18 December 2010

Special William Morris Society Tour of The Pre-Raphaelite Lens Exhibition at the National Gallery


The Pre-Raphaelite Lens:
British Photography and Painting, 1848–1875
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Saturday, 15 January 2011

Members and friends are invited to a special tour with the exhibition’s curator, Diane Waggoner. Join us for lunch after.

The Pre-Raphaelite Lens is the first survey of British art photography focusing on the 1850s and 1860s. With 100 photographs and 20 paintings and watercolors the exhibition examines the roles photography and Pre-Raphaelite art played in changing concepts of vision and truth in representation. Photography’s ability to quickly translate the material world into an image challenged painters to find alternate versions of realism. Photographers, in turn, looked to Pre-Raphaelite subject matter and visual strategies in order to legitimize photography’s status as a fine art. Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron, Roger Fenton, Oscar Gustave Rejlander, and many lesser known photographers had much in common with such painters as John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and John William Inchbold, who all wrestled with the question of how to observe and represent the natural world and the human face and figure. This rich dialogue is examined in thematic sections on landscape, portraiture, literary and historical narratives, and modern-life subjects.

Diane Waggoner is associate curator in the department of photographs at the National Gallery of Art. She received a PhD in art history from Yale University. Prior to joining the department, she held positions at the Yale University Art Gallery and at the Huntington Library, where she was the curator of The Beauty of Life: William Morris and the Art of Design (2003). Since joining the NGA, she has co-curated many exhibitions. Her co-authored catalogue for The Art of the American Snapshot was the 2008 winner of the College Art Association’s Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award for distinguished museum publication. A specialist in the nineteenth century, she has also published on the photographs of Lewis Carroll.
Saturday, 15 January 2011
11.30 a.m. (meet at entrance to the East Building)
National Gallery of Art
Fourth St. NW
Washington, DC
RSVP to Mark Samuels Lasner
(302) 831-3250

Limited Edition Artwork to Benefit Historical Materialism

The artist David Mabb has created an artwork especially for Historical Materialism. Titled Luibov Popova Untitled Textile Design on William Morris Wallpaper for HM 2010, the print is issued in a run of 100. Mabb?s picture is made by screen printing a textile design by Luibov Popova in red and black over a section of William Morris wallpaper including Fruit, Willow Boughs, Trellis, Brier Rabbit, Medway and Daisy. As a consequence of the different wallpapers employed and the registration process, each work will be unique. The prints measure 52.5 x 70 cm, and each one is signed and numbered by the artist.

The artwork is available for purchase at the price of £75 (unframed, postage not included) and can be ordered from www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/mabb-print. ;The print has already been bought by museums in the UK and America including the Victoria and Albert Museum. We hope you will see this as an opportunity to acquire a fascinating artwork.

Mabb regularly reworks the artistic imagery of Marxism to produce startling new configurations. In this print he combines William Morris?s hand-made natural imagery with the abstract machine aesthetics of the Russian Constructivists. In their own time, Morris and Popova were thwarted by economic realities; Morris?s designs proved too expensive for the working people he wished to reach, while the fledgling USSR proved unable to support the transformation of everyday life envisaged by Popova and her fellow Constructivists. Mabb reanimates these remnants of Marxist history, fusing the legacies in lively and beautiful images for our time.

David Mabb is a widely exhibited artist and Reader in Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. He regularly exhibits at the Leo Kamen Gallery, Toronto and in 2004 he curated William Morris?ministering to the swinish luxury of the rich? at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. Recent exhibitions include: The Decorating Business, Oakville Galleries, Ontario; The Hall of the Modern, The Economist, London; Morris in Jaipur: The work of Art in the Context of Hand-made Reproduction, Mandawa Haveli, Jaipur, part of Jaipur Heritage International Festival, touring to The British Council Gallery, New Delhi; Art into Everyday Life, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius; and A Miniature Retrospective and Rhythm 69, Jugendstilsenteret/Kunstmuseet Kube, Alesund, Norway. During 2010 he exhibited The Morris Kitsch Archive at Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts.