For Immediate Release
September 7, 2021
Digital Images Available Upon Request
(Williamstown, Massachusetts)—The Clark Art Institute’s summer exhibitions, Nikolai Astrup: Visions of Norway, Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne: Nature Transformed, Dürer & After, and Ground/work, are in their final weeks. The season includes the first North American exhibition focused on one of Norway’s most revered artists, Nikolai Astrup; the only presentation of the works of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne in an American art museum in more than forty years; the Clark’s first outdoor exhibition, featuring site-responsive works created by six international artists working in dialogue with the Clark’s distinctive 140-acre campus; and an exhibition focused on the Clark’s extensive holdings of works by master printmaker Albrecht Dürer. The Clark’s summer exhibitions will close on a staggered schedule, beginning this month. The program includes:
Nikolai Astrup: Visions of Norway
Through September 19, 2021
The first North American exhibition focused on the Norwegian painter Nikolai Astrup (1880–1928), who deftly wove tradition and innovation into his artistic production. Astrup is considered one of Norway’s most important artists, yet he is largely unknown outside of his homeland. Nikolai Astrup: Visions of Norway features more than eighty-five works celebrating this brilliant painter, printmaker, and horticulturalist. Astrup’s oeuvre is notable for its intense, colorful palette, and the magical realism of his remarkable landscapes. Paintings and woodcuts from all periods of his career are presented in the exhibition, including multiple impressions of print compositions that reveal how Astrup modified the mood and meaning of these works through changes in color and the addition or deletion of motifs, often using multiple blocks to create his complex prints. Guest curated by independent scholar MaryAnne Stevens, former Director of Academic Affairs at the Royal Academy, London, Nikolai Astrup: Visions of Norway is presented in the Clark’s special exhibition galleries and is accompanied by a catalogue published by the Clark and distributed by Yale University Press. The exhibition travels to the KODE Art Museums, Bergen, Norway, from October 15, 2021–January 23, 2022 and to the Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, Stockholm, from February 19–May 29, 2022. The exhibition is generously supported by the Savings Bank Foundation DNB. Significant funding is provided by the Asbjorn Lunde Foundation, Inc. with additional support from Richard and Carol Seltzer, Diane and Andreas Halvorsen, and the Norwegian Consulate General, New York. The exhibition catalogue has been published with generous support from the Savings Bank Foundation DNB and additional support from the Asbjorn Lunde Foundation, Inc.
Dürer & After
Through October 3, 2021
Drawing from its extensive holdings of the works of Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), the Clark offers a unique opportunity to assess his centuries-long artistic legacy in this exhibition. Revered for his technical virtuosity, profound pictorial imagination, and vast production across media, Dürer was one of the first European artists whose prints garnered appreciation as art. The bold AD monogram that adorns much of his work asserts not just the crafting of a printable matrix, but also the authorship of a pictorial idea, “the likes of which,” he famously said, was “never before seen nor thought of by any other man.”
Until well into the fifteenth century, printmaking in Europe was regarded not as an art form but as a utilitarian method of replicating and circulating imagery. That began to change due to Dürer’s prolific, versatile, and technically dazzling print works. Dürer has long attracted all manner of imitators, copyists, and interpreters. Running the gamut from strict copies to free interpretations, works credited as “after-Dürer” reflect a range of motives. While many imitators copied in the spirit of learning from or paying homage to his brilliant art, others sought to deceive or profit by sowing confusion around an image’s true authorship. In this exhibition, presented in the Eugene V. Thaw Gallery for Works on Paper, originals and copies are grouped together to reveal the complex afterlife of some of Dürer’s most celebrated images.
This exhibition is organized by the Clark Art Institute and curated by Anne Leonard, Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs. Generous support for this exhibition is provided by Denise Littlefield Sobel.
