethane and wood with audiocassette, 70 x 62 inches, coourtesy of the artists and Loius K. Meisel Gallery. Audrey Flack' s sculpture and Nancy Spero' s collages and hand-printed works on paper also dwell upon the goddess theme. Ellen Lanyon's painting series Archaic Garden recalls her trips to ancient sites near Rome. Beverly Pepper's sculptural "markers" evoke encounters with Roman Glory during her residence in Italy. Marjorie Strider's signature synthetic foam graces a drawing on paper derived from an ancient vase.

Anne and Patrick Poirier's large-scale sculptures have their origin in ancient monuments while photographers Jim Frank and Barbara Kasten have chosen antique statuary, implements, and structures as the subject of their work. Judith Shea will install a special entryway drawn from Grecian lore for her two figures. Left: Anne and Patrick Poirier, Deep Memory #V, 1990-91, plaster, 2 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches, courtesy Sonnabend Gallery. Right: Nancy Spero, Greek and Roman, 1993, handprinting and printed collage on paper, 24 1/2 x 39 inches, courtesy Jack Tilton Gallery and P. P. O. W. Inc., photo by David Reynolds.

While some participating artists' indebtedness to the classical is more literal than others, their shared interest in ancient art has had a clear and distinctive influence upon their work.


rev. 8/24/10

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