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Carnegie Museum of Art Announces the Recent Aquisition of Works to the Collection
Harvey K. Littleton, American (b. 1922), Blue/Lemon Sliced Descending Form, 1989, glass, 13 1/4 x 12 1/2 x5 in. 5 x 5 x 3 1/2 in. Bequest of Maxine H. Block. Photo: Tom Little.

PITTSBURGH, PA.- Carnegie Museum of Art’s permanent collection has been bolstered by the acquisition of several significant works of art in line with its collecting strategies. Included in these plans are the purchase of art from and related to the Carnegie International; adding to areas of strength, such as contemporary art, photography, regional art, and art after 1985; and acquiring works of art that contribute to the museum’s exhibition program. A selection of recent acquisitions includes:

Department of Contemporary Art
Aaronel deRoy Gruber
American (b. 1918)
Spherical Plateaus, c. 1968
Acrylic with 1 or 1 1/2 rpm bogey motor and 3 vertical fluorescent tubes
73 1/2 x 15 x 21 in.
Gift of the Gruber Family

A kinetic sculpture, Spherical Plateaus consists of five layered orbs that are vertically hung within an acrylic exterior. These colorful orbs rotate slowly, blending their colors with each other and with the interior light. Gruber is a distinguished Pittsburgh-based artist, and has been active with Associated Artists of Pittsburgh since 1957.

Thomas Schütte
German (b. 1954)
Zombie VIII, 2008
29 1/2 x 33 1/2 x 41 5/16 in.
The Henry L. Hillman Fund

Zombie VIII reflects Schütte’s ongoing exploration of the grotesqueries of figuration, here manifested in the dismembered and subsequently reanimated parts of his earlier Grosse Geister, or big spirit sculptures. The work is currently installed, along with two other Zombie sculptures and a series of watercolor drawings by the artist, in Life on Mars, the 2008 Carnegie International.

Christopher Wool
American (b. 1955)
Untitled, 2007
Enamel on linen
126 x 96 in.
The Henry L. Hillman Fund

In the large-scale painting Untitled, the artist’s technique creates a complex illusion of depth in which the black lines disappear and reappear as if behind many layers. As with all of Wool’s works, the turbulent appearance belies an underlying harmony within the composition. Christopher Wool’s work was included in the 1991 Carnegie International. This piece complements six other works by Wool already in the collection.

Richard Wright
British (b. 1960)
Untitled, 2008
Gouache on paper
24 1/8 x 33 in.
The Henry L. Hillman Fund

Richard Wright’s work is usually laboriously applied directly to the wall—or ceilings, cornices, windowpanes, or other unconventional spaces in a room—with paint and brush, and is meant to be painted over. In addition to these ephemeral wall drawings, such as the one included in the 2008 Carnegie International, Wright also creates lasting works on paper using the same elaborate practice, typically making only three or four per year as each one takes several months.

Department of Decorative Arts

William De Morgan, designer
English (1839–1917)
Fred Passenger, decorator
English (active 1890–1905)
Vase, c. 1890
16 1/4 in. high
Decorative Arts Purchase Fund and
Purchase: Gift of Charlotte and Stanley Bernstein, by exchange

Inspired by the form of ancient vessels, as was popular in the 19th century, and decorated with leaves, vines, and flowers in Persian-inspired motifs and hues, this is a rare example of a large-scale vase designed by William De Morgan. The artist is best known for his hand-crafted, lustrous red ceramic chargers and tiles, making this uncommon vase all the more important for the museum’s collection.

Michelle Erickson
American (b. 1960)
Made in China, 2008
15 x 8 x 8 in.
Gift of Charlotte and Stanley Bernstein, by exchange

Made in China is a visually striking figure that creates a link between the museum’s contemporary and historic ceramic collections. Erickson takes inspiration from 18th-century Chinese Guanyin figures and English sweetmeat dishes, both of which exist in the museum’s collection for comparison. By imbuing historic forms with immediately recognizable modern symbols, such as the Shell Oil logo or Olympic rings, Erickson presents a commentary on contemporary wealth, luxury, vanity, corruption, and international relations through a porcelain medium that embodied the same themes more than 300 years ago.

Harvey K. Littleton
American (b. 1922)
Blue/Lemon Sliced Descending Form, 1989
13 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 5 in.
5 x 5 x 3 1/2 in.
Bequest of Maxine H. Block

Harvey K. Littleton is considered the father of the American Studio Glass movement. This is the first work in the museum’s collection by Littleton. Since 1996, William and Maxine Block have given or bequeathed 93 contemporary glass objects to Carnegie Museum of Art, including this work; their gifts comprise nearly half of the contemporary glass collection for which the museum is nationally recognized.

Horn Gift

In line with Carnegie Museum of Art’s goals to acquire important works of contemporary decorative arts in glass, ceramic, and wood, the recent gift from John and Robyn Horn introduced six superb examples of craft and technique to the collection. Work by notable wood artists Rude Osolnik, Binh Pho, and Mark Sfirri illustrate innovative turning techniques in functional and sculptural objects that push the boundaries of the wood medium. Additional work in glass by Dick Huss and ceramic by Karl Yost and James Lovera are also part of the gift.

