Have you ever wondered how it would feel to create a painting over eight feet tall and almost seven feet wide? If so, stop by our newest Pop-up Art Spot in the Contemporary gallery and get immersed in Richard Diebenkorn‘s Ocean Park No. 29. Visitors of all ages are invited to assemble a life-size puzzle of this painting with large pieces of felt. Just be ready to get physical as you bend over, stretch, and reach as far as you can to put it together!
This Pop-up Art Spot engages other senses, too: use your sense of touch (unusual in an art museum!) as you explore the texture of oil paint on small canvas samples or pair different scents with the colorful paintings around you.
Below is our upcoming schedule for the Pop-up Art Spot. We change locations from week to week, so be sure to visit us between February 11-16 to engage your senses!
- January 28-February 2: fourth floor landing, Modern American gallery
February 4-9: third floor, Indonesian gallery
February 11-16: first floor, Contemporary gallery
P.S. – This Pop-up Art Spot was created by our wonderful intern Tyler Rutledge, who was featured in a blog post last month.
C3 Gallery Manager
Throughout the month of January, our Early Learning program participants have enjoyed spending time with contemporary art here at the DMA.
January’s Toddler Art class focused on the colors found in Sam Francis’ breathtaking Emblem. The toddlers had a blast pretending to mix and splatter paint onto the giant canvas!
We also celebrated a successful launch of the DMA’s newest class, Art Babies, designed for children 0-24 months and their caregivers.
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching
- Mark Rothko, Orange, Red, and Red, 1962, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated
- Sam Francis, Emblem, 1959, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated
- Sam Francis, Untitled (Black Clouds), 1952, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, by exchange
- Adolph Gottlieb, Orb, 1964, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase
- Ashville Gorky, Untitled, 1943- 1948, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase, Contemporary Arts Council Fund
- Clyfford Still, Untitled, 1964, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated
- Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park No. 29, 1970, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated
For children’s book lovers, January is the month when we wait in anticipation to hear who will win the Caldecott Award. We’ve spent the year oohing and ahhing over gorgeous illustrations, delighting in quirky characters and being filled with wonder as yet another story reaches The End. Several of this year’s contenders are books that I think would feel right at home here at the DMA, both because of the quality of their illustrations and the power of their stories.
In Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown, Mr. Tiger is quite the respectable, gentlemanly tiger. His top hat and bow tie are endearingly dapper, and his manners are every mother’s dream. But that is all about to change when Mr. Tiger has a wild idea. Brown’s watercolor and gouache illustrations perfectly capture Mr. Tiger’s journey from the orderly, precise city to his walk on the wild side in the jungle. When I read the book, I immediately thought of Henri Rousseau’s vivid jungle scenes and the sneaky tiger on a Japanese scroll here at the DMA. Can you imagine this tiger in a suit and tie?
The Tiny King has a huge army, a massive castle, and all the things a person could wish for. But he is very, very lonely. When he meets a big princess, and asks her to be his Queen, his life gets noisier, more crowded, and definitely more happy—bigger in every way! Taro Miura creates bold, colorful illustrations that remind you how simple shapes and a lot of imagination add up to memorable visual images. Pair this book with a close look at some of the Abstract Expressionist paintings on view at the DMA, and you can have your own shape-filled adventure. To see more of Miura’s amazing illustrations, visit Carter Higgins’ blog Design of the Picture Book (one of my favorites).
What can you do with a piece of chalk? Create an entire world! Reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon, Journey’s heroine uses red chalk to draw a door to another world. She creates a hot air balloon, a magic carpet, and a bicycle to help her get around, and the illustrations beg you to look closer and closer as she explores this new place. When she loses her chalk, it seems like all is lost, until she gets some help from a surprising place. Aaron Becker’s watercolors make you feel like you’ve jumped into a painting, and reminded me of Claude-Joseph Vernet’s A Mountain Landscape with Approaching Storm. With an interrupted picnic in the foreground and a shiny castle in the background, you wish you could just walk around this mountain landscape and experience the frantic activity as the storm draws closer. Journey would work well as a classroom warm-up to practice close-looking, storytelling, and searching for contextual clues before a visit to see the Vernet at the museum. (To see a video demonstrating how the illustrations for Journey were created, visit the author’s website).
Duncan’s crayons have gone on strike and instead of an afternoon spent coloring, he faces a pile of complaint letters. Yellow and orange are arguing over what color the sun really is, blue is worn out from coloring water, white is feeling neglected, and the beige crayon worries that he is only ever a stand-in for the brown crayon. Duncan’s colorful solution for soothing everyone’s frazzled nerves shows some stellar out-of-the-(crayon)-box thinking. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt is just as entertaining for kids as it is for adults, and makes you wonder what your crayons would say if they could talk. Oliver Jeffers’ whimsical illustrations bring the crayons to life and offer the perfect way to start a conversation about the surprising ways artists use color in their work. You can meet artist Oliver Jeffers here at the DMA on February 9th as part of the Arts & Letters Live BooksmART series. Learn more about the program and reserve your free tickets here.
Do you have a favorite picture book that you hope will walk away with the Caldecott next week?
Manager of Early Learning Programs
This week’s post is written by guest-author Alexa Hayes, the McDermott Curatorial Intern for American and Decorative Arts. Alexa is a specialist on John Singer Sargent, having written her honors thesis on Sargent’s portraits of women during the 19th century. I’m very grateful for her contributions to this edition of Artist Astrology!
