In conjunction with Frank Stella: Illustrations after El Lissitzky’s Had Gadya, the Tampa Museum of Art is organizing Frank Stella: What You See, a pendant exhibition featuring works by Frank Stella in regional collections, including the Tampa Museum of Art’s permanent collection. The exhibition is inspired by Stella’s quote “What you see is what you see,” the artist’s famed description of his art as noted in a 1964 interview. The intimate selection of works will provide an overview of Stella’s oeuvre from his exploration of minimal forms in the 1960s and 1970s, to the creation of lyrical multi-media compositions in the late 1990s. Frank Stella: What You See will present a snapshot view of one of today’s most influential living artists.
Frank Stella (American, b. 1936) created the series Illustrations after El Lissitzky’s Had Gadya (1984) after seeing artist El Lissitzky’s artwork at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Between 1917 and 1919, Lissitzky (Russian, 1890-1941) completed imagery for a children’s book of “Had Gadya”, an allegorical song sung at the close of the Passover Seder. Lissitzky’s modernist interpretation of the traditional song highlighted the influence of the Russian avant-garde in his work, as he depicted characters and scenes in "Had Gadya" with abstract forms and interlocking geometric shapes. Inspired by Lissitzky’s "Had Gadya", Stella produced a suite of prints corresponding to the artist’s imagery. Rather than re-interpret the song, Stella responded to Lissitzky’s abstractions with his own signature vibrant palette and curvilinear gestures. The exhibition Frank Stella: Illustrations after El Lissitzky’s Had Gadya will feature Stella’s complete portfolio of twelve prints, each unique in technique and color.
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the Tampa Museum of Art presents a series of exhibitions focused on the achievements of women in the arts. HerStory: Stories of Ancient Heroines and Everyday Women explores the story of women in the ancient world through the depictions of goddesses, heroines, mythological characters, and everyday women in the Museum’s collection of classical antiquities. The exhibition highlights objects that speak to the role of women in the ancient world, their myths and stories, from Aphrodite and Athena to Amazon Warriors to women of the everyday. These roles will be examined through the museum’s collection of statues, fragments, vessels, and objects from daily life.
Active throughout the early to mid-20th century, sculptor C. Paul Jennewein created works that ranged from intimate small-scale bronze sculptures to major architectural projects. His creations reveal the inspiration of the ancient world while also engaging with the new sculptural styles of his time, merging Art Deco with the neo-classical tradition. In 1978, the Tampa Bay Art Center, predecessor of the Tampa Museum of Art, received a bequest of 2,600 objects including finished artworks, as well as preparatory drawings, plaster casts, and molds. The exhibition Sketches and Sculptures: A Study of C. Paul Jennewein presents an overview of the artist’s prolific career and his archive at the Tampa Museum of Art.
Skyway: A Contemporary Collaboration celebrates the artists and work created in the Tampa Bay area. Launched as a triennial exhibition in 2017, this survey show is the second presentation of Skyway and is mounted collaboratively by the Tampa Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, and the Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida. Skyway highlights the breadth of artistic practices in the counties served by the organizing museums: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and new to the 2020 exhibition, Pasco. The exhibition will be on view simultaneously at the four museums starting in Summer 2020.
The Highwaymen are a group of African American artists celebrated for their distinctive paintings of Florida’s natural environment. Working in and around the Fort Pierce area beginning in the 1950s, these self-taught artists depicted the state’s scenic coastline and wild backcountry, often in dazzling combinations of color and tone. Brilliant tropical sunsets, windblown palms, towering sunlit clouds, and blooming royal poinciana trees are among the many subjects that have become iconic images of Florida, in part because of the paintings that the Highwaymen created.
Living Color: The Art of the Highwaymen focuses on work produced from the 1950s to the 1980s by a core group of the Highwaymen including Al Black, Mary Ann Carroll, Willie Daniels, Johnny Daniels, James Gibson, Alfred Hair, Roy McLendon, Harold Newton, Sam Newton, Willie Reagan, and Livingston Roberts. The exhibition brings special attention on two key artists, Harold Newton and Alfred Hair, and presents extensive examples of their work. Drawn from five private collections, Living Color also considers the role of collectors in preserving the legacy of these artists and their extraordinary life stories.
The exhibition is organized by the Orlando Museum of Art and curated by Gary Monroe in collaboration with
OMA curator Hansen Mulford.