YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections



September 10, 2006

Philip Guston and Giorgio de Chirico

Philip Guston, a leading figure of the avant-garde from the 1930s until his death in 1980, is said to have traced his decision to become a painter to a visit to the Los Angeles home of collectors Louise and Walter Arensberg. There, amid works by Braque, Picasso, Matisse and Rousseau, the L.A. teenager was exposed to the art of Giorgio de Chirico. Later he told filmmaker Michael Blackwood: "I was mostly struck by De Chirico. They hit me very hard. In fact it was seeing these paintings by De Chirico ... it's what made me resolve to be, want to be a painter. I felt as if I had come home." With 26 works from early and late in the careers of both artists, "Enigma Variations: Philip Guston and Giorgio de Chirico" will examine De Chirico's influence on Guston as well as points of intersection for two artists not typically viewed in the same context. Several of De Chirico's New Metaphysical works, championed by Guston but panned by critics and historians, will be on view for the first time in the U.S. The show is co-curated by Michael R. Taylor of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Lisa Melandri of the Santa Monica Museum of Art.

"Enigma Variations: Philip Guston and Giorgio de Chirico," Santa Monica Museum of Art, through Nov. 25. More at

Ambroise Vollard

Ambroise Vollard was an art dealer and publisher in Paris from the late 19th century until his death in 1939. In 1895, he hosted the first major exhibition of Paul Cezanne's work -- and launched his own career as well as Cezanne's. Once called "a genius in discovering geniuses," he gave Picasso his first one-man show in 1901 and Matisse his first solo exhibition in 1904. Art dealers aren't usually the subjects of museum shows, but at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, "Cezanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde" is the first devoted to the individual credited with introducing the small-dealer art market as we know it today. It will feature 100 paintings, dozens of prints, sculpture, illustrated books and other works. Highlights will include six paintings from the Cezanne exhibition, a never-before-reassembled triptych from Vollard's 1896-97 Van Gogh retrospective and, on loan from Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, Gauguin's 1898 "Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?" Whether commissioned, exhibited or owned by him, each work in the show at one time passed through Vollard's hands.

"Cezanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde," Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Thursday through Jan. 7. More at

Wolfgang Tillmans

Art or fashion photography? Or both? German born, London-based photographer Wolfgang Tillmans is known for casual, often sexy pictures of the overlooked, the everyday, the ordinary, such as "Suzanne & Lutz," above. This "unprivileged gaze," as he has called it, has won him critical acclaim, some controversy and ranking among the uber-stylish. At the UCLA Hammer Museum, the first U.S. retrospective of the 2000 Turner Prize winner's work will include video and about 300 photographs, installed in Tillmans' characteristic meticulous but loosely organized groupings. The show is co-organized by the Hammer and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, where it opened in May. It's co-curated by Dominic Molon of the MCA and Russell Ferguson of the Hammer.

"Wolfgang Tillmans," UCLA Hammer Museum, next Sunday through Jan. 7. More at

The Arts in Latin America

The encounter between the "Old World" European and "New World" indigenous cultures was among history's most cataclysmic events. Subsequent art production not only reflected upheaval but was essential to forging new identities. "Tesoros / Treasures / Tesouros: The Arts in Latin America, 1492-1820" promises a massive, pan-national exploration of the phenomenon, with more than 250 works from throughout colonial Latin America, in virtually all media. Usually it's dismissed by traditionalists for being imitative of European art or decried by Modernists because of its colonial origin. This unprecedented reconsideration will include painting, sculpture, feather-work, furniture, gold and silver objects, ceramics and textiles drawn from throughout the Americas and in Europe. The show was organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in collaboration with the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where it will travel June 10 through Sept. 3.

"Tesoros / Treasures / Tesouros: The Arts in Latin America, 1492-1820," Philadelphia Museum of Art, Sept. 20 through Dec. 31. More at


Los Angeles Times Articles