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Honoré Daumier, Madame, j’ai bien l’honneur! (Madame, I have the honor)... Published in Le Chairvari on January 26, 1848, Delteil 1721. Lithograph, SBMA, Gift of Robert M. Light.
  Daumier Reveals All: Inside the Artist’s Studio

Following on the heels of Daumier's Salon: A Human Comedy, curated by former SBMA exhibition intern Elizabeth Saari Browne, Daumier Reveals All: Inside the Artist's Studio presents another selection of lithographs by Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) that provides an inside look into the 19th-century Parisian art world. In these works, Daumier reveals the artists everyday routines, as well as his career ups and downs, as played out in his studio. Like the previous installation, this selection of lithographs is drawn from the recent gift of more than 1,500 Daumier lithographs by long-time supporter Robert M. Light. Owing to this generous gift, SBMA is now one of the richest repositories of the work of this celebrated master of 19th-century caricature on the West Coast.






Richard Salas, Four Tenors, 2012. Inkjet print, ed. 1/5. SBMA, Museum purchase with funds provided by Tim Walsh and Ken Anderson.
  Art to Zoo: Exploring Animal Natures
September 28, 2014 – January 4, 2015

This exhibition of photographs, many produced by great masters of the medium, offers the viewer the opportunity to explore animal natures. Only relatively recently have scientists begun to probe animal knowledge; what senses and faculties animals have honed, and how adept their adaptive qualities. For example, ants can solve complex geometric problems, fish feel pain, both fish and birds swarm to protect against predation and to forage for food. Art lovers and scientists alike will find these images appealing on multiple levels. Drawn from permanent collection, this exhibition is shared with the College of Creative Studies at UCSB (on view September 26 – October 19, 2014). 

To view the full Press Release, click here


Jorge Pardo Cuban, Untitled (Sea Urchin), 2012 Aluminum, molded Plexiglas, canvas, electrical cords, light bullb. SBMA, Museum Purchase with funds provided by The Museum Contemporaries and the 20th Century Art Quasi Endowment Fund.
  Contemporary/Modern: Selections from the Permanent Collection
August 31, 2014 – January 4, 2015

This exhibition brings together a selection of painting and sculpture from the Museum’s permanent collection dating from 1958 to 2014. Recent works inventively reference and reinterpret the past—including both popular and obscure forms of painting, architecture, and design. Earlier works, each part of significant movements in abstract painting, articulate reductive forms suggesting a distinctively utopian view of the future. By sampling and mixing substantial works of the present with the past, this installation aims to provide a glimpse into an ongoing and dynamic dialogue between the two. 


Honoré Daumier, Viens donc..., mon ami, je ne trouve pas..., EXPOSITION DE 1859, no. 11, Published in Le Charivari, June 21, 1859. Lithograph, Delteil 3143. SBMA, Gift of Robert M. Light.
  Daumier’s Salon: A Human Comedy
March 23 – October 5, 2014

In the second half of the 19th century, Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) was employed by popular rags, such as La Caricature and Le Charivari to produce often hilarious lampoons of Parisian daily life. One of his favorite subjects was the art world in 19th-century France. Daumier was, after all, not only a chronicler of the Parisian art scene, but a participant as well. A prolific artist working in a variety of media—in addition to lithography, Daumier produced a vast number of paintings, drawings, and sculpture—Daumier was intimately familiar with the art, artists, and audience to whom he gravitated time and again in his caricatures.

This selection of lithographs from the permanent collection, curated by former SBMA exhibition intern Elizabeth Saari Browne, situates Daumier’s observations of the art world within the context of the annual Salons, the exhibitions in which art and its producers, consumers, and critics were brought together. Spanning almost 25 years of his career, these lithographs not only showcase Daumier’s attitudes toward the exhibition, valuation, and commercialization of art, but also reveal his knowledge of contemporary art practice and the history of art through the artist’s habitually trenchant puns and witty references, which are illuminated in detail in the exhibition didactics. Through the recent gift of more than 1,500 Daumier lithographs by long-time supporter, Robert M. Light, SBMA is now one of the richest repositories of the work of this celebrated master of 19th-century caricature on the West Coast.


