Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Artis—Naples, home of The Baker Museum and the Naples Philharmonic, announced the Sept. 6 opening of Helen Frankenthaler: Late Works, 1990-2003, a landmark presentation of the artist’s innovative work that serves as the anchor for the museum’s fall exhibition season.

“This fall, The Baker Museum presents a truly significant slate of exhibitions to launch the 2022-23 season,” said CEO and President Kathleen van Bergen. “From a landmark exhibition of the late works of Helen Frankenthaler to stunning multimedia installations by Korean-born artist Ran Hwang, and to the deeply impactful drawings of Mauricio Lasansky chronicling the horrors of the Holocaust, The Baker Museum offers visitors an opportunity to experience thought-provoking works by a range of artists.”

Helen Frankenthaler: Late Works, 1990-2003 Sept. 6 —Nov. 27 The innovative and experimental soak-stain paintings of Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) established her as one of the great artists of the 20th century. This exhibition, on loan from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, is the first museum exhibition dedicated to the last phase of the painter’s prolific career and features 20 paintings on paper and 10 paintings on canvas.

Frankenthaler played a defining role in the history of postwar American painting. Her innovative soakstain technique inaugurated the shift from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field painting and influenced artists such as Morris Louis, Jules Olitski, Friedel Dzubas and Kenneth Noland. The works on view in this exhibition demonstrate Frankenthaler’s long-standing interest in the relationship between landscape and abstraction and reveal her continued sensitivity to the emotional effects of color.

Jesús Rafael Soto: Extension and Half Sphere 2022-23 Season, Ongoing Installation The monumental outdoor sculpture Extension and Half Sphere (1991) by Venezuelan artist Jesús Rafael Soto (1923-2005) activates the north lawn of The Baker Museum this season. Composed of acrylic and aluminum, this sculpture exemplifies Soto’s pioneering contributions to kinetic art.

Soto began his career as a figurative painter, but a fascination with geometry rapidly led him toward three-dimensional sculpture and abstraction. In 1950, he left his native Venezuela for Paris, where he exhibited at the progressive Galerie Denise René. In this particular sculpture, a series of thin, closely spaced rods create a white-and-yellow semi-spherical form, evoking the wiggling surface of a boiled egg—or the hazy, wavering light of a rising or setting sun. This presentation of Extension and Half Sphere is organized by Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum, courtesy of Ascaso Gallery, Miami.

Envisioning Evil: “The Nazi Drawings” by Mauricio Lasansky Sept. 17 — Feb. 19, 2023 The son of Jewish immigrants in Argentina, Mauricio Lasansky (1914-2012) forged a flourishing career as an artist in the United States, creating work that explored themes of war and violence. In 1961, coinciding with the televised trial of the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, he began a series of monumental drawings to grapple with the Holocaust. Confronted with the atrocities, he said, “I was full of hate, poison, and I wanted to spit it out.”

This exhibition is organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art and lent by the Levitt Foundation.

Ran Hwang: Becoming Again Oct. 22 — Jan. 8, 2023 Korean born, New York- and Seoul-based artist Ran Hwang (b. 1960) creates densely referential artworks and installations deploying buttons, beads, pins and thread, sometimes overlaid with moving video images. Her solo exhibition Ran Hwang: Becoming Again, the largest museum presentation of her work in the southeastern United States to date, features Hwang’s stunning multimedia works as well as her iconic silhouettes of Buddhas and plum blossoms. Her assemblages of ordinary everyday objects and multimedia installation works are simultaneously rooted in traditional Korean visual lexicon and deeply steeped in 21st-century global contemporary art practice.

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