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Aerial Muse: The Art of Yvonne Jacquette

 

The exhibition "Aerial Muse: The Art of Yvonne Jacquette" opens at Stanford University on January 30, 2002. The exhibition includes approximately 40 paintings and works on paper illustrating the development of the artist's landscape painting and prints from 1975 to the present. "Aerial Muse: The Art of Yvonne Jacquette" is organized by the Canter Arts Center and accompanied by an illustrated 172-page catalogue co-published by Hudson Hills Press. The exhibition, which will be on view at Stanford through April 21, 2002, will travel to the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine; the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City; and the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York before its tour ends in May 2003. (left: Mixed Heights and Harbor from World Trade Center II, 1998, oil on linen, Private collection, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York)

For the last 30 years, Yvonne Jacquette (b. 1934), best known for her paintings, drawings, and prints of aerial views, has represented the diverse places and spaces of the contemporary landscape. Like many realist artists who reached maturity in the 1960s and 1970s during the decades dominated by Pop art and Minimalism, Jacquette has pursued a novel approach to picture making, discovering in the aerial vantage a modern perspective and fresh visual vocabulary. Jacquette has scrutinized a broad range of American regions and topographies, coast to coast and border to border -- from Maine and the Northeast to California and Oregon, from Minneapolis and Chicago to Texas -- as well as Tokyo and Hong Kong in the Far East. Drawing from the elevated position of high-rise buildings, commercial jets, and private airplanes, Jacquette has produced both daylight and nighttime views of cities and towns, factories and farmlands, and power plants, pastures, and woodlands.

Yet Jacquette is more than a recorder of the contemporary landscape: she is its interpreter and visionary. Her works combine elements of abstraction and representation, pattern and grid, surface and illusion, and observation, imagination, and memory. Whether she is hovering vertiginously above city streets and highways, floating serenely over the countryside, or soaring above towns, harbors, and monuments, Jacquette examines the relationships between the man-made and the natural, urban and rural, agrarian and industrial, and the worlds of power, labor, and leisure.

Diverse sources such as Impressionism, Pointillism, Precisionism, Abstract Expressionism, and Asian art have inspired Jacquette's paintings and works on paper. Photography, film, textile design, and other media have influenced her approach. However, her vision is highly personal, and her works are not categorized easily. (right: Aerial View of 33rd Street, 1981, lithograph on vellum, Collection of Cantor Arts Center, Modern and Contemporary Art Fund purchase)

Over the course of her career, she has produced magical works that charm by their directness and dazzle by their color, light, and brushstroke. Her compositions take risks with perspective and employ devices such as rotation, repetition, and reversal, yet remain believable. Jacquette loves paradoxes and ironies and exploits them in her work. To achieve this goal she embraces a variety of contradictory tendencies -- her art is sophisticated and childlike, earthbound and heavenly, comic and grave, and ordinary and heroic. Careful scrutiny of her paintings and works on paper reveals several layers of interpretation.

The exhibition is accompanied by videos documenting Jacquette's career and a comprehensive catalogue. The exhibition catalogue features essays by art critics Bill Berkson and Vincent Katz as well as the Canter Arts Center's curator of modern and contemporary art Hilarie Faberman, the show's organizer. These essays consider Jacquette's career and her association with artists such as her colleagues Alex Katz, Red Grooms, Rudy Burckhardt,
Sylvia Plimack Mangold, and Rackstraw Downes, who influenced her career. The catalogue includes more than 40 color plates and 100 black-and-white illustrations, a chronology, a bibliography, and a catalogue raisonné of more than 50 prints produced by Jacquette since the 1970s.

Work for this exhibition come from the Canter Arts Center's collection and major American museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery, as well as important corporate and private collectors. The exhibition is made possible by the Canter Arts Center's Contemporary Collectors Circle, Cowles Charitable Trust, and the Richard Florsheim Art Fund.

The artist and Hilarie Faberman will have a discussion about the exhibition, open to the public, on Thursday, January 31, 2002, at 5 p.m. in the Canter Arts Center auditorium. Docents will give free tours of "Aerial Muse" on Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 3:15 p.m. throughout the exhibition.

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