Mario Ybarra, Jr., Go Tell It #1, 2001. Color lightjet print. SBMA, Museum purchase with funds provided by Hilarie and Mark Moore and the Moore Family Trust.
  Left Coast: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art
May 25 - September 14, 2014

Since it opened its doors in 1941, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art has consistently been dedicated to collecting—an activity that has contributed to the growth of the permanent collection in significant ways. Art produced on the West Coast is a major part of this endeavor. Left Coast presents an overview of the Museum’s collecting habits in contemporary art over the past five years. Featuring over thirty works in a variety of media, including painting, photography, works on paper, and sculpture, many of the works in the exhibition are on view at the Museum for the first time. Tying these works together is the pervasive sense of individuality demonstrated in each, adding weight to the justification of the delineation of this side of the country as not just the West Coast, but also the “Left” Coast.

The exhibition is comprised of works from artists in various stages of their careers, ranging from emerging to established, and regionally to internationally recognized. All of these artists have at one time lived, worked, or exhibited in Southern California.  Artists include Amy Adler, Kevin Appel, Brian Bress, Dan Connally,  Russell Crotty, Tony De los Reyes, Roy Dowell, Carlee Fernandez, Mark Flores, Llyn Foulkes, Jack Goldstein, Ken Gonzales-Day, Lyle Ashton Harris, Zach Harris, Adam Helms, Richard Jackson, Kim Jones, Mike Kelley, Elad Lassry, Allison Miller, Kori Newkirk, Lari Pittman, Ken Price, Lucas Reiner, Steve Roden, Sommer Roman, April Street, Robert Wechsler, and Mario Ybarra, Jr.


Beatrice Wood, You look like a goddess on a hairpin, from the series "Touching Certain Things", 1932. Pencil and watercolor on paper. SBMA, Gift of Francis M. Naumann and Marie T. Keller.
  Living in the Timeless: Drawings by Beatrice Wood
May 11 – August 31, 2014

Recognized for her vibrant lusterware pottery, Beatrice Wood (1893-1998) first emerged as an artist in 1917, making sketches as part of the provocative New York Dada scene. This exhibition examines the lesser known yet foundational role of drawing in the artist's work, which she continued to develop over the next eight decades. Wood's drawings served as visual diaries, allowing her to explore personal and often socially taboo subject matter in abstract and figurative styles. Providing an intimate glimpse into the artist's life and legacy, Living in the Timeless also celebrates the recent gift of 166 works on paper by Wood from the collection of Francis M. Naumann and Marie T. Keller to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Largely autobiographical and frequently revisiting past characters and forms, Wood's drawings allowed her "to live in the timeless," as she wrote to a friend at the age of 103.

Infused with humor, wit, and eroticism, Wood's drawings delve into various aspects of human nature. In addition to works on paper, the exhibition also features selected figurative ceramic sculptures and tiles, as well as the artist's illustrated books—all extensions of her draftsmanship. The idiosyncratic subjects of her drawings gave form to her exploits in these new mediums. Her figurative sculptures, described by the artist as "sophisticated primitives" often represent complex, adult themes in a deliberately naïve manner—mirroring a coquettish personality that Wood crafted and sustained throughout her life.


Unknown artist, Praises to the Mother of God, ca. 1550-1600. Egg tempera on wood, silver revetment. SBMA, Anonymous Gift.
  Religious Images of the Christian East
November 27, 2013 – March 16, 2014

Portraits of Jesus Christ, His mother and His saints invoke the presence of God, to whom every Christian prayer is addressed. Before the Reformation, such images were habitually used by believers all over Europe, both in church and in private. The custom of painting them on wood originated in present-day Egypt, Syria and Turkey, later spreading from there to Italy and further north. Orthodox Christians in Greece, Russia and elsewhere refer to such paintings as icons. In order to make the holy figures easily recognizable, icons usually repeat familiar compositions on the basis of earlier models. Some such models are supposedly derived from authentic, miraculously produced portraits of Christ. Others go back to images that have frequently helped those who prayed in front of them. The examples in Religious Images of the Christian East illustrate the traditionalism of icon painting: even though they were made in the early modern and modern periods, ca. 1500-1900, their artistic style does not differ greatly from that of fourteenth-century Italian panel painting, an examples of which is also exhibited.

This exhibition is guest curated by Georgi R. Parpulov. Dr. Parpulov received his M.A. in History from Sofia University and his Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Chicago. He was formerly a senior research fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford, as well as a curatorial fellow at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, where he worked on the exhibition Sacred Arts and City Life: The Glory of Medieval Novgorod (2005).

Alice Aycock, Rock, Paper, Scissors (India '07), 2010. Watercolor and ink on paper. Miami Art Museum, Gift of Jerry Lindzon.


