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Sixteen recent acquisitions by the Department of Painting and Sculpture of The Museum of Modern Art are currently on view at the Museum through November 26. The works range in date from a 1907-08 art nouveau oil by the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt to a found-stone piece composed this year by theyoung English artist Richard Long. Perhaps the best known work in the exhibition is a major oil painting by Paul Klee painted on the eve of Hitler's rise to power, Mask of Fear (1932).

RECENT ACQUISITIONS: PAINTING AND SCULPTURE was directed by William Rubin, Director of the Museum's Department of Painting and Sculpture. The exhibition includes eight contemporary works, which are installed in the Museum's lobby, and eight works by earlier twentiety-century artists,on view in the adjoining Northeast Gallery.

Three of the works dating from the earlier part of this century which fill significant gaps in the Collection are paintings by Patrick Henry Bruce and Horace Pippin and a sculpture by John Storrs. None of these artists was previously represented in the Painting and Sculpture Collection. Among other works in the exhibition dating from the first half of the twen- tieth century is Gustav Klimt's Hope, II (1907-08), the first art nouveau painting by this artist to enter any American collection, public or private. The Leaf of the Artichoke is an Owl (1944) by Arshile Porky is directly related to the formation of Abstract Expressionism and is illustrative of an aspect of that artist's oeuvre not otherwise represented in the MuseumCollection. The gift of Barnett Newman's 1946 painting The Beginning was solicited by the Museum in order to demonstrate Newman's evolution prior to the characteristic style of the 1950s and '60s, already well represented by works in the Collection.

Among the paintings by contemporary artists in the exhibition, Alex Katz's Passing (1962-63) and Neil Jenney's Implements and Entrenchments (1969) are the first acquisitions by the Museum of works by these artists. Lee Krasner's Gaea (1966), Al Held's Inversion IV (1977) and Robert Rausch- enberg's 1972 assemblage Franciscan II further supplement works by these artists already in the Collection, thus enabling a still broader view of their individual development.

"This exhibition," notes William Rubin, "provides a characteristic index into the way in which the Museum collects. Given the high prices of works by established artists and the paucity of our funds, we try to collect the best and most representative in contemporary art while directing acquisitions of less recent and older work toward specific needs and lacunae in the Collection."


Download Press Release for Recent Acquisitions 1978

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