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At its October 2015 Board of Trustees meeting, the National Gallery of Art acquired a large number of drawings, prints and photographs that greatly strengthen its collection. Highlights include extraordinary drawings by Pieter Jansz Saenredam (1597–1665) and Hans Rottenhammer (1564–1625), a bound volume with over 200 15th-century woodcuts, as well as a painting from the Thesaurus series by Mel Bochner (b. 1940). Promised photographs include numerous outstanding gelatin silver prints by Diane Arbus (1923–1971), Richard Avedon (1923–2004), and Robert Frank (b. 1924).

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Donald Judd may be primarily known for his minimalist sculptures, but a new temporary exhibition at the artist's former private residence in Soho, New York, will shine the spotlight on prints, an under-known facet of his work.

For four decades, Judd thoroughly explored the printmaking process, creating works using aquatint, etching, and screenprinting, with a special focus on woodcuts. The exhibition is curated by the artist's son, Flavin, the co-president of the Judd Foundation.

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Though “Dance: Movement, Rhythm, Spectacle” occupies just one large room (arranged to feel like three) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, it seems to open windows in many directions. Its exhibits range from the 1890s to the 1980s, vividly demonstrating how radically that century brought change to social dance, dance theater and ideas of dance in art. Diversely diverse, the show, which opened this month, offers a panoply of artistic media (photographs, paintings, watercolors, prints, woodcuts, etchings, graphite drawings, lithographs and film), dancers of various races and a huge assortment of dance costumes.

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Revered as the “Dean of American Craftsmen,” Wharton Harris Esherick played a pivotal role in establishing the American Studio Furniture Movement. A visionary in the truest sense, Esherick was the first craftsman to approach furniture as sculpture -- a notion that influenced an entire generation of designer-craftsmen, including Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Sam Maloof, and Wendell Castle (read more about Wendell Castle and his latest work).

A trained painter and printmaker, Esherick’s fascination with wood began in 1920, when he started carving designs on the frames for his paintings. Soon, he was carving woodcuts and crafting sinuous organic sculptures, furniture, and architectural interiors...

Continue reading this article about Wharton Harris Esherick at Moderne Gallery on

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The Norton Museum of Art presents "Master Prints: Dürer to Matisse," featuring astonishing works on paper including woodcuts, etchings, engravings, aquatints, and lithographs that range from the 15th to 20th centuries. This not-to-be-missed exhibition brings together several of the earliest as well as later examples of the golden age of printmaking. Works by old masters Dürer, Rembrandt, Goya, and Canaletto, will be displayed alongside those of modern masters Degas, Matisse, Picasso, and Cezanne. The exhibition is on view through Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, and is accompanied by a video demonstrating printmaking processes, and texts describing the role prints held in society before the advent of photography.

“Each and every work in this exhibition is rare, and of a breathtaking quality that is no longer available on the market,” says Jerry Dobrick, the Norton’s Curatorial Associate for European Art.

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The Guggenheim Museum presents Kandinsky Before Abstraction, 1901–1911 in the museum’s Kandinsky Gallery on Annex Level 3. The exhibition features an intimate presentation of sixteen early paintings and woodcuts by Vasily Kandinsky (b. 1866, Moscow; d. 1944, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France), highlighting pictorial themes that preceded the artist’s known nonobjective style.

This exhibition is organized by Tracey Bashkoff, Senior Curator, Collections and Exhibitions, and Megan Fontanella, Associate Curator, Collections and Provenance.

Kandinsky launched his artistic career in 1895, abandoning a legal profession to become the art director of a printing firm in Moscow. One year later Kandinsky left for Munich, where he formed associations with the city’s leading avant-garde groups, realized his talent for working with three classic printmaking techniques (etching, lithography, and woodcut), and began to evolve as an artist and theoretician.

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Around the middle of the 15th century, as the development of the printing press in the West led to an unprecedented exchange of ideas, artists began to make prints. By the year 1500, a new art form and a new means of communicating ideas was widespread—one that had as great an impact in its time as the Internet has had in our own.

Carnegie Museum of Art holds an exceptional collection of prints from this period, from the masterful innovations of Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt in 16th- and 17th-century Northern Europe to the fantastical prints of Canaletto, Tiepolo, and Piranesi in 18th-century Italy. Small Prints, Big Artists, opening this summer, presents more than 200 masterworks from the museum’s collection of over 8,000 prints. The intimately scaled woodcuts, engravings, and etchings reveal the development of printmaking as a true art form. Due to their fragility, many of these prints have not been on view in decades.

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The communications revolution changed everything, including art: a statement that was just as true in 1514 as it is 500 years later. What transformed the world back then was printing, and some of the results are on view in “Renaissance Impressions: Chiaroscuro Woodcuts From the Collections of Georg Baselitz and the Albertina, Vienna” (Royal Academy, London until June 8). They are as beautiful as they are unfamiliar.

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The Museum of Modern Art in New York is hosting “Gauguin: Metamorphoses,” the first major monographic exhibition on Paul Gauguin ever presented at the institution. It is also the first show to focus on the Post-Impressionist artist’s rare prints and transfer drawings and their relationship to his better-known paintings and sculptures.

“Gauguin: Metamorphoses,” which features nearly 130 works on paper and 30 related paintings and sculptures, includes loans from public and private collections. Between 1889 and his death in 1903, Gauguin created the prints in discrete bursts of activity. He experimented with woodcuts, watercolor monotypes and large transfer drawings and often repeated and recombined key motifs from one image to another, allowing them to evolve across mediums.

In order to highlight the relationships among works across mediums, the exhibition is organized loosely by date and groups related works together. The show starts with “Zincographs: The Volpini Suite,” which was created in 1889 and includes Gauguin’s first prints.The 11 zincographs were created on zinc plates rather than the traditional limestone slabs used for lithography, which is indicative of Gauguin’s unconventional artistic choices. “Woodcuts: The Noa Noa Suite and The Vollard Suite” includes Gauguin’s first woodcuts. The Noa Noa Suite was created between 1893 and 1894 after the artist’s first trip to Tahiti and ushered in the modern era with its distinctly rough and “primitive” style. The Vollard Suite, created between 1898 and 1899 after Gauguin returned to Tahiti for the second and final time, explores figures and themes from his earlier works and serves as an abbreviated retrospective of his career. Additional sections are devoted to the watercolor monotypes that Gauguin created around the time he was making the Noa Noa woodcuts, and his oil transfer drawings, which were made using a technique he invented in 1899.   

“Gauguin: Metamorphoses” will be on view at MoMA through June 8, 2014. 

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Tuesday, 22 October 2013 18:30

Albrecht Dürer Exhibition Opens in London

The Courtauld Gallery in London presents the exhibition The Young Dürer: Drawing the Figure, which highlights the early figure drawings of the German Renaissance master, Albrecht Dürer. The show specifically focuses on the artist’s “journeyman” years from 1490-1496, when he traveled widely and was exposed to a plethora of new influences. The exhibition also explores how Dürer created a new artistic approach to the figure, rooted in the study of his own body.

Widely considered the greatest German artist ever to live, Dürer was not only a master draftsman but also a skilled watercolorist and engraver. The craftsmanship of Dürer’s woodcuts was so exceptional that he singlehandedly changed the public’s perception of the medium from commonplace to fine art.

The Young Dürer: Drawing the Figure will be on view at the Courtauld Gallery through January 12, 2014.

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