Arts Agenda: Made, displayed in the USA -- Museums showcase American artists


American artists are in the spotlight this month. Museums throughout the U.S. are featuring works by Frank Stella, Agnes Martin, Andrew Wyeth, Ernest Trova, Ansel Adams, Jeff Wall, Joseph Cornell and other homegrown artists, past and present.




Beacon, N.Y. -- A retrospective of the works of Agnes Martin that began in May 2004 at Dia: Beacon Riggio Galleries culminates in its fifth and final installment, "Homage to [a] Life: Paintings 1990-2004," from April 6 to Nov. 26.

Boca Raton, Fla. -- The Boca Raton Museum of Art focuses on the work of an American artist in celebration of his 80th birthday. "Ernest Trova Retrospectives" runs from April 11 to June 3. A second exhibit on the same dates, "Selections From the Isadore and Kelly Friedman Bequest," includes 90 works by such artists as Edward Hopper, Jean Dubuffet and Roy Lichtenstein.

Boston -- To celebrate spring, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston will feature "Art in Bloom" from April 21 to 24. Seventy garden clubs will transform the museum into a flowery wonderland through interpretations of art in the museum's collection. The museum's "War and Discontent," from April 10 to Aug. 5, features works responding to world crises by Manet, Goya and Picasso. 

Cooperstown, N.Y. -- The Fenimore Art Museum looks at the American West in three exhibitions: "Ansel Adams: The Man Who Captured the Earth's Beauty" through May 13; "Myth & Reality: The Art of the Great Plains" through Dec. 31; and "Treasures From the Frederic Remington Art Museum" from May 26 to Sept. 4. 

Dayton, Ohio -- "Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe," at the Dayton Art Institute from April 28 to June 24, includes works by more than 80 artists depicting both the public and private life of the screen idol.

Houston -- "The Great Wall of China: Photographs by Chen Changfen," at the Museum of Fine Arts through Aug. 12, showcases a 30-year effort by a Chinese photographer to capture one of the world's most famous man-made objects.

Los Angeles -- The Museum of Latin American Art celebrates its 10th anniversary and recent expansion with "From Surrealism to Conceptualism: Centric Movements in 20th Century Latin American Art" from April 24 to 31. 

The Getty Center's Getty Research Institute focuses on avant-garde Japanese art in "Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentation in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan, 1950-1970" through June 3.

New York -- The Metropolitan Museum of Art showcases its new Greek and Roman Galleries, which will open on April 20. New exhibitions at the Met include "Frank Stella: Painting Into Architecture" from May 1 to July 29, along with an outdoor roof installation of the American artist's recent works in stainless steel and aluminum.

"Gabriel Orozco" from May 15 to Sept. 3 displays the Mexican artist's photographs augmented by drawings, collages and small sculptural objects.

Through May 28, New York Historical Society visitors have the opportunity to see the women behind the man famed for his lamps, windows and decorative objects, Louis Comfort Tiffany. "A New Light on Tiffany" features the major, although largely uncredited, efforts of the women who worked for the Tiffany firm in its early years. 

"Jeff Wall" at the Museum of Modern Art through May 14 features 41 giant, color transparencies by the American artist. Contemporary abstract art inspired by comics and animation is the focus of "Comic Abstraction: Image-Breaking, Image-Making" at the museum through June 11. 

The Whitney Museum of American Art looks at the short but influential career of a 20th century American artist, his drawings, photographs, films and sculptural objects. "Gordon Matta-Clark: 'You Are the Measure' " runs through June 3.

Pittsburgh -- The Carnegie Museum of Art looks to London in its exhibit on the works of British architectural firms. "Gritty Brits: New London Architecture" is on view through June 3.

Rochester, N.Y. -- The exhibit at the Strong National Museum of Play, focusing on a common shape, will have special appeal to youngsters. "Secrets of Circles" runs through May 6. 

Salem, Mass. -- "Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination," at the Peabody Essex Museum from April 28 to Aug. 19, features the work of an American artist known for his box sculptures and collages. 

San Antonio -- A Night in Old San Antonio, actually four nights from April 24 to 27 at the historical La Villita arts village adjacent to the River Walk, focuses on the city's cultural heritage and features music and the arts and what's billed as "the largest block party in the world." It takes place as part of the annual Fiesta San Antonio, a weeklong celebration.

Vero Beach, Fla. -- Thirty life-size dinosaurs created by artist Guy Darrough, along with dinosaur digs and fossil plant collections, are the attraction at the McKee Botanical Garden through June 1.

Williamsburg, Va. -- One of America's first families of artists receives major attention at the College of William & Mary's Muscarelle Museum of Art. "An American Story: The Wyeth Family Tradition in Art," featuring works by seven family members, runs from April 21 to May 27.



Amsterdam -- The work of a major German artist during his years of exile is the theme of "Max Beckmann in Amsterdam, 1937-1947" at the van Gogh Museum from April 6 to Aug. 19.

Arles, France -- "Van Gogh: Contemporary Artists Pay Homage to van Gogh," at the Foundation Vincent van Gogh through June 24, explores the influence exerted by van Gogh on a number of today's artists.

Edinburgh, Scotland -- The Queens's Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse is the setting for "Amazing Rare Things: The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery" through Sept. 16. The exhibition, drawn from the Royal Library, focuses on works by four artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, who through their art explored the human body, botany and other aspects of natural history.

Lisbon -- The Belem Cultural Center is the site of the Days of Music festival featuring 66 piano and orchestral concerts on six stages from April 20 to 22.

London -- Dali and Magritte are among the artists featured in "Surreal Things" at the Victoria & Albert Museum through July 22.

"The Unknown Manet: Pastels and Drawings," at the Royal Academy of Arts through June 10, includes roughly 80 works by the French artist.

Orleans, France -- The French city liberated by Joan of Arc pays homage to its heroine in the annual Joan of Arc Festival May 7 and 8. In addition to re-enactments throughout the city, the celebration includes dancing, music, fireworks and the illumination of the cathedral.

Paris -- The Pompidou Center turns literary with "Samuel Beckett," an exhibition through June 25 that explores the work of the Irish writer and its relationship to the contemporary art from which he drew inspiration. The center also features "Airs de Paris" from April 25 to Aug. 20, a multidisciplinary exhibition on urban life, with an emphasis on Paris from the 1970s to the present.

Wakefield, England -- The Yorkshire Sculpture Park celebrates its 30th anniversary with "Andy Goldsworthy." The indoor and outdoor exhibition, which explores the sculptor's range of work, runs through Jan. 6.

Longtime arts and tourism writer Alvin H. Reiss is the editor of Arts Management and author of eight books including his latest, "The ReissSource Directory of the Arts" (AEBMedia Chicago).

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