Yoshishige Furukawa (2018)
Telfair plans to host the first US retrospective (posthumous) of Yoshishige Furukawa (Japanese, 1921–2008) in 2018. Furukawa earned his degree in painting at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1943, moved to the United States in 1963, and spent the subsequent decades living between the United States and his native Japan. Furukawa’s oeuvre tested the limits of painting through a dedicated engagement with American art trends and unconventional materials. New scholarship will explore how Furukawa was in conversation with the American New York artists during his years in NY (1960s–80s), and how he also influenced Japanese Mono Ha artists working during his lifetime. The exhibition will explore the impact of the East-West divide during the years following WWII and the narrative reinforced by Western art museums during this time. Even though he was living and working amongst American artists in New York, a narrative of the "other" seemed to linger over his career throughout his life.
Complex Uncertainties: Artists in Postwar America (2016)
From the rise of America as a world superpower after WWII—and with it, a distinctly individual and identifiably “American” approach to artmaking—to the proliferation of technologies that homogenize American culture today, artists have always been at the forefront of social response. Complex Uncertainties is an evolving exhibition grounded by works in Telfair’s modern and contemporary collection that sheds light on these responses and reveals some of the ways in which historic events challenge artists to explore unknowns, construct narratives, and react to power. Through this ongoing installation, visitors can explore the impact of artistic responses to specific historical events, as well as palpably empathize with the growing sense of uncertainty that artists address throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
Warhol/ JFK: November 22, 1963 (2013)
To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, this thought-provoking exhibition explored the events of that defining moment in history from the perspective of one of America’s most important modern artists, Andy Warhol. Two bodies of work created by Warhol were on view: a 1966 double portrait of the grieving widow Jacqueline Kennedy, Jackie II, and the rarely seen print portfolio Flash–November 22, 1963, which is comprised of a series of 11 screenprints with text that replicates newswire copy from the assassination and its aftermath. Warhol’s use of media images and text underlines the notion that our collective understanding of the images is a result of a media construction and not our own personal emotional response. Fifty years later, the powerful role the media has to describe and shape public understanding of current events remains relevant.
James Brooks: Paintings and Works on Paper (2013)
Formally considered an Abstract Expressionist, James Brooks produced bright, dense works marked by their vibrating tension between spontaneous form and controlled gesture. After a stint as a combat artist during World War II, Brooks abandoned American Scene Realism in favor of deconstructed and flattened figures inspired by the cubist work of Picasso and Braque. His work further delved into abstraction after reconnecting with his friend Jackson Pollock in 1946 (they originally met in NYC in the 30s). Brooks joined Pollock as a member of the New York School, a group of avant-garde artists defiantly dubbed “The Irascibles.” Brooks’s expressive explorations led him to create his own method of pouring pigment directly onto an unprimed canvas. He characterized the stain technique of the late 1940s as “accidental” and “irresponsible,” terms that place his paintings in dialogue with the Surrealists, who encouraged chance and subconscious as essential to the creative process. This installation of paintings and works on paper by Brooks celebrates the recent gift of eight prints from the James and Charlotte Brooks Foundation in honor of Dwight Emanuelson, a longtime supporter of Telfair Museums.