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TWO MASTER ARTWORKS EXHIBITS IN BAY AREA

Master artworks from two different epochs visit San Francisco: The M. H. de Young Memorial Museum hosts “The New Painting, Impressionism 1874-1886,” Thursday to July 6, while “The Vital Gesture: Franz Kline in Retrospect” opens Saturday at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and remains on view through June 8.

“The New Painting” celebrates eight Impressionist exhibitions held in Paris between 1874 and 1886. Among the 150 paintings on view are those by such well-known artists as Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cassatt, Pisarro and Signac; forgotten names include Lepine, Cals and Desboutin. The exhibition, organized by Charles Moffett, curator of European paintings at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, opened in January at the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

The Kline exhibition provides the first opportunity since 1968 to see an extensive number of pieces from all periods of his work. Kline, who died at 51, was a major contributor to America’s first internationally recognized art movement, Abstract Expressionism. More than 100 of his paintings and drawings include early figurative works employing vibrant color, as well as his better-known black-and-white abstractions.

The accompanying catalogue is the first comprehensive monograph on the artist. It features previously unpublished material and interviews with friends, fellow painters, curators and others who had important associations with Kline.

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The University Art Museum at UC Santa Barbara has received a gift of 41 16th-, 17th- and 18th-Century drawings from the Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg Feitelson Arts Foundation. Concurrently, 30 Old Master drawings from the Feitelson Foundation went to UCLA’s Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts. This represents the most substantial single gift of Old Master drawings in the center’s 30-year history, adding works from France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.

Both gifts were given in memory of the late Lorser Feitelson, an artist, collector, scholar and teacher who was very active in the art community of Southern California.

“The Feitelsons bought what they liked and what they could afford, eventually amassing a surprising and interesting group of drawings,” said UCSB art history professor Alfred Moir, who organized an exhibition of the Feitelson collection in 1983 and produced an accompanying catalogue.

“This is a wonderful addition, since it enriches our collection with further examples of outstanding artists from the Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque epochs. With this one gift we now have a representative selection of Italian draftsmanship from its golden age,” added J. Donald Farmer, director of the UCSB museum.

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Commenting on the Grunwald gift, Edith Tonelli, UCLA’s Wight Art Gallery director, said: “Several drawings relate directly to other drawings by the same artists in the collection and others are by artists who had previously been represented only by prints. The broad range of drawings within the Feitelson gift make it particularly useful to students and scholars.”

A cooperative gallery where Los Angeles artists can present their work to New York is the brainchild of artist Mickey Kaplan and aptly named LAART. Located in a first-floor space at 112 Mercer St. in SoHo, the gallery is run by an art professional trained at the New Museum.

LAART’s second group exhibition, Tuesday through April 26, features works by Orange County artists Valerie Bechtol, Nixson Borah, Suvan Geer, Don Hendricks, Ray Jacob, Nancy Mooslin, William Riley, Carol Saindon, Pat Sparkuhl and Jean Towgood.

The gallery seeks additional artists. Information: Mickey Kaplan, 351 S. Fuller, Apt. 6, Los Angeles 90036, (213) 931-2523.

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The Foundation for Art Resources is looking for artworks to place in bus shelters under a new project called “Media Shelter” organized by curators Cindy Bernard and Liz Larner. Send inquiries to: Media Shelter, Foundation for Art Resources, P.O. Box 38145, Los Angeles 90038. F.A.R. is an artist-run, nonprofit organization funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

L.A. ARTISTS OUT OF TOWN: Sculptor and UCLA art faculty member Vasa Mihich will unveil, this month, a 19-foot-tall, laminated plastic sculpture commissioned by the Olivetti Corp. at its headquarters in Ivera, Italy.

“We selected Vasa for the commission because Olivetti sees him as an international artist with roots in Europe and who is also established in the United States. His work represents the high technology and sense of advanced design that Olivetti is known for,” said Olivetti management in a press release.

“Four Verses Set to Music,” an installation by sculptor Mineko Grimmer, is on view through April 27 at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. The exhibition was arranged by curator Dennis Komac, formerly gallery director at San Diego State University.

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A biography of art critic, novelist and editor Willard Huntington Wright (1888-1939), brother of painter Stanton Macdonald Wright and later known as detective novelist S. S. Van Dine, is now in process. Anyone having information about, or correspondence with Willard Huntington Wright, Stanton Macdonald Wright or his second wife Claire Wright is asked to contact John Loughery, 82 Schemerhorn St., Brooklyn, N.Y., 11201.

The Fort Worth Art Museum recently announced the acquisition of 16 works by noted American color-field painter Morris Louis. The group consists of six paintings, four collages and six drawings. Fifteen works were given to the museum by the artist’s widow, Mrs. Abner Brenner; one was purchased with a grant from the Tandy Foundation.


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