(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Pissarro’s People, the first major exhibition to focus on the Camille Pissarro’s personal ties and social ideas and the major show at The Clark this summer, opens this weekend. Also opening this weekend at The Clark are El Anatsui, featuring works by one of Africa’s greatest living sculptors, and Spaces: Photographs by Candida Höfer and Thomas Struth.
The Pissarro exhibit brings together paintings from collections around the world, in an exhibition that will challenge our understanding of the father of Impressionism by focusing on Pissarro’s engagement with the human figure in a highly personal and poignant exploration of his humanism. The exhibition runs through October 2, 2011.
While Pissarro is best known for his quietly modulated landscapes and cityscapes, Pissarro’s People will be the first exhibition to concentrate on the artist’s lifelong preoccupation with the human figure. Based on extensive new scholarship, the exhibition presents approximately 40 oil paintings and 50 works on paper. These works explore the three dimensions of Pissarro’s life that are essential to an understanding of his pictorial humanism: his family ties, his friendships, and his intense intellectual involvement with the social and political theories of his time.
Pissarro’s People is the first exhibition to bring together portraits of every member of Pissarro’s immediate family, reflecting his abiding allegiance to his wife and children. The exhibition will also include paintings that reveal Pissarro’s numerous friendships with artists, business colleagues, neighbors, agriculturalists, rural workers, and his extended network of acquaintances.
One of Africa’s greatest living artists, El Anatsui weaves together discarded metal objects to create large-scale sculptures that demonstate a fascinating interplay of colors and shapes. By “subverting the stereotype of metal as a stiff, rigid medium,” the artist says, he creates “a soft, pliable, almost sensuous material capable of attaining immense dimensions and being adapted to specific spaces.” A selection of Anatsui’s recent large-scale sculptures will be on view at Stone Hill Center in an installation that explores the themes of history, economy, sustainability, and identity.
Through their large-scale photographs, contemporary artists Candida Höfer and Thomas Struth offer distinct but connected perspectives on the ways we interact with the spaces we inhabit. Höfer’s photographs of libraries, auditoriums, and research centers are emptied of people but filled with the mystery of visual and intellectual contemplation. Struth’s work captures visitors at museums and churches as we, the viewers of the photographs, look at them from a physical and temporal distance.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Mass.. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 to 5 (daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31. Admission is free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413 458 2303 or visit clarkart.edu.