Acquavella Galleries in Palm Beach Presents Impressionist, Modern, Post-War Masters

Visual Arts

Acquavella Galleries in Palm Beach Presents

Impressionist, Modern, Post-War Masters

April 1 – May 28, 2021

Acquavella Galleries is pleased to present Impressionist, Modern, and Post-War Masters, an exhibition tracking the evolution of artistic movements and generations of artists dating from the late 19th century through the present day, including Giacomo Balla, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gustave Caillebotte, Alexander Calder, Jean Dubuffet, James Ensor, Max Ernst, Lucio Fontana, Keith Haring, Jasper Johns, Damian Loeb, Brice Marden, Joan Miró, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Larry Rivers, Tom Sachs, Wayne Thiebaud, Joaquín Torres-García, and Andy Warhol.

A highlight of the exhibition is Dolly Parton, Andy Warhol’s diptych portrait of the iconic country music star created in 1984-5. His inspiration for the series came from portraits taken with a Polaroid Big Shot camera. He embraced Parton’s larger-than-life persona with her dramatic arched eyebrows, glamorous make-up and curly blond hair that defined her distinctive look. Her voluminous hair nearly fills the 42-inch canvases, giving the impression that the singer is emerging from her thick curls. Remembering her time with Warhol, Parton was quoted saying, “When I was with Andy Warhol, I thought, God, his wig looks cheaper than mine!”

Dolly Parton conveys Warhol’s interest in the “invention and reinvention” of celebrity and uses the hyperbolic glamour of Parton to explore and underscore this fascination. One of his most recognizable silkscreen portraits, Parton appealed to Warhol as he understood their shared reality of living life in character.

An earlier highlight, Mercury Passing in Front of the Sun, presents a significant example of Giacomo Balla’s earlier work reflecting his interest in science and the cosmos. A key proponent of the Futurist movement, Balla created this work in the fall of 1914 as Europe was entrenched in the First World War. This series of paintings portray motion and speed to demonstrate the energy and pace of the chaotic years of the early 20th century.

The blue, white, black and yellow colors that dominate this painting suggest movement and gestures revolving around the subject of Mercury passing in front of the Sun in the fall of 1914. During a transit, Mercury obscures the solar disk, becoming visible as a tiny black dot moving across the surface of the sun. Balla used his telescope to observe the Mercury transit of November 7, 1914 which influenced the form, line and color of the piece. According to his daughter Elica Balla, “the works in this series depict two intersecting views of the partial eclipse, which occurred in full daylight—the transit viewed both through the telescope and through the naked eye. Given this doubled vision, Mercury appears as a small black dot on the upper rim of a shaded, semi-transparent black cone, representing the view from the interior of the telescope.” The image is understood by illustrating the planet’s transit through Balla’s eyes.

Contact: Abby Addams