VMFA Special Exhibitions and Gallery Installations

Special Exhibitions

Thomas Schiff: Virginia 360˚
February 6 – June 19, 2016
Evans Court Galleries
Accompanying publication
Thomas Schiff: Virginia 360˚ is an exhibition of 40 panoramic photographs of well-known sites across Virginia. Using a Hulcherama 360 panoramic camera – manufactured in Hampton, Virginia – accomplished photographer Thomas Schiff seeks to immerse the viewer in Virginia’s visually rich and exceptional historical built environments, arising from beautiful natural environments. The exhibition opens first at VMFA, and will travel to our Statewide partners across the Commonwealth. Curated by Michael Taylor, Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Art and Education, and Jeffrey Allison, Paul Mellon Educator and Manager of Statewide Programs and Exhibitions.

Snowy Landscapes: Japanese Woodblock Prints by Kawase Hasui
April 15 –August 3, 2016
Works on Paper Gallery
A leading printmaking artist, Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) was known for his vivid winter landscapes. Snow at the Zojoji Temple depicts a woman holding an umbrella, as she walks in the snow in front of this ninth-century Buddhist temple. The Zojoji Temple was one of Hasui’s favorite subjects, and he created several prints of this sacred site over the course of his career. In this 1929 version, one of twelve prints in the exhibition, Hasui used contrasting colors and an atmospheric perspective to create a snowy winter scene. Other works, also drawn from the more than 500 Hasui prints donated to VMFA by René and Carolyn Balcer, include Japanese landmarks such as the Heian Shrine in Kyoto, Mount Fuji near Tokyo, and the rural area in Yoshida. Seen together, they demonstrate Hasui’s remarkable skills as a printmaker and colorist, as well as his extraordinary ability to capture Japan’s identity and spirit in his landscapes. Curated by Li Jian, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of East Asian Art.

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic
June 11 – September 5, 2016
Altria Group and NewMarket Galleries
Ticketed, VMFA members free
Accompanying catalogue
Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic presents a stunning retrospective of this artist’s prolific career through nearly 60 paintings and sculptures. Wiley’s work raises intriguing questions about race, gender, and the politics of representation by portraying contemporary African American men and women using the conventions of traditional European portraiture. Appropriating the format of specific paintings by renowned masters ranging from Titian to Édouard Manet, Wiley often depicts his subjects wearing sneakers, hoodies, and other gear associated with today’s hip-hop culture and sets them against ornate decorative backgrounds that evoke earlier eras and cultures. By replacing the European aristocrats with contemporary black subjects, Wiley’s portraits draw attention to the absence of African Americans from historical and cultural narratives. Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and curated by Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Organized for VMFA by Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at VMFA.

Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott
July 23 – October 30, 2016
Evans Court Galleries
Accompanying catalogue
Gordon Parks, one of the most celebrated African-American artists of his time, is the subject of this exhibition of groundbreaking photographs of Fort Scott, Kansas – focusing on the realities of life in the segregated South during the 1940s, but also relating to Parks’ own fascinating life story. In 1948, Gordon Parks (1912-2006) became the first African-American photographer to be hired full time by LIFE Magazine, where he would eventually become the most acclaimed black photographer of the day. He used this assignment to revisit early memories of his birthplace, many involving serious racial discrimination, and to reconnect with childhood friends, all of whom went to the same all-black grade school that Parks had attended. One of the most visually rich and captivating of all his projects, Parks’ photo essay was slated to appear in LIFE in April 1951, but was never published. Presented by The Gordon Parks Foundation and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, this exhibition represents a rarely-seen view of everyday lives of African-American citizens in the South, years before the Civil Rights movement began in earnest. Organized for VMFA by Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch: Love, Loss, and the Cycle of Life
November 19, 2016 – February 20, 2017
Altria Group and NewMarket Galleries
Ticketed, VMFA members free
Accompanying catalogue
Many contemporary artists have drawn inspiration from the art and life of Norwegian Expressionist Edvard Munch (1863-1944)—including Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, Elizabeth Murray, Georg Baselitz, and Anselm Kiefer. Their re-uses of Munch’s images have functioned as a two-way lens, giving insight into their own practice while helping to redefine the understanding of Munch’s art through their acts of reception and translation. This exhibition and the accompanying publication explore the unlikely but compelling connection between the work of Munch and Jasper Johns (born 1930). During a crucial point midway through his career, Johns looked to Munch’s defining themes of love, sex, loss, and death, as well as his innovative working methods, as sources of inspiration. Johns routed Munch’s art through a dense process of quotation, repetition, displacement, substitution, and elision to create his own images while opening his work to themes and meanings shared with Munch. Organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in partnership with the Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway. Curated by John B. Ravenal, Executive Director, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (former Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, VMFA).

