Graphics by noted Austrian Expressionist master Oskar Kokoschka and British contemporary artist Richard Hamilton will be on view at the County Museum of Art Thursday through Aug. 31.
The Kokoschka show celebrates the centennial of the artist's birth with a tapestry and 37 color lithographs--including books, posters and post cards--drawn from the museum's Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies.
Kokoschka (1886-1980) emerged as one of the leading artists of the Jugendstil manner, Vienna's version of Art Nouveau. His early work, which was imbued with the brilliantly decorative and sensuous quality of Jugendstil, changed dramatically when, on a 1910 visit to Berlin, he became interested in the German Expressionist movement "Die Brucke."
Although he never joined the movement, the raw emotional quality of the works affected his perceptions. From that time on, Kokoschka's paintings, drawings and graphics reflected a marked degree of anxiety and disillusionment, first generated by pre-World War I society and later, by the war and its aftermath.
Richard Hamilton's graphic work is represented by 71 works, made over a 30-year period. Hamilton, a first-generation Pop artist, has continued to incorporate media-generated imagery in his prints and preliminary drawings and collages.
By technical manipulation of print media, Hamilton explores ideas of irony, chance, perspective and elements of art history.
The selection of preliminary studies and proofs allows viewers to follow the artist's creative process and his collaborations with master printers.
"Image and Process: An Exhibition of the Graphic Works of Richard Hamilton," was organized by Richard S. Field, curator of prints, drawings and photographs at the Yale University Art Gallery and author of the catalogue.
A major exhibition of works by Italian artist Francisco Clemente, consisting of about 65 paintings executed between 1979 and 1983, opens today at the University Art Museum, Berkeley, and runs through Sept. 21.
Michael Auping, chief curator of the Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, N.Y., organized the show for the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Fla. The exhibition surveys Clemente's style, which moves "from an elementary and aggressively brute style to a studied and delicate elegance," according to Auping's essay.
The human form is the central motif in most of Clemente's work and self-portraits figure prominently in the exhibition. Auping writes, "Clemente's body is often portrayed moving through a series of arcane dramas with symbols relating to history, art, religion, death, birth, the senses and perhaps, maybe broadly, his own psyche."
The exhibition catalogue was designed by the artist, and contains a series of watercolors and drawings specifically made for this publication.
Twenty-four etchings and woodblock prints by the artist published by Crown Point Press are exhibited concurrently in the university's Theater Gallery.
The Mingei International Museum of World Folk Art hosts an exhibition of American Folk Art consisting of about 200 pieces on loan from private and museum collections. The show which will be on view through Nov. 15, includes early American quilts, weathervanes, salt-glazed stoneware, earthenware ceramics and Shaker furniture. Noted contemporary artist/craftsmen will also be represented with works in a variety of media.
The Mingei Folk Art Museum is located in the University Towne Center, 4405 La Jolla Village Dr. in La Jolla. (619) 543-5300.
The Museum of African Art (at the May Co. on Crenshaw Boulevard) presents two exhibitions: "Contemporary Paintings From Nigeria" and "Sculpture of Ancient Nigeria," through Aug. 31.
Featured are replicas of bronze objects from 16th-Century Benin, works of the Yoruba people, and replicas of works made by ancient Nok culture (500 BC to AD 200) and the Igbo-Ukwu culture (9th Century). Eleven contemporary paintings provide a sampling of works by members of the "Oshogbo," an artists' community in the interior of Nigeria, noted for its visual, literary and performing arts.
The Institute of Design and Experimental Art (IDEA) in Sacramento hosts "American Ceramic National IV," at the Art Works Gallery in Fair Oaks, through Aug. 2.
Developed by Lukman Glasgow for the Downey Museum of Art where he served as director, the exhibition has now moved to the Sacramento area since Glasgow relocated there. This year's juror was Rena Bransten, who selected 60 works from some 356 submissions.