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Welcome to the Tour of the Brooklyn College Library Art Collection: Art Works

A tour of the highlights of the BC Library art collection, with a map of their location in the library, description, information, and an audio guide.

1. Sarah Sze, Day and Night

 

Sarah Sze, Day

Sarah Sze, Night

Artist: Sarah Sze (American, b. 1969)

Title: "Day" and "Night"

Audio:

Date: 2001-03

Medium: Offset lithography and silkscreen

Size: 37 1/2" x 71"

Location: First floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. Purchased with Dormitory Authority of New York Art Acquisition Funds. © Sarah Sze

Description: In both Day and Night a fantasy of miscellany is set free from function and gravity. In these exuberant prints, screened lines seem to propel and control the planets, buildings, architectural details, helicopters, signs, and satellite objects that swirl across the paper. Using dozens of layers of lithography and silkscreen, Sze creates an explosion of colors, forms, and light. There is an initial impression of chaos but there is also an inherent underlying composition. Although she begins with preliminary sketches, Sze describes her creative process as "improvisational, like jazz."

Related Websites

Sarah Sze's Website 

Sarah Sze at Gagosian Gallery 

2. Vik Muniz, Ad Reinhardt

 

 Vik Muniz, Ad Reinhardt

Artist: Vik Muniz (American, b. Brazil, 1960)

TitleAd Reinhardt

Audio:

Date: 2000

Medium: Cibachrome

Size: 44" x 66"

Location: First floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. Purchased with Dormitory Authority of New York Art Acquisition Funds. © Vik Muniz

Description Muniz collected dust and detritus from the galleries and offices of the Whitney Museum of American Art and arranged these substances into a drawing based on a photograph from the Museum's exhibition Collection in Context: Ad Reinhardt.* He then photographed the drawing and enlarged it, creating a representation of a representation. Muniz's use of dust is in keeping with his practice of incorporating unusual materials, such as chocolate syrup, ashes, and wire, into his work. His use of these substances hints at his offbeat sense of humor. * The abstract artist Ad Reinhardt taught in the Brooklyn College Art Department from 1947 to 1967.

Related Websites: 

Vik Muniz's Website
Vik Muniz at P.S.1 MoMA
Vik Muniz on PBS

Suggested Reading:

- Muniz, Vik. Vik Muniz: Seeing is Believing, 1998.
Call Number: Folio TR654 .M87 1998
- Muniz, Vik. Reflex: A Vik Muniz Primer, 2005.
Call Number: TR647 .M857x 2005
- Sullivan, Edward J. Brazil: Body and Soul, 2001.
Call Number: N6650 .B7 2001

3. David Deutsch, Rotunda

 

 David Deutch, Rotunda

Artist: David Deutsch

Title: Rotunda

Audio:

Date: 2002

Medium: Oil on linen

Size: 64" x 71"

Location: First floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. Purchased with Dormitory Authority of New York Art Acquisition Funds. © David Deutsch

Description: By painting scores of miniature, indecipherable, framed portraits in a tightly formed grid, the artist creates the illusion that the portraits are installed along the curve of a vast, architectural rotunda. The painting engages the viewer in a search for the details of each tiny portrait while simultaneously giving the impression of standing in the grandeur of a dome such as the Pantheon. His use of sepia tones further enhances this sense of antiquity. Deutsch has said, "I'm attracted to shadows, to the psychological presence cast by the face."

Related Website

David Deutsch's website 

 

4. Elizabeth Murray, Rescue

 

Elizabeth Murray, Rescue

Artist:  Elizabeth Murray (American, 1940-2007)

Title: Rescue

Audio:

Date: 1996

Medium: Oil on canvas, wood

Size: 118" x 136" x 7"

Location: First Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. Purchased with Dormitory Authority of New York Art Acquisition Funds. © Elizabeth Murray

Description: Elizabeth Murray is known for her large, distinctively shaped canvases that playfully blur the line between paintings as objects and paintings as depictions of objects. In Rescue she uses multiple canvases, allowing the viewer simultaneously to look down on, into, and beneath a gigantic upside-down cup. The cup sits precariously on a table whose legs extend from either side of the main canvas adding a sculptural touch. Bright colors and bold patterns give this work a sense of swirling movement and make this one of Murray's most exhilarating paintings.

