HARTFORD, CONN.- The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
will present American Moderns in Watercolor: Edward Hopper and His Contemporaries December 22, 2018 to March 17, 2019. American Moderns in Watercolor brings together sixteen works of art from the 1920s and 1930s that depict urban and rural subjects. Edward Hopper and contemporaries such as Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis, Preston Dickinson, Arthur Dove, John Marin, and Abraham Walkowitz were increasingly on the move, either by car or on foot, observing the changing American landscape. This exhibition explores how these modern artists uniquely embraced the portable medium of watercolor, experimenting with new subjects, styles, and techniques.
From the solitude in Hoppers composed watercolors of coastal New England to the energetic forces of New York City painted by Marin, American Moderns in Watercolor shows how artists drew inspiration from their surroundings. Bringing renewed interest and aspirations for the medium, these artists elevated watercolor to new levels, said Erin Monroe, Robert H. Schutz Jr., Associate Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, and contributed to the development of modern art in this country.
The Wadsworth Atheneum was at the forefront of collecting and exhibiting modern American watercolors, especially the work of Edward Hopper. In 1928, the museum purchased the first of six watercolors by Hopper (four are included in the exhibition) and gave Hopper his first solo museum exhibition later that year. Another important early acquisition was Marshalls House, in 1933, depicting Hoppers neighbors house on Cape Cod. A recent documentary, Edward Hopper and Marshalls House, will be on view in the exhibition.
This is the first of two presentations from the Wadsworths outstanding collection of American works on paper. The second exhibition will highlight Modernist still lifes by artists such as Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, and Georgia OKeeffe, and opens March 23, 2019.
Tours of American Moderns in Watercolor and Modern art from the collection are offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 pm from Jan. 19Feb. 24. A docent-led Art in Focus talk on John Marins From the Bridge, N.Y.C. will take place on Jan. 16 at noon. There will be a gallery talk at noon on Feb. 1 with curator Erin Monroe and a second gallery talk will take place at noon on Feb. 27 led by Jenny Parsons, Assistant Curator at the Florence Griswold Museum. Hopper Stories, a series of eight short films, will be shown in the theater on Mar. 1 and 2. On Mar. 15 Rebecca Pollak, a paper conservator and Senior Research Associate at Scientific Analysis of Art LLC, will present a gallery talk discussing the technical innovations made by Hopper and his contemporaries.