On Saturday, February 21, an exciting new traveling exhibition, Van Gogh to Rothko: Masterworks from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, will open at Crystal Bridges. This promises to be an exhibition with a considerable WOW Factor, featuring 76 artworks by a veritable Who’s Who of art over the past 150 years. The real showstoppers will be a collection of Abstract Expressionist works straight from your undergraduate art history textbook, many of them large-scale canvases with a dramatic impact: an iconic splatter painting by Jackson Pollock; large, signature works by Clyfford Still, Willem de Kooning, and Robert Motherwell; and glowing Color Field paintings by Mark Rothko and Helen Frankenthaler. The exhibition offers a wonderful opportunity for Crystal Bridges’ guests to experience a stunning array of twentieth-century masterpieces by important American artists not currently included in the Museum’s collection, as well as some of the Superstars of European art of the last century-and-a-half.
This is the kind of exhibition that will very likely cause guests to want to go paint something. Something about these large, gestural paintings really seems to fan the inner spark of creativity and make you itch to try it yourself. To add fuel to this creative flame, Crystal Bridges’ Education and Interpretation teams have been working up an interactive gallery to accompany the exhibition. This educational space, called The Artists’ Studio, will offer guests creative, hands-on ways to explore the studio practices of several artists from the exhibition and to discover their own process of creation. The Artists’ Studio features six interactive stations:
(1) the Create your own Selfie Station inspired by Frida Kahlo’s Self Portrait with Monkey, 1938; (2) the Drawing Station that provides large and small easels for guests of all ages to explore mark-making using prompts inspired by various artists’ works from the exhibition or by the views of Crystal Bridges’ grounds through nearby windows; (3) the Writing and Drawing Games Station inspired by Surrealist artists included in the exhibition such as Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró. (4) a Figurative Sculpture Station inspired by Alberto Giacometti’s Walking Man (Version I), 1960; (5) a Surrealist Felt Board Station where our youngest guests can create compositions with felt shapes inspired by Joan Miro’s Carnaval D’Arlequin, 1924-5, and Salvador Dali’s The Transparent Simulacrum of the Feigned Image, 1938; and (6) a Touch Table with a Splatter Painting activity where guests can test their hand at a digital interpretation of Jackson Pollock’s famous method of action painting.
In order to showcase the unique work of each artist-guest, there will be a display area on the primary wall of the Studio where guests can share their creations. The Artists’ Studio is a space for guests to experience the joy and freedom of art making, to share their works by leaving them on display in the space for others to enjoy, and to connect with the artists of Van Gogh to Rothko through hands-on activities.
So don’t delay! Reserve your tickets today and get ready to be inspired by Van Gogh to Rothko and our Artists’ Studio space!