Robert Gober, Newspaper, 1992, photolithographs on archival paper, twine, 15.24 x 33.66 x 41.28 cm, Courtesy the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery, © Robert Gober, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.

Carlo Carrà, Pursuit (Inseguimento), 1915, tempera, charcoal, and collage on cardboard, 39.05 x 67.95 cm, Gianni Mattioli Collection. Long-term loan to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled, 1991, offset print on paper (endless copies), 21.6 x 106.7 x 147.3 cm, EG Collection, Milan, © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, Photo: James Franklin.

Hans Richter, Stalingrad (Victory in the East), 1943-1944, oil and newspaper on cloth, 89.5 x 479.7 cm, framed: 96.84 x 482.6 cm, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of Mrs. Hans Richter, 1976.

Pulp News Media as Medium: What's Black and White and Read All Over?

Dieter Roth, Literaturwurst (Daily Mirror), 1961, newspaper, water, gelatin, and spices in sausage casing, 45.7 x 12.7 cm, Barbara Wien, Berlin.

Jasper Johns, Newspaper, 1957, encaustic and newspaper on canvas, 68.6 x 91.4 cm, Private collection Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

Georges Braque, Bottle, Glass and Newspaper, late 1913 or 1914, charcoal, faux bois paper, newspaper, on paper, 50.48 x 61.6 cm, Private collection, © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Stinehour Photography.

Emory Douglas, All Power to the People, 1969, offset lithograph, 38.1 x 57.15 cm, Collection of Alden and Mary Kimbrough, © 2012 Emory Douglas / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Edward Burra, Composition Collage, 1929, collage and ink on paper, 47.63 x 39.37 cm, framed: 58.42 x 49.53 x 3.81 cm, Private collection.

Ellsworth Kelly, Head with Beard, 1949, newspaper cutout. 26 x 15.9 cm, framed: 55.88 x 41.28 x 3.81 cm, Collection of the artist, © Ellsworth Kelly.

Raoul Hausmann, Salomo Friedländer (Mynona), 1919, newspaper, woodcut and journal clippings on silver Japanese paper, 25.5 x 21.2 cm, Collection Merrill C. Berman.

Fluxus, cc V TRE, January 1964, offset lithograph, closed: 57.8 x 43.2 cm, ) framed: 96.84 x 63.82 x 5.08 cm, Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Acquired with Walker Art Center library funds; transfer to Walker Art Center permanent collection, 1990.

Pablo Picasso, Head of a Man, 1912, charcoal, newspaper, colored paper and hand-painted faux bois paper on paper, 62.5 x 47 cm, Private collection, © 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Marcel Broodthaers, Le problème noir en Belgique (The black problem in Belgium), 1963, newspaper, manufactured eggs, paint, metal nail, and gesso on prepared backing; artist's frame, 50 x 41 x 7.5 cm, Private collection, The Netherlands.

Eugen Batz, Contrast Study, 1929-1930, newspaper, gouache, and white paper on black paper, 42.5 x 32.9 cm, Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, © Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin.

Joseph Beuys, Kraft, 1963, ink on fat-impregnated newspaper (folded), 31.2 x 22.5 x 2.2 cm, framed: 69.5 x 52.9 x 6.7 cm, Museum Schloss Moyland, Van der Grinten Collection, © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

Guerrilla Girls, The Token Times, 1995, offset lithograph, 55.9 x 43.2 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Gallery Girls in support of the Guerrilla Girls, 2007.

John Cage, Eninka 22, 1986, burned, smoked and branded Japanese Gampi paper mounted on paper (unique impression), 64.14 x 47.94 cm, Collection of Ryo Toyonaga and Alvin Friedman-Kien.

Pablo Picasso, Guitar, Sheet Music, and Glass, 1912, sheet music, newspaper, colored and white paper, charcoal, and hand-painted faux-bois paper on wallpaper, 47.9 x 36.5 cm, Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Bequest of Marion Koogler McNay, © 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Semen Fridliand, Die käufliche Presse (The Venal Press), 1929, halftone reproduction, 16 x 21 cm, National Gallery of Art Library, David K.E. Bruce Fund.

Hannah Höch, Von Oben (From Above), 1926-1927, photomontage and collage on paper,30.5 x 22.2 cm, Des Moines Art Center’s Louise Noun Collection of Art by Women through Bequest, 2003.

John Heartfield, Wer Bürgerblätter liest wird blind und taub. Weg mit den verdummungsbandagen! (Whoever reads bourgeois newspapers goes blind and deaf. Away with bandages that make you dimwitted!), published in Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung, vol. 9, no. 6, February 9, 1930, copperplate photogravure
38.1 x 26.7 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987 Photograph © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

John Heartfield, Wer Bürgerblätter liest wird blind und taub. Weg mit den verdummungsbandagen! (Whoever reads bourgeois newspapers goes blind and deaf. Away with bandages that make you dimwitted!), published in Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung, vol. 9, no. 6, February 9, 1930, copperplate photogravure, 38.1 x 26.7 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987 Photograph © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

National Gallery of Art
National Mall
Between 3rd and 9th Streets
at Constitution Avenue NW
202-737-4215
Washington D.C.
East Building
Shock of the News
September 23, 2012-January 27, 2013

Since 1909, major artists from nearly every art movement have co-opted, mimicked, defused, undermined, memorialized, and rewritten newspapers. Shock of the News examines the myriad manifestations of the "newspaper phenomenon" through 65 collages, paintings, drawings, sculptures, artists' newspapers, prints, and photographs by European and American artists, from F. T. Marinetti and Pablo Picasso to the Guerrilla Girls and Robert Gober. The exhibition also includes the large-scale multimedia installation To Mallarmé (2003) by Mario Merz. With two exceptions, the 60 artists in the exhibition are each represented by one exemplary work.

"Artists pursuing various agendas have transformed the disposable daily paper into compelling works of art. Shock of the News promises to shape our understanding of modern artists' responses to the newspaper," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art, Washington. "Although a handful of recent exhibitions have explored the topic, this is the first to offer a systematic examination of the newspaper as both a material and subject in modern and contemporary art over the course of a century."

The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

The Exhibition Arranged chronologically, Shock of the News traces the development of the newspaper phenomenon from 1909 to 2009 and demonstrates its remarkable ability to adapt to and shift with the times while remaining vital to the present.

On February 20, 1909, Marinetti's futurist manifesto appeared on the front page of Le Figaro, and soon after this Picasso included a fragment of real newspaper into the collage Guitar, Sheet Music, and Glass (1912) (widely considered the first self-consciously modern work of art to incorporate newspaper). While the aims of Marinetti and Picasso were poles apart, their seminal efforts marked the beginning of a trend: visual artists began to think about the newspaper more broadly — as a means of political critique, a collection of ready-made news to appropriate and manipulate, a source of language and images, a typographical grab bag, and more.

The exhibition opens with the two key pieces by Marinetti and Picasso. Other works in this room attest to how quickly the trend spread, encompassing both Europe and the United States. These include works by leading artists from early avant-garde movements such as cubism, futurism, and Dada, such as a superb cubist still life by Juan Gris, a militant work by the futurist Carlo Carrà, and an early Dada collage by Man Ray.

Also on view will be a striking photomontage by Hannah Höch, Von Oben (From Above) (1926), Arthur Dove's renowned The Critic (1925), and John Heartfield's scornful photomontage, reproduced in a Berlin illustrated newspaper in 1930, showing a lumpish man with his head wrapped in pages from Vorwärts, the Social Democratic Party's official paper, and Tempo, a mass-market tabloid. Heartfield's criticism was targeted both at the party and the press, and his message — spelled out in a boldface caption — could not have been more explicit: "Whoever reads bourgeois newspapers goes blind and deaf."

Spanning World War II to the 1980s, many of the works in the second room use the newspaper to report on events and convey political messages. In a 16-foot-long scroll-like painting, Stalingrad (Victory in the East) (1943–1944), Hans Richter incorporated actual news articles to trace the Battle of Stalingrad from onset to conclusion. Jean Dubuffet's cryptic Message: La clef est sous le volet (Message: The key is under the shutter) (1944), with words scrawled on a piece of scrap newspaper, evokes a sense of urgency, and was made while France was still under German occupation. Emory Douglas' All Power to the People (1969) depicts a young boy hawking Black Panther newspapers. Laurie Anderson literally wove together front pages of the New York Times and China Times in 1976, calling attention to Sino-American relations. This room also features outstanding artists' newspapers, including Salvador Dalí's Dali News (1945), a newspaper with items devoted entirely to Dalí, and Yves Klein's Dimanche — Le journal d'un seul jour (Sunday — The newspaper for a single day) (1960).

Robert Rauschenberg, renowned for his use of non-traditional materials, first incorporated newspaper into paintings while at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. There he began a series of so-called black paintings that typically include newspaper — either totally obscurring it or allowing some legibility — as seen in Untitled (Asheville Citizen) (c. 1952).

Room three of the exhibition highlights the variety of approaches that artists have taken in recent decades. Sarah Charlesworth's Modern History: April 21, 1978 (1978) tracks a single photograph of the kidnapped former Italian prime minister, Aldo Moro, on the front page of 45 different newspapers. Eliminating all headlines, captions, and articles, Charlesworth presents visual proof that newspapers construct different "pictures" of the same event. For Eninka 22 (1986) John Cage ran burning newspapers and a blank sheet of paper through a printing press; all that remains of the burned newsprint are incomprehensible letters and words that offset onto the blank sheet.

In works from 1991 and 1992, Robert Gober tampered with images and texts published in the New York Times, testing the viewer's ability to discern fact from fiction. For Felix Gonzalez-Torres' conceptual work Untitled (1991), identical prints, each featuring excerpts from two New York Times articles will be stacked on the floor for visitors to take. The excerpts, which present contradictory views on the practice of law enforcement profiling, are printed separately on the front and back of each sheet, much like a newspaper, where an opinion on one side of a page might contradict another on its reverse.

Spanning nearly 24 feet, To Mallarmé (2003), a late signature work by Mario Merz, is installed on the Mezzanine near the entrance to the exhibition. The artist, a member of the Italian Arte Povera movement, lined up stacks of Italian and Arabic dailies from March 2003, when President George W. Bush issued an ultimatum before the invasion of Iraq. On top of the stacks, in blue neon light, the title of an 1897 poem by Stéphane Mallarmé unfolds: "Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard," which is translated "a throw of the dice never will abolish chance."

In The Good News / Al Arab Al Yawm, 8/6/2008 (2008–2009) Jim Hodges coated every page of a newspaper published in Amman, Jordan, with 24k gold. Though this practice may seem contradictory, it is in keeping with Picasso's elevation of the lowly newspaper into the realm of high art in 1912.

Exhibition Curator, Catalogue, and Related Activities
The exhibition was conceived by Judith Brodie, curator and head of the department of modern prints and drawings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Published by the National Gallery of Art in association with Lund Humphries, the 208-page fully illustrated exhibition catalogue includes essays by Brodie; Sarah Boxer, critic and reporter, Slate and the New York Review of Books; Janine Mileaf, art historian and director, Arts Club of Chicago; Christine Poggi, professor of modern and contemporary art and criticism, University of Pennsylvania; and Matthew Witkovsky, curator and chair of the department of photography, at the Art Institute of Chicago. The catalogue is be available in September for purchase in the Gallery Shops in hardcover. To order, visit the website at www.nga.gov/shop; call 800-697-9350 or 202-842-6002; fax 202-789-3047; or e-mail mailorder@nga.gov.

The catalogue has been made possible, in part, by the Corinne H. Buck Charitable Lead Trust.

Judith Brodie presents two lectures on the exhibition: Mme Lesbos was run over by a tourist omnibus drawn by six horses. It happened in Versailles: Artists and the Modern Newspaper on September 10, at 12:10 and 1:10 p.m.; and Introduction to the Exhibitio n— Shock of the News on Sunday, September 23 at 2 p.m.

In addition to the full-color exhibition catalogue, the Gallery Shops will feature a selection of titles about many of the artists featured in Shock of the News. The Shops will also offer gift items that incorporate newsprint, including a variety of totes, stationery, and a laptop case.

Salvador Dalí, Dali News, November 20, 1945, offset lithograph, 61 x 45.7 cm, The Dalí Museum, Saint Petersburg, Florida, © Salvador Dalí. Fundación Gala-Salvador Dalí, 2012.

Spanish 20th century, L'Opinió, 1932, rotogravure, 47.9 x 34.9 cm, Collection Merrill C. Berman.

Max Weber, The Sunday Tribune, 1913, pastel on newspaper, 57.2 x 41.6 cm, framed: 77.47 x 60.96 cm, Private collection, New York.

Kurt Schwitters, Untitled (The Hitler Gang), 1944, collage, oil, canvas, cardboard and pasteboard on paper, image: 34.8 x 24.6 cm, original mount: 50.5 x 40.4 cm, framed: 68.5 x 53 x 3 cm, Kurt und Ernst Schwitters Stiftung, Hannover / The Kurt und Ernst Schwitters Siftung was founded by the Schwitters family with the support of NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank, the Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung (Savings Bank Foundation of Lower Saxony), the Niedersächsische Lottostiftung (The Lottery Foundation of Lower Saxony), the Cultural Foundation of the Federal States, the State Minister at the Federal Chancellery for Media and Cultural Affairs, the Ministry for Science and Culture of the Land of Lower Saxony, and the City of Hannover. © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Kurt Schwitters Archive at the Sprengel Museum Hanover. Michael Herling / Aline Gwose, Sprengel Museum Hanover

Sarah Charlesworth, Modern History: April 21, 1978, 1978, 45 gelatin silver prints, dimensions variable, each approx. 22 x 16", Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Justin Smith Purchase Fund, 2003, © Copyright Sarah Charlesworth.

Bazon Brock, Bernhard Jäger, Thomas Bayerle, Bloom-Zeitung, 1963. offset lithograph, 57.2 x 75 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Yves Klein, Dimanche – Le journal d'un seul jour (Sunday – The newspaper for a single day), November 27, 1960, newsprint, 55.9 x 38.1 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Donald and Nancy de Laski Fund, 2010.

Paul Klee, Alpha bet II, 1938, pigmented paste on newspaper, 49 x 33 cm, framed: 72 x 52 x 3.5 cm, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern.

Hans Arp, Cover of the journal Dada, no. 4-5: Anthologie Dada, 1919, woodcut on colored paper adhered to newsprint (deluxe edition), 27.4 x 18.5 cm, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University,

Pablo Picasso, Head of a Man with a Moustache, 1913, ink, charcoal and graphite on newspaper, 55.5 x 37.4 cm, Private collection, © 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Le Figaro, February 20, 1909, newspaper, 62.2 x 44.5 cm, Collection Ohnesorge Martin-Malburet.

Arthur Dove, The Critic, 1925, newspaper, paper, commercial ornament, fabric, cord, yarn, watercolor, and graphite on board; artist's frame, 49.5 x 33 x 5.7 cm, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Purchase, with funds from the Historic Art Association of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Mr. and Mrs. Morton L. Janklow, the Howard and Jean Lipman Foundation, Inc., and Hannelore Schulhof, © Courtesy of and copyright The Estate of Arthur G. Dove.

Marine Hugonnier, Art for Modern Architecture (Homage to Ellsworth Kelly), 2005, 7 collages on newspaper, 58.1 x 38.1 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Collectors Committee, 2009.

Laurie Anderson, New York Times, Horizontal/China Times, Vertical, 1976 (first conceived 1971), woven newspaper, 57.5 x 36.8 cm, framed: 83.82 x 60.33 x 5.4 cm, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Ralph M. Parsons Fund , Laurie Anderson, Digital Image © 2009 Museum Associates / LACMA / Art Resource, NY.

Stephen Dean, Untitled (Help Wanted Full Page), 1994, watercolor on newsprint, overall: 56.6 x 35.6 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Werner H. and Sarah-Ann Kramarsky, 2000.

Robert Gober, Untitled (from 'Parkett,' no. 27, special edition, 1991), 1991, photolithograph, hand-painted with coffee, 22 1/8 x 13 7/8 in (56.2 x 35.2 cm), National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Collectors Committee, 2010, © Robert Gober, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.

Kim Rugg, No More Dry-Runs, 2008, cut-and-rearranged newspaper, 60 x 37.5 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Collectors Committee, 2009.

Andy Warhol, Study for Flash – November 22, 1963 portfolio cover, 1968, silkscreen ink on paperboard, 104.1 x 60.6 cm, framed: 121.6 x 77.95 cm, Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, © 2012 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

Adrian Piper, Vanilla Nightmares #10, 1986, charcoal and oil crayon on newspaper, 59.69 x 34.29 cm, framed: 73.82 x 50.8 x 4.45 cm, Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2004, © Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin.

Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled (Asheville Citizen), c. 1952, oil and newspaper on canvas (two panels), 188 x 72.4 cm, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase, 1999, Art © Estate of Robert Rauschenberg/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY, Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY.

Paul Thek, Untitled (Diver), 1970, acrylic on newspaper, 58.42 x 73.66 cm, Collection of Gail and Tony Ganz.

Juan Gris, Glasses, Teacup, Bottle, and Pipe on a Table, 1914, oil, pasted paper, and charcoal on canvas, overall: 65.4 x 92.3 x 2.1 cm, framed: 98.4 x 125.5 x 7.5 cm, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf.

Gerhard Hoehme, Die Zeitung (Newspaper), 1963, etching and aquatint with hand-coloring, printed on two sheets of newspaper mounted on paper, 60.1 x 85.6 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Ruth Cole Kainen, 2012, © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

Man Ray, Transmutation, 1916, watercolor, ink, crayon, charcoal, graphite and collage on newspaper, 45.72 x 60.96 cm, Moderna Museet, Stockholm.