The Rachel Lambert Mellon Collection of Jean Schlumberger
January 28 – June 18, 2017
Evans Court Galleries
One of the most important public collection of jewelry and objects by one of the 20th century’s most important designers, The Rachel Lambert Mellon Collection of Jean Schlumberger will be on view for the first time at VMFA. In the 1930’s, Schlumberger’s stunning early creations of costume jewelry for Elsa Schiaparelli’s boutique—porcelain flower brooches, gilt angel clips, and the like—became the rage of Paris and New York. After Schlumberger’s success with Schiaparelli, many of his friends asked him to design “real” jewelry for them, and he began to create clips, brooches, bracelets, and necklaces awash with rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds, in settings of gold and platinum. In the 1950s, Walter Hoving invited Schlumberger to become a vice-president of his firm, Tiffany & Co, whose Fifth Avenue store became the new location of the Schlumberger shop. Over the years, Schlumberger continued to design jewelry and jeweled objects, extending his oeuvre to include designs for costumes, textiles, and the theatre. Curated by Dr. Mitchell Merling, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art.

Yves St. Laurent: The Perfection of Style
May 6 – August 27, 2017
Altria Group and NewMarket Galleries
Ticketed, VMFA members free
Accompanying catalogue
Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style, showcases highlights from the legendary designer’s 44 year career – drawn from the collection of the Fondation Pierre Bergé—Yves Saint Laurent, the exhibition features new acquisitions by the Foundation that have never been shown publicly before. With a selection of 100 haute couture garments, SAINT LAURENT rive gauche clothing and accessories, photographs, drawings, films and other multimedia elements from the Foundation’s vast archive, the exhibition creates a visually rich environment for visitors to witness the development of Saint Laurent’s style and recurring themes throughout the designer’s career. The multifaceted exhibition is curated by independent Parisian curator and fashion expert Florence Müller in collaboration with Chiyo Ishikawa, Deputy Director of Art and Curator of European Painting & Sculpture, Seattle Art Museum. The exhibition is organized by the Seattle Art Museum in partnership with the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris.

Ongoing Special Exhibitions:
Here and Above: A Dialogue Between Sculptures
Through March 1, 2016
Cochrane Atrium
A year-long installation in the museum’s atrium, Here and Above situates two welded steel sculptures in a cross-generational dialogue about material, form, and the environment. Rising from the ground in a delicate balance, Two Box Structure reads as a vertical composition of geometric shapes, while also suggesting human figures. Extending from the wall overhead, Noctilucent Clouds offers a literal model of luminous, thin clouds located in the most distant part of the atmosphere, while also reading as a dynamic composition of lines in space. Rebecca Smith (b.1954), the daughter of Abstract Expressionist sculptor David Smith (1906–1965), spent her early childhood in the New York hamlet of Bolton Landing, playing in the fields amid dozens of her father’s sculptures. Here the works of these two artists respond to one another as natural light activates their surfaces, drawing the surrounding space into the conversation. Curated by Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at VMFA.

Rodin: Evolution of a Genius
Through March 13, 2016
Altria Group and NewMarket Galleries
Ticketed, VMFA members free
Accompanying catalogue
Organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Musée Rodin in Paris, this exhibition features more than 200 works by the greatest sculptor of the 19th and early 20th centuries: Auguste Rodin. Revealing the evolving output of this genius of sculpture, the exhibition examines his techniques, materials, models and assistants, and explores the extraordinary working process behind some of his best known works. Auguste Rodin completely revitalized the very language of sculpture with his passion for the creative act. Fragile plasters as well as patinated bronzes, marble figures, astonishing ceramics and never-before-exhibited photographs all attest to this creative intensity, with much of the work presented in North America for the first time. Rodin is organized for VMFA by Dr. Mitchell Merling, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of European Art. The exhibition catalogue, with contributions on Rodin’s process by leading scholars, will be published by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Nightfall: Prints of the Dark Hours
Through April 10, 2016
Works on Paper Focus Gallery
Nightfall: Prints of the Dark Hours explores evocative artistic images of night, called nocturnes. Luminous apparitions of the divine, dazzling fireworks, lamplit urban streets, and the soft glow of twilight upon natural landscapes are among the nocturnal subjects that have intrigued and challenged printmakers across the centuries. More than 30 nocturnes by European and American artists, including Rembrandt van Rijn, Wenceslaus Hollar, Théodore Géricault, Rockwell Kent, Frank Short, and Edward Hopper, reveal the dark hours to be just as conducive to lively spectacles as quiet hours of solitude. The exhibition closely considers how artists employ a range of printmaking techniques—mezzotint (a tonal method called the “dark manner”), etching, engraving, and lithography—to render contrasts between light and shade as well as the atmospheric effects of light emanating from the night sky or electrical sources. Nightfall: Prints of the Dark Hours is largely drawn from the Frank Raysor Collection, a generous promised gift to the museum. Curated by Dr. Mitchell Merling, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of European Art, VMFA.

