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Bechtler Unseen: Works from the 50s and 60s

From November 17, 2018, through March 17, 2019, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, will present Bechtler Unseen: Works from the 50s and 60s, an exhibition that presents more than 100 works from the Bechtler collection that have never been on view to the public.

As the Bechtler gets closer to its 10th anniversary on January 2, 2020, the museum has still not exhibited a sizeable portion of its holdings. In response to the ongoing inquiries about these never before seen works, this exhibition will explore the depth of the collection by highlighting works from well-known artists such as Joan Miró, Georges Braque, Jean (Hans) Arp and Pablo Picasso as well as extraordinary pieces by several artists whose works are rarely seen in the country.

There is much to these works that underscore the private aspects of collecting – certain treasures best appreciated up close in one’s home as has been the Bechtler’s approach in countless instances. Elegant portfolios of exceptional prints in virtually all media in that discipline; artist’s books celebrating the thoughtful and sometimes mysterious union between text, images and meaning and publications to honor figures, like Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, who helped nurture the very emergence of the Modern movement.

There are rare pieces by artists who were early guides for the Bechtlers at the start of the family’s collecting, including the great playwright and Expressionist painter Oscar Kokoschka. Others marry the traditional aesthetic vocabularies of their native, non-European heritage with their experiences in modern Paris such as Kumi Sugaï (Japan), Rufino Tamayo (Mexico) and Wou-Ki Zao (China).

This exhibition reminds us of the broad range of the Bechtler collection. Naturalistic depictions are woven among works of increasing abstraction with themes ranging from the idyllic to the terrifying emphasizing the encyclopedia aspect of their interests.


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