New Cubism Exhibition Opens on December 9, 2023, at AMFA

Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque Paintings on Loan to AMFA from Cleveland Museum of Art

Risa Hricovsky: Then Is Now Set to Open December 19, 2023

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (AMFA) is pleased to announce the arrival of two major paintings, on loan from the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) in Ohio, that will be the centerpiece of Path to Abstraction: Picasso, Braque, and Cubism’s Impact on Modern Art, an intimately scaled exhibition showcasing rarely seen works from the AMFA Foundation Collection. Path to Abstraction: Picasso, Braque, and Cubism’s Impact on Modern Art will open on December 9, 2023, and remain on view through April 14, 2024.

On loan from CMA, Fan, Salt Box, Melon (1909) is a still life Pablo Picasso painted during Cubism’s formative years. Picasso’s co-conspirator in developing Cubism, Georges Braque, claimed less fame for their collaboration, but made major contributions to the style. Braque’s Guitar and Bottle of Marc on a Table (1930), also on loan from CMA, is a large example of later Synthetic Cubism, a phase characterized by decorative patterning and flat, overlapping shapes.

Picasso and Braque borrowed heavily from non-Western sources, particularly African sculpture, as they developed their new forms. They added newspaper, sheet music, chair caning, and other found elements to further question the reality of painting. Cubism did not end there, however. It ushered in a geometric language that spread to other countries beyond France and morphed into new movements.

“Cubism was a prismatic mirror that so much of 20th-century art needed to pass through in order to question space, illusion, and even more broadly, the true purpose of painting,” explains Dr. Catherine Walworth, the Jackye and Curtis Finch, Jr., Curator of Drawings at AMFA.

The opportunity to borrow these paintings stems from AMFA having loaned two of its own major modernist paintings to CMA from 2020 until 2022— Odilon Redon’s Andromeda (1912) and Diego Rivera’s largest Cubist painting Dos Mujeres (1914), both of which are now on view at AMFA.

The Picasso and Braque paintings from CMA anchor an exhibition of more than 25 rarely seen works on paper from the AMFA Foundation Collection. Path to Abstraction: Picasso, Braque, and Cubism’s Impact on Modern Art comprises works by well-known artists, as well as lesser-known artists with fascinating biographies.

In addition to the opening of Path to Abstraction in December, AMFA will also welcome Risa Hricovsky, a Knoxville-based artist, for a solo exhibition. On view from December 19, 2023, to April 28, 2024, Risa Hricovsky: Then Is Now is comprised of all new work produced for AMFA, including a site-specific painting and sculpture installation.

The exhibition comprises playful “shag rug” ceramic wall sculptures. A fragment of domestic décor, these rugs furtively evoke 1960s counterculture and the call for “peace, love and progressive change.” Rather than soft carpet, Hricovsky uses hard porcelain—a nod to how fossilized and unchanged some of those 1960s ideals turned out to be. However, the artist suggests they represent contemporary idealism and are as relevant as ever.

“AMFA is committed to showcasing and supporting ascendent artists like Risa and giving them an opportunity to make new bodies of work,” states Walworth. “For Then Is Now, she is also responding directly to this beautiful new building and making it sing in a whole new way.”

AMFA’s newest exhibitions will accompany Whitfield Lovell: Passages, currently on view through January 14, 2024. Admission to the museum is always free.

Full exhibition descriptions are available on AMFA’s website.

Artwork images for each exhibition are available in AMFA's press kit.

Path to Abstraction: Picasso, Braque, and Cubism’s Impact on Modern Art is organized by the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts.

Risa Hricovsky: Then Is Now is organized by the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts and is supported by the Alan DuBois Fund for Contemporary Craft.