Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University

Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University
Stanford, CA

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Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University
328 Lomita Drive at Museum Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5060
Telephone 650-723-4177
Fax 650-725-0464

Still-Life 1
Through July 27, 2020

Jennifer Steinkamp employs video and new media to create immersive and often interactive works of art. In Still-Life 1, she draws upon the story of Dutch and Flemish still life painting, also known as stilleven or nature morte to create a work that cleverly extends the terms of the genre⁠—as Steinkamp's piece is anything but still.

Like other works in her oeuvre, this piece presents familiar natural elements in a moving format that entrances and mesmerizes. In this way, Steinkamp invites viewers to experience a new, twenty-first-century version of the aesthetic sublime.

We gratefully acknowledge the support from Mr. Jeffrey N. Dauber and Mr. Marc A. Levin.

Outside Looking In: John Gutmann, Helen Levitt, and Wright MorrisOutside Looking In: John Gutmann, Helen Levitt, and Wright Morris
January 22, 2020–April 26, 2020
Ruth Levison Halperin Gallery

This exhibition presents work by three American photographers in The Capital Group Foundation Photography Collection at Stanford University who used the camera to observe the public lives and, occasionally, private spaces of others. German-born John Gutmann (1905–1998) settled in the Bay Area in 1933 and documented the spectrum of American society with an eye for the absurd, sensational, and grotesque. Author and artist Wright Morris (1910–1998) created a photographic portrait of his relations and their hard-scrabble, rural way of life by depicting their belongings, interiors, and the harshly beautiful Nebraska landscape. On the East Coast, Brooklyn-born Helen Levitt (1913–2009), one of the great street photographers of the 20th century, captured the everyday drama played out on the stoops and streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Spanish Harlem.

Crossing the Caspian: Persia and Europe, 1500–1700
January 22, 2020–April 26, 2020
Lynn Krywick Gibbons Gallery

Crossing the Caspian explores the golden age of artistic exchange between the Safavid Empire of Persia and Europe. Featuring prints, drawings, miniature paintings, rare books and maps, as well as objects of porcelain and silk, this exhibition examines the opening of new geographic, diplomatic, and mercantile routes between Persia and Europe in the seventeenth century. The pieces assembled here include works by artists from Antwerp, Amsterdam, Paris, Hollstein, Qazvin, Isfahan, and Shiraz. Together, the works represent the process of coming to know a foreign culture through the medium of visual art.

We gratefully acknowledge support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Surf Sequence by Ansel Adams
Through May 18, 2020

Explore this series of spontaneously-captured surf images, studies of nature, time, and organic line, in the context of Adams’s relationship with water in different forms.

A Gift of Art from Marilyn F. Symmes
Through May 18, 2020
Patricia S. Rebele Gallery

See an eclectic selection of prints and drawings that highlight different ways of thinking about works as both images and objects.

Read the Stanford Report article, the Stanford Arts story about the gift, and the Stanford Arts Q&A with curator Elizabeth Mitchell on gifts to the Cantor.

The Melancholy Museum: Love, Death, and Mourning at Stanford
September 18, 2019–TBD
Stanford Family Room

A Mark Dion Project

Using over 700 items from the Stanford Family Collections, artist Mark Dion’s new exhibition explores how Leland Stanford Jr.’s death at age 15 led to the creation of a museum, university, and—by extension—the entire Silicon Valley.

Dion spent more than a year culling through the over 6,000 objects in the original Stanford Family Collections to create an exhibition that explores young Leland’s collection—he already was an avid and curious collector at the time of his death—as well as important narratives related to the Stanford family. These include the history of the railroads and the laborers who worked to create it, and the two earthquakes that caused major damage to the museum.

The result of Dion’s efforts are two rooms filled with beautiful, startling, and quirky objects that are grouped together to highlight the Stanford family’s story and to invite visitors to reflect and make their own connections.

This exhibition is organized by the Cantor Arts Center as part of The Diekman Contemporary Commissions Program, in honor of Mona Duggan and her extraordinary dedication to the arts at Stanford. We gratefully acknowledge support from The Diekman Special Projects Fund and Maryellie Johnson and Rupert Johnson, Jr.

Richard Diebenkorn at the Cantor
September 4, 2019 - TBD
Oshman Family Gallery

See an intimate and interactive installation of famed Bay Area artist Richard Diebenkorn’s paintings and sketchbooks that shed light on the artist’s process, including his shift from figurative to more abstract work.

Katharina Fritsch’s 6. Stilleben (6th Still Life)
Through April 27, 2020
Now on view in the courtyard

Artist Katharina Fritsch (Germany, b. 1956), part of a select group of prominent female sculptors working today, draws on iconography from many different sources for her work. These include religion, folklore, art history, and most importantly personal experiences from her native Germany. Her sculptures are both playful, due to vibrant monochromatic matte colors, and disorienting, due to the larger-than-life scale she utilizes.

Fritsch often uses recognizable images that she meticulously handcrafts into sculptures through a process that entails sketches, models, multiple castings, bronze, copper, or stainless-steel re-castings, and a final coating of vibrant paint. The artist manipulates the scale and color of the objects she uses and presents them as single stand-alone sculptures or in groupings.

The work on view at the Cantor Arts Center inner courtyard from April 20th through April 27, 2020, titled 6th Still Life (6. Stilleben), groups together a life-size St. Catherine painted a deep crimson red, a vibrant yellow skull, an egg painted a deep purple, a green St. Nicholas. In contrast to these multicolored figures, there also is a snake that is devoid of any color. There is a friction between the smooth, colored, industrial exterior of the sculptures and the inherent religious undertones of the figures themselves.

While there are hints as to what might have inspired certain figures, any meaning behind their arrangement remains elusive. Looking at each object individually, the work is bursting with religious iconography. When you step back and look at these works together, as intended, you see allusions to the artistic practice of the still life of the pre-1700s, which often contained religious and allegorical symbolism, or the memento mori, an artwork designed to remind viewers of their own mortality.

Fritsch represented Germany at the 1995 Venice Biennale and has had solo exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Basel, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern in London, and K21 in Düsseldorf. A retrospective exhibition of her work was held at the Kunstmuseum Zürich in 2009 and then traveled to the Deichtorhallen Hamburg. In 2013, The Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group invited Fritsch to create the sculpture Hahn/Cock, which was unveiled in Trafalgar Square in London that summer and is currently on view at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Iconography in the work:
Skull – Representation of death and morality
Snake – Representation of evil/devil
St. Catherine – Established a monastery for women in 1377 outside of Siena and is the patron saint of fire prevention
St. Nicholas – In Germany, December 6th is celebrated as Saint Nicholas Day. He is the patron saint of children
Egg – Represents the resurrection and life

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