Athens, Ga. – The Art of Disegno: Italian Prints and Drawings from the Georgia Museum of Art will be on view at the Georgia Museum of Art from May 14 to Aug. 7. The exhibition features 53 works on paper produced in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Guest curators Babette Bohn, professor of art history at Texas Christian University, and Robert Randolph Coleman, associate professor of art history at the University of Notre Dame, chose these prints and drawings from the collections of GMOA and Giuliano Ceseri because they provide rare insight into the training, working habits and creative process of artists. For Italian artists of this era, the art of drawing was regarded as an intellectual as well as a practical activity, and the images found in this exhibition, according to Bohn and Coleman, represent examples of the most fertile and inspired artistic creations found on paper during this period.
“Beginning in the 14th century and increasing in the following centuries, as paper became more widely available, drawings became critical tools of the design process for artists,” said Bohn.
Drawings also enjoyed a close relationship with prints during this period. For example, Coleman’s entry on Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s prints in the accompanying exhibition catalogue discusses how they reveal a fantastical and visionary imagination. Piranesi’s works create an aura of mystery, not only because of the dramatic chiaroscuro, but also because of disappearing staircases, leaning ladders to nowhere and architectural elements that appear to have no real function.
“Prints enabled artists to replicate the designs created in drawings through a technology that provided the possibility of creating multiple works of art and facilitated the spread of the artists’ reputation around the world,” said Bohn.
The exhibition includes prints by Italian printmakers such as Parmigianino and Marcantonio Raimondi, and examples by figures such as Pietro Testa and Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione.
The in-house curator for this exhibition is Lynn Boland, GMOA’s Pierre Daura Curator of European Art.
This exhibition was last on view at the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame from January to May 2009 and will travel to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, Calif., in November of this year. It is accompanied by an exhibition catalogue produced by GMOA that features full-page color illustrations of each work and retails for $38.
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The council is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the Arch Foundation and the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton Street, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-6719. For more information, including hours, see http://www.georgiamuseum.org/ or call 706/542-4662.