press release

New York, May 2, 2006—The Museum of Modern Art presents Transforming Chronologies: An Atlas of Drawings, a two-part exhibition of drawings from the collection. Rather than a traditional focus on artistic movements, tendencies, and influences, works in the exhibition are grouped into six series—Faces, Tectonics, Movement, Digital, Figures, and Constructions. Each series offers a view of modern drawing based exclusively on the visual connections among the works themselves. Many of the works in Transforming Chronologies: An Atlas of Drawings are on view at the Museum for the first time since their acquisition, including those by such artists as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Georg Kolbe, Léopold Survage, André Derain, Larry Rivers, Georges Rouault, Antoine Pevsner, Elie Nadelman, and John Cage. Part Two is on view from May 10 through October 2, 2006; Part One was on view from January 26 through April 24, 2006. Each installation features approximately 90 works. The exhibition is organized by Luis Pérez-Oramas, Adjunct Curator, Department of Drawings, The Museum of Modern Art.

The exhibition is influenced by the Bilderatlas Mnemosyne (1928), an atlas of images produced by German art historian Aby Warburg, who compiled this encyclopedic volume of 79 plates of images for the purpose of underscoring the continuity of forms and motifs beyond their conventional art historical chronologies.

“Transforming Chronologies: An Atlas of Drawings continues this legacy by emphasizing repetition, seriality, and permutation of themes, structures, and motifs through clusters of images,” states Mr. Pérez-Oramas. “The exhibition explores visual relationships that can exist among artworks and presents six groupings that underscore the existence of multiple narratives within one single chronology.”

Transforming Chronologies includes works from the collection dating from 1866 to 2004. Part Two, on view from May 10 through October 2, 2006, presents a selection of drawings in three groupings: Digital, Figures, and Constructions. The Digital series presents adaptations of the fingerprint structure, including vibrational lines, waves, and repetitive dots, bringing together such works as Gego’s (Gertrude Goldschmidt, Venezuelan, b. Germany, 1912-1994) Untitled (1963), Bridget Riley’s (British, b. 1931) Scale Study for Cataract Series (1967), and Alexander Calder’s (American, 1898-1976) Untitled (1969). Variations between classical beauty and the grotesque are shown in the series Figures, as seen in Salvador Dalí’s (Spanish, 1904-1989) Study of a Nude (1935), Joan Miró’s (Spanish, 1893-19836) Drawing–Collage (1936), and Paul McCarthy’s (American, b. 1945) Chocolate (2000). Works in the series Constructions display images based on structures depicting architectonic and web-like forms, and includes such examples as Richard Diebenkorn’s (American, 1922-1993) Untitled (Ocean Park) (1977), Aleksander Vesnin’s (Russian, 1883-1959) Proposal for a Monument to the Third International (1921), and Waltercio Calda’s’s (Brazilian, born 1946) Japan (Japão) (1972). Works on view for the first time in this installation include examples by Bruce Nauman, Sonia Delaunay-Terk, Jacob El-Hanani, Jean Crotti, Will Insley, Mira Schendel, Vito Acconci, and Sol Lewitt.

Part One presented a selection of drawings organized into three groupings: Faces, Tectonics, and Movement. Among the drawings in Faces, which highlighted the practice of portraiture, with Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s (French, 1864-1901) Caricature of Félix Fénéon (c. 1895-96), Tristan Tzara’s (French, b. Romania, 1896-1963) Untitled (1936), and Jim Shaw’s (American, b. 1952) Things Better Left Unsaid II (2002). The representation of human emotions through physical movement was presented in Movement, through such works as Léon Bakst’s (Russian, 1866-1924) Costume for the Ballet “The Firebird” (1913), Umberto Boccioni’s (Italian, 1882-1916) Muscular Dynamism (1913), and Gino Severini’s (Italian, 1883-1966) Spanish Dancer (c. 1913). Tectonics comprised landscapes and structures determined by the presence of sediment, fixtures, and stacked or vertical forms, as seen in works such as Paul Cézanne’s (French, 1839-1906) House Among Trees (c. 1900), Barnett Newman’s (American, 1905-1970) Untitled (1945), and Yves Tanguy’s (American, b. France, 1900-1955), Untitled (1936).

MoMA will publish the exhibition catalogue this summer. The book, which contains an essay by Mr. Pérez-Oramas, reproduces drawings from the exhibition in six accordion-folded booklets that fit into a slipcase.

only in german

Transforming Chronologies: An Atlas of Drawings
Part Two
Kurator: Luis Perez-Oramas

Werke von Vito Acconci, John Cage, Waltercio Calda, Alexander Calder, Jean Crotti, Salvador Dalí, Sonia Delaunay-Terk, André Derain, Richard Diebenkorn, Jacob El-Hanani, Will Insley, Georg Kolbe, Sol Le Witt, Paul McCarthy, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Elie Nadelman, Bruce Nauman, Antoine Pevsner, Pablo Picasso, Bridget Riley, Larry Rivers, Georges Rouault, Maria Schendel, Léopold Survage, Alexander Vesnin ...