Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh





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Architecture + Water 

Through May 12, Heinz Architectural Center

“Water has always been a commodity of architecture,” Joseph Rosa observed during his last days as curator of architecture at Carnegie Museum of Art.  “But when people think about architecture and water, they tend to think of them as not connected.  The five architectural firms included in this show each look at the relationship between architecture and water in a different way.”

The Yokohama International Port Terminal in Japan, designed by Foreign Office Architects, reconsiders the pier, traditionally a horizontal and strictly functional space, and turns it into a destination, an “event space,” as Rosa calls it.  The flowing lines are voluptuous, inspired by water, and call attention to the relationship between the motion of the bay and the static shape of the structure.

In the Netherlands, MVRDV has designed Quattro Villa, four apartments housed on a platform that sits above the water like an oil rig but is anchored to the landscape.  A resident can park a car next to a boat, and use either method of transportation when leaving the villa.

The Lake Whitney Water Treatment Plant in Hamden, CT, designed by Steven Holl and Michael Van Valkenburgh, integrates the water purification process into the landscape design.   In London, Alsop Architects has put the ­­­Blackfriars Station on an existing bridge over the Thames.  The station, at first glance the most traditional of the five projects, is situated on the bridge and serves as a destination as well.

“The most theatrical, the most over-the-top,” says Rosa, is the Blur Building in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland.  Not only is the building really beautiful, says Rosa, but with its interactive “braincoats,” it takes architecture to the next level, cladding the people as well as the building.  The coats, which are designed to help protect visitors as they walk through the mist generated by the jets on the building’s exterior, are wired with sensors and transmitters that are programmed according to questionnaires.  If a wearer meets his or her match in the fog, the coats blush, or turn pink.  Not a good match?  The coats turn green.  “It’s the ultimate pickup place if you are single,” says Rosa, laughing at the personal havoc such a coat could cause. 

The architects, Diller + Scofidio, recently were awarded a MacArthur grant.

Contemporary Directions
Glass from the Maxine and William Block Collection

April 6 ­ July 7

Maxine and William Block, Sr., began building their extraordinary collection of glass 13 years ago. "The last decade of the 20th century has been a very exciting time for studio glass, as more artists, galleries, collectors, and museums have become interested in this seductive medium," says curator of decorative arts Sarah Nichols. "These pieces reflect the wonderful versatility of glass, its ability to present realism, narrative, and whimsy as well as light and color in very special ways."

This exhibition is made up of 62 works, and is being organized in conjunction with Toledo Museum of Art, where it will be shown in 2003. Eleven works from contemporary glassmaker William Morris's Man Adorned series accompany the exhibition.

Forum:  Jesse Bransford                        

March 16 – June 15

Jesse Bransford is one of a new breed of artists inspired not only by ancient mythologies and symbols, but also by the new vocabulary of the Internet, science fiction, Star Trek and video games.  In the Los Angeles Times critic, Holly Myers wrote about a Bransford mural, “One might read the work as one would read a dream: packed with fragments from a world of meaning but unbound by any order.” The 30-year-old artist, who lives and works in Brooklyn, will be in residence for two-and-a-half weeks to create his wall painting, which he titles “Where from Here? (άμφίβιοι)."

Bransford typically samples images from the popular imagination—television and film, scientific diagrams, and historical illustrations—but for his Forum installation, he used the Carnegie Museums’ collections as his primary field of exploration.  Bransford photographed hundreds of objects from both the Museum of Art and Museum of Natural History as possible sources for the finished work.  “Jesse manipulated these sources, isolating them from their original context, and recombined them in ways that create narrative and compositional relationships,” explains Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art Elizabeth Thomas. 

During his residency, visitors will be able to watch Bransford at work and to compare the artist’s progress with mechanicals of the piece in finished form.  A Lunch & Learn program, where visitors can meet the artist, examine the work in progress, and discuss Bransford’s art and methods is scheduled for March 7, when the artist will be midway through the process of painting.  The fee, which includes lunch in the Carnegie Café, is $22 for Carnegie members.  Also planned are a children’s gallery guide directing kids to the images that inspired Bransford, as well as a series of special gallery activities planned for Saturdays during the exhibition.  Call 412.622.3131 for more information.    

