Exhibitions at Princeton University Art Museum through Fall 2014


Exhibitions at Princeton University Art Museum through Fall 2014

Editor’s note: Current as of June 9, 2014. Dates and details are subject to change; updated information is available at artmuseum.princeton.edu.

Alexander Calder, Man and The Kite that Never Flew
Jan. 15–Oct. 28, 2014
Curator: James Steward, Director

Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is best known as the originator of the mobile, but his stationary sculptures called stabiles are among the works that place him among the most important and innovative sculptors of the twentieth century. Calder's friendship with a number of European avant-garde artists in the 1920s and 30s led him to develop some of the world's first wholly abstract sculptures—works that are, in his words, "like nothing in life." Highlighting two landmark works from 1967, Man and The Kite That Never Flew, on loan from the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, this installation reveals how Calder's work in sheet metal is among his most lasting achievements.


Rothko to Richter: Mark-Making in Abstract Painting from the Collection of Preston H. Haskell
May 24–Oct. 5, 2014
Curator: Kelly Baum, Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Works by some of the most significant American and European artists of the postwar era are on view in this exhibition that provides a window into a moment of extraordinary creative ferment, when the very nature of abstract painting was being hotly contested. Drawn from the collection of Preston H. Haskell III, Princeton Class of 1960, the exhibition explores how changes in process and technique, specifically in mark-making, signal broader changes to abstract painting from 1950 to 1990. Among the artists included are Josef Albers, Willem de Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko and Frank Stella. A fully illustrated catalogue with a lead essay by the curator and contributions by Hal Foster and Susan Stewart accompanies the exhibition.


Lee Bontecou: Drawn Worlds
June 28–Sept. 21, 2014
Curator: Kelly Baum, Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

This is the first retrospective devoted to the drawings of American artist Lee Bontecou (b. 1931), who is most celebrated for her powerful sculptures of fiberglass, cloth and rubber stretched over metal armatures. Throughout her career, Bontecou has employed drawing as a distinct and essential part of her creative practice. This selection of approximately 45 works on paper from 1958 to 2012 on loan from institutions nationwide will provide an entirely new perspective on Bontecou as an artist and her profoundly original way of making and seeing. With mysterious black holes, undulating biomorphic forms and explosive constructed geometries, her surreal drawings are fantastic and spatial reflections about how we understand our place in the world. A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition.


Chigusa and the Art of Tea in Japan
Oct. 11, 2014–Feb. 1, 2015
Curators: Cary Liu, Curator of Asian Art; Andrew Watsky, Professor of Japanese Art History, Princeton University

Centering on one extraordinary object—an antique tea-leaf storage jar named Chigusa—this exhibition explores the appreciation, display and documentation of this legendary Chinese antique. Chigusa was produced in China in the late 13th or late 14th century and spent the next 700 years in Japan. Its name, derived from court poetry, distinguishes it from all other tea jars and enables scholars to trace its history as a stellar object within the Japanese tea tradition. The exhibition reveals how the formalized tea presentation in Japan created a meaningful culture of seeing, using and ascribing meaning to practical objects. Additional tea culture accessories and archival materials accumulated over the course of Chigusa’s life enhance and expand the installation.


Kongo Across the Waters
Oct. 25, 2014–Jan. 25, 2015
Coordinator: Juliana Dweck, Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow for Collections Engagement, with the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida and the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium

Drawing from the incomparable collections of the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium, including masterpieces that have never before been seen in the United States, this groundbreaking exhibition investigates how the Kingdom of Kongo in West Central Africa evolved over five centuries and contributed to the cultural life of enslaved Africans and their descendants in North America. Manuscripts, maps, engravings, photographs and videos provide contextual information, and the accompanying 448-page catalogue further explores the art of the Kongo and of the Kongo diaspora.

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About the Princeton University Art Museum

With a collecting history that extends back to the 1750s, the Princeton University Art Museum is one of the leading university art museums in the country. From the founding gift of a collection of porcelain and pottery, the collections have grown to over 92,000 works of art that range from ancient to contemporary art and concentrate geographically on the Mediterranean regions, Western Europe, China, the United States, and Latin America.

Committed to advancing Princeton’s teaching and research missions, the Art Museum serves as a gateway to the University for visitors from around the world. The Museum is intimate in scale yet expansive in scope, offering a respite from the rush of daily life, a revitalizing experience of extraordinary works of art, and an opportunity to delve deeply into the study of art and culture.

The Princeton University Art Museum is located at the heart of the Princeton campus, a short walk from the shops and restaurants of Nassau Street. Admission is free. Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. The Museum is closed Mondays and major holidays.

Please direct image requests to Erin Firestone, Manager of Marketing and Public Relations, Princeton University Art Museum, at (609) 258-3767 or ef4@princeton.edu.