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Upcoming Exhibitions

Beatrice Wood, You look like a goddess on a hairpin, from the series "Touching Certain Things", 1932. Pencil and watercolor on paper. SBMA, Gift of Francis M. Naumann and Marie T. Keller.
  Living in the Timeless: Drawings by Beatrice Wood
May 11 – August 31, 2014

Recognized for her vibrant lusterware pottery, Beatrice Wood (1893-1998) first emerged as an artist in 1917, making sketches as part of the provocative New York Dada scene. This exhibition examines the lesser known yet foundational role of drawing in the artist's work, which she continued to develop over the next eight decades. Wood's drawings served as visual diaries, allowing her to explore personal and often socially taboo subject matter in abstract and figurative styles. Providing an intimate glimpse into the artist's life and legacy, Living in the Timeless also celebrates the recent gift of 166 works on paper by Wood from the collection of Francis M. Naumann and Marie T. Keller to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Largely autobiographical and frequently revisiting past characters and forms, Wood's drawings allowed her "to live in the timeless," as she wrote to a friend at the age of 103.

Infused with humor, wit, and eroticism, Wood's drawings delve into various aspects of human nature. In addition to works on paper, the exhibition also features selected figurative ceramic sculptures and tiles, as well as the artist's illustrated books—all extensions of her draftsmanship. The idiosyncratic subjects of her drawings gave form to her exploits in these new mediums. Her figurative sculptures, described by the artist as "sophisticated primitives" often represent complex, adult themes in a deliberately naïve manner—mirroring a coquettish personality that Wood crafted and sustained throughout her life.


Mario Ybarra, Jr., Go Tell It #1, 2001. Color lightjet print, ed. 1/5. Museum purchase, funds provided by Hilarie and Mark Moore and the Moore Family Trust
  Left Coast: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art
May 25 – September 14, 2014

Since it opened its doors in 1941, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art has consistently been dedicated to collecting—an activity that has contributed to the growth of the permanent collection in significant ways. Art produced on the West Coast is a major part of this endeavor. Left Coast presents an overview of the Museum's collecting habits in contemporary art over the past five years, focusing most heavily on artists living and working in Southern California. Featuring a variety of media, including painting, photography, works on paper, and sculpture, many of the works in the exhibition are on view for the first time. Tying these works together is the pervasive sense of individuality demonstrated in each, adding weight to the justification of the delineation of this side of the country as not just the West Coast, but also, as it's commonly called, the "Left" Coast.

The exhibition is comprised of works from artists of both regional and international renown, such as Amy Adler, Uta Barth, Russell Crotty, Carlee Fernandez, Llyn Foulkes, Jack Goldstein, Lyle Ashton Harris, Richard Jackson, Kim Jones, Mike Kelley, Elad Lassry, Kori Newkirk, Steve Roden, April Street, Mario Ybarra Jr., and many others. We invite you to become acquainted with these works, which have recently joined the collection to ensure the continued relevance and significance of the Museum.



From Art to Zoo: Exploring Animal Natures
September 21, 2014 – January 4, 2015

This exhibition, drawn from the permanent collection, looks beyond the immediate attraction of the image to explore the dimensions of animal characteristics and knowledge. The human species has long held themselves as the highest animal form, while often overlooking the many traits that animals exhibit. Raptors(eagles, hawks and falcons) have eyesight that is eight times better than humans. Ants, though they live in a colony with no centralized decision-making body, solve complex geometric problems. Fish and birds swarm in intricate, seemingly choreographed, patterns, possessing an innate sense of movement and spatial placement that is both efficient and graceful. Scientists estimate that the human and the mouse species separated about 75 million years ago, each developing its own characteristics, yet 40% of the human genome is aligned with that of the mouse and 90% of both genomes share common segments though not in the same order. Perhaps most importantly, one does not find a species in the animal kingdom that kills out of brutality or anger; that is ruled by greed; or that kills wantonly.


Jan Saenredam, Allegory of the Triumph of the Netherlands over Spain, 1600. Engraving. Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, 1997.26.

  The Plains of Mars: European War Prints, 15001825, from the Collection of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation
October 19, 2014 – January 18, 2015

From 1500 to 1825, Europe remained in an almost perpetual state of war. Religion, politics, economics, and dynastic ambition all played a role in the turmoil that spread across the continent. War-related printed images also proliferated during this time, serving a variety of functions—commemorative, propagandistic, iconic, narrative, eulogistic, critical, or instructional.

