The Kimbell Art Museum has acquired its first painting by the 20th-century artist Pierre Bonnard – ‘Landscape at Le Cannet.’ The Dallas Museum of Art already has more than a dozen works by Bonnard, but this 1928 painting is an extra-large-scale landscape, nine feet wide, with a reclining figure in the foreground. It depicts perhaps Bonnard’s favorite scene, looking out from his villa on the Cote d’Azure in the south of France. Bonnard is known for his use of color and the scene extends from sun-faded hues in the foreground to the blue hills in the distance. The Kimbell did not release what it paid for the Bonnard, but in a 2011 auction in London, the 1923 landscape, ‘The Terrace at Vernon,’ broke the record for a Bonnard, selling for $11.6 million.
In other art museum news, the Dallas Museum of Art has made two new appointments: Michelle Rich will become the Assistant Curator of the Arts of the Americas, after having comlpeted two prestigious Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowships at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and now at the San Antonio Museum of Art.
And Amir Tabei becomes the DMA’s Director of Information Technology and Digital Media – having worked at Techbridge and NPower Texas.
The full releases:
EXPANSIVE MEDITERRANEAN VISTA BY PIERRE BONNARD ACQUIRED BY THE KIMBELL ART MUSEUM
FORT WORTH, TX— The Kimbell Art Museum announced today the acquisition of a major painting by Pierre Bonnard, one of the most admired artists of the twentieth century. Landscape at Le Cannet, the first work by Bonnard to enter the Museum’s collection, was painted in 1928 and depicts the colorful, sun-washed landscape surrounding the artist’s villa near Cannes, in the south of France. Suffused with the brilliant colors of the Cote d’Azur, the large canvas, around nine feet in width, is the latest in a distinguished group of landscape paintings in the Museum’s collection, extending from Bonnard’s beloved Monet and Cézanne back through the centuries to the Italian Renaissance. Landscape at Le Cannet is on view tomorrow, Friday, August 31, in the Kimbell’s Louis I. Kahn Building. Admission to view the Museum’s collection is always free.
“In Landscape at Le Cannet, Bonnard portrays the landscape around his villa as an Earthly paradise, with human beings in harmony with nature,” commented Eric M. Lee, director of the Kimbell. “The painting, with its intense Mediterranean light and color, will look spectacular in the Texas light of the Kimbell. ”
Pierre Bonnard’s beginnings were influenced by the sinuous lines and hues of Paul Gauguin, and his late works inspired Mark Rothko, the ultimate colorist of the abstract age. He is known for his scenes of daily life, centering on his own extended family; for his complex depictions of interiors, often inhabited by his wife, Marthe; for his depictions of Marthe at her toilette or in her bath; and, finally, for his landscapes, which depict with equal joy his garden at Vernon in Normandy and his house and its environs at Le Cannet.
Among the last, Landscape at Le Cannet is the most ambitious depiction of the world that was the central setting in Bonnard’s art for the final decades of his life. Taking a position on the hill above his home, which he had christened “Le Bosquet” for the grove of trees that surrounded it, Bonnard looked to the west, toward the Esterel mountains. The roof of Le Bosquet, near the tree at center of the composition, gives a sense of Bonnard’s personal scale in the context of the panorama; the two hillocks in the foreground fall towards the pathway that borders the rear of Bonnard’s property, where a girl and her dog can be seen passing by. Bonnard places himself in the right foreground, beside a pair of goats; a cow stands among spiky plants at the other side of the canvas. The whole composition is suffused with warm light and with a rainbow-like array of colors, from reds and oranges through the dominant yellow hue to shades of green, blue and violet.
The painting is first recorded hanging on the wall in Bonnard’s Paris apartment in 1930. His friend Édouard Vuillard painted a portrait there of Bonnard’s city studio, showing the artist looking intently at Landscape at Le Cannet.
Born in a Parisian suburb in 1867, Bonnard began his career studying law but soon left to pursue art at the Académie Julian in Paris. There, he and a group of classmates, including his lifelong friend Vuillard, founded the avant-garde group Les Nabis (the prophets). Rebelling against Impressionism and classical art, these Postimpressionist painters were influenced by Gauguin’s experimental use of color and the aesthetics of Japanese prints. Bonnard, dubbed “the Japanesque Nabi,” was perhaps the most swayed by Japanese art—evident in the two-dimensionality of his work and his bold patches of color interspersed with almost vibrant blacks. He became immersed in the Parisian vanguard after achieving early success as a graphic designer and book illustrator, which lead to a successful foray into the decorative arts, including designs for textiles and theatrical décors.
Bonnard traveled extensively throughout Europe and even North Africa, but it was the south of France that would greatly inform his late career. His first visit was in 1904, to call upon the painter Paul Signac in Saint-Tropez. In subsequent years, he painted at Cagnes-sur-Mer, the home of Pierre Renoir, as well as in Grasse and in towns along the coast. It was not until 1926 that he purchased a property near the village of Le Cannet, seeking in the warm climate of the French Riviera an environment that would be good for the health of his wife, Marthe. Originally consisting of little more than a typical, small house, the property was enlarged by the purchase of neighboring land, and Bonnard constructed a garden with a terrace. From the terrace or from the windows of the house, he could see the tiled roofs of Le Cannet below, sitting minutes north of the resort town of Cannes.
From the 1920s, Bonnard had reached his mature style and found great success as a painter. He exhibited often throughout France and the United States, including a major exhibition, with Vuillard, in 1938 at the Art institute of Chicago. A major retrospective planned by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, opened posthumously in 1948, in honor of Bonnard’s 80th anniversary.
