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War-themed art dominates new offerings at Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion
George Grosz. Nach Ladenschluss (Rush Hour), from the Ecce Homo series, 1919. Brush and ink on buff paper, University of Illinois Purchase 1949-20-9. © Estate of George Grosz / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

CHAMPAIGN, ILL.- Krannert Art Museum opened five new exhibitions on Thursday, Aug. 28. These include four exhibitions that invite visitors to delve into themes of war, conflict, and art, as well as the University of Illinois School of Art + Design Faculty Exhibition.

The exhibition “Goya’s War: Los Desastres de la Guerra (The Disasters of War)” features a series of 80 etchings by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes created in response to the Napoleonic invasion of Spain. The installation at Krannert Art Museum is divided into five thematic sections — Carnage, Atrocity, Passions of War, Hunger and Caprice. It includes an assortment of printmaking materials and a bound, later edition of the etchings from the University of Illinois Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The exhibition is a collaboration of Pomona College Museum of Art and the University Museums of the University of Delaware. “Goya’s War” is curated by Janis Tomlinson, with installation and additional content curated by Robert G. LaFrance, director of the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University. LaFrance will speak on “Goya and War” at Krannert Art Museum’s Members’ Night on Sept. 17.

Also among the war-themed exhibitions opening at KAM is “La Grande Guerre: French Posters and Photographs from World War I,” an important component of the University of Illinois cross-campus initiative to mark the centenary of WWI, “The Great War: Experiences, Representations, Effects.” “La Grande Guerre” presents a selection of artwork from two important university collections—the first consisting of large lithographic posters and the second comprised of commissioned photographs— produced as propaganda in support of the French war effort.

In conjunction with “La Grande Guerre” Ségolene Le Men, a professor of art history at the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Défense, will present a public lecture, entitled “The French Poster and World War I,” in the Krannert Art Museum Auditorium on Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 5:30 p.m. The exhibition is curated by professor David O’Brien and Pauline Parent.

“After the Front Line: Artists Who Served in the World Wars,” presents works from the Krannert Art Museum collection by artists who served during World War I and World War II, including Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Leon Golub, George Grosz, Jack Levine, Roy Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly, Henry Moore, Robert Rauschenberg and Jacques Villon.

“We want viewers to gain a sense of how military conflict can profoundly influence artistic practice, and alter artists’ worldviews and attitudes toward society. Some of the exhibited works offer scathing social commentaries while others expose the atrocious aftermath of war,” states exhibition curator, Kathryn Koca Polite.

“With the Grain: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Postwar Years” complements the theme of war and conflict at Krannert Art Museum by showcasing woodcuts that helped to shape a postwar image of Japan in the minds of the American public. The exhibition concentrates on the work of sōsaku hanga printmakers from the 1950s and 1960s. Unlike traditional Japanese print designers, whose work
Kitaoka Fumio. Ship at Rest, ca. 1950s University of Illinois Purchase 1957-19-12
is also represented in the exhibition, sōsaku hanga artists carved their own woodblocks and made their own impressions. The term sōsaku, ordinarily translated as “creative,” was coined to denote a work that is original to its maker. Innovative and striking, the work of sōsaku hanga artists was widely collected in the U.S. during and after the years of the Allied Occupation of Japan. Their work, part of a centuries- long printmaking tradition, invites inquiries not only about the nature of “modernity” but also about the transformative role that visual images play in making history.

“With the Grain” is curated by Anne Burkus-Chasson and is a year-long exhibition on modern Japanese woodcuts from the Krannert Art Museum permanent collection. Burkus-Chasson, associate professor of Art History; Emmy Lingscheit, assistant professor in Printmaking; and Robert Tierney, associate professor of Japanese Literature in the Departments of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Comparative and World Literatures, will discuss “The Creative Print Movement in Japan” on Oct. 2 (Thursday) at 5:30 p.m. at the museum.

Also opening is the 2014 School of Art + Design Faculty Exhibition, which presents new work from faculty in foundations, graphic design, industrial design, painting, printmaking, metals, new media and sculpture. A full list of exhibiting artists and a gallery of selected work from the exhibition is available on the museum website.

The School of Art + Design Faculty Exhibition is on view at Krannert Art Museum until Sept. 27. The remaining temporary exhibitions will be on display through Dec. 23, 2014.

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