CSU art museum features Kandinsky, Torres-García and other modern masters

Daura Cordonierre

Untitled (Cordonnerie), ca. 1929, by Pierre Daura. Oil on paper mounted on canvas. Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Gift of Martha Randolph Daura GMOA 2003.331

Story by Silvia Minguzzi

The Gregory Allicar Museum of Art is presenting two new temporary exhibitions this spring.

Cercle et Carré and the International Spirit of Abstract Art will be on display in the museum’s Griffin Foundation Gallery from Jan. 21 to April 11, and Simple Truths: Still Life Paintings by Pierre Daura, will be on display in the museum’s Works on Paper Gallery from Feb. 8 to May 16.

Cercle et Carré and the International Spirit of Abstract Art focuses on the influential but short-lived artistic group known as Cercle et Carré (Circle and Square), which was founded in 1929 by Belgian artist and critic Michel Seuphor, Uruguayan-Catalan artist Joaquín Torres-García, and Catalan-American artist Pierre Daura. Although short-lived, it served as a catalyst for a number of other important international artistic movements of the 1930s, such as Abstraction-Création in Paris and Torres-Garcia’s Circulo y Cuadrado in South America. Championing geometrically abstracted art at a pivotal moment in the history of abstraction, Cercle et Carré left a substantial legacy.

Kandinsky Two Figures
Two Figures, 1935, by Wassily Kandinsky. Watercolor, ink, and pencil on paper. Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Gift of Alfred H. Holbrook GMOA 1946.123

History of the group

Consisting of about 80 artists, Cercle et Carré was formed in opposition to surrealism and to “promote structure and construction.” According to the exhibition’s curator, Lynn Boland, “The group was remarkable at the time for its emphasis on the universality of abstraction, and for its democratic nature. Its members were male and female, emerging and established from Western and Eastern Europe, North and South America, and Russia.” Organized around the artists included in the group’s sole 1930 show, this exhibition includes 60 works, shedding light on under-appreciated artists while also presenting major figures such as Le Corbusier, Alexandra Exter, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, Joaquín Torres-García, and many others.

Pierre Daura (1896-1976) was born on the island of Minorca, Spain. He grew up in Barcelona and moved to Paris as a young man in 1914, first working as a studio assistant to the Post-Impressionist Émile Bernard and helping to champion the work of Vincent Van Gogh. Organized by the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art, Simple Truths: Still Life Paintings by Pierre Daura celebrates a major gift of works of art donated by the artist’s daughter, Martha R. Daura, and is presented in conjunction with the Cercle et Carré exhibition, the group Daura co-founded. Centered around a group of still-life watercolor paintings from the mid-20th century, the exhibition will also present examples of Daura’s work in other media, such as printmaking, drawing and wood carving.

General museum hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursdays until 7:30 p.m. All exhibitions and programs are free and open to the public. The museum is located in the University Center for the Arts at 1400 Remington St.­

Acknowledgements

Cercle et Carré and the International Spirit of Abstract Art was organized by the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia.

This program is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The council is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The presentation of this exhibition at the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art at Colorado State University is made possible by a generous grant from the Daura Foundation.

Untitled (Female Head), 1927, by Joaquín Torres-García. Oil on canvas.
Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Gift of Martha Randolph Daura, GMOA 2013.169

Program Schedule

Vernissage (preview reception)

Friday, Feb. 7, 5 p.m.
Gregory Allicar Museum of Art
Free and open to all

Gallery Program

Curator Talk for Cercle et Carré and the International Spirit of Abstract Art
Thursday, Feb. 27, 5 p.m.
Gregory Allicar Museum of Art
Free and open to all

Exter's Aelita
Costume Design for “Aelita”, 1924, by Alexandra Exter. Pencil, collage and gouache on paper. Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Collectors of the Georgia Museum of Art and Board of Advisors members Robert E. Burton, Randolph W. Camp, Marion E. Jarrell, David W. Matheny, Marilyn D. McNeely, Carl W. Mullis III, Deborah L. O’Kain, and Sarah P. Sams GMOA 2011.367

Program

Family Day
Saturday, March 7, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Gregory Allicar Museum of Art
Free and open to all

Gallery Program

Music in the Museum Concert Series: Modernism in Art and Music
Tuesday, March 24; noon and 6 p.m.
Free with RSVP: artmuseum.colostate.edu

Performance and Lecture

Luciano Chessa: Cromlech
Wednesday, March 25, 5 p.m.
A program of Futurist music, poetry, art and their context
Organ Recital Hall, University Center for the Arts
Free and open to all – reception follows

Lecture

Dr. Lynn Boland, “Atonality and Abstraction: Kandinsky’s Constructive Dissonance in Context”
Thursday, April 9, 5 p.m.
Gregory Allicar Museum of Art
Free and open to all

The Gregory Allicar Museum of Art invites individuals to engage with art and each other to inspire fresh perspectives and wonder. The museum is a catalyst for visual literacy and critical thinking that instills a passion for learning. For updated museum information, go to artmuseum.colostate.edu.

CSU University Communications Staff