This exhibition of approximately 54 sculptures and 45 works on paper, with additional documentary source materials, including notebooks and vintage photographs by Imogen Cunningham, constitutes the first complete retrospective of Ruth Asawa’s enduring and richly varied career. Drawing from works in Asawa’s extensive archive as well as important loan contributions, the exhibition begins with her earliest works, drawings and paintings created in the 1940s at Black Mountain College, the famous experimental art school in North Carolina.
In conjunction with Charles Sheeler: Across Media
Charles Sheeler: Across Media is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on the complex, often paradoxical, relationships between photography, film, drawing, printmaking, and painting that were central to Sheeler's art. The exhibition features approximately 50 works and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue featuring three essays: a brief introductory overview of the Sheeler literature, a detailed analysis of the artist's mediums and working methods, and a discussion of how those findings suggest new approaches to interpreting Sheeler's work.
In conjunction with Vivienne Westwood: 36 Years in Fashion
In the late 1980s Vivienne Westwood reintroduced the corset, transforming it from restrictive underwear into fashionable outerwear. Her revival of the corset may be her most important contribution to late-20th-century fashion. This exhibition chronicles the evolution of the corset through a selection of six historical corsets from the museum’s permanent collection, along with print selections from the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts.
Vivienne Westwood is both iconoclast and global icon. In the 1970s, she electrified the world with the launch of Punk fashion and went on to become one of the most inventive and influential designers of our time. Fashion to her became "a baby I picked up and never put down."
In her recent work, Deborah Oropallo (b. 1954) deconstructs and enhances images to investigate the seduction and power that is evoked by gesture and pose. Oropallo layers images of contemporary women in provocative costumes, borrowed from the Internet, with images of men from 17th- and 18th-century portrait paintings, including several from the collection of the Fine Arts Museums. These traditional portraits were often contrived to convey not merely a likeness of the sitter, but also a sense of his importance and authority.
Enrico Donati (b. 1909) is perhaps the last living Surrealist artist closely associated with the movement’s acknowledged leader, André Breton. He was a key figure in the community of European expatriate artists in World War II–era New York. This exhibition recreates the extraordinary assemblage of objects in the artist’s New York studio.
The cool glamour, spare elegance, and iconic style of the late Mrs. Thomas L. Kempner, one of the most renowned members of the Best-Dressed List's Hall of Fame, is celebrated through a selection of her favorite designers and couture ensembles.