This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Kemper Art Museum curator and Washington University professor Karen Butler. Her exhibition “Georges Braque and the Cubist Still Life, 1928-1945″ is at the Kemper through April 21. Phillips Collection curator Renée Maurer co-organized the show. Its handsome catalogue was published by Prestel.
The exhibition offers the first detailed look at Braque’s still-life painting in the years leading up to and through World War II, a period during which questions of painting and daily life were inextricably wrapped up in politics and resistance. Somehow the Kemper exhibition is the first Braque show of any kind in the United States in 16 years.
Prior to joining the Kemper, Butler was the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Matisse Studies at the Barnes Foundation. Along with Yve-Alain Bois and Claudine Grammont, she is the co-author of the forthcoming catalogue of the 59 Matisses in the Barnes’ collection.
Among the topics we discussed are:
- Whether Braque considered painting and continuing to paint during the German occupation of France as a political act;
- How Braque’s paintings changed as he experienced the inter-war period, the Phoney War and then the occupation;
- Why the fish in Braque’s still-lifes suddenly turned black; and
- How Braque’s cubist compositions changed over the years.
On the second segment, Katherine Siegwarth discusses her exhibition “Big Pictures,” an exhibition that spotlights the long-standing importance of size to photographers. Siegwarth is the Carter’s Luce Curatorial Fellow for Photographs. The show goes back to the 1860s to demonstrate that size in photography pre-dates the ‘Big Germans’ and that photographers have almost always wanted to make their prints bigger. “Big Pictures” opens on March 5 and runs through April 21. [Image: Charles Leander Weed, The Vernal Fall, 350 Feet High. Yo-semite Valley, Mariposa County, Cal., 1864. Collection of the Amon Carter Museum.]
Listen to the program: To download the show to your PC/mobile device or to listen in your browser, click here. Subscribe to The Modern Art Notes Podcast via iTunes, SoundCloud or RSS. Stream the program at MANPodcast.com.
The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. It is edited by Wilson Butterworth. The MAN Podcast is released under this Creative Commons license.
For links images of artworks discussed on this week’s show, please click through to the jump.
George Braque, Still Life, 1929. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Georges Braque, Still Life with Fruit Dish, Bottle and Mandolin, 1930. Collection of Kunstsammlung Nordrheim-Westfalen, Dusseldorf.
Georges Braque, Still Life with Guitar (Red Tablecloth), 1936. Collection of the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Georges Braque, Studio with Black Vase, 1938. Collection of the Kreeger Museum, Washington, DC.
Georges Braque, Large Interior with Palette, 1942. The Menil Collection, Houston.
Georges Braque, Pitcher, Candlestick, and Black Fish, 1943. The Menil Collection, Houston.