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Winter Arts Preview: Art

Friday, January 14, 2000

By Mary Thomas, Post-Gazette Art Critic

Global contemporary art continues to occupy Pittsburgh's main stage at the Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, through March 26, and in "Installations by Asian Artists in Residence," at the Mattress Factory through June 30. But exhibitions opening at the Carnegie and the Frick Art Museum next month, of works by 19th-century French artist Jean-Francois Millet, will return visitors to a quieter time through his sensitively portrayed, often controversial scenes of rural life and the human condition. The Carnegie exhibition will also include etchings by Millet contemporary Charles Meryon.

Many of the following exhibitions have lectures and other educational and family events planned to complement them; call sponsoring venues for more information:

Carnegie Museum of Art: "Charles Meryon and Jean-Francois Millet: Etchings of Urban and Rural 19th Century France" opens Feb. 5, through April 23. In the Forum Gallery, New York artist Sideo Fromboluti will exhibit landscapes painted during summers at the Cape Cod National Seashore (April 8-July 9). A traveling exhibition, "Brice Marden, Work of the 1990s: Paintings, Drawings and Prints," looks at this well-established artist's recent stylistic evolution (May 6-Aug. 6). "Whistler: Impressions of an American Abroad," an exhibition of etchings and lithographs from the museum collection which is up through Jan. 23, complements Millet/Meryon. "The Pritzker Architecture Prize 1979-1999" continues through Feb. 27 in The Heinz Architectural Center. Carnegie International lectures open with Chen Zhen at 1 p.m. tomorrow; a conference addressing the exhibition will be held Feb. 11-12. Oakland. 412-622-3131.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History: Fine art photography by Virginia Beahan and Laura McPhee tells the effect of human behavior on natural systems in "No Ordinary Land: Encounters in a Changing Environment," through Feb. 27. A symposium related to the exhibition, "The Art of Nature Photography," will be led by three Western Pennsylvania nature photographers on Feb. 19. Oakland. 412-622-3131.

The Andy Warhol Museum: More than 200 rarely exhibited works make up "Andy Warhol Drawings 1942-87," from a self-portrait at 14 to one drawn the year he died, 1987 (Feb. 27-April 30). Jan. 30 is the last day to see two thoughtful exhibitions that address Warhol's interest in and influence by photography; they segue nicely to the drawing show. North Side. 412-237-8300.

The Frick Art & Historical Center, The Frick Art Museum: "Jean-Francois Millet: Drawn into the Light" will present more than 60 drawings, pastels and paintings by the 19th-century French artist (Feb. 13-April 23). On May 19, the focus switches to 18th-century America and such notables as Winslow Homer, William Merritt Chase and Augustus St. Gaudens, who traveled, sketched and painted together, exploring the possibilities of plein-air and impressionistic styles. "The Tile Club and the Aesthetic Movement in America (1877-1887)" runs through Aug. 13. Point Breeze. 412-371-0600.

The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts: The Craftsmen's Guild of Pittsburgh kicks off the winter exhibition schedule at the PCA with a reception from 5:30 to 8 tonight for "Y2K Pit: The State of the Craft at the End of the Millennium," through Feb. 20. Curator Vicky Clark has selected new and emerging artists to feature Feb. 19-April 16. The Pittsburgh Society of Artists and photographer Angela Pasquale exhibits Feb. 26-April 23, and April 29-June 14 brings the work of sculptor Richard Claraval and "Repetition and Rhythm," wherein artists explore these musical concepts in the creation of their works. Capping this full season will be "Irish Art Now: From the Poetic to the Political," Irish art of the '90s, including Willie Doherty whose video work appears in the current Carnegie International (May 6-June 25). Shadyside. 412-361-0873.

Wood Street Galleries: "Bronx," video installation and drawing by Fabrizio Plessi, opens 5-7:30 tonight, through March 4. This is the third venue for this retrospective that opened at the Guggenheim, Soho, in 1998. The widely-praised Tim Rollins and K.O.S. (Kids of Survival) strut their skills March 31-May 13. Downtown. 412-471-5605.

Associated Artists of Pittsburgh: Solo shows by painter Lisa Frontino and sculptor Rudy Weingartner (Feb. 18-March 17) will be followed by an exhibition that examines the breadth of African-American fiber artistry, with an emphasis on quilts, on April 1. An exhibition of AAP ceramists and the commissioned work "Clepsydra: Installation with 13 Performers" -- a commendable reach for AAP -- will continue through Feb. 11, with the latter having its second live performance at 8 p.m. on Jan. 22. Downtown. 412-263-2710.

The Society for Contemporary Craft: "Contemporary Puerto Rican Ceramics" is the subject of a traveling exhibition that opens March 17, through May 13. Artists explore the spiritual, sacred or mystical in "Art of the Spirit," June 2-Aug. 19. The fine Raphael Founder's Prize Exhibition, "Transformation: Contemporary Works in Wood," may be seen through Feb. 26. Strip District. 412-261-7003.

The Jewish Community Center: At 11 a.m. Sunday an opening reception will introduce "Three Pittsburgh Artists," James Osher, Laurel Robinson and David Stanger (through March 19). "Cuba 2000: An Exposition" and student art from the Cuban Institute de Arte Superior will enliven the JCC April 1-May 15. Squirrel Hill. 412-521-8011.