Raymond Lowey, designer
French (1893–1986)
Compagnie de l’Esthétique Industrielle, designer
French (1952–c. 1980)
Doubinski Frères, manufacturer
French (active c. 1960–1970)
DF-2000 series sideboard, c. 1969
Injection-molded plastic, painted aluminum, and fiberboard
78 1/2 x 22 in.
Gift of Dr. Richard Simmons

Richard Lowey is one of America’s best-known and prolific designers of the 20th century. This sideboard, with its rectangular, white lacquered cabinet, is the first piece of Lowey-designed furniture in the collection, and was given by the original owner. It will be an anchor in the 20th-century design section to the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries of decorative arts,opening in November 2009.

Department of Fine Art

Wassily Kandinsky
Russian (1866–1944)
Radierung / No. 4, 1916
Drypoint on wove paper
Image # IV, impression 7 of 10
Image: 3 9/16 x 3 1/4 in.
Edward N. Haskell Family Acquisition Fund

Wassily Kandinsky made this aesthetically powerful drypoint in the chaotic period of World War I, when he concentrated on printmaking, drawing, and watercolor while moving from Germany to Switzerland to Russia to Stockholm and then back again to Russia. This is the third Kandinsky in the museum’s collection, and the earliest; it will also augment the museum’s holdings in 20th-century abstraction. Kandinsky participated in the 1939 Carnegie International.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Italian (1720–1778)
The Triumphal Arch, plate: c. 1747–1749, impression: c. 1750–1759
From the series Grotesques (Grotteschi)
Engraving, etching, drypoint, and burnishing on paper
State 1 of 5
Second edition, first issue
Sheet: 20 1/8 x 27 1/2 in.
Image: 15 1/8 x 21 1/4 in.
Charles J. Rosenbloom Fund

This is a strong, first-state impression of a rare print by Piranesi from Grotesques (Grotteschi), an intriguing, small series of imaginary, fantastical, and conceptual works. The unifying themes in the series are human and architectural decay, decline, and ruin, as well as the intermixing of the past with the present. Though there are 23 prints by Piranesi in the museum’s collection, this is the first from the Grotteschi series.

Raymond Simboli
American (1894–1964)
Pinkerton Riot, Pittsburgh, 1948
Oil on canvas
29 1/2 x 34 1/4 in.
Gift of Daniel McFadden and Beverlee Tito Simboli McFadden

Raymond Simboli
American (1894–1964)
Pinkerton Riot, Pittsburgh, c. 1935–1940
Oil on canvas
36 x 39 1/2 in.
Gift of Daniel McFadden and Beverlee Tito Simboli McFadden

Seven works by noted western Pennsylvania artist Raymond Simboli were added to the museum’s collection, including two versions of Pinkerton Riot, Pittsburgh, which represent the artist’s interest in regional subject matter and his stylistic development from social realism of the 1930s to abstract expressionism in the late 1950s. Pinkerton Riot, Pittsburgh, 1948, is decidedly more abstract than the first version, c. 1935–1940, which is a more figurative rendering. The seven newly acquired works will join Self-Portrait, c.1929, in the collection, and function as a mini-survey of this Pittsburgh-focused artist.

The Heinz Architectural Center

Jonathan Sergison
British (b. 1964)
Sergison Bates architects (est. London, 1996)
Studio House, Hackney, London, 2000–2004
Graphite on translucent paper, 2003
16 3/4 x 11 11/16 in.
Purchase: Heinz Architectural Center

Stephen Bates
British (b. 1964)
Sergison Bates architects (est. London, 1996)
Studio House, Hackney, London, 2000–2004
Graphite on translucent paper, 2003
11 1/2 x 16 1/2 in.
Purchase: Heinz Architectural Center

These two measured drawings reveal the careful composition and detailing of a house by Sergison Bates architects on Coate Street in Hackney, a borough in the East End of London. This house was included in the Heinz Architectural Center’s exhibition Gritty Brits: New London Architecture in spring 2007. The drawings complement models already accessioned from the five other practices included in the exhibition, thus representing more fully this generation of London-based architects.

Hughson Hawley, delineator
American (b. England, 1850–1936)
Peabody High School, Pittsburgh, PA (exterior perspective), 1924
Watercolor, pencil, and wash on paper mounted on pressboard
16 x 35 1/2 in.
Gift of Harley Trice

Pittsburgh’s Peabody High School, originally called the Margaretta School, was built in 1902 to the design of Charles M. Bartberger and enlarged in 1911 by Bartberger, Cooley & Bartberger. In the mid-1920s, another expansion, which included the addition of a gymnasium, was designed by Edward B. Lee. This newly acquired drawing documents the building’s appearance at the time of that second enlargement. In 1978, N. John Cunzolo Associates, Inc., wrapped the building in brick. Today, the only visible remnant of the original building is one of the school’s entrances.

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