2012 Fall Exhibitions Preview

October 2012 | BY | Fall 2012

El Anatsui
In his most recent metal wall sculptures, El Anatsui recycles bottle caps from a West African distillery in his home town and pieces them together to form monumental curtains like “Sacred Moon,” part of a 40-year retrospective of his work at the Denver Art Museum. CREDIT: Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

American museums are gearing up to launch a full roster of exciting new fall and winter exhibitions. From the Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts to the Crocker Museum of Art in Sacramento, Calif., we’ve scoured the country to hand-pick our favorites and share them with you.

• African artist El Anatsui’s many talents will go on glorious display in “El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You About Africa,” now through Dec. 30 at the Denver Art Museum. The 40-year retrospective features 65 works, including eight spectacular metal wall sculptures made from thousands of bottle caps, as well as numerous works from the artist’s own collection.

• Winslow Homer first realized the unrelenting power of the sea upon witnessing a shipwreck firsthand in 1881. After that encounter, the perils of water inspired much of his art, as can be seen in “Shipwreck! Winslow Homer and ‘The Life Line’ ” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. On view now through Dec. 16, it features Homer’s work in watercolors, paintings and prints, with shipwrecks and water rescues as a central theme.

• Long before the development of the radio, television or the Internet, people got information about new technology, innovation and high fashion by attending a World’s Fair. From Oct. 13 to Feb. 24, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh will take visitors back in time to see more than 200 examples of decorative art and design showcased during those expositions in “Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851–1939.

• “Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries” will also transport viewers back in history, this time to the boulevards of late 19th-century Paris. Running Oct. 14 to Jan. 20, the show at the Dallas Museum of Art explores posters from the City of Light, including the early designs of Jules Cheret and notable poster artists Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre Bonnard and Alphonse Mucha.

• “Faberge: the Rise and Fall, the Collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Art” at the Detroit Institute of Art traces Peter Carl Faberge’s rise to fame, highlighting his business savvy, artistic innovations and privileged relationship with the Russian aristocracy. On view Oct. 14-Jan. 21, the exhibition features more than 200 jewel-entrusted works, including four exquisite imperial Easter eggs, each of which took at least a year to create.

• The Museum of Arts and Design in New York is mounting an exhibition of works by painter, metalsmith and sculptor Daniel Brush in “Daniel Brush: Blue Steel Gold Light” from Oct. 16 to Feb. 7. A 40-year retrospective, it offers prime examples of the artist’s oeuvre, from large-scale painted canvases to gold-domed containers encrusted with gold granules so minuscule they must be fused with microscopic precision.

• Roughly 75 pieces, including a collection of 17 teacups, bowls and sketches, will go on display in “Chris Gustin: Masterworks in Clay,” Oct. 20 to Feb. 24 at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Mass. The retrospective honors the artist’s 35-year career as a teacher and artist, who is known for his biomorphic forms and dedication to exploration of the vessel.

• Art jewelry and glass converge in breathtaking pieces of decorative art in “Cutting Edge: RAM Explores Contemporary Glass Jewelry” at Wisconsin’s Racine Museum of Art. From Oct. 28-Feb. 17, visitors can see work by more than 20 international artists including Joyce Scott, Linda MacNeil and Elsa Freund as part of RAM’s contribution the nationwide celebration of 50 years of studio glass.

• The war in Iraq, 9/11, homelessness, racism—Thornton Dial takes them all on with his paintbrush and pencil. The High Museum of Art in Atlanta will display a 20-year retrospective Dial’s work in “Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial.” It includes 70 large-scale paintings, drawings and found-object sculptures, including 25 on view for the very first time, in the show from Nov. 3-March 3.

• Norman Rockwell is one of America’s most beloved and recognizable artists, best known for chronicling typical 20th-century American life. The Crocker Museum of Art in Sacramento, Calif., will honor the artist with “American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell” running Nov. 10-Feb. 3. Featuring 50 original paintings of some of his most famous illustrations, drawings and war bond posters, as well as more than 300 covers he created for the Saturday Evening Post, the exhibit explores the artist, his work and its impact on American culture.

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