By Eric Huang
To kick off the new school year and to mark the opening of the McMurtry Building for Art and Art History, the Cantor Arts Center will be featuring two new major exhibitions: “Artists at Work” and “Piranesi’s Paestum: Master Drawings Uncovered.” By highlighting prolific artists from the Western world, the exhibitions celebrate not only the practices of old masters but also the relationship between art history and art making.
“Artists at Work,” currently on view at the Cantor Arts Center, is inspired by the McMurtry Building for Art and Art History in that it seeks to highlight the interaction between art practice and the study of art history. Featuring the works of American and European artists such as Édouard Manet, J. M. W. Turner and Thomas Hart Benton, the exhibition explores how artists draw inspiration from the world around them and how historical context shapes the way artwork is perceived. Expect to see process-based art as well as work containing social and political undertones.
“Piranesi’s Paestum: Master Drawings Uncovered,” a successor of sorts to “500 Years of Italian Master Drawings from the Princeton University Art Museum,” focuses on the work of Italian master artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Piranesi, known primarily for his detailed etchings of Roman architecture, is an icon of the 18th century neoclassical era. Like “Artists at Work,” “Piranesi’s Paestum: Master Drawings Uncovered” draws particular attention to process and working methods, showcasing Piranesi’s notoriously detailed preparatory sketches alongside his completed drawings.
“Artists at Work” is on view at the Cantor Arts Center until Jan. 18, 2016.
“Piranesi’s Paestum: Master Drawings Uncovered” is on view at the Cantor Arts Center until Jan. 4, 2016.