This presentation embodies one of the first graphic print surveys of the theme of war during the early modern period. Featuring work by such artists as Dürer, Goya, and Géricault, the exhibition presents varied images of soldiers; battles (including specific historical events); production, innovation, and instruction in arms and armor; and representations of abstract concepts related to war and peace.


    Looking Out. Looking In: Contemporary Latin American Photography
January 25 – May 17, 2015

The rich panoply of Latin American photography is showcased in this exhibition of 40 works from the Museum’s permanent collection. Focusing their lenses on the places, faces, and events that have shaped their rich cultural environments, photographers from Manuel Bravo to contemporary artist Alejandro Cartagena mine the veins of common Latino experience. Both the leaders―Frida Kahlo and Che Guevera―and the common people, such as Don Quixote of the Lamppost and The Brakeman, are presented with dignity and sensitivity. Graciela Iturbide, Flor Garduno, Lola Alvarez Bravo, and Russian ex-patriate Mariana Yampolsky look to their neighbors and the streets for inspiration, while daring artists capture the Cavalry arriving and guerrilla soldiers bivouacked in the forest. Their photographs offer but a glimpse into the varied histories and lives that have shaped Latin America and Cuba.


Giovanni Bellini, Virgin and Child, ca. 1480–85. Tempera and oil on panel, 24 1/2 x 18 1/4 in. (62.3 x 46.2 cm). Glasgow Museums; Bequeathed by Mrs. John Graham-Gilbert, 1877 (575)
© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection, Courtesy American Federation of Arts

  Botticelli, Titian, and Beyond: Masterpieces of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums
February 8– May 3, 2015

Organized by the American Federation of Arts (AFA), this unique exhibition explores the evolution of Italian art and reflects the outstanding quality and remarkable 500-year range—from the late 14th to the 19th centuries—of the Glasgow Museums’ Italian holdings. Included are works by Italian Renaissance and Baroque masters, such as Giovanni Bellini, Sandro Botticelli, Domenichino, Francesco Guardi, Salvator Rosa, Luca Signorelli, and Titian, many of which have never before been exhibited outside Glasgow. Several have been newly restored for the exhibition, among them, the southern Italian Adoration of the Magi by the unknown artist known as the Master of the Glasgow Adoration. This stunning early Renaissance masterpiece believed to have been part of a larger altarpiece was almost black with atmospheric pollution before conservation.

The character of Glasgow’s Italian collection was largely determined by the tastes of Archibald McLellan (1797–1854), a discriminating collector who spent much of his wealth on art and bequeathed his extensive collection to the city. McLellan acquired representative examples of all the main schools of Italy and in all the main periods of development. Most are religious or mythological and were acquired in the spirit of an academic and moral ideal rather than for any personal reasons.

This exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts and Glasgow Museums, and is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities. The exhibition tour is generously supported by the JFM Foundation and the Donald and Maria Cox Trust. In-kind support is provided by Barbara and Richard S. Lane and Christie’s.


László (or Ladislaus) Moholy-Nagy, Composition, n.d. (ca. 1922-23). Paper collage on paper. SBMA, Gift of Mrs. Charlotte Mack.
  The Shape of Things to Come: Moholy-Nagy and the Plasticity of Painting
June 7 – August 30, 2015

This represents the first exhibition that explores how the practice of painting served as the means for László Moholy-Nagy to imagine generative relationships between art and technology. Featuring a suite of paintings executed on traditional supports, as well as on new industrial materials like plastics and aluminum, this presentation highlights how Moholy’s deployment of painting served to synthesize the inter-medial practice for which the artist has become so renowned. Organized chronologically and thematically, this exhibition shows the evolution of Moholy’s thought and practice over his career but attends especially to the profound political and technological impact World War II had on him.

It is undeniable that Moholy made numerous declarations about the end of painting especially at the end of the 1920s. He demanded that artistic production reach beyond the confines of the walls of a bourgeois salon, museum or gallery. He advised artists to exchange brush, pigment, and canvas with camera, television, and searchlight. However, even as he made these radical claims, Moholy returned time and again to painting. In the early ‘20s, he painted a number of works against black grounds, some on highly-polished black wood panels, others on canvas, thickly varnished to mimic the qualities of industrial plastics he began working with at the Bauhaus in the metal workshop. He also experimented with materials developed specifically for aeronautics, with aluminum and later with clear, lightweight, increasingly shatterproof thermoplastics in the thirties and forties. These works in plastic stand at the interstices of his many artistic practices, mobilizing techniques and organizing principles drawn from printmaking, film, photography, sculpture, and crucially painting.


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