Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More Dierks gifts to AAC

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 3:05 PM

OKeeffes From Pink Shell Left
  • O'Keeffe's "From Pink Shell Left"

I wrote last week about the Thomas Hart Benton painting and Barbara Hepworth sculpture bequeathed to the Arkansas Arts Center by the late Louise and Frederick Dierks and on exhibit in the Jackson T. Stephens Gallery.

The Arts Center announced this week more of the bequeathed work, including a drawing by Georgia O'Keeffe ("From Pink Shell Left"), two bronzes by Rodger Allen Mack, and additional work from Benton (two drawings and a lithograph) and Hepworth (an oil painting).

Here's what the Arts Center says about the new acquisitions:

The bequest includes four works from the late American regional artist, Thomas Hart Benton, including drawings, a lithograph and an oil painting. The two drawings, Jagendorf and Joe Stella and Carrying Cotton, both date back to the 1940s. Jagendorf and Joe Stella is an informal portrait of a dentist at work on a patient, while Carrying Cotton depicts workers in a cotton field. The lithograph, Sorghum Mill, created in 1969, was made to be distributed by the Associated American Arts and the oil painting, Clay County Farm, painted in 1971, is the first oil painting by Benton to enter the collection. Clay County Farm is a scene of a fisherman on Benton’s farm in Frankfurt, Kansas.

The drawing, From Pink Shell Left, by the late American modern artist Georgia O’Keeffe, is a major discovery among her work. The 1931 pastel mimics groups of mussel shells turned to stone that O’Keefe discovered on a walk near her home in Taos, N.M. Before its addition to the Arts Center’s collection, this drawing appeared only as a black and white photo in the 1999 complete catalog of O’Keeffe’s as photographed by the artist’s husband and dealer, Alfred Stieglitz. It is related to an oil painting titled, Shell on Red, which is held in a New York private collection. From Pink Shell Left joins the Arts Center’s charcoal drawing by O’Keeffe, Banana Flower (1933).

British modernist sculptor Barbara Hepworth is represented in the bequest with a marble sculpture and an oil painting. The white marble sculpture, Two Heads (Christmas), dates to 1970 and represents two abstracted human heads. The oil painting, Genesis II, features two eye-like motifs, a characteristic unique to Hepworth, who typically explores the relationship between voids by carving holes in her sculptures, evocative of eyes.

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