Related Websites

Elizabeth Murray at PaceWildenstein
Elizabeth Murray at PBS
Elizabeth Murray at Artchive

Suggested Reading:

- Storr, Robert. Elizabeth Murray, 2005.
Call Number: N6537 .M87 S76 2005
- Murray, Elizabeth. Elizabeth Murray: Paintings and Works on Paper, 2002.
Call Number: Reserve Loan - ND237 .M923 A4x 2002
- Murray, Elizabeth. Elizabeth Murray: Recent Paintings, 1997.
Call Number: Reserve Loan - ND237 .M293 A4 1997
- Murray, Elizabeth. Elizabeth Murray: Paintings and Drawings, 1987.
Call Number: N6537 .M87 A4 1987

5. Nicholas Evans-Cato, Bridge

 

 Nicolas Evans-Cato, Bridge

Artist: Nicolas Evans-Cato

Title: Bridge

Audio:

Date: 1999

Medium: Oil on linen

Size: 36" x 54"

Location: First Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. Purchased with Dormitory Authority of New York Art Acquisition Funds. © Nicolas Evans-Cato

Description: Evans-Cato portrays gritty urban scenes with great reverence. His predilection for painting in the rain creates moody studies in naturalistic light, thereby softening the strong geometric lines of the city. In Bridge he presents a unique, panoramic view of the Manhattan Bridge. His vantage point magnifies its majestic grandeur, but it also places brightly colored litter and debris in the foreground which is seen in sharp contrast to the muted colors of the sky, water, and buildings. The artist eliminates elements that reflect a specific era, thus giving the painting a timeless quality.

Related Website

Nicholas Evans-Cato at George Billis Gallery 

 

6. William Kentridge, Typewriter

 

William Kentridge, Typewriter

Artist: William Kentridge

Title: Typewriter

Audio:

Date: 2003

Medium: Sugarlift aquatint

Size: 30 1/2" x 36 11/16"

Location: First Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. Purchased with The Dormitory Authority of New York Art Acquisition Funds. © William Kentridge

Description:  The typewriter in this print is full of quirky character; the old-fashioned keys, typebars, and levers twitch with motion and life, even in the absence of a typist.

William Kentridge infuses many of his works with this kind of vitality, and he often combines them to make stop-motion animations, or "drawings for projection." Though the resulting films are sequences of still images, they burst with energy, especially when he is addressing politically charged subjects such as apartheid.

Related Websites

William Kentridge at MoMA
William Kentridge at New Museum
"Why the Art World Is So Drawn to William Kentridge" from New York Magazine

Suggested Reading:

7. The New Deal Art Exhibit

Artist:Allen Hermes (American, 20th century).

Title: Jean

Audio:

Date:1935-43

Medium:Oil on canvas

Size:39 1/2 x 25 inches

Location:First Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection.

Description: Born in England in 1913, Allen Hermes came to the United States at the age of sixteen. An outstanding art student, Hermes attended Syracuse University on a full scholarship. He was also awarded a fellowship to study art and architecture in Germany. Later he served in Europe in WWII with the Corps of Engineers. In this portrait, Hermes captures the expression of a pensive young woman standing in front of a velvet curtain. She is leaning on the balustrade of a balcony, two white flowers in her hand. A peaceful countryside can be seen from a dizzying height behind her, while a stormy sky perhaps reflects her anxious thoughts.

Related Websites

Suggested Reading:

8. William Kentridge, Dancing Couple

 

William Kentridge, Dancing Couple

Artist: William Kentridge (South African, b. 1955)

Title: Dancing Couple

Audio:

Date: 2003

Medium: Offset lithograph

Size: 73" x 51"

Location: First Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. Purchased with Dormitory Authority of New York Art Acquisition Funds. © William Kentridge

Description: In Dancing Couple, Kentridge aims to "depict the futile battles against entropy . . . representing bodies aging rather than bodies triumphant." And indeed, his depiction of a middle-aged couple clearly conveys both their age and the age of their relationship. Their age is evident in their thickened bodies and their heavy steps, which have lost the nimbleness of youth. The age of their relationship is conveyed more subtly: the two are so accustomed to each other's bodies that, even though they are nude, they don't seem to notice each other's nakedness. As a result, viewers don't immediately notice it, either.