The chilly months of winter match the seemingly-chilly exterior of those born under the sign of Capricorn (December 22 – January 19). Capricorns are outwardly reserved, dedicated hard workers driven by private ambitions. Rarely reckless, they pursue their goals with resourcefulness and practicality, often enjoying success because of their intense commitment to their work. Capricorns are fiercely loyal, making friends for life with those who can see past their elitist demeanor to the deeply sensitive and loving character hidden inside.
The DMA’s collection offers stellar works of art by many of history’s most beloved Capricorns: Joseph Cornell (December 24), Henri Matisse (December 31), John Singer Sargent (January 12), Berthe Morisot (January 14), and Paul Cézanne (January 19).
Joseph Cornell – December 24
An eclectic recluse, Joseph Cornell rarely left the state of New York and held a long-standing suspicion of people, particularly men. Despite this isolation, his pioneering of assemblage and collage as fine art earned him acclaim throughout the art world. He maintained a commitment to studio practice, constantly collecting objects, scraps, and images to create his works of art, preferring to work with items that already have a life and history rather than to produce something brand new. Although many art historians focus on the Surrealist influence in Cornell’s work, his style tugs at viewers in an emotional way, playing with their own nostalgia, thus distancing him significantly from the Surrealists’ crisp world of dreams and fantasy.
Henri Matisse – December 31
Originally trained as a lawyer, Henri Matisse did not develop an interest in art until age twenty one. During a period of illness, Matisse’s mother brought him art supplies to keep him entertained, unintentionally igniting a passion for art. Matisse worked in all media, from sculpture to drawing to printmaking, but became most famous for his daring employment of color, denial of realistic spatial relationships, and energetic brush strokes in painting. He is praised for his monumental contributions to modern art and remains one of the most beloved painters of the twentieth century.
John Singer Sargent – January 12
Although John Singer Sargent lacked the reserved demeanor of most Capricorns, he did possess a distinct elegance and personable charm that gained him many friends in the elite literary and art circles of America and Europe. True to his Capricorn birth, however, he was extremely dedicated to a rigorous studio practice, maintaining a sketchbook at all times and spending hours developing the effortless painterly appeal of his portraits. Sargent had a keen eye not only for aesthetic design but for grasping the character of his sitter within minutes of their introduction. In Dorothy, broad streaks of paint shape the face of an angry child, seemingly furious at being forced to sit inside for a portrait in her fluffy white gown and impractical hat.
Berthe Morisot – January 14
One of the most important female artists of the nineteenth century, Berthe Morisot established herself at the forefront of the Impressionist movement, developing her own artistic style and deviating from the subject matter of her male peers. Her work focused primarily on the feminine or domestic sphere, depicting the intimate relationships of women and children. Morisot primarily used friends and members of her household as models, but chose to present them in a modern painterly style, thus elevating a mundane subject to the level of high art competitive with the works of other Impressionists. Throughout most of her life, Morisot maintained a close friendship with her brother-in-law, Edouard Manet, who encouraged her to be less self-critical while supporting her career as an artist.
Paul Cézanne – January 19
A prolific artist throughout his life, Paul Cézanne demonstrated time and again his commitment to his craft, even risking his father’s wrath when he rejected a career in law to pursue art. Cézanne radically changed the art world by flattening the picture plane rather than using a mathematical linear perspective with a single vanishing point. Further, he simplified objects to basic geometric forms, enhancing their physical presence and sculptural qualities. Cezanne painted objects from a “lived” perspective, attempting to imitate the way that we see subjects in life from multiple angles or with varied impressions. His work greatly influenced the Cubist movement, inspiring artists like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque to experiment with vision and perception.
- Joseph Cornell, Portrait of Fiona, 1965-1970, Dallas Museum of Art, Gift of the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation
- Henri Matisse, Still-life: Bouquet and Compotier, 1924, Dallas Museum of Art, the Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation, Incorporated, in honor of Dr. Bryan Williams
- John Singer Sargent, Dorothy, 1990, Dallas Museum of Art, Gift of the Leland Fikes Foundation, Incorporated
- Berthe Morisot, Winter (Woman with a Muff), 1880, Dallas Museum of Art, Gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated
- Paul Cézanne, Still-life with Carafe, Milk Can, Bowl, and Orange, 1879-1880, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reeves Collection
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching
At the beginning of October, C3 launched a Community Exchange project related to our exhibition, Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take. Inspired by Hodges, we’ve asked visitors to make a button with a positive message to share with the community. In the past few months we’ve had over 9,000 buttons made; that’s over 9,000 positive messages that have been shared and that are circulating throughout Dallas/Fort Worth and beyond!
As the exhibition comes to a close this weekend, don’t let the opportunity to see Jim’s beautiful work and contribute to our Community Exchange project pass you by. Come to the DMA to get inspired and share some positivity!
These lovely photographs have been shared by visitors via social media using the hashtag #DMAGiveMore. When you make your button, be sure to snap a photo and share it as well!
C3 Gallery Coordinator
The DMA is excited to partner again this year with DART on their 2014 Student Art Contest. Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to create an 11×17 poster illustrating the theme “Off We Go!” Visit DART’s website for complete rules and info.
The contest deadline is February 18, so encourage those creative hands to get to work–We can’t wait to see the colorful and imaginative drawings they’ll make!
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives