Christo and Jeanne-Claude and California's Running Fence
The most lyrical of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s epic projects was the Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76. The ambitious scope and enormous size of this monumental temporary artwork are hard to imagine even today. The exhibition Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Remembering the ‘Running Fence,’captures the elaborate process of planning the work and the magnitude of its scale. It is organized by George Gurney, the museum’s deputy chief curator.
Running Fence, the culmination of 42 months of collaborative efforts, was 24-1/2 miles long and 18 feet high, with one end dropping into the Pacific Ocean. The work, made of 240,000 square yards of heavy, white nylon fabric, 90 miles of steel cable, 2,050 steel poles, 350,000 hooks, and 14,000 earth anchors, was paid for entirely by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Completed, Running Fence existed for only two weeks in September 1976. It survives as a memory and through the artwork and documentation by the artists. In 2008, Smithsonian American Art Museum acquired the record of Running Fence — drawings, collages, photographs and documents. It is the first and only major Christo and Jeanne-Claude project archive acquired by a museum.
“Seeing the Running Fence was a transformative experience,” said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director at the museum. “It was a fence that didn’t divide people but instead brought them together. The exhibition, the book and the related films recapture the excitement that still lives in the memory of those who saw the Running Fence 34 years later, and they reintroduce the work to a new generation.”
The collective archive of artworks and related materials includes more than 350 items, most of which are in the exhibition. There are 46 original preparatory drawings and collages by Christo on display, including eight large-scale drawings, each 8 feet wide, and a 58-foot-long scale model. More than 240 photographs by Wolfgang Volz, Gianfranco Gorgoni and Harry Shunk reveal the complex process of constructing Running Fence and the many personalities involved with the project. A sequence of 22-feet-wide high-definition images of Running Fence are projected at the exhibition entrance to convey to visitors the breadth and scale of the project. The exhibition also includes components from the actual project, including a nylon fabric panel and steel pole.
The museum has commissioned a new film, The “Running Fence” Revisited, created for the exhibition by Wolfram Hissen, who has documented many other projects by the artists during the past 20 years. It will be shown regularly in the exhibition galleries, as will Running Fence (1978), a film by the legendary American filmmakers Albert and David Maysles, with Charlotte Zwerin, that chronicles the unpredictable and ever-changing path that led to the completion of Running Fence and Running Fence with Commentary (2004, Plexifilm).
Christo and Jeanne Claude >
Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California 1972-76, © Christo, Photograph by Wolfgang Volz, September 10-20, 1976, Color photograph.
William T. Wiley, Alchemical Lyon Tortured With Abstraction, 2005, mixed media on canvas, 62 x 73".
A Retrospective of the Work of William T. Wiley
Art, politics, war, global warming, foolishness, ambition, hypocrisy and irony are summoned by Wiley’s fertile imagination and recorded in the personal vocabulary of symbols. His wit and sense of the absurd make his art accessible to all with multiple layers of meaning revealed through careful examination.
William T.. Wiley >>
Lu Chunsheng, The Curve Which Can Cough, 2001. Digital video, detail.
Shifting Frames: Chunsheng, Cho, Kobland & Gehr
Electromediascope, the award-winning popular series at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, is an international survey of contemporary film, video and new media. For its winter series, February 2010, Electromediascope offers three programs of film and videos called Shifting Frames of Reference.
Shifting Frames >>
Kosha Appreciating Anything, 1997. Roxanne Swentzell (b. 1962), Santa Clara, New Mexico, detail.
American Art for the first Americans
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art unveils a new suite of American Indian galleries honoring and giving new emphasis to the artistic achievement of Native peoples from across North America. With more than 6,100 square feet, the galleries are among the largest devoted to American Indian art in the world.
First Americans >>
Harland Miller, Dirty Northern Bastard, 2009, Oil on canvas, 300 x 203, detail.
Harland Miller, Hey Old Man Will You Read My Book!
Harland Miller's works have been made or adapted, specifically for BALTIC from a series of works Miller has referred to as the Bad Weather paintings. Based on the dust jackets of Penguin books they are painterly reproductions of iconic classics with fictitious titles specific to the North East where Miller grew up.
Harland Miller >>
the Shape and Shadow of Indian Modern Art
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents the first museum exhibition dedicated to the work of celebrated Indian modern painter Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde (1924-2001) with V. S. Gaitonde: Painting as Process, Painting as Life from October 24, 2014, to February 11, 2015. The retrospective will comprise forty-five major paintings and works on paper drawn from thirty leading public institutions and private collections across Asia, Europe, and the United States, forming the most comprehensive overview of Gaitonde’s work to date. As current scholarship revisits traditions of mid-20th-century modern art outside of the Euro-American paradigm, Gaitonde’s work presents an unparalleled opportunity to explore the context of Indian modern art as it played out in the metropolitan centers of Bombay (now Mumbai) and New Delhi from the late 1940s through the end of the 20th century. Featuring many works that have never been seen by the public, the exhibition will reveal Gaitonde’s extraordinary use of color, line, form, and texture, as well as symbolic elements and calligraphy, in works that seem to glow with an inner light.
The exhibition is organized by Sandhini Poddar, Adjunct Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, with Amara Antilla, Curatorial Assistant, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. It is presented in conjunction with the Guggenheim’s Asian Art Initiative, committed to the integration of modern and contemporary Asian art into museum programming and collection activities as part of the institutional global mission.
This exhibition is supported in part by Christie’s and the W.L.S. Spencer Foundation.
The Leadership Committee for V. S. Gaitonde: Painting as Process, Painting as Life is gratefully acknowledged for its support, with special thanks to Shiv and Kiran Nadar, as well as Aicon Gallery, Marguerite Charugundla and Kent Srikanth Charugundla, Mr. and Mrs. Rajiv J. Chaudhri, Pheroza Jamshyd Godrej, Gujral Foundation, Amrita Jhaveri and Pilar Ordovas, Mukeeta and Pramit Jhaveri, Sangita and Sajjan Jindal, Shanthi Kandiah and Brahmal Vasudevan, Peter Louis and Chandru Ramchandani, Ashwath Mehra, Sanjay and Anjna Motwani, Smita and Ramesh Prabhakar, Pundole Art Gallery, Poonam Bhagat Shroff, Aditi and Shivinder Singh, Talwar Gallery, Vadehra Art Gallery, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky, and those who wish to remain anonymous.
Born in Nagpur, India in 1924, Gaitonde was briefly affiliated with avant-garde collectives such as the Progressive Artists’ Group and the Bombay Group in the early ’50s. Nonetheless, Gaitonde remained independent throughout most of his career, unrelated to any of the modern groups, movements, styles, or academies that developed after 1947 in post-Independence India. He was an artist of singular stature, known to fellow artists and intellectuals, as well as to later generations of students and collectors, as a man of uncompromising artistic integrity of spirit and purpose. A stringent attachment to the codes of painting and the ethics of being a painter distinguished his aesthetic worldview.
V.S. Gaitonde >
V. S. Gaitonde, Untitled, 1955, detail, Oil on canvas, 76.2 x 55.9 cm, Chowdhury Family Collection, Vienna-Mumbai, Photo: Florian Biber.