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Art Exhibitions in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

"Art of Two Germanys, Cold War Culture"
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

"Morandi: Master of Modern Still Life"
Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Art exhibitions on both coasts examine 20th-century western European artists whose work has been shaped by war, convention, tradition, and obsession. In Los Angeles, the County Museum of Art (LACMA) opens a special exhibition, Art of Two Germanys, Cold War Culture. On the opposite coast, at Washington, D.C.’s Phillips Collection; a retrospective on the work of Giorgio Morandi: Master of Modern Still Life.

Working in near-exile in his studio in Bologna, Italy (a place he rarely left), Giorgio Morandi engaged in a lifelong endeavor to capture reality through the familiar. Considered one of the greatest 20th-century masters of still life and landscape painting, Morandi made still life the primary focus of his work. In his still lifes, Morandi obsessively returned to the same familiar subjects – bottles, cups, bowls – imbuing them with a meditative aura (Phillips Collection). Morandi: Master of the Modern Still Life presents more than 50 paintings and etchings, spanning the artist’s work from 1913 to 1960. The Phillips Collection first presented Morandi’s work in 1957. This is the first retrospective of his work in Washington, D.C., in more than 50 years.

During the Cold War in East and West Germany, art was often closely linked to the prevailing political system: western democracy in the Federal Republic of Germany and the communist dictatorship of the German Democratic Republic. Although both Germanys responded to the legacy of Nazism by reviving pre-WWII artistic traditions, they developed distinctive versions of modern and post-modern art. Art of Two Germanys reveals the complex and richly varied art in the postwar era.

Art of Two Germanys is the first special exhibition to go on view in LACMA’s new Renzo Piano-designed building, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum. The exhibition includes approximately 300 paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, and installations by 120 artists, including Gerhard Richter, Hans Haacke, Heinz Mack, Sigmar Polke, Raffael Rheinsberg and Dieter Roth. After its run at LACMA, the exhibition will travel to Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nürnberg and the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin.

Art of Two Germanys, Cold War Culture
January 25 - April 19, 2009
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
Tel. 323.857.6000

Morandi: Master of Modern Still Life
February 21 – May 24, 2009
Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Tel. 202.387.2151

Image Credits (top to bottom):

Giorgio Morandi,
(Autoritratto), 1924
Oil on canvas
47 x 42 cm , 18 1/2 x 16 1/2 in.
Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di
Trento e Rovereto
L. F. Collection

Still Life
(Natura morta), 1919
Oil on canvas
45 x 59 cm, 17 3/4 x 23 1/4 in.
Private collection

Karl Hofer
Totentanz (Dance of the Dead), 1946
Oil on canvas
37 3/8 x 42 7/8 in. (95 x 109 cm)
Berlinische Galerie Landesmuseum für Modern Kunst,
Fotografie und Architektur
©2008 Karl Hofer
Photo: ©Berlinische Galerie Landesmuseum für Modern Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur

[Photograph of Hunter Courtyard, Courtesy of The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Photo: Robert Lautman.]

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