Manchester Craftsmen's Guild: Continues its exhibition and educational programming with emphasis on ceramic and photographic arts. Two visiting artists will give performances. Robin Holder shows prints and works on paper, Feb. 18-March 31. David Anderson/Sankofa, who takes photographs that depict the community as classroom, performs March 2. Pablo Cano, a Cuba-born ceramist and dramatist, also makes found-object marionettes (Feb. 4-March 31, with lecture and performance March 17). North Side. 412-322-1773.

Silver Eye Center for Photography: The winner of a juried competition and 10 honorable mention recipients will exhibit in "Fellowship 2000," March 7-May 6. Photographs will be hung for preview a week before the benefit auction on May 20. In late May into July, "Point of View: Photographs of Albanians," will show the different styles of Jim Stone and Post-Gazette Pulitzer winner Martha Rial. Cafe Silver Eye changes format from lecture to book discussion forum and relocates to City Books, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Revealing works by Harlem Renaissance photographer James VanDerZee remain up through Feb. 26. South Side. 412-431-1810.

Brew House Space 101: This season includes two of the three annual prospectus exhibitions, which have generally been quite good. "Polarized Images," mixed-media paintings by Charles Caldemeyer, and the installation "175 pounds" by Cornelia Peckart, run through Feb. 5. "Collapse," an installation by Ohio artist Bryan Bennett, and Maura Doern Danko's painted "Figures in Interiors" will show April 19-May 20.

Upcoming local gallery shows to note include "28 Curators" at Concept Art Gallery, Regent Square (412-242-9200), an exhibition selected by 28 of the region's art professionals (Feb. 10-April 8), and Robert Karstadt's "Parnassus of Heroes: 3-D Models & Oil Paintings," Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Sewickley (412-741-4405), Jan. 28-March 3. From 7 to 10 tonight there will be a reception at Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Photography Gallery, North Oakland (412-681-5449) for "Comings and Goings: Color Photographs by William Real," chief conservator at the Carnegie Museum of Art and Andy Warhol Museum, through Jan. 30. New paintings by Barry Shields will be shown at Gallery in the Square, Shadyside, in February. 412-361-3808.

At the universities: "Watercolors from the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society" will be at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, CMU, April 24-July 28. 412-268-2434. CMU's Hewlett Gallery will be replaced by the new Regina Gouger Miller Gallery, Purnell Center for the Arts, opening 6-9 p.m. Jan. 20 with "Living Documentaries" by Termite TV, works by Sharon Louden and "Conversations in the Rustbelt: Brownfields to Greenways" by the Nine Mile Run Project Team, all through March 3. 412-268-3618.

The University Art Gallery, University of Pittsburgh, will open two special exhibitions with a reception and talk by Swiss artist Uwe Wittwer at 5 p.m. Tuesday His solo show was curated by Uta Miksche of Leverkusen, Germany. "Selections from the Permanent Collection of the University Art Gallery," some of which received conservators' attentions for this exhibition, was curated by the gallery's Josienne Pillar. Through March 4. "Artists' Books from Pittsburgh Area Collections" will be featured March 14-April 1. 412-648-2423.

Woodland Art Gallery, Chatham College, continues an Asian theme with the Pittsburgh Print Group's "Mudras: The Hand and Body Language of Southeast Asia" through Feb. 11, Pakistani painter Yasmin Rashid Feb. 14-26, and "19th and 20th Century Medicines of India" from March 4-10. "Altaring Consciousness: Personal Altars Honoring the Sacred Feminine" runs March 26-April 13, and the term closes with 19th-century prints of Pittsburgh from the college's collection, April 17-May 1. 412-365-1140.

Highlights outside the city include "Spirituality at the Millennium" (Feb. 6-25), followed by paintings and installation work by Andrew Johnson, March 2-30, at Harlan Gallery, Seton Hill College, Greensburg. 724-830-1071. Also, the second "8-Hour Drawings" exhibition will begin with a flurry at 10 a.m. on Jan. 22 at Allegheny College, Meadville, with 13 artists (including Diane Samuels, Delanie Jenkins, Chuck Olson, Bob Karstadt, Kate Bazis) rushing to complete works done directly on the gallery walls by 7 p.m. Visitors may observe the process, or see the works through Feb. 22, after which they'll be painted over. 814-332-4365.

Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art: Painter Chuck Olson and sculptor Kurt Bonello exhibit at the Ligonier branch through March 19, along with Colleen Browning. "The Intuitive Eye: 20th Century American Folk Art" follows, March 25-May 28. (724-238-6015.) "Triennial VII," spotlighting regional artists, continues through Feb. 20 at SAMA Loretto, where New York super-realism sculptor Carole Feuerman will show April 7-June 4. Cambria County. 814-472-3920.

Westmoreland Museum of American Art: Collectors and those interested in regional history will find much of interest in "From Westmoreland Glass to Contemporary Glass," Feb. 13-April 23, along with the work of Gifford Beal. "The Frame in America: 1860-1960" is considered next (May 7-July 23). Greensburg. 724-837-1500.

Butler Institute of American Art: Today's an important one for this distinguished small museum which dedicates a new wing, "The Beecher Center for Art & Technology," which is equipped to display and facilitate the creation of electronic art. It's also the opening day of a retrospective exhibition of the work of renowned illustrator Al Hirschfeld (through April 30), who will be honored with the Butler Medal for lifetime achievement in the arts. Youngstown, Ohio. 330-743-1711.

The Cleveland Museum of Art: "Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur," a major traveling exhibition with gold jewelry set with semi-precious stones, alabaster bowls and other tomb artifacts from ancient Mesopotamia, comes to Cleveland from the Smithsonian's Sackler Gallery (Feb. 20-April 23). 888-262-0033.

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