Exhibit Information

Morgan Library & Museum

Address 225 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Click here for quick directions
Phone Number 212-685-0008

Website http://www.themorgan.org

MANNERISM & MODERNISM: The Kasper Collection of Drawings & Photographs

Opening: 21 January 2011 - Closing: 1 May 2011

MANNERISM & MODERNISM: The Kasper Collection of Drawings & Photographs

  

Have you ever heard of Kasper?


The new ground-floor exhibition at the Morgan devotes two major chambers to Kasper’s eclectic-collection of Mannerists & Moderns.


Among the artists whose work he has purchased are Fra Bartolommeo & Giorgio Vasari, onward to Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Robert Mapplethorpe, & even Jenny Holzer.


Dior & Chanel I’ve heard-of. But even though they are Long-Dead, new fashions come down the Runway every season!

 

Karl Lagerfeld, John Galianos, Tom Ford, & Tommy Hilfiger are also Fashion-Designer-Names to Conjure-With.

 

But until Your Roving-Arts-Reporter arrived at the Morgan for the Press-Preview, he’d never heard of Kasper. [Who is, apparently, No-Relation to the Friendly-Ghost of that name.]

 

The Press-Release says this: "The Art-Collection assembled by American fashion-designer Herbert Kasper—known simply as Kasper—is exceptional for its distinctive character & superb quality.”

 

The PR-Explication continues, here slightly altered, for Added-Emphasis:

 

"The exhibition features over 100 works, including Old-Master Drawings, Modern & Contemporary Works-on-paper, & Photography.

 

"The unusual, Tripartite-Nature of the Kasper-Collection is a Testament to both Kasper's Personal-Taste & his desire to build a truly Unique-Collection.

 

"A particular focus of Kasper's activity as a collector has been 16th-Century European-Art, notably drawings by Masters associated with Mannerism—a style distinguished by its emphasis upon Elegance, Artifice, & Sophistication.

 

"Dubbed the ‘stylish-style’ by Art-Historian John Shearman, Mannerism broke with the Classical-Restraint of the preceding Renaissance-Period.

 

"In the exhibition, Mannerism is represented by important works created by Giulio Romano, Polidoro da Caravaggio, Parmigianino, Peter Candid, Hendrick Goltzius, & Giorgio Vasari, among others.”

 

[If you have Frequent-Flyer-Miles & admire Giulio Romano, you might want to fly-off to Mantua, where some of his Master-Murals are on the walls of the Palazzo-Té, where the Dukes were wont to go for afternoon-tea.]

 

"Well-represented are Northern-Artists such as Maarten van Heemskerck.

 

"His Susanna & Her Relatives Praising the Lord reveals the influence of Italian art in the sculptural-treatment of the figures & classical-inspiration of the buildings.

 

"In Hans Hoffmann's charming An Affenpinscher, the artist employs watercolor & gouache in a manner reminscent of Albrecht Dürer.

 

"Equally impressive are Kasper's holdings of Modern & Contemporary Drawings.

 

"This part of the collection features important Cubist works by Pablo Picasso & Juan Gris. Picasso's Glass & Bass Bottle on a Table, for instance, combines different Viewpoints & Collaged-Materials to challenge ‘the Reality in Nature.’

 

"Juan Gris's The Coffee Grinder destabilizes the genre of Still-Life by transforming Household-Items into Geometric-Abstractions.

 

"Also on-view are significant works by Henri Matisse, Jean Dubuffet, Cy Twombly, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, & Anselm Kiefer.

 

"Photographs constitute the most diverse portion of Kasper's Collection, with excellent prints by Major-Historical-Figures, in addition to numerous works by Emerging-Artists.

 

"The photographs span the early 20th-Century to the present, chronicling the evolution of the medium through works by Constantin Brancusi, Hilla & Bernd Becher, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jenny Holzer, & Vik Muniz.

 

"Man Ray's Max Ernst Sand Painting records the appearance of a drawing of a female-figure, incised in the sand by the photographer's longtime-friend & Fellow-Surrealist, Max Ernst.

 

"Among several images by Hiroshi Sugimoto is one of his iconic, long-exposure photographs of Opulent-Movie-Houses: Beacon Theatre, New York.

 

"Kasper has considerable depth in the work of a number of artists, including the innovative contemporary photographer Adam Fuss [b. 1961], whose hauntingly-beautiful images include a Photogram of the Entrails of a Rabbit, from the series Details of Love, & a Monumental-Photograph of the Chrysalis of a Butterfly, Untitled, of 2003.”

 

[But there are now so many Artworks called Untitled, how can they be definitively-catalogued for Google-Searches? By Artistic-Medium, perhaps? Paper, Stone, Wood, Canvas, or Installation, just lying there on the floor?]]

 

"Kasper began collecting drawings as a student in Paris in the 1950s & continues to add to the collection.

 

"He relies upon a Process-of-Selection that begins with a personal, Visceral-Reaction to the Work-of-Art.

 

"He then assesses the work's Relationship to the Collection overall & its importance in the Artist's-Oeuvre, consulting with Curators, Collectors, & Art-Dealers…”

 

One hopes Kasper also has thought about a work’s possible Resale-Value: will it increase in Value?

 

What would it bring at Auction at Sotheby’s?

 

What would the Tax-Benefits be, if one were to donate it to a Major-Museum?

 

Oh, here’s the Answer from the Press-Release: "The exhibition celebrates Kasper's gift & promised-gift of a number of major-works in the show to The Morgan Library & Museum.”

 

Nonetheless, some of the photos are so deliberately Out-of-Focus that one wonders why this should be regarded as High-Art. Can it be the Scale of the Photo-Print?

 

If the Print is enormous, that lends a certain Majesty & Mystery

 

Otherwise, one might well ask: "Why not spend some money & get a lens you can focus?”

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