Related Websites

William Kentridge at MoMA
William Kentridge at New Museum
"Why the Art World Is So Drawn to William Kentridge" from New York Magazine

Suggested Reading:

9. Chakaia Booker, Echoing Factors

 

Chakaia Booker, Echoing Factors

Artist: Chakaia Booker

Title: Echoing Factors

Audio:

Date: 2004

Medium: Rubber tires, wood

Size: 66" x 96" x 24"

Location: First floor

Provenance:The Brooklyn College Library Collection. Purchased with Dormitory Authority of New York Art Acquisition Funds. © Chakaia Booker

Description: In Echoing Factors, Booker's use of pattern, texture, and subtle variations in color creates an expressive, abstract sculptural relief. A raw explosion of energy emanates from her clever orchestration of bent, looped, and layered tires creating poetic rhythms of swirling forms. Booker describes her approach to her work as being: "Like a painter having a palette, my palette is the textures of the treads, the fibers from discarded materials, and tires that I use to create varied effects."

Related Websites

Chakaia Booker's Website

Chakaia Booker at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chakaia Booker at National Museum of Women in the Arts

The New York Times article

Suggested Reading:

- Booker, Chakaia. Jersey Ride, 2004.
Call Number: NB237 .B593 A4x 2004

10. Samuel J. Woolf, Fiorello LaGuardia

 

Samuel J. Woolf,	Fiorello LaGuardia

Artist: Samuel J. Woolf (American, 1880-1948)

Title: Fiorello LaGuardia

Audio:

Date: 1945

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 41" x 31"

Location: First Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. © Artist's Estate

Description: 

Fiorello LaGuardia, the namesake of the Library building, was Mayor of New York City from 1934 to 1945. Charismatic and popular, he was called "the Little Flower," the translation of his first name.

Rejected in 1946 as the commemorative portrait for City Hall, this painting was purchased for Brooklyn College a few years later with donations from private individuals, various labor unions, and the Class of 1949.

Woolf, a noted artist and journalist, gained national recognition for capturing his subjects as they looked, not as they wished to look.

11. G.W. Waters, Walt Whitman

 

 G.W. Waters, Walt Whitman

Artist: G. W. Waters (American, 1832-1912)

Title: Walt Whitman

Audio:

Date:1877

Medium:Oil on Canvas

Size: 27" x 22"

Location:First Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. © Artist's Estate

Description Walt Whitman's friend and benefactor John H. Johnston commissioned G. W. Waters to paint this portrait of Whitman, who by 1877 was one of America's most celebrated poets. Waters, best known for his New York landscapes, captures Whitman as he is most often remembered: as the "good gray poet." In 1955, Professor John Valente and his colleagues in the Brooklyn College English Department scraped together $1400 to buy both this portrait and the earlier Whitman portrait by Charles Hine.

 

12. Lennart Anderson, President Vernon Lattin

 

Artist: Lennart Anderson (American, b. 1928)

Title: President Vernon Lattin

Audio:

Date:2000

Medium:Oil on canvas board

Size:19" x 18"

Location:First Floor

Provenance:The Brooklyn College Library Collection. © Lennart Anderson

Description: Vernon E. Lattin was Brooklyn College's seventh president, serving from 1992 to 2000. This portrait of Lattin was painted by renowned realist Lennart Anderson, Distinguished Professor of Art (now Emeritus) at Brooklyn College. Anderson's sober but slightly off-center painting captures Lattin's intellectual gravity as well as his innate approachability. President Lattin spearheaded the College's building campaign, which began with the renovation and expansion of the Library, so it is fitting that his portrait adorns the Library's Archives and Special Collections.

Related Website:

Lennart Anderson Retrospective

Suggested Reading:

- Anderson, Lennart. Lennart Anderson: Paintings, 1953-2002, 2002.
Call Number: ND237 .A64245 A4x 2002
- Anderson, Lennart. Lennart Anderson: Paintings, 1999.
Call Number: ND237 .A527 A4x 1999

13. Charles Hine, Walt Whitman

 

Charles Hine, Walt Whitman

Artist: Charles Hine (American, 1827-1871)

Title: Charles Hine, Walt Whitman

Audio:

Date: 1860

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 27" x 22"

Location: First Floor

Provenance:  The Brooklyn College Library Collection.

Description: Charles Hine painted this portrait of Walt Whitman, the great, iconoclastic poet, when Whitman was forty-two years old and living in Brooklyn. Whitman loved this portrait and included an engraved version of it in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass, the first edition that he did not self-publish.

Even though this portrait was Whitman's favorite -- he said it portrayed him "in full bloom" with "not a thing amiss" -- he sold it in 1873 to his friend and benefactor John H. Johnston. Whitman had suffered a stroke and needed money to move from Washington, DC to his brother's house in Camden, NJ.

Related Website:

The Walt Whitman Archive 

Suggested Reading:

14. R. Adams, Wallabout Market

 

The Wallabout Market

 

Artist: R. Adams

Title: The Wallabout Market

Audio:

Date:< 1930s

Medium:: Watercolor

Size: 20" x 57"

Location: First floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. © Artist's Estate

The Brooklyn College Library Collection. © Artist's Estate

Description:

In 1637, Joris Jansen de Rapelje, the father of the first European baby born in New York, purchased 335 acres of land in Brooklyn. In the late 1800s, part of this land became the Wallabout Market, an enormous wholesale market that sold produce from local farms. The market's buildings were Dutch-style two-story structures with stepped gables.

The market was demolished during World War II, when the U.S. government needed the land to expand the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Suggested Reading
- Berner, Thomas F. The Brooklyn Navy Yard, 1999.
Call Number: Special Collections - Brooklyniana - VA 70 .B7 B47x 1999

15. Olindo Mario Ricci, Famous Libraries of the World: The Augustan Library and The Alexandrian Library

 

Olindo Mario Ricci, Alexandrian Library detail

 Olindo Mario Ricci, Augustan Library detail

 Olindo Mario Ricci, Alexandrian and Augustan Libraries, Augustan Library

Olindo Mario Ricci, Alexandrian and Augustan Libraries, Alexandrian Library

Artist:Olindo Mario Ricci (American, b. Italy, 1904-1982)

Title: Famous Libraries of the World: The Augustan Library and The Alexandrian Library

Audio:

Date:1936-1939

Medium:Oil on canvas

Size:9

Location: Second Floor

Provenance:

Description: Gracing the Library's grandest reading room are murals of two of the ancient world's greatest libraries: Egypt's Alexandrian Library and Rome's Augustan Library. Muralist Olindo Mario Ricci wanted students to "feel as if they are in the company of the greats as they read the classics" and thus included many illustrious figures, including the mathematician Euclid and the poet Virgil. The panel represents a corner of the Alexandrian Library at the height of its cultural splendor. Euclid appears in the foreground, compass in hand, and surrounded by students. Young Archimedes is behind them at study. Ptolemy Philadelphus, patron of the library, enters at right, accompanied by a scribe bearing papyri. Suspended from the ceiling is a model of an Egyptian galley. Ricci began the murals as a WPA artist and completed them as a Brooklyn College professor, doing much of the work in a studio in the Library's clock tower.

 

16. Slava Polishchuk, Wall

 

Slava Polishchuk, Wall

Artist: Slava Polishchuk (Russian (Immigrated to the United States in 1996), b. 1961)

Title: Wall

Audio:

Date: 2002

Medium: Oil and paper on canvas

Size: 90" x 448"

Location: Second Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. Gift of Slava Polishchuk. © Slava Polishchuk

Description: Human suffering and its inevitability has long been a theme in Polishchuk's work. Inspired by Jeremiah's Lament in the Bible, this work has a box-within-a-box motif that echoes the rhythmic and repetitive phrasing of Jeremiah's text. Polishchuk states: "Repetition is similar to the idea of memory, which is essentially an endless repetition of something that once happened . . . all we have in our struggle against time is memory."

An arresting canvas, this mural-like painting combines 10 to 15 coats of paint with Japanese paper, creating innumerable hues of black and white as well as rich and haunting textures.

