This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features two of the top exhibits of Italian art on view in the United States: “Bernini: Sculpting in Clay” at the Kimbell Art Museum and “Piero della Francesca in America” at The Frick Collection. The first guest on the program is Kimbell curator of European art C.D. Dickerson III, who co-curated “Bernini” along with Frick director Ian Wardropper. Then “Piero” curator Nathaniel Silver joins me to discuss Piero. “Bernini” is at the Kimbell through April 14, while “Piero” is on view through May 19.
“Bernini” reveals how the artist developed his ideas in clay and on paper, ideas that resulted in some of the most dramatic statuary in Rome. It includes about 40 of Bernini’s terracotta sketch models together with about 30 drawings. Its rich catalogue was published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is distributed by Yale University Press. Silver’s show is the first monographic exhibition of Piero in the United States. It brings together seven works at the Frick (and an eighth, which is unable to travel, in the catalogue).
Among the topics Dickerson and I discuss are:
- Bernini’s childhood in his father’s workshop;
- Why Bernini allowed colleagues and peers to watch him work; and
- How Bernini imbued his clay works with verve and human presence.
Silver and I discussed:
- Why until now there had never been a Piero show in the United States;
- The importance of Piero’s hometown of Sansepolcro to his oeuvre; and
- Why polychromed sculpture may have been an importance influence on Piero.
This week’s program will also feature a special bonus: An extended clip of Llyn Foulkes playing his Machine at the Hammer Museum on Feb. 26. The Hammer is featuring a retrospective of Foulkes’ work through May 19. The Machine is a Foulkes-created one-man apparatus featuring lots of horns, a water jug, cowbells, organ pipes and plenty more. You can view the entire performance — and it’s a blast — on the Hammer’s website.
The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. The program 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.
Hypothetical reconstruction of Piero’s altarpiece for the Church of Sant’Agostino, Borgo San Sepolcro, showing the position of seven of the altarpiece’s eight surviving panels. The eighth panel, Saint Apollonia, is not illustrated in this view as it was located on the side of the altarpiece.
Piero della Francesca, The Baptism of Christ, ca. 1450s. Collection of the National Gallery, London.