NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale presents Remember to React Part II, an exhibition comprised of over 50 works from its permanent collection by artists including Nicole Eisenman, Helen Frankenthaler, Quisqueya Henriquez, Lee Krasner, Frank León, Ana Mendieta, Wangechi Mutu, Jorge Pantoja, Raymond Pettibon, Nancy Spero, Andy Warhol">Andy Warhol, and the Guerilla Girls. On view from June 15 – September 29, 2019, it continues the theme of the institution’s 60th anniversary exhibition, Remember to React (on view through June 2020), with its emphasis on women artists, as well as works representative of the current
global art world. The exhibition is curated by Bonnie Clearwater, NSU Art Museum Director and Chief Curator.
Remember to React II also runs concurrently with the exhibition William J. Glackens: From Pencil to Paint, which is drawn exclusively from the museum’s permanent collection of this early American modernist’s work. “The focus on drawing and prints in both of these exhibitions further demonstrates the richness and depth of NSU Art Museum’s collection,” states Bonnie Clearwater.
Among the works featured in Remember to React Part II is Los Angeles-based artist Raymond Pettibon’s first video, Repeater Pencil, 2004, in which he animated his own drawings to create a non-linear narrative that suggests the dark side of the American dream. Pettibon’s drawings hark back to the heyday of twentieth-century American illustrators, including William Glackens, whose drawings are on view in the adjoining Glackens gallery. Nicole Eisenman’s monumental ink drawing, The Anxiety of Adolescent Boys Hanging onto the Last Moments of Their Innocence, 2001, is a satirical battle of the sexes that similarly displays a drawing style that recalls early twentieth-century popular illustrations for the masses.
Works on view by Cuban artists Quisqueya Henriquez, Jorge Pantoja and Frank León are wry observations on life in Miami that contrast with Cuba’s economic and social structure, while Andy Warhol">Andy Warhol’s print of Senator Edward Kennedy, created for Kennedy’s unsuccessful presidential bid in 1980, is overtly political, as is social realist William Gropper’s satirical drawings of the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s.
The museum’s significant holdings of work by women artists is reflected in the selection of drawings and prints in this exhibition, including nine watercolors by Edith Dimock who was the wife of William Glackens. Dimock and her husband marched in the famous 1913 Women’s Suffrage Parade for women’s voting rights (obtained in 1920), alongside thousands of other men and women. A highly skilled watercolorist, her work parallels the subject matter of the American Ashcan School painters of the late nineteenth to early twentieth century, including Glackens, who distinguished themselves with their depictions of urban life. While Dimock chose to remain in her husband’s shadow, destroying most of her work, the abstract expressionists Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner (both represented in the exhibition by
prints), and Elaine de Kooning, whose paintings are on view in Remember to React Part I, challenged the male-dominated art world with their breakthrough works in the mid-twentieth century.
Nevertheless, continued under-representation of women in the art world, galleries and museums led an anonymous group of female artists to form the Guerrilla Girls in 1985 to draw attention to this inequality by producing message-driven works such as the posters on view in this exhibition. Also on view is a recent acquisition of a rare drawing by Cuban artist Ana Mendieta, a contemporary of the Guerrilla Girls, that she based on archeological images of powerful earth goddesses.
The exhibition includes several recent gifts to NSU Art Museum from Miami collectors Paul Berg, Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz, Vanessa Grout, and Dr. Arturo and Liza Mosquera, and promised gifts from Fort Lauderdale collectors Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz. Remember to React Part I, which opened in 2018 in celebration of the Museum’s 60th anniversary, marks the first comprehensive installation of NSU Art Museum’s collection. Representing various periods and developments in the history of art, and installed as an interlocking narrative, it also traces the collection’s growth from its origins to today.
Following the Museum’s establishment in 1958, its founders launched the institution’s collection with African, Native American and Oceanic traditional art as its core. Today, in addition to these areas, NSU Art Museum holds the largest U.S. collection of the post-World War II experimental Cobra group, an extensive collection of Latin American and Cuban art, and a concentration of modern and contemporary art with a special focus on work by women and multi-cultural artists. Additionally, it houses the largest collection of works by the early American modernist William J. Glackens, a leader of the progressive Ashcan School.