PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston November 2021

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MFAH QUARTET A s you read these p a g e s , t w o blockbusters and a pair of captivating fresh takes on art history are opening at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Their almost concurrent unveiling ratchets up the museum's step onto the national stage as one of the top encyclopedic art institutions in America. First up is "Georgia O'Keeffe, Photographer," a jewel of a show that represents original and ground- breaking research on an artist we all ONE MUSEUM, A BOUNTY OF BLOCK- BUSTERS. A PREVIEW OF FOUR EXHIBITIONS THAT DEFINE FALL AT THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, HOUSTON. By Catherine D. Anspon photographer whom O'Keeffe admired and was close to, gives us portraits of the artist that reveal another side of a woman often characterized as formidable. The exhibition is hung intimately in the Law Building Upper Brown Pavilion, in keeping with the diminutive size of many of its prints and Polaroids. The 90 photographs, never before studied or on view, point to a mature artist experimenting with a medium she had known since her days with photographer/husband Alfred Stieglitz. By highlighting a more human side of this iconic painter, Volpe has enriched our understanding of O'Keeffe and added a new chapter to the artist's scholarship. The MFAH- organized exhibition travels to three other American museums in 2022. Less than a week later, "Afro- Atlantic Histories" opens — the bold U.S. debut for an exhibition originally presented and organized by the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil (MASP) in 2018. The intensely topical, epic exhibit examines the transcontinental slave trade via 130 artworks spanning the 17th to the 21st centuries, created in Africa, the Americas, Europe, and the Caribbean. Its American tour has think we know well: the modernist painter of sexualized flowers and mystic Western landscapes. After all, for decades she was one of the only women who made it into the art history books. Over the course of three years and numerous trips to the West, MFAH associate curator Lisa Volpe dug deep into the O'Keeffe archive at the artist's museum in Santa Fe, conducted site visits to sleuth out the vistas where the artist photographed and painted, and plumbed the archives of other photographers with whom O'Keeffe interacted, including the Todd Webb Archive in Portland, Maine. Webb, a (Continued) BELOW: COLLECTION CALDER FOUNDATION, NEW YORK; © 2020 CALDER FOUNDATION, NYC / ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NYC. BOTTOM: COLLECTION MUSÉE NATIONAL PICASSO-PARIS, PABLO PICASSO ACCEPTANCE IN LIEU, 1979; © 2020 ESTATE OF PABLO PICASSO / ARS, NYC; PHOTO © RMN – GRAND PALAIS – MATTIEU RABEAU. © TODD WEBB ARCHIVE, PORTLAND, MAINE 62

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