Through October 17, 2021
The Clark’s first outdoor exhibition Ground/work consists of site-responsive installations by six contemporary artists presented in locations across the pastoral setting of its 140-acre campus. International artists Kelly Akashi (b. 1983, Los Angeles), Nairy Baghramian (b. 1971, Isfahan, Iran), Jennie C. Jones (b. 1968, Cincinnati), Eva LeWitt (b. 1985, Spoleto, Italy), Analia Saban (b. 1980, Buenos Aires), and Haegue Yang (b. 1971, Seoul) were invited to conceive of a response to the Clark’s landscape and to be in active dialogue with the natural environment and setting. Ground/work highlights the passage of time, bringing to the fore ideas of chance, transience, and transformation articulated in three dimensions. Offering an intimacy of encounter, the artists each generate new sculptural gestures that engage features of the Clark’s landscape to blur—or to bring into focus—boundaries between the familiar and the unknown. Open to the public day and night, Ground/work provides unique access to artworks beyond the museum walls. Extending the connections between the ecosystem of Stone Hill, the Clark’s architecture, its renowned permanent collection, and contemporary artistic practice, this exhibition expands upon the Clark’s commitment to create a place where visitors can experience remarkable works of art in a setting of profound natural beauty. There is no admission fee for visiting the Clark’s grounds.
Ground/work is organized by the Clark Art Institute and guest curated by Molly Epstein and Abigail Ross Goodman.
Ground/work is made possible by Denise Littlefield Sobel. Major support for Ground/work is provided by Karen and Robert Scott and Paul Neely. Additional funding is generously provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art; the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor; Maureen Fennessy Bousa and Edward P. Bousa; Amy and Charlie Scharf; Elizabeth Lee; MASS MoCA; Chrystina and James Parks; Howard M. Shapiro and Shirley Brandman; Joan and Jim Hunter; James and Barbara Moltz; and a gift in honor of Marilyn and Ron Walter.
Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne: Nature Transformed
Through October 31, 2021
It has been more than forty years since an American art museum has mounted a presentation of the work of sculptors Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, and the Clark’s exhibition this summer provides a fresh perspective on these innovative artists. Their imaginative and powerful sculptures have long delighted international audiences and collectors. During their remarkable careers, the married artists worked and exhibited together, often under the joint name “Les Lalanne,” although they seldom collaborated on objects. Common to both artists was their abiding interest in nature. From their earliest exhibition in 1964, entitled Zoophites, a reference to objects with a mixture of animal and plant characteristics, the artists repeatedly drew inspiration from flora and fauna and morphed these natural forms into something strange and new. In her works, Claude Lalanne (1924–2019) transformed familiar plants and animals into lyrical and sometimes surreal creations while François-Xavier Lalanne (1927–2008) turned his fascination with the mysterious inner life of animals into abstracted and refined sculptural forms that often concealed a practical function. In the work of both Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, artistic vision bends natural forms to new uses. The Clark is the sole venue for this exhibition, which also marks the first museum presentation of the artists’ work since the 2019 death of Claude Lalanne. Nature Transformed features an equal number of objects by each artist from across their long careers, revealing the power of their artistic imagination, their impressive command of technique, and their enduring visual appeal. The works include sculpture and furniture by both artists and a selection of Claude Lalanne’s wildly inventive flatware and jewelry. Nature Transformed, presented in the Clark’s Michael Conforti Pavilion and in additional outdoor locations, is curated by Kathleen Morris, the Clark’s Sylvia and Leonard Marx Director of Exhibitions and Curator of Decorative Arts.
Major support for Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne: Nature Transformed is provided by Denise Littlefield Sobel. Significant funding is provided by Sylvia and Leonard Marx and by the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund, with additional support from Jeannene Booher, Agnes Gund, and Robert D. Kraus. The exhibition catalogue has been published with the generous support of Denise Littlefield Sobel, with additional support from the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund and Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund.
ABOUT THE CLARK
The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 275,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
The Clark, which has a three-star rating in the Michelin Green Guide, is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Its 140-acre campus includes miles of hiking and walking trails through woodlands and meadows, providing an exceptional experience of art in nature. Galleries are open 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Sunday and daily in July and August. Advance timed tickets are required. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, all visitors age 21 and under, and students with a valid student ID. Free admission is available through several programs, including First Sundays Free; a local library pass program; and EBT Card to Culture. For more information on these programs and more, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.
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