A Floral Jubilee: The Art of Louise Cochrane
Through April 24, 2016
Mellon Focus Galleries
For more than four decades, Louise B. Cochrane forged a deep and meaningful partnership with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Now, after many years of benefiting from her dedicated service as a volunteer, patron, donor, and board member, VMFA has the opportunity to celebrate Mrs. Cochrane’s most enduring passion: painting flowers. The opening of A Floral Jubilee: The Art of Louise Cochrane coincided with what would have been Mrs. Cochrane’s 100th birthday, and the exhibition features 58 works – including a portrait of a mixed bouquet that was inspired by the 2015 VMFA exhibition Van Gogh, Manet, and Matisse: The Art of the Flower. Curated by Dr. Susan J. Rawles, Associate Curator of American Painting and Decorative Art.

Collections and Gallery Installations
Permanent Collection on Tour:
VMFA’s Fabergé Gallery is closed while the acclaimed collection is on tour, however, the Imperial Rock Crystal Easter Egg and some additional objects by Fabergé have been installed in the Vaulted Hall adjacent to the Marble Hall. The majority of VMFA’s world-renowned Fabergé collection is on international tour and will return to VMFA in October 2016.
Upcoming venue: The Palace Museum, Beijing, China: April 16 – July 17, 2016.

Truland Foundation Media Resource Room
Visitors to the Sydney and Frances Lewis Mid to Late-20th Century Galleries will discover a newly outfitted space designed to bring the artists featured in VMFA’s Modern and Contemporary collections to life. Equipped with selections of VMFA catalogues and a video kiosk, the Truland Foundation Media Resource Room is a place to discover the stories behind some of the most popular holdings in these collections. Listen to artist interviews – with Chuck Close, Bill Viola, Sally Mann, Sol LeWitt, and many others – using the touch screen monitors and deepen your understanding of the artistic process. The space and kiosk were a gift of former VMFA Trustee and President of the Truland Group, Robert W. Truland, and his family. VMFA’s Canvas membership group donated funds to help support the artist interviews.

VMFA WestRock Art Education Center Exhibitions
VMFA: Beneath the Surface!: Opens April 23, 2016

VMFA Studio School Exhibitions
Photographs from the Photo Salon & Darkroom: through March 4, 2016
Studio Painters: March 11 – April 8, 2016
Works in Color: April 15 – May 20, 2016
The Alchemy of Pots & Prints: Number Eleven: June 6 – July 1, 2016
Inside/Out: VMFA Staff Art Exhibitions: July 11 – August 19, 2016

VMFA Pauley Center Exhibitions
Enumeration (by Kris Iden): through February 21, 2016
Lessons Learned (Paintings by Daniel Calder): February 26 – August 14, 2016

Amuse Restaurant & Claiborne Robertson Room Exhibitions
Mixed Greens (Paintings by Sally Bowring): through Feb. 15, 2016
New Space Imagery (paintings by Kelly Queener): February 19 – Aug. 7, 2016

VMFA Statewide Exhibitions
Fortune, Courage, Love: Arts of Africa’s Akan and Kuba Kingdoms from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Piedmont Arts, Martinsville, Va., through March 6, 2016
The French Horse from Géricault to Picasso: Works from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond, March 3 – April 25, 2016
National Sporting Library and Museum, Middleburg, May 6 – July 31, 2016
University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, September 1 – October 9, 2016

VMFA at Richmond International Airport
It’s a Plane! (Photographs by Will May), through Feb. 7, 2016
Lake Elster and Beyond (Photos by William Connally) February 8 – July 31, 2016
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