Alice Aycock Drawings: Some Stories Are Worth Repeating
January 26 – April 20, 2014

This exhibition is the first comprehensive exploration of this vital aspect of the renowned sculptor’s creative process. Partnering with the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara, this two-venue exhibition traces Alice Aycock’s career from 1971 to the present, highlighting the major themes that have governed her artistic practice. While Aycock is best known for her large-scale installations and outdoor sculptures, her drawings capture the full range of her ideas and sources.

Consisting of approximately 100 works, the exhibition will be presented in two parts. The works at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (January 26 – April 20), cover the years 1984 to the present, when Aycock developed an increasingly elaborate visual vocabulary, drawing upon a multitude of sources and facilitated in part by the use of computer programs. The works on view at the AD&A Museum (January 25 - April 19) focus on the years 1971–1984, including detailed architectural drawings, sculptural maquettes, and photo documentation for both realized and imagined architectural projects.

This exhibition was organized by the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York. It is accompanied by a 160-page hardcover catalogue with an essay by Jonathan Fineberg.


Michelle Stuart, Starchart Constellation, 1992. Wanas Sculpture Park and Castle, Knislinge, Sweden. Fiberglass columns, miniature lighting systems; installed in a 13th-century barn. 2013 © Michelle Stuart, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York.


Michelle Stuart: Drawn from Nature
January 26 – May 4, 2014

Spanning the period from the late 1960s to the present day, this exhibition presents the work of an artist who radically combined site-specific earthworks with the medium of drawing. Michelle Stuart has become internationally known for a rich and diverse body of work engendered by her lifelong interest in the natural world and the cosmos. Working in drawing, sculpture, photography, video, installation, and site-specific earthworks, she has pursued a subtle and responsive dialogue with nature, distinct from the epic gestures of contemporaneous Land Art. Her engagement with landscape and the natural environment, her use of unconventional, humble materials, and her passion for archaeology and collecting permeate her work.

Stuart is best known for her early monumental drawings made outdoors, where rolls of paper were smashed with rocks, stroked with earth, or rubbed with graphite until the characteristics of a given site became ingrained in their surfaces. Other works in the exhibition respond to the Nazca Lines and Mexican petroglyphs—pushing our understanding of drawing beyond the page. Included are expansive maps of real and imaginary landscapes form the backdrop to a selection of sculptural works and hand-made books. The exhibition concludes with Stuart’s recent photographic grids, expansive works which encapsulate the potent blend of “real history, imaginative history and natural history” that has characterized her work.

Michelle Stuart: Drawn from Nature is the first major museum exhibition of the artist’s work in the United States since 1998, and only the second to be presented in the west. The exhibition is organized and toured by the Djanogly Art Gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre, University of Nottingham, UK. It is accompanied by a 160-page hardcover catalogue with essays by Anna Lovatt, Jane McFadden, and Nancy Princenthal; and an interview with the artist by Julie Joyce.

Robert and Shana Parke-Harrison. Departure, 1997. Photogravure with beeswax, ed. 23/35. SBMA, Museum Purchase with fund provided by Mrs. Rowe S. Giesen.


Heavenly Bodies
February 23  May 25, 2014

The oft-unseen planet which we inhabit and the vast universe, which is becoming more visible to us, is explored in the exhibition titled Heavenly Bodies. From humankind's earliest beginnings, few have gazed at a starry night and not been struck with a profound sense of awe at the macrocosm: the universe and its planets, meteors, blazing comets and falling stars. The Hubble telescope and ever-more-powerful observatories have only increased the wonder, revealing galaxies and constellations previously impossible to see. Conversely, small wonders of the microcosm are captured by visionary photographers who see a galaxy in an apple or the perfect architecture of a snowflake.

This exhibition of over sixty images, largely drawn from the permanent collection, continues the exploration of the intersections of art and science, begun in 1967 when the Santa Barbara Museum of Art presented Once Invisible. That presentation, organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, revealed a once-invisible world made observable by a combination of advancing technologies and artistic visions. Heavenly Bodies includes images of stellar constellations, solar eclipses, streaking comets, and the full moon along with photographs of the ordinary made extraordinary—blackboards and bacteria, ferns and bird swarms, salt ponds and soap bubbles.

As scientists continue to unravel the wonders of the universe, artists, ever the antennae of the human race, strive to assimilate and communicate the newly revealed mysteries while making visible the mysteries in their midst.

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