As reported in The State, the theme of the Columbia Museum of Art’s two upcoming major exhibits will explore two different artistic time periods with the prominent and defining ingredient of color. The first exhibit will be Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950 will showcase 37 paintings, watercolors and works mostly on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The time period drawn upon by the exhibit features rarely seen early works by Rothko. During this decade, Rothko was moving away from painting figures in the style of his mentors, Max Weber and Milton Avery, and beginning to experiment with the surrealist practice of automatic drawing.
Immediately following the Rothko exhibit will be Impressionism from Monet to Matisse. This exhibit will feature 55 works including paintings, pastels and watercolors by the masters of Impressionism period including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, Mary Cassatt, and Paul Gauguin. Known for their interpretive and, at the time, shocking use of color in their everyday subjects, the Impressionist artists are often said to have deeply influenced modern painting especially movements such as Rothko’s abstract expressionism. As CMA chief curator Will South noted, one of the many rewards of this Impressionist exhibit is “the sheer joy of the art itself, alive with color and optimism.”
Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950 will run from Sept. 14, 2012 – Jan. 6, 2013 and Impressionism from Monet to Matisse will follow Jan 25 – Apr 21, 2013 at the Columbia Museum of Art.