Exhibit Information

Morgan Library & Museum

Address 225 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Click here for quick directions
Phone Number 212-685-0008

Website http://www.themorgan.org

MANNERISM & MODERNISM: The Kasper Collection of Drawings & Photographs

Opening: 21 January 2011 - Closing: 1 May 2011

MANNERISM & MODERNISM: The Kasper Collection of Drawings & Photographs


Have you ever heard of Kasper?

The new ground-floor exhibition at the Morgan devotes two major chambers to Kasper’s eclectic-collection of Mannerists & Moderns.

Among the artists whose work he has purchased are Fra Bartolommeo & Giorgio Vasari, onward to Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Robert Mapplethorpe, & even Jenny Holzer.

Dior & Chanel I’ve heard-of. But even though they are Long-Dead, new fashions come down the Runway every season!


Karl Lagerfeld, John Galianos, Tom Ford, & Tommy Hilfiger are also Fashion-Designer-Names to Conjure-With.


But until Your Roving-Arts-Reporter arrived at the Morgan for the Press-Preview, he’d never heard of Kasper. [Who is, apparently, No-Relation to the Friendly-Ghost of that name.]


The Press-Release says this: "The Art-Collection assembled by American fashion-designer Herbert Kasper—known simply as Kasper—is exceptional for its distinctive character & superb quality.”


The PR-Explication continues, here slightly altered, for Added-Emphasis:


"The exhibition features over 100 works, including Old-Master Drawings, Modern & Contemporary Works-on-paper, & Photography.


"The unusual, Tripartite-Nature of the Kasper-Collection is a Testament to both Kasper's Personal-Taste & his desire to build a truly Unique-Collection.


"A particular focus of Kasper's activity as a collector has been 16th-Century European-Art, notably drawings by Masters associated with Mannerism—a style distinguished by its emphasis upon Elegance, Artifice, & Sophistication.


"Dubbed the ‘stylish-style’ by Art-Historian John Shearman, Mannerism broke with the Classical-Restraint of the preceding Renaissance-Period.


"In the exhibition, Mannerism is represented by important works created by Giulio Romano, Polidoro da Caravaggio, Parmigianino, Peter Candid, Hendrick Goltzius, & Giorgio Vasari, among others.”


[If you have Frequent-Flyer-Miles & admire Giulio Romano, you might want to fly-off to Mantua, where some of his Master-Murals are on the walls of the Palazzo-Té, where the Dukes were wont to go for afternoon-tea.]


"Well-represented are Northern-Artists such as Maarten van Heemskerck.


"His Susanna & Her Relatives Praising the Lord reveals the influence of Italian art in the sculptural-treatment of the figures & classical-inspiration of the buildings.


"In Hans Hoffmann's charming An Affenpinscher, the artist employs watercolor & gouache in a manner reminscent of Albrecht Dürer.


"Equally impressive are Kasper's holdings of Modern & Contemporary Drawings.


"This part of the collection features important Cubist works by Pablo Picasso & Juan Gris. Picasso's Glass & Bass Bottle on a Table, for instance, combines different Viewpoints & Collaged-Materials to challenge ‘the Reality in Nature.’


"Juan Gris's The Coffee Grinder destabilizes the genre of Still-Life by transforming Household-Items into Geometric-Abstractions.


"Also on-view are significant works by Henri Matisse, Jean Dubuffet, Cy Twombly, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, & Anselm Kiefer.


"Photographs constitute the most diverse portion of Kasper's Collection, with excellent prints by Major-Historical-Figures, in addition to numerous works by Emerging-Artists.


"The photographs span the early 20th-Century to the present, chronicling the evolution of the medium through works by Constantin Brancusi, Hilla & Bernd Becher, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jenny Holzer, & Vik Muniz.


"Man Ray's Max Ernst Sand Painting records the appearance of a drawing of a female-figure, incised in the sand by the photographer's longtime-friend & Fellow-Surrealist, Max Ernst.


"Among several images by Hiroshi Sugimoto is one of his iconic, long-exposure photographs of Opulent-Movie-Houses: Beacon Theatre, New York.


"Kasper has considerable depth in the work of a number of artists, including the innovative contemporary photographer Adam Fuss [b. 1961], whose hauntingly-beautiful images include a Photogram of the Entrails of a Rabbit, from the series Details of Love, & a Monumental-Photograph of the Chrysalis of a Butterfly, Untitled, of 2003.”


[But there are now so many Artworks called Untitled, how can they be definitively-catalogued for Google-Searches? By Artistic-Medium, perhaps? Paper, Stone, Wood, Canvas, or Installation, just lying there on the floor?]]


"Kasper began collecting drawings as a student in Paris in the 1950s & continues to add to the collection.


"He relies upon a Process-of-Selection that begins with a personal, Visceral-Reaction to the Work-of-Art.


"He then assesses the work's Relationship to the Collection overall & its importance in the Artist's-Oeuvre, consulting with Curators, Collectors, & Art-Dealers…”


One hopes Kasper also has thought about a work’s possible Resale-Value: will it increase in Value?


What would it bring at Auction at Sotheby’s?


What would the Tax-Benefits be, if one were to donate it to a Major-Museum?


Oh, here’s the Answer from the Press-Release: "The exhibition celebrates Kasper's gift & promised-gift of a number of major-works in the show to The Morgan Library & Museum.”


Nonetheless, some of the photos are so deliberately Out-of-Focus that one wonders why this should be regarded as High-Art. Can it be the Scale of the Photo-Print?


If the Print is enormous, that lends a certain Majesty & Mystery


Otherwise, one might well ask: "Why not spend some money & get a lens you can focus?”

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