Arthur Dove (American 1880–1946) Westport, c. 1911–12
Pastel on paper laid down on board
8 5/8 x 10 1/4 in.
Collection of Barry and Maria King
John Marin (American 1870-1953) Trees, Rocks, and Schooner, 1921
Watercolor and black ink on paper
19 1/2 x 16 3/4 in.
Collection of Barry and Maria King
Charles Sheeler (American 1883-1965) Peaches in White Bowl, 1910
Oil on canvas
10 x 13 1/4 in.
Collection of Barry and Maria King
Forging the American Modern is the premiere public presentation of a pre-eminent private collection featuring American modernist masterworks from the early twentieth century—the Collection of Barry and Maria King. Composed of more than eighty select pictures from the Kings’ collection of over one hundred, the exhibition includes major figures such as Thomas Hart Benton, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Robert Henri, Rockwell Kent, John Marin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Man Ray, Joseph Stella, and Alfred Stieglitz. And alongside these acknowledged masters are essential American modernists who, by way of early death or other vicissitudes, have been unduly neglected in the literature—for instance, Ben Benn, Albert Bloch, Hugo Robus, H. Lyman Saÿen, and William Yarrow. Any museum would be a proud home to the King Collection, whose significance would make the institution a crucial center for the study and appreciation of twentieth-century American modernism.
Built over the past few decades, this singular collection in private hands stands as a testament to the collectors’ passion, predilections, and profound knowledge. Whilst providing a comprehensive survey of this exciting period in American art, the King Collection also evokes the particular tastes of Barry and Maria King, who favor bold compositions, vibrant colors, and subjects balanced rather consistently between landscapes on one hand and floral and fruit still lifes on the other. Coincidentally, it was under the tutelage of former El Paso Museum of Art director Leonard Sipiora (who guided the museum from 1967 to 1990) that the Kings began to collect the art of nineteenth-century America. Yet their tastes and aptitudes quickly evolved toward an overwhelming embrace of American modernist painting from the following century. The King Collection is characterized by its overall excellence and breadth, its seminal works by a range of artists, and its inclusion of hidden gems that reveal new aspects of the development of celebrated Americans such as Georgia O’Keeffe or Charles Sheeler.
In addition to introducing the King Collection to museum audiences, the EPMA exhibition and accompanying catalogue will explore major currents and themes of early twentieth-century American modernism. Issues for investigation include the rediscovery of key contributors to the evolution of American modernist painting, the role of immigrant and first-generation artists, and the primacy of the American environment. Besides painting, the show will feature a special section devoted to drawings and prints by master draftsmen of early twentieth-century America, including Lyonel Feininger and Abraham Walkowitz. Complementing the King works will be two loans from the Williams College Museum of Art and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which were formerly in the King Collection and exemplify the couple’s history of patronage and lending to arts institutions across the country.
Forging the American Modern: The King Collection allows us to appreciate the discerning eye and passionate commitment of two collectors; and highlights the originality, diversity, and exuberance that fostered a distinctly American brand of visual modernism in the first half of the last century. Viewers can enjoy these qualities in powerful works that range from early to later in a given artist’s career (for example, a delicate, early Fauvist landscape by Dove next to a later pastel pointing toward the bold abstraction of his mature style); in compositions influenced by European mentors like Cézanne and Matisse (Benton’s watercolor landscape evoking both Cézanne and Gauguin); and in innovative masterworks where the Americans discovered and forged their own unique paths and sensibilities (Marin’s 1921 Trees, Rocks, and Schooner and Hartley’s 1917 Still Life with White Bowl, among many others).
$10 for non-members age 13 and over.
$5 for EPMA members 13 and over
FREE for children age 12 and under and Active Military personnel and their family with ID
Tickets available beginning September 1, 2013 at the Museum Store
Navigating Art Languages: The James M. Shelton Jr.
Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art
September 15 – February 2, 2014
Peter and Margaret de Wetter Gallery
Jean DuBuffet (French, 1901 – 1985)
Site aleatoire avec 3 personages,April 15th, 1982
Acrylic on paper with collage on canvas, 26 ½ x 39 ½”
Collection of James M. Shelton, Jr.
Important art collections that stand out are uncommon in most major cities around the world, but in El Paso such a collection is rare indeed and definitely the reason for a major celebration. This is the case with The James Shelton Collection of Modern and Contemporary art. Gathered gradually over twenty-some years Shelton has focused on late Modernist works and the responses to Modernism often referred to as Post-modernism. Including paintings, sculptures and drawings by late modern giants such as Alexander Calder, Jean Dubuffet, Hans Hoffman and Willem De Kooning as well as the Abstract Expressionists Franz Kline, Morris Louis, Cy Twomby, Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell, the Pop artists Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Wayne Thiebaud, and the Minimalists Donald Judd, Sol Le Witt and Ellsworth Kelly. In addition to masterworks by these artists the Shelton Collection also offers the opportunity to the public to learn about other more recent artists such as Fritz Scholder and Jean Michel Basquiat who responded to earlier modernist movements, but also represent a broadening of the once mostly Euro-centric art world.
An Expansive Regard: Selected Works from the Collection of Juan Sandoval
September 22, 2013 – February 16, 2014
Francisco Delgado (American b. 1974)
Gouache on paper
Collection of Juan Sandoval
Local art collector Juan A. Sandoval II has called El Paso home for more than thirty years; during this time he has avidly developed a diverse collection of hundreds of artworks spanning different media and cultures. Just some of the many historic and contemporary area artists represented in his collection are Manuel Acosta, Marta Arat, Francisco Delgado, Gaspar Enriquez, Luis Jiménez (with approximately fifty works), and Mauricio Olague. Sandoval’s penchant for collecting began as a young boy, when he amassed a rock collection in his hometown of Monte Vista in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. Since then the curiosity of the boy developed into the understanding and expertise of the man, yet there remain Sandoval’s singular passion for discovering new treasures and making them an intimate part of his life and learning.
Juan Sandoval earned his MA in Library and Information Science from Denver University in 1975, and since the early 1980s he has worked at the Library of the University of Texas at El Paso. In addition to serving as Reference Librarian and Subject Specialist for Art and Chicano Studies, he works closely with African-American Studies and Asian Studies. Notably, these varied professional activities are mirrored in Sandoval’s energies as an art collector. His collecting interests encompass prints, photographs, paintings, sculptures, and pottery from the El Paso region, his native San Luis Valley, Oaxaca and other parts of Mexico, and places further afield such as Russia and Poland. This eclecticism notwithstanding, Sandoval’s collection possesses core characteristics—most notably, the attention to the evocative human figure, whose distortions, surroundings, or groupings with other bodies imply often uncanny narratives. And, just as Sandoval the librarian enjoys assisting and interacting with students and researchers at all levels, many of the works in his collection are by artists he knows or knew personally. Indeed, his collecting endeavors extend to autographs by Mexican and Mexican-American writers and artists, of which he now possesses about one hundred fifty. Free to the public and on view for several months in the EPMA’s Gateway Gallery, An Expansive Regard: Selected Works from the Collection of Juan Sandoval highlights a spectrum of works showcasing the human focus and spirited range that mark the engaged collecting pursuits of Juan Sandoval.