The museum that will exhibit "Winslow Homer in the 1890s: Prout's Neck Observed" was incorrectly listed in Sunday's Show section. It will be at the National Museum of American Art from Feb. 8 to May 27. (Published 9/11/90)
Many years from now when Washingtonians look back at the art museum season that is now beginning -- it will be the name of Titian that is most remembered. Leonardo's art is more intellectually heroic, Raphael's is sweeter, Michelangelo's more muscular, but not one of them could equal the great Venetian master's sensuous and fluid handling of paint. America has never had a major Titian exhibition. Now one is on its way. "Titian: Prince of Painters," a slightly altered version of a show displayed in Venice to celebrate the 500th anniversary of his birth, will open Oct. 28 at the National Gallery of Art.
Though not actually a prince, Titian was, in fact, ennobled -- by his patron, Charles V, who, so legend has it, once stooped before the artist to pick up a fallen brush. Many later masters, Rubens, for example, and Rembrandt and Manet, have, through imitation, bowed before him too. Titian lived to nearly 90, and the power of his art grew stronger as he aged. There will be nearly 50 pictures -- from the Prado, the Uffizi, the Louvre and the Met -- in the gallery's exhibit. It will be on view in Washington through Jan. 27.
The gods that Titian painted, his angels and his saints, tend to look like men. The aura of the holy that surrounds his grandest paintings flows less from their subjects than from the atmosphere-suggesting, solidity-dissolving flickering of his brush.
Kasimir Malevich, who will also be the subject of a major Washington show this season, stalked the transcendental with wholly different means. His brushwork is austere, his colors are restrained, but his ambitions are enormous. Malevich painted icons that invoke the absolute. His most famous painting, a suprematist composition of 1915, shows a single square of black. No earlier European had dared produce a painting so uncompromisingly abstract. Mondrian and the minimalists are deeply in his debt. The Malevich retrospective will include 170 objects, many of them borrowed from the Soviet Union, where, despite devoted service to the Revolution, he was for many years ignored. His touring exhibition is another fruit of glasnost. It will be on view from Sept. 16 to Nov. 4 at the National Gallery of Art.
Anthony van Dyck, the Northern European portraitist who died 350 years ago, will also be the subject of a National Gallery retrospective. The van Dyck exhibition will be in Washington from Nov. 11 to Feb. 24.
It is fashionable these days, at least in certain circles, to view such European artists as Titian, van Dyck and Malevich as excessively elitist, perhaps too white, too male and insufficiently concerned with the problems of the world. A number of exhibits to be seen this season might be thought correctives. These include "Trouble in Paradise" -- on view Sept. 12 to Oct. 26 at the Art Gallery of the University of Maryland, College Park -- in which 14 New England artists will address such topical issues as "censorship, racism, pollution, sexism, homelessness, militarism, AIDS, domestic violence and substance abuse"; and two shows about the homeless: "Shooting Back: Photography By and About the Homeless," whose subjects are the homeless in Washington, will be at the Washington Project for the Arts from Sept. 14 to Nov. 9; and "Krzysztof Wodiczko -- New York City Tableau: Tompkins Square," whose homeless subjects are Manhattanites, will be at the WPA from Nov. 16 to Jan. 12.
Other exhibitions will deal in various ways with the subjects of women, Hispanics and blacks in Africa and America. These include "Ndebele Beadwork," a show of objects from South Africa (from Oct. 2 to Jan. 13 at the National Museum of African Art); "African Reflections: Art From Northeastern Zaire" (at the African Museum from March 6, 1991, to Jan. 12, 1992); "Aaron Siskind's Harlem Document: Photographs 1932-1940" (at the National Museum of American Art from Nov. 22 to March 17); and "Ceremony of Memory: New Expressions in Spirituality Among Contemporary Hispanic Artists" (at the WPA from Nov. 16 to Jan. 12). "Eva/Ave: Woman in Renaissance and Baroque Prints" will be seen at the National Gallery from Nov. 25 to April 28.
That not all white male artists have ignored the plight of the poor and other problems of society will be made clear by "Men of Rebellion: The Eight and Their Associates at the Phillips Collection," which will be at that museum from Sept. 22 to Nov. 4.
A number of contemporary artists will have solo exhibitions. These include the Swiss photorealist Frank Gertsch, whose huge woodcuts will be shown at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden from Sept. 19 to Dec. 16; the Texas artist James Drake, whose large-scale constructions will be at the Corcoran Gallery of Art from Sept. 15 to Nov. 11; John Baldessari, the California conceptualist whose retrospective will be shown at the Hirshhorn from Oct. 17 through Jan. 6; Joan Personette, whose retrospective will be at the National Museum of Women in the Arts from Oct. 30 to Feb. 3; Germany's Sigmar Polkeu, whose touring retrospective will visit the Hirshhorn from Feb. 13 to May 5; and New York's Robert Morris, who will be showing his large-scale paintings at the Corcoran from Dec. 8 to Feb. 17.
Two American impressionists will have solo exhibitions. A retrospective, "Lilla Cabot Perry: An American Impressionist," will be shown at the National Museum of Women in the Arts from Sept. 28 to Jan. 6, and "Childe Hassam: An Island Garden Revisited" will be at the National Museum of American Art from Oct. 5 to Jan. 6.
The art -- and influence -- of Winslow Homer will be explored in a pair of exhibitions. His Maine marine paintings will be displayed in "Winslow Homer in the 1890s: Prout's Neck Observed" (at the Phillips Collection from Feb. 8 to May 27). "Reckoning With Winslow Homer: His Late Paintings and Their Influence" will be seen at the Corcoran from March 16 to May 12.
In March, the National Gallery of Art will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its opening. The "significant gifts of works of art" presented to the gallery in honor of its birthday will be shown in the East Building from March 17 to June 16.