Treasure Hunt

Through June 2, 2002

The museum’s works on paper collection covers the longest chronological period of any department in the museum.  Treasure Hunt showcases works on paper acquired during the last ten years and reveals the quality and breadth of this important collection.

The exhibition includes Old Master prints, modern European and American drawings, and pre-1945 photographs. “We’ve acquired a tremendous amount in the last decade, and this exhibition is a chance to show the highlights,” explains Linda Batis, Carnegie Museum of Art’s associate curator of fine Arts. 

In making acquisitions, says Batis, the museum seeks out works that show how artists grappled with a particular challenge, such as depicting dark tones or night subjects in prints.  The museum also looks for works not yet represented in the collection or that characterize a particular school.  “We have a mental picture of what we need to tell the story, and we fill in the gaps as the market presents opportunities.”

The Tenth Annual Antiques Show

April 19 – 21

The tenth anniversary of the annual Antiques Show, sponsored by the Women’s Committee of Carnegie Museum of Art, will be a rare opportunity to buy fine quality objects from around the country.  “We always have 44 dealers,” explained this year’s chair, Kitty Hillman.  “And it is very competitive.And it is very competitive. There are more dealers who want to be included than we have space for.”  This year’s show manager, Susie McMillan of Wellesley, Massachusetts, chose dealers that the committee knows firsthandfirsthand, or by reputation.  Two Pittsburgh dealers, Michael Malley of East End Galleries and Mark Evers Antiques, will be included.

The show often carries museum-quality antiques, so much soand that decorative arts curator Sarah Nichols generally buys at least one item for her department. "I'm delighted to be able to support the Antiques Show, the Women's Committee, and the participating dealers by actively looking for something that the museum can acquire for the decorative arts collections,” she said.  “I have been very excited by the objects we've been able to purchase.  They have all been interesting and meaningful acquisitions."

The show’s preview party will be held April 18.  Entrance to the show itself is $8 for members, $10 for non-members.  For further information, call 412.622.3325.

Film and Video

March  7 – April 30

Mexico – New Cinema

Mexico has long been an important center for film production, highlighted in the 1950s by the astonishing works of the Spanish ex-patriot Luis Bunuel and in more recent decades by the emergence of masters like Jaime Humberto Hermosilla, Arturo Ripstein, and Maria Novaro.  However, in the past three years there has been an extraordinary explosion of Mexican films by talented new directors.  This series of eight outstanding and sometimes “edgy” films highlights some of these recent productions.

March 15 – April 21

Approaches to – National Cinemas

What does it mean to show a group of films from a particular country?  Highlighting two new books from University of Pittsburgh faculty – Marcia Landy, Italian Film, and Sabine Hake, German National Cinema – this series examines what it means to characterize a body of films as a "national cinema."  The five films in this series will emphasize recent Italian and German productions, with program notes and introductions by Professors Landy and Hake.

Art Connection Exhibition

March 16 through March 31

For 73 years instructional programs at Carnegie Museum of Art have nurtured budding artists—and not only did Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein, and Raymond Saunders deepen their understanding and passion for art in classes at the Museum, they now have works in the permanent collection. 

This year, visitors can appreciate the creative output of the current class of young artists in the Art Connection Exhibition, the Museum’s annual student art exhibition, on view in the Hall of Sculpture from March 16 through March 31.  Art Connection students receive studio training from local artists and take part in special gallery talks, tours, and discussions groups that expand their appreciation of the visual arts.   

To kick off this year’s Art Connection Exhibition, the Museum of Art will host a special preview and reunion party on Friday, on March 15.  To receive an invitation, former students in the Art Connection or any of its forerunners—Palettes, Tam O’Shanters, or Saturday Creative Art Classes—should send their name, address and email to:

Darnell Warren, Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA  15213-4080.

Summer Art Camps

Summer Art Camps for kids ages 4 to 13 spark young artists’ imaginations as they learn try out a variety of media.  Week-long, full- or half-day camps let kids use cartooning or video animation to bring characters to life, explore treasures of art and natural history with their sketchbooks, create sculpture from found objects, or express themselves through printmaking, diorama building, ceramics, dance, creative writing, or the many other camps that focus on fun and creativity in the arts.  Camps run June 24 through August 16.  For information call 412.622.3288.







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