Related Websites

Interview with Asya Dodina & Slava Polishchuk, Studio International

Asya Dodina& Slava Polishchuk " What Remains", NY ART BEAT

17. Archie Rand, Dinah Washington

 

Archie Rand, Dinah Washington

Artist: Archie Rand (American, b.1949)

Title: Dinah Washington

Date: 1970

Medium: Acrylic and enamel on canvas

Size: 18" x 72"

Location: Second Floor

Provenance: On loan from artist. © Archie Rand

Description:

Related Websites

Archie Rand's Biography
Archie Rand, Presidential Professor of Art at Brooklyn College

Suggested Reading:

18. John Walker, Clammer's Marks, North Branch

 

John Walker, Clammer's Marks, North Branch

Artist: John Walker (British, b. 1939)

Title: Clammer's Marks, North Branch

Audio:

Date:2003

Medium: Oil and mixed media on linen

Size: 96" x 84"

Location: Second Floor

Provenance:The Brooklyn College Library Collection. Purchased with Dormitory Authority of New York Art Acquisition Funds. © John Walker

Description: John Walker captures the ebb, flow, and changing light of a muddy cove near his home in Maine. His expressive brush strokes, dynamic composition, and freedom of execution evoke the feeling of a swirling tidal pool. Walker's combination of materials, including mud, sand, and oil, creates gritty yet luminous textures. Explaining his use of these organic materials, Walker states: "It seemed obvious to get a bucket of [mud] and mix it in with the paint, to get the feel for how the tide comes in and out and the patterns that are caused by that constant changing tide on that particular cove where I work."

Related Websites

John Walker at TATE

- John Walker's website 

19. Doug Schwab, Photographs

 

Artist: Doug Schwab

Provenance: All photographs on loan from artist. © Doug Schwab

Medium: Photographs

Size: 8" x 10"

Gerard Siani and Greg Saucedo

Title: Gerard Siani and Greg Saucedo
Date: 2000
Medium: Platinum-palladium print
Location: Second floor
Kim and Randi

Kim and Randi
c. 2001
Platinum-palladium print
Second floor
Lennart Anderson

Lennart Anderson
c. 2001
Platinum-palladium print
Second floor
Myra

Myra
c. 2001
Platinum-palladium print
Second floor
Poppo

Poppo
c. 2001
Platinum-palladium prints
Second floor
Sarah 
Sarah
c. 2001
Platinum-palladium prints
Second floor
Spencer 
Spencer
c. 2001
Platinum-palladium prints
Second floor
Stacy

Stacy
c. 2001
Platinum-palladium prints
Second floor

20. Graham Nickson, Red Towel

 

Artist: Graham Nickson (British, b. 1946)

Title: Red Towel

Date: 1990

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

Size: 37 1/2” x 73 1/2”

Location: Third Floor

Provenance: Brooklyn College Library Collection

Description: A solitary figure holds up a beach towel in a grassy field, under a blazing sun. Nickson intensifies the foreground of this painting with the complimentary colors of green and red, as he purposefully contrasts its vertical and horizontal planes. Subtle details add interest: a blue hue of the sky is repeated in the sunbather’s shadow on the grass, while her taut, muscular body is outlined in darker red on the towel. The banal action of Nickson’s sunbather is imbued with mystery, as the artist seeks “a vehicle for the human figure in a very particular environment, as a metaphor for a larger range of human experience.”

 

21. Xu Bing, Vegetable Fields

 

Xu Bing, Vegetable Fields

Artist:Xu Bing (Chinese, b. 1955. Immigrated to US in 1990)

Title: Vegetable Fields

Audio:

Date:1983

Medium:Woodcut

Size:28" x 36"

Location:Fourth Floor

Provenance:The Brooklyn College Library Collection. Purchased with Dormitory Authority of New York Art Acquisition Funds. © Xu Bing

Description: The Chinese Communist Movement promoted the traditional art of printmaking, especially the woodcut, as a valuable form of communication that could be cheaply produced, easily distributed, and broadly appealing. In 1974, as part of Mao Zedong's "rustification" program, Bing was sent to work in a small farming community. His experience there is reflected in this woodcut, one of his earliest pieces as a printmaker. The work was considered radical at the time because it depicts a personal view of the countryside without any overt political content.

