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Recent Acquisitions

Mauricio Lasansky's Maria J

Mauricio Lasansky (American, Buenos Aires,Argentina, 1914 – 2012, Iowa City, Iowa)
Maria J, 1989
color intaglio: etching, drypoint, electric stippler, scraping and burnishing
78.62 in. x 27.5 in.
Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Jackye and Curtis Finch, Jr., in honor of Leslie Finch. 2013.009

Mauricio Lasansky (1914 – 2012), creator of the Arkansas Arts Center’s new acquisition, an intaglio print titled Maria J, was one of America’s greatest and most influential graphic artists throughout the mid-to-late 20th century. Lasansky had begun making prints in his native Argentina before he moved to New York City and then to Iowa City, Iowa. He taught printmaking at the University of Iowa from 1945 until 1984. Lasansky taught multiple generations of artists, who are now the great teachers and printmakers of America. In no small part thanks to Lasansky and his students, printmaking has assumed a vital role in American art. Arkansas artist Evan Lindquist was one of his students.

Lasansky used innovative techniques to create the amazing range of colors and textures in prints like Maria J. In the medium of intaglio printmaking in which black is the norm, Lasansky brought green, orange, and purple into play in his rendition of the ballet dancer’s fluffy tutu.He printed the colors from both metal and glassplates. This monumental–yet delightfully quirky–image comes to the Arkansas Arts Center as a gift from Jackye and Curtis Finch, Jr. in honor of Curtis Finch’s daughter, Leslie Finch. The theme of dance and dancers seen in this print was a favorite for Lasansky. Maria J joins another, yet totally different, print of dance, Young Nahua Dancer, 1961-1973, etching and aquatint, in the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection.


John Marin (1870-1953): Modernist at Work

The Arkansas Arts Center is proud to announce a spectacular gift from Norma B. Marin of 290 watercolors and drawings by the great American modernist John Marin (1870 – 1953). Mrs. Marin is the artist’s daughter-in-law. Marin is known for his luminous watercolors of urban structures, landscapes,and seascapes. This gift establishes the Arkansas Arts Center as the world’s second largest repository of Marin’s art, surpassed only by the National Gallery of Art. This stunning gift ranges throughout Marin’s career, including every period and most major subjects, from his early days in New Jersey and Philadelphia, to his early 20th century years in France, through his decades as a top New York modernist. Along with his famous depictions of urban New York and rural Maine, the collection includes more unusual subjects such as portraits, nudes, zoo animals, horses, and scenes of the circus. There are finished works in addition to many sketches and working drawings. The AAC will feature the new gift in a major 2016 exhibition and book titled John Marin (1870-1953): Modernist at Work.

Marin was among the elite American avant-garde artists promoted by the advocate of modern art, Alfred Stieglitz. Between 1909 and 1946, Stieglitz showed Marin’s art regularly in his New York City galleries, beginning with The Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession (known as 291). The Arts Center holds an important collection of art by such Stieglitz circle artists as Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove, and Marsden Hartley.

“This important gift reinforces our long-standing commitment to the collection, preservation, and display of works on paper,” said Executive DirectorTodd Herman, Ph.D. “This large group of Marin drawings and watercolors adds great depth to an already strong collection of drawings by American and European modern artists. We are grateful to Norma Marin and the estate for entrusting these works to the Arkansas Arts Center.”

John Marin, On Mount Desert, Maine, 1920, watercolor on paper, Arkansas Arts center Foundation Collection, Gift of Norma B. Marin, New York, 2013.018.....8102CY

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