Concrete, Geometric, and Kinetic Art from the Latin American Art Collection
September 16, 2012–January 6, 2013
Beginning in the 1930s and 1940s, Constructive tendencies took hold of a variety of artistic circles in Latin America. Artists asserted that these currents best represented the modernization occurring in their countries at the time. While absorbing the stimuli of international avant-garde movements, artists also formulated their own deep-seated and original artistic proposals. Experiments with Constructivism continued into the 1950s and 1960s and established a legacy for Latin American artists working today. Over the last decade, the MFAH has developed one of the strongest collections of Concrete, Geometric and Kinetic art from Latin America. Constructed Dialogues
highlights key avant-garde movements and outlines the different paths taken by pioneers in various countries, such as Brazilian artists Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica; Joaquín Torres-García from Uruguay; and Jesús Rafael Soto from Venezuela. Bringing together recent acquisitions with works from the museum’s Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art and extensive holdings by German-born Venezuelan artist Gego, the exhibition features more than 60 objects, revealing the correspondences between important artistic projects of modern and contemporary Latin America. This exhibition is organized by Mari Carmen Ramírez, the MFAH Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and Director, MFAH International Center for the Arts of the Americas.
W. Eugene Smith and James Nachtwey
October 14, 2012–January 1, 2013
W. Eugene Smith and James Nachtwey are known for making some of the most powerful photographs in the history of journalism. Born 30 years apart (1918 and 1948, respectively), each has pushed the boundaries of the profession in substantial but distinctly different ways, and both believe their missions are to bear witness. This exhibition focuses on their documentations of medical practices. The MFAH collection images from Smith’s 1948 Country Doctor
series—featuring the private practice of Dr. Ernest Ceriani in Kremmling, Colorado (population 1,000)—comprise a nearly complete version of the photographic essay as it was originally published in Life
magazine. The major Nachtwey work in this exhibition is The Sacrifice,
a mural of 60 photographs shot in military operating rooms in Iraq between 2006 and 2007. The images are digitally printed on a 30-foot seamless sheet, and the relentless views of life-saving surgery in modern military hospitals are a dramatic contrast to Dr. Ceriani’s modest facilities. On an adjoining wall in the gallery, photographs from Nachtwey’s series Father Mike
depict an American priest working with terminally ill AIDS patients in Thailand. This exhibition is organized by Anne Wilkes Tucker, the MFAH Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography.
Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit
October 21, 2012–January 13, 2013
More than 100 works by acclaimed African American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859–1937) include 12 paintings that have never been shown in a Tanner retrospective, as well as the only two sculptures completed by the artist. The exhibition also features the famed Resurrection of Lazarus,
a career-making canvas that earned Tanner his first international praise when it was exhibited in 1897. Now in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the painting had never crossed the Atlantic prior to this exhibition, which is organized by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where Tanner studied from 1879 to 1885. After debuting at the PAFA, Modern Spirit traveled to the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the show concludes its tour in Houston, overseen by Emily Ballew Neff, MFAH Curator of American Painting and Sculpture. Catalogue.
WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath
November 11, 2012–February 3, 2013
WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath
examines the experience of war through the eyes of 280 photographers, spanning six continents. This unprecedented exhibition includes 480 pictures recorded from 1846 to the present day. The subject matter reveals the progression of war—from instigation, to battle, to victory and defeat—through memorials during armed conflicts both global and local in scale. WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY
comprises iconic images as well as previously unknown pictures, taken by military photographers, commercial photographers (portrait and photojournalist), amateurs and artists. This exhibition is organized by Anne Wilkes Tucker, the MFAH Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography, with MFAH colleagues Will Michels and Natalie Zelt. After the Houston presentation, the exhibition travels to the Annenberg Space for Photography, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Brooklyn Museum. Catalogue.
Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado
December 16, 2012–March 31, 2013
Portrait of Spain
showcases more than 100 masterworks from one of the world’s most renowned collections of European painting, the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid. The exhibition—on exclusive U.S. loan to the MFAH as part of a new Prado initiative to broaden access to its holdings—tells the story of the evolution of painting in Spain from the 16th through 19th centuries, and explores how artists reflected the sweeping changes in society, culture, politics and religion that contributed to the development of a modern Spanish identity. Masterpieces by the leading painters of the day from each of the four centuries are featured, including Francisco de Goya, El Greco, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Jusepe de Ribera and Diego Velázquez. Artists who worked for the royal court and directly influenced the development of painting in Spain are also well represented, with superb works by Peter Paul Rubens, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo and Titian. Portrait of Spain
opens at the MFAH following the debut at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia, the first stop on the two-venue tour. The Houston presentation is overseen by Edgar Peters Bowron, the MFAH Audrey Jones Beck Curator of European Art. Catalogue.
Picasso Black and White
February 24–May 27, 2013
Picasso Black and White marks the first exhibition in Houston of Pablo Picasso’s work in over a decade and focuses in depth on the recurrent motif of black and white throughout his career. Picasso (1881–1973) was an original and inventive colorist, yet a particularly striking feature that pervades his prolific oeuvre is the persistent pairing of black and white, colors in their own right that convey a direct mode of spontaneous and raw energy. This exhibition features some 70 works along with major pieces from the small, but distinguished, MFAH holdings of the artist’s graphic works. After debuting at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (SRGM) in New York City, the exhibition travels to Houston, where it is being coordinated by Alison de Lima Greene, MFAH Curator of Contemporary Art and Special Projects. Catalogue.
Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop
James Turrell: The Light Inside
June 2–August 25, 2013
In the first major exhibition devoted to the history of manipulated photographs before the digital age, some 200 works demonstrate that today’s digitally altered photographs are part of a tradition that extends back to the beginning of photography. Featuring visually captivating images, Faking It traces photographic manipulation from the 1840s through 1980s and shows that photography is, and always has been, a medium of fabricated truths and artful lies. This exhibition is organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and debuts there in October 2012, after which it travels to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and then the MFAH, where it is being overseen by Yasufumi Nakamori, MFAH Associate Curator of Photography. Catalogue.
June 9–September 22, 2013
Concentrating on the museum's extraordinary collection of work by James Turrell (born 1943), this retrospective makes many of the artist’s installations accessible to the public for the first time. At the conceptual core of the exhibition is The Light Inside,
which is permanently installed in the museum’s underground Wilson Tunnel. Also included is Vertical Vintage, a grouping of a dozen light-based installations that allow visitors to test the limits of their perception, study the play of illusion and witness how light shapes space. Additionally, the artist’s Mapping Spaces
portfolio and related works to describe his Roden Crater project are featured. The presentation has been conceived jointly by the MFAH, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (SRGM) in New York City. Each venue will present historical and new projects by the artist during the spring and summer of 2013 to illuminate his career. The Houston segment of the exhibition is overseen by Alison de Lima Greene, MFAH Curator of Contemporary Art and Special Projects. Catalogue.
The Brillembourg Capriles Collection of Latin American Art
June 23–September 2, 2013
This exhibition marks the public debut of the monumental Brillembourg Capriles Collection of Latin American Art, which is housed indefinitely at the MFAH. The presentation features approximately 100 masterworks created by artists at the height of their respective careers, including Fernando Botero, Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta and Joaquín Torres-García. The collection also comprises works of art by Emilio Pettoruti, Armando Reverón, and Diego Rivera. MFAH curators and conservators have collaborated to uncover the experimental techniques and individual painting processes each of these major artists employed, culminating in new scholarship. This exhibition is curated by Mari Carmen Ramírez, the Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and Director, MFAH International Center for the Arts of the Americas. Catalogue.
About the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Established in 1900, the MFAH is the largest art museum in the region. The museum’s main campus, located in the heart of Houston’s Museum District, comprises the Audrey Jones Beck Building, Caroline Wiess Law Building, Glassell School of Art and Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden. The Beck and Law buildings are connected underground by the Wilson Tunnel, featuring James Turrell’s iconic installation The Light Inside. Additional spaces include a repertory cinema, two significant libraries, public archives and a conservation and storage facility. Nearby, two remarkable house museums—Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, and Rienzi—present collections of American and European decorative arts, respectively.