This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Museum of Modern Art curator Anne Umland. Her new exhibition, "Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938," is on view at MoMA through January 12, 2014. The exhibition catalogue, published by MoMA, is excellent.
Umland is one of the world’s top curators of modern art. Her exhibitions include 2011’s “Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914,” 2008’s “Joan Miro: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927-37,” and a 2001 retrospective of Alberto Giacometti.
On the second segment, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston curator Emily Ballew Neff discusses "American Adversaries: West and Copley in a Transatlantic World." The exhibition explores how the American born painters Benjamin West and John Singleton Copley moved from the colonies to London, how they navigated the revolutionary period — and what happened when they became London painters. Neff curated the exhibition with MFAH’s Kaylin H. Weber. It opens Sunday and will be on view through January 20, 2014. The MFAH-published, Yale University Press-distributed catalogue is one of the best art books I’ve read all year.
This is Copley’s landmark painting Watson and the Shark (1778) at the National Gallery of Art. It’s one of the two paintings around which Neff and Weber’s show is built. On this week’s program, Neff explains how this painting was important to Copley’s career — and to British politics of the day.