Related Websites

Xu Bing's Website

CNN Article about Chinese Art

"Artist Xu Bing: Creating English Words from Chinese Pictograms" from The Times

Xu Bing at MoMA 

Xu Bing at Metropolitan Museum of Art

Suggested Reading:

- Ching, Dora C.Y. and Jerome Silbergeld. Persistence-Transformation: Text as Image in the Art of Xu Bing, 2005.
Call Number: N7349 .X8 P47 2005
- Erickson, Britta. The Art of Xu Bing: Words without Meaning, Meaning without Words, 2001.
Call Number: N7349 .X8 A4 2001

22. Shahzia Sikander, Embark/Disembark I - VI

 

Shahzia Sikander,Embark/Disembark I

Shahzia Sikander,Embark/Disembark II

Shahzia Sikander,Embark/Disembark III

Shahzia Sikander,Embark/Disembark IV

Shahzia Sikander,Embark/Disembark V

Shahzia Sikander,Embark/Disembark VI

Artist: Shahzia Sikander (Pakistani, b. 1969)

Title: Embark/Disembark I-VI

Audio:

Date:2002

Medium: Photolithography and silkscreen

Size: I, V, VI, 18" x 15"; II, 15" x 18"; III-IV, 24" x 20"

Location: Fourth Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. Purchased with Dormitory Authority of New York Art Acquisition Funds. © Shahzia Sikander

Description: Sikander began her formal art training by studying Indian and Persian miniatures. She reinterprets this genre by combining Christian, Hindu, and Muslim iconography in a contemporary medium. Using the central image of the woman, the artist explores both her personal identity and broader political and gender issues. Her work is remarkable for its breathtaking delicacy, meticulous details, and dreamlike rhythm. When asked what her work means, Sikander replied, "It's not a question of what kinds of meaning the image is transmitting but what kind of meaning the viewer is projecting [on to my work]."

Related Websites

Shahzia Sikander's Website

 -Shahzia Sikander at The Morgan Library

Shahzia Sikander at PBS

Suggested Reading:

- Berry, Ian and Jessica Hough. Shahzia Sikander: Nemesis, 2004.
Call Number: N7310.73 .S57 A4 2004

24. Library Administration Room 411 Works

 

Georges Braque, Bird of the Woods or Bird XVII

 

 Georges Braque, Bird of the Woods or Bird XVII

Artist: Georges Braque (French, 1882-1963)

Title: Bird of the Woods or Bird XVII

Date: 1958

Medium: Color lithograph

Size: 19 1/4" x 21 1/8"

Location: Fourth Floor

Provenance:The Brooklyn College Library Collection. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Description: Braque is one the great artists and innovators of the twentieth century. He is especially well known for his invention of Cubism with Picasso. Braque's lifelong interest was the depiction of space and the relationship of objects within it. The art historian John Golding said about Braque's fascination with space, "the birds' trajectories describe and inform it -- the beating of their wings stirs space and renders it tangible." Birds were one of the major themes in Braque's art during the last two decades of his life.

Related Websites

Georges Braque at Guggenheim Collection
Georges Braque at Artchive
Georges Braque at MoMA

Suggested Reading:

- Golding, John, Sophie Bowness, and Isabelle Monod-Fontaine. Braque: The Late Works, 1997.
Call Number: ND553.B86 A4 1997
- Wilkin, Karen. Georges Braque, 1991.
Call Number: N6853 .B7 W53 1991
- Rubin, William. Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism, 1989.
Call Number: N6853 .P5 A43x 1989
List of all Brooklyn College Library Items by or about Georges Braque

 

24b: Chaim Gross, Dancing Girls

 

 Chaim Gross, Dancing Girls

Artist: Chaim Gross (American, b. Austria, 1904-1991)

Title: Dancing Girls

Date: 1965

Medium: Charcoal on paper

Size: 43 1/2" x 29"

Location: Fourth Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. Gift of the Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation. © The Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation

Description: Gross was primarily known as a sculptor, but he was also a fine draftsman and watercolorist. Dancing Girls, one of his thousands of works on paper, demonstrates his mastery of drawing. In this charcoal sketch, he captures the vitality, three-dimensionality, and rhythmic energy of dancers in space. Along with acrobats and aerialists, dancers were among Gross's favorite subjects. He said that he was attracted to these figures not because he was "interested in acrobats per se" but rather because he found in them "many possibilities of variations in forms and movements."

