This exhibition will assemble for the first time the major works by American artist, Maurice Prendergast, during two trips to Italy (1898-99 and 1911-12): a body of work that is one of the most attractive and revealing in the story of American art. The exhibition brings together approximately seventy-five of his Italian watercolors, oils, and monotypes as well as photographs, films, guidebooks, and travel advertisements that situate the work within the new visual culture that Americans had embraced by 1900. The presentation of Prendergasts works in Italy where they were created offers a new point of interest, and contributes to the comprehension of what characterized Modernism in the early 20th century and of the role Prendergast played in the development of Modern art in America.
"Prendergast in Italy" will open at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
on October 10, 2009. It will feature approximately 60 watercolors, oils, sketchbooks, and monotypes by American artist Maurice Prendergast. This will be the first exhibition to assemble all the major works resulting from the artists two trips to Italy (1898-9 and 1911.) Related letters, prints, photographs, films, guidebooks, and travel advertisements will also be included to situate the work within the new visual culture that Americans had embraced by 1900. Prendergast presented a view of Italy that was informed by European trends but did not disguise his strong American emphasisan emphasis that would come to dominate international discourse in the twentieth century. This interdisciplinary exhibition will demonstrate the advances of abstract color and form that put Prendergast on the cutting edge of American modernism.
The exhibition is organized by the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts, in partnership with The Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Illinois.