Dallas Museum of Art Appoints Michelle Rich as Assistant Curator of the Arts of the Americas
Dallas, TX—August 29, 2018— Dr. Michelle Rich has been named The Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Assistant Curator of the Arts of the Americas at the Dallas Museum of Art. The appointment was announced today by Dr. Agustín Arteaga, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director. Dr. Rich will join the DMA after the completion of two prestigious Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowships at national museums: first at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and currently at the San Antonio Museum of Art. She will begin her new role in Dallas on September 17, 2018.
“Michelle Rich brings to the DMA extensive archaeological field experience and expertise in researching, conserving, and exhibiting important historical objects from across the Americas,” said Arteaga. “We look forward to welcoming her to the Museum to work with the DMA’s significant collection of art of the Americas—bringing their stories to life for all of our visitors.”
As The Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Assistant Curator of the Arts of the Americas, Dr. Rich will be responsible for ancient through modern arts from Native North America, Mesoamerica, lower Central America, and the Andean regions. The DMA’s important collection ranges in media from wood to shell, with the greatest representation in ceramic and textile arts from across the Americas. Dr. Rich will contribute to the organization of exhibitions; conduct and develop scholarly research on the DMA’s collection; play an integral role in making departmental acquisitions; and collaborate on installations throughout the Museum, all celebrating the artistic achievements of indigenous Americans.
With her primary expertise in Maya art, ritual objects, and architecture, Rich is an Assistant Director of the U.S.-Guatemalan El Perú-Waka’ Regional Archaeological Project, whose team has been implementing a diverse research program since 2003 exploring the prominent ancient Maya site widely known for its central location and longevity. She coordinated a groundbreaking international collaboration to excavate, restore, and conserve a narrative scene composed of more than 20 ceramic figurines discovered during her investigations at the site.
“The Dallas Museum of Art has such impressive exhibitions and programming. I am thrilled at the opportunity to collaborate with the amazing team here to foster dynamic experiences for visitors, as well as to conduct and present exciting, accessible scholarship featuring the Art of the Americas collection,” said Rich. “In bringing my passion for the art of the Americas—and particularly the ancient Americas—to this museum and its significant collection, I hope to inspire a sense of cross-cultural appreciation and stewardship for indigenous art in our communities.”
As a Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow from 2015 to 2017 at LACMA, Rich curated Ancient Bodies: Archaeological Perspectives on Mesoamerican Figures, a 2017 exhibition of figurines from Burial 39, one of the royal tombs she excavated at El Perú-Waka’, and nearly 50 additional figurines from LACMA’s collection that explored the central role of archaeological excavation in situating ancient art and artifacts in a cultural framework.
A number of fellowships and grants have supported her work, and she has delivered lectures and scholarly papers both in the U.S. and abroad and contributed to numerous publications, including co-editing a multi-author volume about ritual activity at El Perú-Waka’. Rich has also served as an adjunct instructor at Santa Monica College and Sul Ross State University, conducted cultural resource management with Far Western Anthropological Research Group, Inc. and is co-organizing the Ninth Annual South Central Conference of Mesoamerica with the University of Texas at San Antonio in October 2018.
Michelle Rich is a member of the Society for American Archaeology, Association of Art Museum Curators, and Association of Latin American Art. She also holds an appointment as a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. Dr. Rich earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in anthropology from Southern Methodist University. She is a summa cum laude graduate of University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART APPOINTS AMIR TABEI AS NEW DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND DIGITAL MEDIA
Dallas, TX, August 29, 2018 – Agustín Arteaga, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, today announced the appointment of Amir Tabei as the Director of Information Technology and Digital Media. Mr. Tabei brings to his new role over 30 years of senior management practice in information technology, product development, consulting and business development.
With extensive experience in nonprofit operations, Tabei currently serves as Director of Engineering Group for Techbridge, Inc., an international nonprofit providing IT consulting in seven countries to thousands of nonprofit organizations. He is the former Chief Technology Officer of NPower Texas, a not-for-profit that provides IT consulting to Texas nonprofit organizations, and former Director of Technology at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, where he led the IT strategy along with business and operational systems. He will assume his new position at the DMA on September 4, 2018.
“We are excited to welcome Amir Tabei to the DMA as our Director of Information Technology and Digital Media. He is a proven leader, with a notable record of achievement at nonprofit organizations,” said Arteaga. “His tremendous expertise and deep understanding of technology’s current and future role assures us that Amir is the right person to integrate and apply new trends in technology and digital media across the Museum to reach diverse audiences and achieve our strategic goals.”
In his new role, Tabei will oversee the Museum’s technology and digital initiatives, as well as staff in the areas of systems administration, software and web development, multimedia, and intellectual property and rights administration. He will manage a diverse range of projects, many of which will chart the future of digital media and technology for the Dallas Museum of Art.
“I am honored to join such an iconic museum and bring my broad technology experience to an organization that resonates so deeply with our community,” added Tabei. “I look forward to leading the DMA’s Information Technology and Digital Media team and helping the Museum achieve growth, create more engaging experiences, and bring art and people together by enhancing technology and digital platforms.”
Tabei joined TechBridge in January 2015 through the acquisition of Aidmatrix, a nonprofit that provided supply chain management platforms for nonprofits involved in international aid for disaster, medical and hunger relief. Prior to his nonprofit career, Tabei held several management positions with companies within software development and telecom sectors.
Projects completed under Tabei’s direction have earned widespread industry recognition, including the Oracle Universal Content Management Implementation Award, Platinum Award for Best Overall Internet Site and Gold Award for Best Health/Healthcare Content, Webaward for Outstanding Achievement in Web Site Development and a Webby Award Nomination.
Tabei holds a Business Intelligence Graduate Certification from SMU Cox School of Business and an Associate of Arts degree in General Studies from Richland College.