IA: Des Moines

“Woman with an Arm Tattoo”, 1996, Etching on white Somerset textured paper, 23 ½ x 32 ¼ inches, by Lucian Freud (British, 1922-2011).

“Woman with an Arm Tattoo”, 1996, Etching on white Somerset textured paper, 23 ½ x 32 ¼ inches, by Lucian Freud (British, 1922-2011).

WHERE: Des Moines Art Center.

WHEN: Opening in the Print Gallery on Friday, September 13, 2013 and remains on view through January 5, 2014.

“Hieroglyphics of a Natural Man” by  J. Bakewell. The allegory from Luke XIII v.7, of the crooked tree of repentence growing fruits of evil, flanked by Death and watered by the Devil. 1790s Engraving with hand-coloring. © The Trustees of the British Museum

“Hieroglyphics of a Natural Man” by J. Bakewell. The allegory from Luke XIII v.7, of the crooked tree of repentence growing fruits of evil, flanked by Death and watered by the Devil. 1790s Engraving with hand-coloring. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Wild Kingdom: Prints of Britain

BRIEF ABOUT: Spanning 300 years from the Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections, works on paper compares and contrasts British artists’ rapturous visions of the natural world with dark and pessimistic visions of human nature. The natural world is beautiful and benign, but human society seems a veritable jungle, full of urgency and terror.

     The exhibition opens with J. Bakewell’s Hieroglyphics of a Christian, and Hieroglyphics of a Natural Man, a pair of early 18th-century emblematic etchings that contrast aspects of human behavior.

     Idyllic etching by Thomas Allom depicts Windsor Castle seen from afar, framed by ancient oaks, and with deer grazing in the foreground. His etching of the royal castle in a state of nature conveys Britain’s idealized vision of itself as the blessed isle.

     An etching, Hedging and Ditching, n.d., by Joseph Mallord William Turner, projects a sense of harmony in man’s working and management of the land.

“Hieroglyphics of a Christian” by J. Bakewell.  The allegory from Psalms I v.3, of the straight tree of Faith, Hope and Love growing fruits of good, watered by an angel while another fights off Satan. 1790s Engraving with hand-coloring. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

“Hieroglyphics of a Christian” by J. Bakewell. The allegory from Psalms I v.3, of the straight tree of Faith, Hope and Love growing fruits of good, watered by an angel while another fights off Satan. 1790s Engraving with hand-coloring. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

     John Gould, who is a naturalist artist, his prints of hummingbirds evoke a wondrous paradise far beyond Britain’s shores.

     An etching by contemporary artist David Hockney shows lightning as cartoonish.

     Anish Kapoor creates intensely pigmented abstract images that evoke glowing colored light and space.

     Other artists include : Thomas Allom, Robert Austin, William Blake, Leonora Carrington, Alan Davie, Richard Deacon, Lucian Freud, James Gillray, Richard Hamilton, William Hogarth, Gary Hume, Allen Jones, , Edith Lawrence, Chris Ofili and William Strang.

MORE DETAILS: Call 515.277.4405 or www.desmoinesartcenter.org.




Published by on September 2013. Filed under Archives, At the Centers dept, Iowa, Palette News Arts Network/PNAN. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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