Earth Paint Paper Wood celebrates the dynamism of the Menil, which continues to add important works of art to the permanent collection via purchase and also by gift and bequest of Menil
trustees and other friends of the museum, including artists. Growing the extraordinary collection and presenting it to the public is a key part of the museums mission.
While some of these newly acquired works have been included in exhibitions in recent years, many will be shown for the first time in Earth Paint Paper Wood, which opens to the public on August 27 and remains on view through November 28. Nearly 60 works will attest to the myriad ways in which the museum continues to build upon the legacy and collection of its founders, John and Dominique de Menil.
Organized by Assistant Curator Clare Elliott, the exhibition emphasizes works on paper from the 20th century; with an eye toward the realization of the Menil Drawing Institute and Study Center (which will eventually occupy its own building on the museum campus), it will illustrate the breadth of approaches to drawing by modern and contemporary artists. Recent gifts from artists themselves most notably a remarkable group of works on paper by Claes Oldenburg attest to the Menil tradition of developing close relationships with living artists. Included are works by artists familiar to the Menil, such as Michael Heizer, Willem de Kooning, and Frank Stella alongside those more recently introduced to the collection, like Marlene Dumas, Max Neuhaus, and Kiki Smith. Also on view are watercolors by Suzan Frecon, pencil drawings by Robert Gober, and unique digital prints by Joe Goode. As suggested by the exhibition title, the century‐spanning EARTH PAINT PAPER WOOD will also feature works in a variety of other media metal sculptures by Jim Love, ceramic pieces by Ken Price, and eighteenth‐century French portraiture.