The Getty Center
July 12–September 25, 2016
Drawn primarily from the Getty Museum’s permanent collection of manuscripts, this exhibition explores the visual challenges artists faced as they sought to render miraculous encounters with the divine, grand visions of the end of time, the intricacies of belief, and the intimate communications of prayer. These “unseen” spiritual experiences, recorded by Jewish and Christian authors in antiquity, were translated in new ways by the illuminators of medieval and Renaissance books. Rather than simply narrating otherworldly events, the innovative images in this exhibition offer visual entry points to the ineffable nature of faith.
July 26–November 13, 2016
From the 1940s onward, as contemporary art came to be increasingly dominated by abstraction, conceptualism, and minimalism, a group of painters in London doggedly pursued the depiction of the human figure and everyday landscape, forging startling new approaches and styles. Drawn largely from the unrivaled holdings of the Tate in London, this is the first major exhibition in the U.S. to consider the work of six of the leaders of this “School of London”—Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff, Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, and R. B. Kitaj—collectively, providing a timely reassessment of their extraordinary achievement.
Richard Learoyd: In the Studio
August 30–November 27, 2016
The contemplative mood and mesmerizing level of detail in the large-scale color photographs of Richard Learoyd (English, born 1966) present an uncanny intimacy between the depicted subject and the viewer. Working in his East London studio, the photographer utilizes a room-sized camera obscura with a fixed lens to make unique direct-positive prints. Eschewing digital technologies, his method emphasizes the creative potential of working under self-imposed restrictions. This is the first exhibition in an American museum to examine Learoyd’s studio-based practice.
Real/Ideal: Photography in France, 1847–1860
August 30–November 27, 2016
Between the first French publication on the paper negative in 1847 and more-streamlined mechanical advancements in the 1860s, dynamic debates were waged in France regarding photography’s prospects in the divergent fields of art and science. At the same time, novelists and painters were bringing everyday subjects—rather than idealized, academic themes—to the forefront of the artistic imagination, forging a new art for this era of social, economic, and political change. Organized around the Getty Museum’s holdings and supplemented with important international loans, this exhibition highlights the work of four photographers who were integral to the development of paper photography: Édouard Baldus, Gustave Le Gray, Henri Le Secq, and Charles Nègre.
Recent Acquisitions in Focus: Latent Narratives
September 13, 2016–January 29, 2017
Presenting photographs by William Leavitt, Liza Ryan, Fazal Sheikh, and Whitney Hubbs, this exhibition features multipart works that juxtapose images of people, places, and things in fragmentary, enigmatic narratives. When sequenced by the artist in a specific order, the images recall storyboards used for motion pictures or animation; when excerpted from a larger series, they suggest a stream-of-consciousness meditation on a theme. On view at the Getty Museum for the first time since acquired, many of the works were donated or purchased with funds provided by donors to the Museum.
Drawing: The Art of Change
October 4, 2016–January 1, 2017
More than any other medium, drawing conveys the evolution of artistic ideas with great immediacy. Drawing sheets often bear traces—crossed-out lines, repositioned figures, cut and pasted forms—of an artist’s change of mind during the creative process. The works in Drawing: The Art of Change, all from the Getty’s permanent collection, showcase the crucial role revision plays in artistic practice.
The Shimmer of Gold: Giovanni di Paolo in Renaissance Siena
October 11, 2016–January 8, 2017
Giovanni di Paolo (about 1399–1482), manuscript illuminator and panel painter, was one of the most distinctive and imaginative artists in Renaissance Siena. He received prestigious commissions over the course of his lengthy career, including the important Branchini Altarpiece of 1427. Presented together probably for the first time since its dispersal, the altarpiece will be displayed alongside works on panel and on parchment by Giovanni and his close collaborators and contemporaries. The exhibition, which features a number of important international loans, also offers insights into his technique of working with and on gold to create masterful luminous effects.
The Art of Alchemy
October 11, 2016–February 12, 2017
Alchemy, a subject that has long been shrouded in secrecy, was a mysterious mix of science and spirituality. Today, alchemy is regarded as the ancestor of modern chemistry, but throughout history, the practice of alchemy was considered an art. In medieval Europe, it was known as The Great Art. Over time, alchemy greatly influenced the shifting interpretations of the relationship among art, science, and natural philosophy. Drawing primarily from the collections of the Getty Research Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum, The Art of Alchemy will display the critical impact of this arcane subject on artistic practice and expression from Greco-Egyptian antiquity to medieval Central Asia, and from the Islamic world to Europe during the Enlightenment and beyond.
The Alchemy of Color in Medieval Manuscripts
October 11, 2016–January 1, 2017
During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the manufacture of pigments and colored inks used for painting and writing manuscripts was part of the science of alchemy, a precursor of modern chemistry concerned with the transformation of matter. This exhibition examines colorants made from plants, minerals, and metals, as well as medieval recipes for pigments and imitation gold in a presentation that highlights the Getty’s ongoing research into the materials used by book illuminators. The manuscripts installation complements the concurrent Getty Research Institute’s exhibition The Art of Alchemy, which examines both the impact of alchemy around the world on artistic practice and its expression in visual culture from antiquity to the present.
December 20, 2016–April 30, 2017
Beginning in the 1960s, artists increasingly turned to news media—both printed and televised—as a rich source of inspiration. Breaking News presents work by nineteen such artists who have employed appropriation, juxtaposition, and mimicry, among other means, to create photographs and videos that effectively comment on the role of the news media in determining the meaning of images.
Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightenment
January 10–April 2, 2017
One of the most imaginative and fascinating artists of eighteenth-century France, Edme Bouchardon (1698–1762) was instrumental in the transition from Rococo to Neoclassicism. Much celebrated in his time as both a sculptor and draftsman, he created some of the best-known images of the age of Louis XV. This major international loan exhibition, developed in partnership with the Louvre, is a testament to the remarkable variety of his oeuvre—copies after the antique, subjects of history and mythology, portraiture, anatomical studies, ornament, fountains, and tombs—and to his masterful techniques in drawings, sculptures, medals, and prints.
The Sculptural Line
January 17–April 16, 2017
Including drawings from the fifteenth through the twentieth century, this exhibition presents the role sculpture can play in the art of drawing, as well as the function of drawing in the act of sculpting. It comprises some of the most spectacular sheets from the Getty Museum’s collection, such as Goya’s Pygmalion and Galatea and Rodin’s Sphinx, as well as bronzes by Foggini and Degas. In particular, drawings after ancient statuary illustrate how it inspired the work of artists from the Renaissance onward. The display coincides with the Getty’s exhibition on Edme Bouchardon, accomplished sculptor and prolific draftsman.
Remembering Antiquity: The Ancient World through Medieval Eyes
January 24–June 4, 2017
Featuring illuminated manuscripts and antiquities from the Getty Museum’s collection, this exhibition explores medieval responses to the classical world. For over a millennium following the fall of Rome, the culture of antiquity was remembered, performed, and preserved through visual arts, ceremony, and monastic book culture. At the hands of medieval authors, the narratives of ancient rulers and mythic heroes were adapted and embellished for inclusion in religious texts. People saw themselves as part of a rich classical heritage that was sustained and transmitted through the work of medieval artisans.
Jane and Louise Wilson: “Sealander”
February 14–July 2, 2017
Working collaboratively since 1989, identical twin sisters Jane and Louise Wilson create powerful, compelling photographs, videos, and installations that explore historical events and architectural spaces that resonate with power. Their Sealander series presents images of abandoned World War II bunkers along the Normandy coastline of northern France. The monumental scale and monochromatic palette of the photographs merge time and space, past and present, man-made structure and natural environment, land and sea.
The Lure of Italy
May 9–July 30, 2017
From the crumbling ruins of ancient Rome to the crystal clear light of Venice, Italy has fascinated travelers and artists for centuries. Painters and draftsmen have found inspiration not only in the cities but also in the countryside and in the deep history and culture. Visiting from France, England, the Netherlands, and Germany, artists drew sketches to preserve vivid memories, creating works of extraordinary atmosphere and beauty. Their Italian counterparts responded to the tourist demand for souvenirs by crafting their own masterpieces. Featuring works from the Getty Museum’s collection by R. P. Bonington, Claude Lorrain, Giovanni Battista Lusieri, and Canaletto, this exhibition captures the essence and spirit of Italy.
Eyewitness Views: Making History in the Capitals of Eighteenth-Century Europe
May 9–July 30, 2017
From Paris to Madrid and Vienna to London, from the Doge’s Palace to St. Peter’s Square, Europe’s most iconic cities and monuments have played host to magnificent ceremonies. During the golden age of view painting in the eighteenth century, princes, popes, and ambassadors commissioned artists such as Canaletto and Panini to record memorable moments ranging from the Venetian carnival to an eruption of Vesuvius. This first-ever exhibition focusing on views of historic events includes more than fifty spectacular paintings—many never seen before in America—from an international array of lenders. Turning the beholder into an eyewitness on the scene, these works bring the spectacle and drama of the past to life.
Thomas Annan: Photographer of Glasgow
May 23–August 13, 2017
During the rise of industry in nineteenth-century Scotland, Thomas Annan ranked as the preeminent photographer in Glasgow. Best known for his haunting images of tenements on the verge of demolition—often considered precursors of the documentary tradition in photography—he prodigiously recorded the people, the social landscape, and the built environment of Glasgow and its outskirts for more than twenty-five years. This exhibition is the first to survey his industrious career and legacy as photographer and printer.
Now Then: Chris Killip and the Making of “In Flagrante”
May 23–August 13, 2017
Poetic, penetrating, and often heartbreaking, Chris Killip’s In Flagrante remains the most important photobook to document the devastating impact of deindustrialization on working-class communities in northern England in the 1970s and 1980s. Comprising fifty photographs—all drawn from the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum—In Flagrante serves as the foundation of this exhibition, which includes maquettes, contact sheets, and work prints that reveal the artist’s process. Now Then also showcases material from two related projects—Seacoal and Skinningrove—that Killip developed in the 1980s, featured selectively in In Flagrante, and revisited decades later.
Happy Birthday, David Hockney
June 27–October 15, 2017
To celebrate David Hockney’s eightieth birthday and his long and continuing artistic career, this exhibition features one of the Getty Museum’s most iconic works—Pearblossom Hwy., 11–18th April 1986, #2—alongside a small selection of drawn and photographic self-portraits borrowed from the artist’s studio. Hockney’s famous photo collage is remarkable both for its synthesis of mundane observations of a road trip to California’s Antelope Valley and for its innovative reimagining of perspectival vision. Laced with the same wit and sensitivity, the self-portraits display an intense scrutiny of the artist’s features over a period of more than fifty years.