Related Website

The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation

24c: Robert Motherwell, Africa Suite No. 7 & 10

 

Robert Motherwell, Africa Suite, Number 7

Robert Motherwell, Africa Suite, Number 10

Artist: Robert Motherwell (American, 1915-1991)

Title: Africa Suite No. 7 & 10

Date:1970

Medium: Screenprint

Size:40 3/4" x 28 1/4"

Location:

Provenance:The Brooklyn College Library Collection. © Dedalus Foundation and VAGA (Visual Artists and Galleries Association, Inc.)

Description:Motherwell's goal was to depict not a physical experience but rather his reaction to it. He was strongly influenced by the Surrealist technique of automatism, in which an artist allows his hand to move freely, thereby revealing forms that arise from the thoughts and feelings of the unconscious mind. Motherwell successfully used this technique to develop his own visual vocabulary.

By the 1950's Motherwell had moved away from automatism and toward spontaneous brushwork and bold, simple forms inspired by Chinese and Japanese brush painting. Motherwell said that "abstract rhythms, immediately felt, could be an expression of the inner self."

Black and white are the predominant colors in many of Motherwell's works; he said, "Black is death, anxiety; white is life . . ." In Motherwell's works, these colors also evoke printed words, symbols, brilliant shadows, and the extremes of darkness and light.

Related Websites

Robert Motherwell at PBS
Robert Motherwell at Guggenheim Collection
Robert Motherwell at MoMA

Suggested Reading:

- Engberg, Siri. Robert Motherwell: The Complete Prints 1940-1991: Catalogue Raisonné, 2003.
Call Number: NE539 .M67 A4 2003
- Motherwell, Robert. The Collected Writings of Robert Motherwell, 1999.
Call Number: ND237.M852 A35 1999
List of all Brooklyn College Library Items by or about Robert Motherwell

 

25. Edward Ruscha, News, Mews, Pews, Brews, Stews & Dues

 

News

E. Ruscha, Pews

E. Ruscha, Brews

E. Ruscha, Stews

E. Ruscha, Dues

Artist: Edward Ruscha (American, b. 1937)

Title: News, Mews, Pews, Brews, Stews & Dues

Audio:

Date: 1970

Medium: Silkscreen prints on paper

Size: Six prints, each 23" x 32"

Location: TBA

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. © Edward Ruscha

Description: In the series News, Mews, Pews, Brews, Stews & Dues, Ruscha probes the visual and emotive power of words by playing with similar sounds and humorous rhymes. The six words he uses are rendered in an old Gothic-style lettering and are expressions of Ruscha's impressions of England -- its houses, cathedrals, cuisine, etc. The artist experiments with the printmaking media, using organic materials such as black currant pie filling, red salmon roe, raw egg, squid ink, chutney, chocolate syrup, Bolognese sauce, daffodils, and axle grease to create the silk-screened prints.

Related Websites

Website of the Edward Ruscha Catalogue Raisonné
Ed Ruscha at Gagosian Gallery
- Ed Ruscha at MoMA
"One Artist Journeys Down Another's 'Road'" (from the New York Times)

Suggested Readings
- Marshall, Richard. Ed Ruscha, 2003.
Call Number: N6537 .R87 M37x 2003
- Ruscha, Edward. Leave Any Information at the Signal: Writings, Interviews, Bits, Pages, 2002.
Call Number: N6537 .R87 A35 2002
- Engberg, Siri. Edward Ruscha: Editions, 1959-1999: Catalogue Raisonné, 1999.
Call Number: Folio N6537 .R87 A4 1999

26. Library Administration Conference Room 412 Works

 

26a.  Alberto Giacometti, Awaiting

 

 Alberto Giacometti, Awaiting

Artist: Alberto Giacometti

Title: Awaiting

Date: c. 1963

Medium: Etching

Size: 10 1/2" x 8"

Location: Fourth Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Description:

Related Websites

Alberto Giacometti at MoMA
Alberto Giacometti at Artchive

Suggested Reading:

 

26b.  Alexander Calder, Stabile

 Alexander Calder, Stabile

Artist: Alexander Calder

Title: Stabile

Date: c. 1965

Medium: Lithograph

Size: 25" x 31"

Location: Fourth Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. © Calder Foundation, New York; Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Description: Alexander Calder revolutionized sculpture by making movement one of its main components. His moving sculptures were called "mobiles"--a word coined in 1931 by the artist Marcel Duchamp. Later in his career he created giant open and transparent stationary constructions which were named "stabiles." These works challenged the traditional notions of sculpture as a solid and static. Moreover, Calder's inventive abstract forms and innovative use of nontraditional materials, were very influential in changing the art of sculpture. This lithograph is a study for one of Calder's monumental stabiles. These sculptures have have become public landmarks in many cities around the world.

Related Websites

 - Calder Foundation

Alexander Calder at Guggenheim Museum

Alexander Calder at National Gallery of Art

Alexander Calder at MOMA 

Suggested Reading:

- Prather, Maria. Alexander Calder, 1898-1976, 1998.
Call Number: Folio N6537 .C33 A4 1998
- Marchesseau, Daniel. The Intimate World of Alexander Calder, 1989.
Call Number: Folio N6537 .C33 M3613 1989
List of all Brooklyn College Library Items by or about Alexander Calder

 

26c. Joseph Hirsch, Lunch Hour

 

 Joseph Hirsch, Lunch Hour

Artist: Joseph Hirsch

Title: Lunch Hour

Date: 1942

Medium: Lithograph

Size: 9" x 11 3/4"

Location: Fourth Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. © Artist's Estate

Description: A powerfully expressive draftsman and painter, Hirsch depicted people in ordinary, everyday scenes. In this lithograph, which was the artist's first, Hirsch's father, a noted Philadelphia surgeon, posed for the sleeping figure. Hirsch then transformed his father's figure into a portrait of an African-American youth. Hirsch commented in 1942 that "a re-affirmation by today's artist of his faith in the common man will be as natural as was the emphasis by El Greco on his faith in the Church."

Related Websites

Joseph Hirsch at the Navy Art Collection

Joseph Hirsch at MoMA

Joseph Hirsch at Smithsonian American Art Museum

Suggested Reading:

 

 

26d. Kathe Kollwitz, Praying Girl

 K├Ąthe Kollwitz, Praying Girl

 

Artist: Käthe Kollwitz (German, 1867-1945)

TitlePraying Girl

Date: 1892

Medium: Etching

Size:  12 11/16" x 9 11/16"

Location: Fourth Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Description: Although Kollwitz is best known for her anguished portrayals of mothers with children, the tragedy of war, and death, this work represents a lesser-known aspect of the artist's life and inspiration. In her writing, Kollwitz acknowledges that her socialist "politicization" was derived from her faith; and this poignant image, of a girl engrossed in fervent prayer, also demonstrates the way Kollwitz used hands and faces to express intense emotion.

Related Websites

Käthe Kollwitz at National Museum of Women in the Arts
Käthe Kollwitz at MoMA

Suggested Reading:

 

26e. Jimmy Ernst, Untitled

 Jimmy Ernst, Untitled

 

Artist: Jimmy Ernst (American, b. Germany, 1920-1984)

TitleUntitled

Date: c. 1981

Medium: Lithograph

Size:  15" x 11 1/2"

Location: Fourth Floor

Provenance: The Brooklyn College Library Collection. Gift of the artist. © Artist's Estate

Description: Jimmy Ernst created works with emotionally moving colors and strong lines creating a powerful sense of depth and pulsating rhythms. This lithograph reflects the period where the artist had moved away from abstraction toward nature-based motifs. The only child of Max Ernst, one of the most influential Dada and Surrealist artists, Jimmy Ernst taught in the art department at Brooklyn College for over 30 years. Ernst commented in 1962 that "Artists and poets are the raw nerve-ends of humanity...they may not be able to save life on this planet, but without them there would be very little left worth saving."

Related Websites

Jimmy Ernst's Website
Jimmy Ernst at MoMA

 

Philip Guston